Identification. The Chukchee are native to the Chukchee Autonomous District (okrug) formed in 1930 in the Magadan Province (oblast) of Russia. They also live in the Lower Kolyma District of the Yakut Republic and in the north of the Koryak Autonomous District ( okrug ). According to the 1989 census, the Chukchee numbered 15,184.
Linguistic Affiliation. The Chukchee language is classified with the Chukchee-Kamchatka Family, found primarily in the extreme northeast of the former USSR. The Chukchee-Kamchatka Family also includes Koryak, keimen, and other languages. At first the Chukchee system of writing used the Latin alphabet, but in 1930 the first Chukchee alphabet was developed, and the following year it was institutionalized. The first primer was published in 1932 bv B. D. Bogoraz and I. S. Vdovin with the help of two Chukchee, Attuvgi and Anakymylgyn, students at the Institute of Northern Peoples in Leningrad. At present the Chukchee use the Cyrillic alphabet. The Chukchee language was taught by Chukchee who had been trained at the Anadyr Pedagogical College and at the pedagogical institutes of Magadan, Khabarovsk, and Leningrad and at Leningrad State University. The Magadan publishing house publishes political and literary works in Chukchee.