Jump to navigation Jump to search “Fur Trade” redirects here. Frank berry currency trading article needs additional citations for verification. The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of a world fur market in the early modern period, furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued.
Animal rights organizations oppose the fur trade, citing that animals are brutally killed and sometimes skinned alive. Before the European colonization of the Americas, Russia was a major supplier of fur pelts to Western Europe and parts of Asia. Originally, Russia exported raw furs, consisting in most cases of the pelts of martens, beavers, wolves, foxes, squirrels and hares. The European discovery of North America, with its vast forests and wildlife, particularly the beaver, led to the continent becoming a major supplier in the 17th century of fur pelts for the fur felt hat and fur trimming and garment trades of Europe. Fur was relied on to make warm clothing, a critical consideration prior to the organization of coal distribution for heating.
From as early as the 10th century, merchants and boyars of Novgorod had exploited the fur resources “beyond the portage”, a watershed at the White Lake that represents the door to the entire northwestern part of Eurasia. Besides the Novgorodians and the indigenes, Muscovites also had to contend with the various Muslim Tatar khanates to the east of Muscovy. Kama and to subjugate and enserf the Komi living there. Khan of Sibir whose land they encroached on. Russian conquerors treated the natives of Siberia as easily exploited enemies who were inferior to them. By 1620 Russia dominated the land from the Urals eastward to the Yenisey valley and to the Altai Mountains in the south, comprising about 1.
25 million square miles of land. The primary way for the Muscovite state to obtain furs was by exacting a fur tribute from the Siberian natives, called a yasak. Yasak was usually a fixed number of sable pelts which every male tribe member who was at least fifteen years old had to supply to Russian officials. Officials enforced yasak through coercion and by taking hostages, usually the tribe chiefs or members of the chief’s family. Members of an independent vataga cooperated and shared all necessary work associated with fur trapping, including making and setting traps, building forts and camps, stockpiling firewood and grain, and fishing. The hunting season began around the time of the first snow in October or November and continued until early spring. Hunting expeditions lasted two to three years on average but occasionally longer.
1660s many promyshlenniki chose to stay and settle in Siberia. Fur robes were blankets of sewn-together, native-tanned, beaver pelts. The pelts were called castor gras in French and “coat beaver” in English, and were soon recognized by the newly developed felt-hat making industry as particularly useful for felting. Captain Chauvin made the first organized attempt to control the fur trade in New France. In 1599 he acquired a monopoly from Henry IV and tried to establish a colony near the mouth of the Saguenay River at Tadoussac.