|Christian Mission beyond the Polar Circle|
|The most Northern areas of Western Siberia were distinguished in many ways from the rest of the territories colonized by Russia. The Obdorsk region including the Yamal peninsular, was dwelled by Siberian indigenous peoples: the Khanty, the Mansi and the Nenets and ruled by noblemen called princes. It was one of the latest regions to be incorporated into Russia’s administrative structure, but only half-way and less dependant on Russia both economically and politically.
The process of Christianization of the indigenous people of the Obdorsk region started later than in the rest of Siberia and has never been finished. Unlike most other Western Siberian Missions, the Obdorsk Mission never practiced forced baptism and never applied corporal punishment. At the same time a lot was done to educate the indigenous peoples.
The aim of the paper is to analyze the phenomenon of the northern mission and its activity among the indigenous people from at least two perspectives, both the Christian and the indigenous. My central research question is to check the relevance of the application of the concept of “the middle ground’ proposed by Richard White to the Obdorsk area.