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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Observatory of cultural diversity and education of the peoples of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia)


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Dear colleagues!

The Sakha Republic (Yakutia) is inviting you to take part in the international conference under the auspices of UNESCO and ICOM “Circumpolar Cultures in the Museums Worldwide: Past, Present and Future” to be held in Yakutsk on July 29-August 1, 2009.

Information letter

International scientific conference

“Circumpolar Cultures in the Museums Worldwide: Past, Present and Future”

To implement the UNESCO international project “Circumpolar Cultures in the Museums Worldwide: Past, Present and Future” the Government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) of the Russian Federation is holding under the UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) auspices the similarly-named international scientific conference on July 29-August 1, 2009 in the city of Yakutsk of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) of the Russian Federation. The conference will be held as part of the implementation of the Joint Communiqué following the results of the visit of the UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura to the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in 2006.

Goals and objectives of the conference: Assist the integration of the museums preserving in their collections the culture of the Arctic peoples from the XVIII century to distribute the knowledge about the circumpolar culture and to enhance the efforts in the preservation and development of the humanity’s cultural heritage.

Directions of the conference’s work:

1. Dialogue of cultures and civilizations in the context of cultural diversity;

2. Arctic civilization: cultural originality and self-identification of ethnoses;

3. The problem of preservation and retranslation of the ethno-cultural heritage of the Arctic peoples;

4. The role of the world museums in informing, widening and deepening the knowledge about the circumpolar civilization;

5. Information technologies in museum practices: exchanging experience;

The conference will promote the enhancement of scientific research, educational and cultural activities; it will also promote the distribution of information with the purpose of sustainable development of the Arctic and the North, as well as the implementation of the joint international scientific and research projects and museum practices.

The conference will promote the enhancement of international cooperation and development of the Arctic peoples’ development under the auspices of UNESCO, the exchange of efficient practices of the museums worldwide in preservation, distribution, development and retranslation of circumpolar cultures. It is suggested to create a united information and communication resource about the cultural heritage of the Arctic peoples stored in the collections of museums worldwide.

Following the results of the conference it is planned:

• to publish an album and to produce a multimedia DVD in Russian and English languages “Circumpolar cultures in the museums of Yakutia”;

• to launch a web-portal “Circumpolar Cultures in the Museums Worldwide: Past, Present and Future” –;

• to organize a photo and video exhibition “Circumpolar cultures in the exhibits of the large museums worldwide”;

• to organize a republican festival of the folk craftsmen;

• to establish a public international Organizing committee for the project’s implementation.

Responsible organizations:

• The UNESCO Section for Museums and Cultural Objects, UNESCO Moscow Office;

• The Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO;

• International Council of Museums (ICOM);

• ICOM-Russia;

• The Government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia);

• The Ministry of Foreign Relations of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia);

• The Ministry of Culture and Spiritual Development of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia);

• The National Committee of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) for UNESCO;

• The Federal State Educational Institution “The Arctic State Institute of Arts and Culture”;

• Russian Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the North.

Participating countries: Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Japan, Mongolia, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sweden, Switzerland, USA.

Russian regions participating in the conference:

Altai Krai, Amur Oblast, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Irkutsk Oblast, Kamchatka Krai, Komi Republic, Khabarovsk Krai, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Yugra, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Moscow, Murmansk Oblast, Primorksy Krai, Republic of Altai, Republic of Buryatia, Republic of Khakassia, Republic of Tyva, Saint-Petersburg, Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Sakhalin Oblast, Vologda Oblast, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

Working languages of the conference: Russian, English (simultaneous translation into Russian and English and consecutive translation into German and French will be provided at the conference).

Scientists, cultural workers, museum workers, specialists in the cultures of the indigenous Arctic peoples, representatives of public organizations are invited to take part in the conference.

Financial support: regional budget of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), attracted resources.

The following expenses of the participants will be covered by the hosting side: accommodation, meals and transfers during the conference.

Please submit your application form and abstract to the Organizing Committee’s e-mail or mailing address: 677027, Russia, Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Yakutsk, 4 Ordzhonikidze Street, Arctic State Institute of Arts and Culture (ASIAC), e-mail:, fax/tel.: +7 (4112) 34-44-60.

Coordinator of the conference: Agafiya Zakharova, Dean of ASIAC Folklore and Ethnoculture Faculty. Tel.: +7 (4112) 34-26-00, e-mail:

Please submit your abstract before June 20, 2009

Please submit your application form before July 1, 2009

Requirements for abstracts:

• volume of the text – up to 2 single-spaced pages;

• font – Times New Roman;

• font size – 12;

• head edge – 3,5 cm; right – 2,5 cm; left – 2,5 cm; bottom edge – 1,5 cm.

• the text has to be typed in WinWord.

• the abstract’s title has to be typed in capital letters; then in a single space there goes the author’s surname and initials, name of the institution, city, and country, telephone, e-mail. Then in a double space there goes the text.

Attention! All officially registered participants of the conference can present their printed materials (monographs, collections, books, magazines, announcement, and information on electronic carriers).

