The Chukchi, also called ‘Eskimos of the Chukotka’, are an ancient Arctic people, who live on the Chukchi peninsula, the Chukotka in Siberia (North Asia, located in the Asian part of Russia). Most Chukchi live in the Chukchi Autonomous Okrug (Russian for ‘district)’, but some also live in other parts of Russia, and in Europe and North America. The Chukchi have migrated about six thousand years ago, from the south along the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk, to their present area.
Animals are essential and very important to the Chukchi. The dog-breed they have developed about 4,000 years, and one that we still love today, has helped them to move quickly on the tundra. The Siberian Husky is treated like a family member. The very young, sick and old dogs can ride as passengers on the sleds, whilst the Chukchi people walk besides the sleds. In return, they can rely on their dogs.
In these bare conditions with few recourses, it is important to help each other, and the Chukchi take care of everyone in their community. Orphans will be adopted; widows will be taken care of and the poor will be fed. It’s forbidden to refuse anyone, even strangers, shelter and food. The Chukchi are always ready to help, and they have become very generous and welcoming people. But above all; the Chukchi are very loyal. To their community, to their relatives, even to strangers, and to their animals.
The Chukchi people know the importance of loyalty, when living with limited recourses and within a small group. They know that those who are loyal to you, are willing to invest in you, or even to make a personal sacrifice to help you to achieve your goals a lot faster. For us, the business nomads, loyalty is also an important theme. Customer loyalty for example, but you’ll also need loyal employees to make your business a success. The Chukchi teach us that we’re all dependent on each other, and that the loyal ones count the most.