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Who was the first to wear sunglasses, or ten facts about ancient Evenki
© RIA Novosti. Mikhail Kuhtarev

Who was the first to wear sunglasses, or ten facts about ancient Evenki

The Evenki are one of the numerous Arctic peoples, also known as Tunguses. There is little known about them, so Arctic.ru collected the most interesting facts about Evenki life. In ancient times, the Evenki…

1.     …worshipped small birds. The Evenki believed that the souls of yet unborn children existed as birds. The word "omi" in the folklore of Eastern Evenki meant both "soul" and also "tit" as the people believed a child's soul was inside it.

2.     …were especially quick-witted. For instance, the bear was a cultural hero, who taught the Evenki a lot about surviving in the taiga. It was also considered to be a totem, so killing a bear was forbidden. To get around this taboo, the Evenki turned bear killing and skinning into a specific ritual, designed to deceive the bear's spirit and prove that the Evenki were not involved in its death. To do so, the Evenki created an image of a raven with a piece of bear flesh in its beak.

3.    …composed astonishing fairy-tales.

A story about a bear girl

Once there lived a hunter. He had a daughter who helped him a lot. One day the girl got lost. The father looked for his daughter but never found her. One day the camp nomads were looking for the girl on the laida (a flat coast of northern seas, flooded by high tides). They saw something huge and black far away. "I have never seen anything like that," the father said. They started to shoot and hit this object. The hunters got closer to it and saw that it was an animal. They started to skin it, but the skin resisted being cut at the neck. Finally, everyone saw a metal necklace. The father recognized his daughter's necklace. "This is my daughter!" he cried. This was how the bear appeared.

4.     …women were drivers. Women drove the front reindeer sleigh.

5.     …oriented themselves by rivers. If a hunter had once walked along a terrain, he remembered it as a specific water system map marking the distance between the rivers, measured by the number of crossings.

6.     …were fashionably dressed. Evenki decorated their clothing and bags with painting and embroidery, reindeer neck hair or a beaded stripe outlining a painting, which accentuated the silhouette and protected them against evil spirits.

7.     …men and women wore similar clothing, which was called a "tail-coat." However, Evenki men and women had aprons of different shape: men's chest pieces ended in a point while women's were straight.

8.     were the first to wear parkas. A parka (porkhy, porga) is winter outerwear made of reindeer skin with the fur on the outside and worn by both men and women. A parka was made of reindeer skins. It was short and had straight convergent tails with strings and a fitted back that was cut out separately.

9.     …made special sunglasses. Sunny winters that lasted for over six months in the Trans-Baikal Region brought the Evenki to wear sunglasses, a new accessory that was necessary to protect their health. They were made of natural materials at hand. For example, the Evenki made sunglasses out of animal skin and bones by cutting narrow holes in them to protect the eyes.

10.      …rode reindeers. Riding reindeers is most typical for this people, as compared to others. An Evenki hunter rode reindeers for the better part of his life.