Incorporating stone mining into Indigenous and local notions of cultural heritage and sustainability

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


This article focuses on Indigenous and local practices of decorative stone extraction as a part of traditional economic activities. It analyses how historical continuity of mining contributes to the visions of sustainability and heritage existing in the community. The article focuses on the case study of the Veps Indigenous minority in the Republic of Karelia, northwest Russia. Since the 18th-19th centuries, Karelian Veps have been extracting rare ornamental stones – gabbro-diabase and raspberry quartzite. Currently, most residents of Veps villages are still employed in stone quarries. Karelian Veps largely embrace stoneworking (Veps. kivirad) as a part of their Indigenous identity. Stone mining is promoted as an element of Veps cultural heritage through state institutions, such as the Veps ethnographic museum, as well as local state-funded initiatives, such as Veps ethnic theme parks. Many residents of Veps villages refer to stoneworking as a tradition with a rich history and the possibility of a long future. At the same time, current practices of stone extraction and the environmental impact of mining are a common source of worries and disappointment as Veps feel alienated from the post-Soviet mining industry. Through the analysis of the Veps example, the article discusses the importance of incorporating Indigenous and local visions of industry and sustainability in dominant state narratives. The paper is based on participant observation and interviews conducted in Veps villages of Karelia from 2015 to 2021.
LehtiEtudes Mongoles et Siberiennes, Centrasiatiques et Tibetaines
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


  • 615 Historia ja arkeologia

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