Application Form

Surname: ________________________________________

Name: _______________________________

Patronymic: ___________________________

Position, academic degree: ___________________________________

Institution, organization: _____________________________________


Mailing address: _____________________________________________


Telephone, fax: ________________________________________________

E-mail : _______________________________________________________

I would like to speak on: ___________________________________


Title of the section: ___________________________________________________


Do you need any multimedia equipment (computer, video projector, audio equipment, etc.) for your presentation?

I am submitting the electronic version of my abstract on a floppy disk or by e-mail (please underline)

Please send me an official invitation to get my visa issued to the following address: _________________________________________________________

Date of arrival in Yakutsk_______________________________________________

Date of departure from Yakutsk_______________________________________

Accommodation in Moscow: Please book me a room in the hotel:_______________

Accommodation dates:__________________________________________________

Conference Program

July 29 (Wednesday)

08.00 Arrival of the participants in Yakutsk. YAKUTIA Air Company. Meeting at the airport.

8.30-8.50 Transfer to MIKHAIL SVETLOV Motor Vessel

8.50-9.00 Accommodation at MIKHAIL SVETLOV MV

9.00-11.00 Breakfast (MIKHAIL SVETLOV MV)

11.00-12.30 Organizing Committee meeting (MIKHAIL SVETLOV MV Leisure Room)

11.00-12.30 Tour of the city. Visit to Yaroslavsky Yakutsk United Museum of Northern Peoples’ History and Culture and Mammoth Museum.

13.00-14.00 Lunch. SEDMOYE NEBO Restaurant

14.00-15.00 Opening of the photo and video exhibition “Circumpolar Cultures in the Museums Worldwide: Past, Present and Future”. Exhibition Hall.

15.00-15.30 Registration of participants (Government Building ¹ 1)

15.30-16.40 Solemn opening of the conference in the Hall of the Republic

Plenary session

16.40-17.00 Coffee break

17.00-18.00 Plenary session continues

19.00-21.00 Opening Reception (TYGYN DARKHAN Restaurant)

Folklore performances

21.00-21.20 Transfer to MIKHAIL SVETLOV MV

22.00 MIKHAIL SVETLOV MV departs for Lena Pillars Nature Park

July 30 (Thursday)

8.00-10.00 Breakfast

10.00-11.30 Plenary session

11.30-11.45 Coffee break

11.45-13.00 Working in sections

13.00-15.00 Lunch

15.00-18.00 Blessing ceremony on the territory of Lena Pillars Nature Park. Tour of the Nature P ark

18.00-20.00 Dinner

July 31 (Friday)

8.00-10.00 Breakfast

10.00-11.30 Plenary session

11.30-11.45 Coffee break

11.45-13.30 Working in sections

13.30-14.30 Lunch

14.30-17.00 Working in sections. Plenary session. Conclusions.

17.00-20-00 MIKHAIL SVETLOV MV arrives to Sottintsy. Visit to DRUZHBA (Friendship) Museum Complex. Festival of Yakutia’s folk craftsmen.

20.00 - 22-00 Reception hosted by the Sakha Republic’s authorities, Sottintsy.

24-00 MIKHAIL SVETLOV MV arrives in Yakutsk.

August 1 (Saturday)

5.45-6.15 Breakfast (MIKHAIL SVETLOV MV)

6.20-6.40 Transfer to TUYMAADA Airport

8.00 (Yakutsk local time) Departure from Yakutsk (YAKUTIA Air Company)

8.30 (Moscow local time) Arrival in Moscow (VNUKOVO Airport)

Information about the city of Yakutsk and the Sakha Republic (Yakutia)

The territory of the Sakha Republic occupies a considerable part of the north-eastern Eurasia, stretching for 2000 km from north to south and for 2500 km from west to east. The area of Yakutia is over 3 million square km, which makes 1/5 of Russia and almost 2/3 of Western Europe. Over 40% of Yakutia’s territory is above the Arctic Circle. It includes three time zones. The capital of the Republic – the city of Yakutsk – is 8468 km away from Moscow.

Yakutia is one of the most interesting regions of the Russian Federation. It is not only the largest subject of the Russian Federation, but also the largest administrative and territorial unit in the world. The population of Yakutia is about 950 thousand people representing 120 nationalities. The ethnic majority (45%) is made by Yakuts – the northernmost Turkic nation; Russians hold the second place (41%). Yakutia is characteristic of diverse natural conditions: a sharply continental climate causes a 100 degrees Centigrade range of temperature. The Pole of Cold of the planet’s Northern Hemisphere is located in the Republic where the extremely low temperatures – down to 72 degrees have been registered. Summer is short, but very hot. The temperature may reach up to 40 degrees.

In Yakutia there are over 200 rivers with a total length of 1,5 million km. One of the greatest rivers of the world – the Lena River – flows through the entire Republic. 1 million of cubic meters of river water and almost 1 lake fall on each person in the Republic. Waters are extremely rich in fish resources; there are about 50 valuable species. 72% of the Republic’s area is covered with taiga, the rest of the territory – with forest tundra, tundra, and Arctic desert.

