Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Dmitry Funk

Shors. The surrounding society and the main economic activity of the region of residence


The Kemerovo region – Kuzbass is one of the largest coal mining and coal processing centers in the country. Metallurgy, mining, and mechanical engineering are also active in the region. These industries determine the budget structure, development of the infrastructure, export system, and, to a large extent, the settlement pattern.

The mining industry has had a significant impact on the social development of the settlements and the entire region. It influences everyday practices and shapes the linguistic and cultural landscape. This influence is most significant in what concerns the minorities, the Shors, in particular. The industrial needs of the region required a significant number of workers, which could not but tip the rate of population growth in favor of the newcomers. Currently, the indigenous peoples of the North (Shors, Teleuts, Kumandins) make up only about 0.5% of the population in the Kemerovo region.

The industrial and transportation development drastically changed the picture of settlement of indigenous peoples of the region. Dozens of rural settlements ceased to exist in the process of liquidation of unpromising villages, as well as due to the forced relocation of people to larger settlements, mainly to cities, prompted by the industrial development of mineral deposits. Migration processes are continuing to this day.