Settlement of the Kiya River Basin by the Russians: Case Study of the Foundation of the Village of Сhumay in the Chebulinsky District of Kemerovo Region
Bulletin of Kemerovo State University
The present research featured the development of the Northern Kemerovo region. The paper focuses on the case of the village of Chumay in the Kiya river basin. The development of Russian settlements along the Kiya remains understudied. Existing publications give different foundation dates for the villages in the area of Prichulym'e. The Russians first came to the Kiya basin in the early XVII century. However, they were slow to settle down for a number of reasons. First, it was the military
... the military confrontation with the Yenisei Kirghiz. Second, the local taiga and mountains were impassable and unsuitable for farming. In addition, the existing communication routes were far from the Kia basin. The article describes the prerequisites and conditions for the emergence of Russian villages in this territory. The research was based on rare historical sources, e.g. memoirs of local residents and parochial documents, related to the foundation of the village of Chumay located in the Chebulinsk district of the Kemerovo region. The research revealed the settling process and some new data on the first settlers. The findings refute the thesis that this territory of the Kemerovo region was settled exclusively by fugitives and exiles in the XVII–XVIII centuries. The Russian advanced into the Kiya river basin after the military threat from the Kirghiz had been eliminated. Second, the indigenous peoples were converted to Christianity and had to pay tribute in furs. Third, a section of the Moscow-Siberian tract was built in the vicinity. Finally, voluntary migrants willing to settle down in the area were given a free piece of land. Unlike the rest of the Kemerovo region, the lands along the Kiya river were colonized by the Russians much later. The government colonization was organized and started "from above". It was represented mainly by voluntary immigrants. The research also revealed the role of migrants from the Caucasus in the development of the Kiya basin as they set up new settlements and went to live in sparsely populated villages.