The capital of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) is the city of Yakutsk; its population is about 200 thousand people. In Yakutsk there are several universities, scientific and research institutes, two drama theaters, opera theater, its own symphony orchestra, art gallery, regional studies museum, world famous “Mammoth Museum”, Jew’s harp museum, museum of folklore and musical instruments, philharmonic society, string ensemble “The Virtuosos of Yakutia”, and highly professional medical center with the most modern equipment.

The state power in the Republic is executed by the President, the State Assembly (Il Tyumen), the Constitutional and Supreme Courts.

The Republic has its state emblem, flag and anthem.

The basis of the economy is made by industry whose development is connected with the exploration of rich natural resources. Most industrial production is provided by non-ferrous metallurgy (mining of diamonds, gold, tin and antimony) and fuel and energy complex (extraction of coal, gas, oil and power industry). Their share makes over 80% in the overall volume of Yakutia’s own production.

The development of agriculture in Yakutia is a unique experience for all the humankind. In the world there is no experience of agricultural development is such northern latitudes. Typical northern branches of agrarian production are developed in Yakutia: reindeer herding, hunting, fur trade, fishery; northernmost farming and dairy and meat cattle breeding are prevailing.

A mixture of different cultures and lifestyles makes the northern region’s special color. In 2005 UNESCO proclaimed Yakut heroic epos Olonkho a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

Information about Yakutia’s museums

The state museum network under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Spiritual Development of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) includes 79 museums: 8 state republican museums with 10 branches and 61 municipal museums. Museum collection counts 364,389 stock units. Most museum collections are of natural and regional character. The exhibitions display nature, history, economic development and culture of the region. The main directions of research and educational work are determined by the characteristics of each museum’s collections.

The museums’ attendance made 305,5 thousand people in 2007 and about 310,0 thousand people in 2008. The population coverage makes 29%. Annually 5606 tours are conducted; 1809 lectures are delivered; 1008 exhibitions are held and 1257 different events are organized. Annual growth of the key indices in the museums’ outreach activities is registered.

The museums employ 643 people, including 179 researchers; 122 of them have higher education and 3 have an academic degree. Currently 4 people are doing postgraduate studies.

The total area of all museum premises and other objects makes 26213, 8 m², including 18440,2 m² of exhibition area and 1315,1 m² of storage area.

The museums’ facilities have considerably improved for the last twenty years. The museums of the republic have obtained new buildings, additional premises, computer and digital equipment.

The acting grants of the President of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and of the Ministry of Culture and Spiritual Development, as well as the Gabyshev Award of the President of the Sakha Republic for Museum Practices promote museums’ activities’ stimulation. The museums of Yakutia actively participate in the republic’s life.

Yaroslavsky Yakutsk United Museum of Northern Peoples’ History and Culture with its branches is one of the republic’s large museums.

The museum participated in the work of Sakha-French archeological and ethnographical expedition to Suntar and Nyurba regions.

Republican scientific and practical seminar “Actual issues of regional studies, studying Yakutia’s historic and cultural heritage, preservation and use of monuments” and a scientific and practical conference “Sacred places of Yakutia (Ytyk Sirder): studying, protection and use” were held in Yakutsk.

The museum was one of the organizers and participants of the international scientific conference “Poland in the history and culture of Siberian peoples” devoted to the 150th anniversaries of E. Pekarsky and V. Seroshevsky (Yakutsk).

The museum staff took part in the all-Russian scientific and practical conference “History museums in the humanitarian space of Russia” devoted to the 125th anniversary of the State History Museum (Moscow), in the all-Russian museum festival “Inter-Museum-2008” (Moscow), and in the all-Russian meeting of the chief keepers (Moscow), etc.

International cooperation with the museums of Poland, Japan, Korea, Mongolia and other countries has become more active. Yaroslavsky Yakutsk United Museum of Northern Peoples’ History and Culture has organized the following exhibitions:

In 2007 – International church and historic exhibition “Educational activities of Russian Orthodox church in Yakutia” (devoted to the 210th anniversary of Saint Bishop Innokenty) at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow;

In 2007 – Exhibition called “Poland painted with tradition” from Poznan in Poland was held in Yakutsk in Yaroslavsky Yakutsk United Museum of Northern Peoples’ History and Culture;

In 2007 – Exhibition “Nature and Culture of Sakha” was held in Abashiri, Japan in Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples;

In 2008 – Exhibition “Poland in the history and culture of Siberian peoples” was held in Yakutsk.

The Museum of Music and Folklore initiated several international conferences: “Shamanism as religion: genesis, reconstruction, traditions” (1992); “Musical ethnography of Tungusic peoples” (2000); “Folklore of Paleo-Asiatic Peoples” (2003).

“The Concept of Developing Museum Practices in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) for 2009-2020” has been elaborated to develop and improve museum practices in the republic. “The Concept of the State Museum Complex of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) “Yakut National Museum” (2009-2016)”, “The Concept of Development of the National Fine Arts Museum for 2009-2020”, and “The Concept of Development of the Museum of Music and Folklore of Yakutia’s Peoples” have been prepared.


2006ã. c CNIT YSU, ASICA
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