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The Chukchi Bible
by Yuri Rytkheu
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The Chukchi Bible is a collection of the myths and tales of Yuri Rytkheu's own shaman father. The stories compose both a moving history of the Chukchi people who inhabit the shores of the Bering Sea, and a beautiful cautionary tale, rife with conflict, human drama, and humor. We meet fantastic characters: Nau, the mother of the human race; Rau, her half-whale husband; and finally, the dark spirit Armagirgin, who attempts to destroy nature's harmony by pitting the two against each other. The Chukchi Bible moves through Arctic tundra, sea, and sky–and beyond–introducing readers to an extraordinary mythology and a resilient people, in hauntingly poetic prose. Yuri Rytkheu was born in 1930 in the Chukotka Peninsula of the northeastern tip of Siberia, home of the Chukchi, a disappearing people inhabiting one of the most majestic and inhospitable environments on earth.