THE REFLECTION OF THE TUNGUSKA PHENOMENON IN EVENK FOLK TRADITION AND SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES (Tunguusi fenomeni kajastus evenkide rahvaparimuses ja teaduslikes hupoteesides)
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On 30 June 1908, a so far unexplained peculiar natural disaster occurred in central Siberia, in the vicinity of the River Podkamennaya Tunguska, the right tributary of Yenisei. As the human memory cannot recall a similar happening, the Tunguska catastrophe provides abundant food for thought even a century later. The investigation of the Tunguska phenomenon commenced only 20 years after the event. The relevant subject matter continues to be exciting for the researchers of today. Yet, the most vivid impression is left on the life and folklore of the Evenks - the indigenous people of the area. The article focuses on how the Tunguska phenomenon has been reflected in the world-view related understandings and scientific hypotheses of the Evenks. In 1995, the area of the Tunguska catastrophe was designated as the national biosphere reserve, including the Leonid Kulik's research zone, the historical building complex of the first researchers. Soil investigation, botanical, zoological and ecological research is conducted in the Tunguska reserve, and researchers have put much effort into investigating the development of taiga, and its revival following natural, cosmic and terrestrial catastrophes.
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