Koryaks are the indigenous people of Kamchatka, who lived on the peninsula long before the arrival of the Russian Cossacks. They were engaged in only three trades: they fished, caught a sea animal and bred deer. Those Koryaks who lived from the sea were called coastal, and those who kept deer were called deer.
So, the reindeer Koryaks had one rather gloomy tradition. As soon as the herd of deer returned to the camp, the owner chose the most beautiful and slaughtered him.
When I first heard about this tradition from the Koryaks in Kamchatka, a dissonance arose in my head: “Why kill a deer just like that, and moreover even the most beautiful? How about the preservation of the gene pool of the herd? After all, for sure the most beautiful is concurrently and the strongest, which means it will give the highest quality offspring!"
In addition, it is not entirely clear how the beauty of a deer was determined? It’s even more or less clear with people, although, as you know, they don’t argue about tastes. And what about deer? Don't have a deer beauty pageant, really!
But jokes are jokes, and the tradition of slaughtering the most beautiful deer in the herd goes back to the beliefs of the Koryaks. Koryaks are shamanists. They do not recognize the gods, but according to their ideas, many spirits live in the world. Spirits are strictly divided into good and bad. The good ones help a person in every possible way, give a rich catch in the ocean or protect deer from diseases, while the bad ones, on the contrary, do dirty things: they send hungry wolves to a herd, make people lose their way in a snow blizzard and everything else like that.
By default, good spirits are favorable to the Koryaks and do not need special cajoling, but the bad ones need to be somehow won over so that they put less spokes in the wheels. Flowers with sweets will not work here: after all, we are talking about evil spirits, and not about lovely ladies. Therefore, the offering is made accordingly – they sacrifice the most beautiful deer.
It is believed that if the spirits accept the sacrifice, then the rest of the herd they will leave him alone and let him walk quietly to the next parking lot. The Koryaks believed that this really helped, and it was practically impossible to prove the opposite: if the deer reached the camp, it means that the victim helped. And if trouble happened on the way, it means that the deer was not the most beautiful, and next time you need to choose better so that the spirits are not offended and are supportive.
The logic is ironclad and beyond doubt, right?;)