Skins of desire: poetry and identity in Koriak women's gift exchange



Koriak women in the northern Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian Far Bast offer gifts of handworked reindeer fur and leather to entice men to become their sweethearts. Examining two love stories involving reindeer herding Koriak women and men, I explore the meaning of the gift as an embodied metaphor that arouses desire and creates seductive subjectivities. Focusing on sewers' creativity, I situate my analysis within a wider discussion on aesthetics and gift exchange to explore the poetic dimensions of the gift. In a final outlook, I ask about the significance of fur production and exchange for Koriak identity formation, [gift exchange, aesthetics, poetry, indigeneity, Koriak, Russia]