Humans and Dogs of Mountainous Inner Asia: Sensory Collaboration and Personhood

Alexander Oehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I provide ethnographic, ethnohistorical, and archaeological data on human–dog relations in Inner Asia, specifically from a forested mountain environment of southern Siberia where I conducted observations with Soiot and Tofa herding and hunting communities. The work contextualizes three aspects of Soiot dog–human relations: sensory collaboration (interspecies perspectival sharing), autonomous social interaction (communal dog sharing), and cosmological relatedness (expressed through funerary rites). Emphasizing dogs as subjects, the article identifies canine-related practices of potentially deep historical and archaeological significance across Inner Asia. Discussing ethnographic dog–human relations as an aid to zooarchaeological interpretation, I seek to contribute south Siberian insights on canine domestication and co-evolution to ongoing debates on mobile and semi-mobile hunter-gatherer and pastoralist societies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Ecology
Early online date8 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jul 2021


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