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Teki Odulok The Life of Senior Imteurgin. The founder of Yukaghir literature book.

Teki Odulok The Life of Senior Imteurgin. The founder of Yukaghir literature book.

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Banned books / Children books / First edition / Illustrated books / Indigenous peoples / Yukaghirs
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Teki Odulok [The Life of Senior Imteurgin. Snow people]. Zhizn' Imteurgina Starshego.

[Edited by S. Marshak].
Cover design and illustrations by V. Kurdov.

[Leningrad], OGIZ-Gos. Izdatel’stvo Detskoy literatury, 1934. 
8vo, 142, [2] pp., 12 l.ill.

In original illustrated wrappers. 
In good condition, rebacked, lightly rubbed, small tears around edges. 

First edition. One of 30 325 copies published. 

Teki Odulok (born Nikolay Spiridonov; 1906-1938) was the founder of Yukaghir literature. He was born in a poor Yukaghir family (Siberian ethnic group people in the Russian Far East) and was sent by the Communist Party to Leningrad, where he was educated at the Ethnographic Department of the University. Teki Odulok participated in a scientific expedition to Kolyma and Chukotka, where he gathered information and artifacts of his native people. He was the first Yukaghir to get a higher education and receive a Ph.D. in Economics. Rane Willerslev, a Danish anthropologist, wrote about him: "Later he had a prominent career as an author, in which he promoted the official rhetoric of the time, that the Soviet state had saved his people from eradication and brought them out of their primitive, ignorant state" (Willerslev, R. On the Run in Siberia. 2012. p. 36). In January 1937, he was accused of being a Japanese spy and was executed. His books were banned. Today he is a symbol of the Yukaghir struggle for cultural and political independence.
This story is considered one of the first major works of literature of the peoples of the North. It was republished three times and translated into English (Snow people), Lithuanian, Estonian, and Polish. That's why Teki Odulok is the first northerner who became known abroad.
The book was illustrated by artist Valentin Kurdov (1905-1989) who studied at Vkhutein under Pavel Filonov and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. For a year he also studied at the Petrograd State Institute of Artistic Culture under Kazimir Malevich.

OCLC locates three copies of this edition: in the Texas A&M University Library, the Northern Illinois University Library and the McGill University Library. 

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