Despite the Stalinist myth, it was not the Bolsheviks but Indigenous intellectuals who introduced autonomy as a form of post- colonial settlement during the crisis and collapse of the Russian Empire to Siberia and Central Asia. Employing a comparative perspective, this article traces the development and implementation of two autonomous projects in Asian Russia.
Through the examination of two autobiographic works of Chukchi writer, Rytkheu, this study demonstrates the research potential of indigenous literatures, offering a new perspective on the past and present of indigenous peoples. The study seeks to provide new interpretations of identity in Chukotka, the northeastern extremity of Asia, of the 1930s and 1940s and to contribute to the identity debate in indigenous studies. In the article identity is understood as a multidimensional whole, with the discussed dimensions being based on ethnicity, nationality, occupation and place of residence.