Khakas - Economy

The traditional economy of the Khakas was based on a combination of cattle breeding with hunting and fishing. There were, however, marked territorial differences that also corresponded to the administrative division of the population into tribes. Thus, the Kacha had access to fertile grasslands and were typically engaged in intensive cattle breeding. Not surprisingly, they were considered the richest group among the Khakas. By contrast, the Sagai lived near forests and were mainly poor hunters and fishermen. The Sagai economy was similar to those of the Beltir and the Shors, although these two groups had as their members some of the best blacksmiths in the region. The original economic system of the Kyzyl and the Koibal is difficult to reconstruct, for these were the first Khakas groups to yield to Russian influence. The other tribes followed suit later, and today most rural Khakas live a life similar to that of any Siberian Russian peasant. Gardening, small-scale agriculture, and cattle breeding are the main occupations.

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