Agafia's Taiga Life

2013, Nature  -  36 min Leave a Comment
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In 1936, a family of Russian Old Believers journeyed deep into Siberia's vast taiga to escape persecution and protect their way of life. The Lykovs eventually settled in the Sayan Mountains.

Two children were born during the isolation. They ended up in a dwelling in the taiga, in the Abakan river basin (Khakassia), 250 kilometres from any settlement.

In 1978 their location was discovered by a helicopter pilot, who was flying a geological group into the region. The geologists got in contact with the family, but the Lykovs decided not to leave the place.

Karp's wife Akulina died of hunger in 1961. Three of his children died in 1981. Karp died in 1988. He is survived by his daughter Agafia Lykova who continues to live in isolation in her Abakan fastness.

Today, she is the last surviving Lykov, remaining steadfast in her seclusion. VICE crew travels to Agafia to learn about her taiga lifestyle and the encroaching influence of the outside world.

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