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  • "The taboo against unearthing mammoth bones has outlasted Soviet attempts to suppress cultural beliefs by educating the native children with the children of European Russians. ... Particularly reverent were the Yukagir, who live on a patchwork of thin forests laced with sloughs, lakes, and tussocky marsh between the Kolyma and Indigirka rivers. Guarding each of their shamans, liaisons with the spiritual world, is the spirit of a bear, a reindeer, or—if a shaman were highly influential—a mammoth, which they call the xolhut. No force is more powerful than the xolhut aibi, the mammoth shadow."

    —Richard Stone, Mammoth: The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant, (Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2001), 80

    September 20, 2008