The Koryaks, Itelmen, Eveny, Aleuts and Chukchi are the native people of Kamchatka.

They had been living here well before first Russian Cossack pioneers arrived. The native peoples’ historical culture and lifestyle excite the curiosity of any present day guest of Kamchatka. People of the northern part of the peninsula have been living according to the laws and traditions of the past. They still build traditional homes, practice reindeer farming, fishing and gathering, create unique clothes and accessories (some of which are in the gift shops of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and Yelizovo), speak their native languages and work to preserve and develop the national arts. Meeting such people means meeting the spirit of Kamchatka - they are true face and heart of the peninsula.

Ethnographic settlements

Not everyone possesses the level of fortitude, needed to make the difficult journey to the north of Kamchatka. It’s a long way off, and roads are nearly non-existent. But how else would you get to see the real native habitants of Kamchatka? Yes - by visiting one of the ethnographic settlements! The settlements built nearby the town are reproductions - usually the indigenous people don’t live there, although there are exceptions. The settlements don’t become less interesting because of that - they are built by the book and by the rules that ensure its traditional structure, coming to life when travelers come to experience their unique qualities. 

The people who bring the settlements to life are members of national ensembles, acting as representatives of different peoples and different generations of the native population, and they will show you their lifestyle and talk with you about it. You will watch a national dance, listen to unknown speech and songs, touch and even try on national clothes. Ancient purification rituals will be performed for you in some settlements. The ending of the visit is usually marked with sitting by the fire, where you will be offered to taste national dishes and drinks. 

Many national holidays are held in Kamchatka: Reindeer Breeder’s Day, Day of the First Fish, the start of the dog sled racing and more. These holidays are the great opportunity to meet our native people in person. They gather from the most remote corners of Kamchatka for chatting and having fun, for showing their crafts and arts, for saving and honoring their beloved cultures. If your travel around Kamchatka, it will coincide with celebrating of one of these holidays, so include these events in your itinerary without a second thought. You’ll be happy that you have chosen so many!