No consideration of the Chukchis could be complete without including some of the familiar Russian jokes about the Chukchis, who live in the most remote corner of Russia. The jokes are mostly good-humored and though they depict the Chukchis as primitive, uncivilized, and simple-minded, their naive cleverness and ability to live in the cold and harsh conditions of their environment are admired. They also hint at the continued Russian arrogance plus ignorance of Chukchi life revealed in this Soviet propagandist proclamation meant to explain the Russian Revolution:
“There were bad people in Russia. They killed and robbed many other people; they wanted to become rich that way…. Then the poor folk got together, took up weapons and started driving out the bad people… A terrible war began. The people suffered. … But the poor folk defeated the bad ones… All working people gathered together and created a strong Soviet republic. … The government of the Soviet republic now consists of the best people chosen by the whole nation. It will be to you like a father to a son, but you too must obey laws and obligations. … You will find out when you may hunt fur animals and when you must not, so that the animals will multiply.”
Pugacheva waits a year, and another year. She wonders what happened and goes to Africa. The Chukchi is sitting on the bank of the Nile with a big pile of crocodiles behind him. He reaches into the water pulls another croc out and tosses it behind him and says, “Damn, another one without boots!”
They find a bear cave. The Chukchi tosses a stone in and an enraged bear comes out a starts to chase them. The Chukchi begins to run and the Russian follows behind him. The Russian remembers he has a gun and turns around and shoots the bear dead.