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Премия рунета 2017

Bikin National Park celebrated the Hunter’s Day “Va:kchai ni”

05 march 2019
Traditional holiday devoted to the closing of the hunting season of the indigenous peoples was celebrated on March 3 in Krasny Yar settlement.

Hunting as a historical tradition, lifestyle and the most important element of the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples has found its reflection in ecological festival “Va:kchai ni” (means “a hunter” in Udege language). Local people from Krasny Yar and adjacent villages as well as from Luchegorsk and Vladivostok were among the guests.

We celebrate the Hunter"s Day twice a year - in spring and autumn, in honor of the opening and closing of the hunting season. Hunting is one of the main economic activities of indigenous peoples, which they conduct on the territory of the national park in the area of traditional nature use, and so far, the main source of living for them. Hunting plays a big role in the culture of local people, it has certain traditions. Therefore, one of the tasks of Bikin National Park administration is to preserve these traditions and keep them as a sustainable method of traditional nature use,” said Alexey Kudryavtsev, director of the Bikin National Park.

The holiday was opened by a thanksgiving ceremony performed by Vasily Dunkai, the guardian of traditions and a spiritual leader, together with Natalia Kanchuga, a national park employee, and Alexander Kanchuga, a teacher of the Udege language.

WWF Russia and the Amur Tiger Centre were at the very beginning of the creation of the Bikin National Park, helping in its organization, development, and international recognition. Thanks to the support of the Amur Tiger Centre and WWF Russia, the Amur tiger monitoring is being conducted and the necessary equipment provided for the protection of the territory. The forest management regulations, a plan for fire prevention measures and other work is underway. For example, at present WWF Russia is helping the national park to prepare documents for the creation of a buffer zone around the Bikin National Park. The creation of such a protection zone was one of the conditions for the inclusion of the Bikin River Valley in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Central Sikhote-Alin on July 2, 2018. 

“Hunting is a sacred word for indigenous peoples of Bikin. Hunting is their life, traditions and the main bond of the ethnos and the unique territory. As long as there is a hunt, there will be Udege and Nanai people - children of the great river and primeval taiga. With their traditional and correct perception of nature use. That is why WWF helps the formation of a young national park, where the main object of protection is the tiger and the man who honors the tiger as God, and who has found a compromise of these complex relationships. Two hunters - a tiger and a man - lived and can keep living in peace. For us, this is the most important model of relationships that needs to be replicated,” says Pavel Fomenko, head of rare species conservation unit of WWF-Russia Amur branch.

The Hunter's Day is growing popular in Primorsky province and is becoming an attractive event for tourism development.

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