This drawing is from a collection of ethnographic sketches created in the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic during the 1930s–1940s. The Yakut ASSR—informally referred to as Yakutia and known today as the Sakha Republic—covered a large region in eastern Siberia. It is the historical home of the Yakut (Sakha) people, a Turkic people who arrived in the region around the 13th century and still make up almost half of its population. This collection of sketches was created by Ivan Vasil’evich Popov (1874‒1945), an artist and teacher who was born near Yakutsk and received his education in Yakutsk and Saint Petersburg. Popov was born into a family of priests who had been among the first to give sermons in the Yakut language and had taken part in the writing of a Yakut dictionary. Accordingly, some of his first works of art were icons that he painted as a seminary student. Although Popov had to work as a teacher throughout his adult life, unable to support his family through his artistic activities alone, he made a significant contribution to the documentation of Yakut material culture. In addition to recording Yakut culture in his drawings and paintings, Popov documented Yakut life in photographs and contributed to the recording of oral history and folklore. This collection of Popov’s drawings depicts Yakut material culture of the 17th‒20th centuries. Featured items include furniture, interiors and exteriors of dwellings, grave monuments, hats, footwear, tools, and hunting equipment. Popov’s drawings are housed in the Yakutsk State Museum of the History and Culture of Northern Peoples.
Place: Europe; Russian Federation; Sakha (Yakutiya) Republic
Institution: Yakutsk State Museum of the History and Culture of Northern Peoples
Physical description: 1 drawing : pencil and ink on paper ; 18 x 27 centimeters