Nowhere have recent environmental and social changes been more pronounced than in post-Soviet Siberia. Donatas Brandisauskas probes the strategies that Orochen reindeer herders of southeastern Siberia have developed to navigate these changes. "Catching luck" is one such strategy that plays a central role in Orochen cosmology -- luck implies a vernacular theory of causality based on active interactions of humans, non-humans, material objects, and places. Brandisauskas describes in rich details the skills, knowledge, ritual practices, storytelling, and movements that enable the Orochen to "catch luck" (or not, sometimes), to navigate times of change and upheaval.
Donatas Brandisauskas is Associate Professor and Senior Researcher at Vilnius University in Lithuania. He is Honorary Research Fellow at Aberdeen University and Associate Researcher at University of Versailles (CEARC) in France.
List of Figures Preface A Note on Transliteration Introduction: Luck, Spirits and Places Chapter 1. People I lived With: Community, Subsistence and Skills Chapter 2. Luck, spirits and domination Chapter 3. Sharing, Trust and Accumulation Chapter 4.'Relying On My Own Two': Walking and Luck Chapter 5. Living Places: Tracking Animals and Camps Chapter 6. Mastery of Time: Weather and Opportunities Chapter 7. Herding, Hunting and Ambiguity Chapter 8. Rock Art, Shamans and Healing Chapter 9. Conclusions: Ambivalence, Reciprocity and Luck Glossary of Orochen and Russian Terms Bibliography