The Shaman's Coat by Anna Reid
A Native History of Siberia

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The fascinating history of an unknown people

A vivid mixture of history and reporting, The Shaman’s Coat tells the story of some of the world’s least-known peoples—the indigenous tribes of Siberia. Russia’s equivalent to the Native Americans or Australian Aborigines, they divide into two dozen different and ancient nationalities—among them Buryat, Tuvans, Sakha, and Chukchi. Though they number more than one million and have begun to demand land rights and political autonomy since the fall of communism, most Westerners are not even aware that they exist.

Journalist and historian Anna Reid traveled the length and breadth of Siberia—one-twelfth of the world’s land surface, larger than the United States and Western Europe combined—to tell the story of its people. Drawing on sources ranging from folktales to KGB reports, and on interviews with shamans and Buddhist monks, reindeer herders and whale hunters, camp survivors and Party apparatchiks, The Shaman’s Coat travels through four hundred years of history, from the Cossacks’ campaigns against the last of the Tatar khans to native rights activists against oil development. The result is a moving group portrait of extraordinary and threatened peoples, and a unique and intrepid travel chronicle.
 

About Anna Reid

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Anna Reid is the author of The Shaman's Coat:A Narrative History of Siberia and Borderland: A Journey Through the History of the Ukraine. She holds a master's degree in Russian history and reform economics from the University of London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies. She was Ukraine correspondent for the Economist and the Daily Telegraph from 1993 to 1995, and from 2003 to 2007 she ran the foreign-affairs program at the think tank Policy Exchange.
 
Published April 25, 2002 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 352 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Travel. Non-fiction

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Siberia accounts for one-twelfth of the world’s landmass and retains huge expanses of unpeopled wilderness, notes Reid;

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