Baikal World - russians at Baikal lake and Baikal region
Origin & Development
Legends & Fairy tales • 
Earth's Crust Thickness • 
Underwater Relief • 
Landscapes • 
History & Formation • 
Seismic Activity • 
History of Lake Baikal
History of Explorations • 
Inhabitants & Settlers • 
First maps of Baikal • 
Archaeological Sites • 
Lake Baikal Climate
Introduction • 
Fogs • 
Winds & Waves • 
Ice Conditions • 
Fauna & Vegetation
Mammals • 
Baikal seal - Nerpa • 
Ichthyofauna • 
Invertebrates • 
Vegetation • 
Water of Lake Baikal
Colour • 
Transparency • 
Temperature • 
Pressure • 
Depth • 
Currents • 
Budget • 
Chemical Composition • 
Pollution • 
Recreational Areas
Circumbaikal Railway • 
Peschanaya Bays • 
Olkhon Island • 
Chivirkuysky Gulf • 
Wooden Irkutsk • 
Trans-Siberian Railway • 
People of Lake Baikal
People of Siberia • 
Buryat nation in Baikal • 
Russians in Baikal • 
Explanation of the local terms and geographical names at lake Baikal
Russians at lake Baikal

Inhabitants of lake Baikal - Russians © S. Volkov
Coming onto the huge expanse of North Asia in the XVII-th century the Russian people entered a long ago inhabited land. One of the characteristic traits of this people was disclosed in full here, "a Russian man can easily adapt himself to any environment and to any surroundings. He is able to withstand any climate and to get along well with any people." (P. N. Buzinsky - "Settling of Siberia, life and manners of inhabitants"). Having found themselves in Siberia, the migrants quickly appreciated the convenience of some articles of the native people's clothing, that were well adjusted to the surroundings; they borrowed from "inozemtsy" (foreigners) ways of cooking and moving. The blacksmiths of the Siberian tribes were famous for forged swords and other weapons, iron coppers and bronze harnesses, silver vessels and gold jewellery.

Russian villages were usually close to the settlements of the "inozemtsy". After some time mixed settlements sprang up, which was the beginning of the blending of the two cultures and ways of life. With the mixing of the two cultures, interracial marriages came into being. The mentality, language and everyday life of the migrants greatly changed.

Nevertheless Russian culture prevailed among the Russian Siberians. Here, in Siberia, the primordial carpenter skills proved helpful to the Russian farmer. Behind the Urals the skillful carpenter's axe had a lot of wild, savage ground to break. On the river-banks, as if in old Slavic tall-tales, there began sprouting up log winter cabins, cottages (Russian "izba") with gabble roofs crowned with heavy cornices and ridges, locked fortresses (Russian "ostrogy") built according to the drafts with high palings, and peaked towers decorated with tin eagles and roosters.

Bows, wheels and runners were made from common birch. During leisure time, sometimes just for fun, sometimes out of necessity, the people carved spoons, dishes and other utensils.

Where Russian settlements sprang up, log structures of living quarters and necessary service buildings became popular among the people of Siberia. The native population appreciated also the migrants' better tools and Russian pattern clothes.

The house decorum was rich and varied. Almost all kinds of architectural fretwork decorate platbands, cornices of houses and porches. Vegetation motifs alongside the Buryat folklore elements are prevalent in the ornaments.

The unique conditions of life, making an impact on the further generations of the former migrants, left its imprint on their characters and mentality, it generated certain features: steadfastness, reliability... and this has always been associated with the notion "sibiryak" (a Siberian).
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