Narrating the Road

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43 Citations (Scopus)


This article proposes that the term road provides a concept of theoretical value for anthropological discussions of mobility. Based on ethnographic research in two neighbouring settlements in Siberia, I discuss the range of stories indigenous residents offered during our discussions of roads. Their definitions of roads contrast with those used more globally. A hodological approach to the concept of road demonstrates connections among ideas of kinship, movement, nomadism, metaphor and knowledge. Accounts from the social lives of travelers enlarge the possibilities of understanding the relationship between roads and narrative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-206
Number of pages16
JournalLandscape Research
Issue number2
Early online date28 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

I am grateful to The Leverhulme Trust for supporting my research as a Special
Research Fellow in 2003–2005 and The British Academy for financial support of my project ‘Remembering Lost Connections: Past and Present of Two Native Villages’ (SG37857). Some data presented in this article have been collected under The Baikal Archaeology Project organized by the University of Alberta. I would like to thank two referees for this article for their constructive comments. I am also thankful to many people who helped me during fieldwork, especially to Antonina Alekseeva and Aleksei Beti in Yessei, Rosalia Ivanovna Poluektova and Nikolai Yakovlevich Semenov in Olenek, and Elena Serafimovna Maksimova in Kharialakh for their assistance and hospitality. This article is devoted to the memory of Vasilii Afanas’evich Nikolaev, a great collaborator and a great friend.


  • roads
  • hodology
  • narrative
  • movement
  • nomadism
  • Siberia
  • Sakha (Yakut)
  • Evenki


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