'The Kalmyk Demographic Records in the Russian Empire: Evolution and Transformation' History magazine: researches nbpublish.com
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Okonova L.V. The Kalmyk Demographic Records in the Russian Empire: Evolution and Transformation

Published in journal "History magazine: researches", 2015-4 in rubric "Social history", pages 467-471.

Resume: One of the most difficult problems in the study of the statistical sources concerning the demographic history of the Kalmyk-nomads is the instability of the applied systemsin record keeping. The scientists who wrote and are writing today on the Kalmyks have not paid attention to the peculiar method of population recording that was used for the nomad society. The main aim of this article is to attempt to characterise the evolution and transformation of demographic recording of nomad populations on the example of the Kalmyks and to resolves the questions regarding what socio-political course was followed upon organising these records and how much the government measures in this sphere influenced the merging of the Kalmyks with the rest of the population of the Russian Empire in the 19th century. The analysis of the sources leads to the conclusion that the question of recording Kalmyk-nomad population was one of the most difficult problems in historiography: many factors influenced the reliability of the population record counts, and the general direction of the evolution and transformation of record keeping. At the same time, scholars could also ignore the principle of subjectivity that underlay this recording, i. e. they were certainly aware of its inaccuracy. These circumstances in fact reflect the specifics of the practiced record keeping of the Kalmyk-nomad population, as well as had an effect on the calculation of the final record figures. This practice with its initially implanted error existed before the beginning of the 1860s.

Keywords: kibitka records, kibitka, Yasak, calculation methods, demographic records, demographic history, Kalmyks, nomad population, capitation count, historical source analysis

DOI: 10.7256/2222-1972.2015.4.17024

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