Many outsiders do not know that at the same time the American west was colonized, the Russian far east was also colonized, and both areas share in common the fact that they have indigenous populations who existed here thousands of years before European expansion. In the case of far east Russia, there are two main indigenous groups present one of which being the Udeghe and Nanai.
Akira Kurosawa's famous Oscar winning movie Dersu Uzala (1975) helped bring alive the spirit of the taiga and its famous native protagonist Dersu, who was a Nanai outdoorsmen and trapper. Without getting into much detail on the movie, it is a fascinating insight not only into the way of life in the taiga and early Russian colonization, but also brings alive the conflict of development and the disappearance of Dersu and the indigenous populations of Russia's far east.

Adjacent to Durminskoye, live the Udeghe and in total across all Russia are only about 5,000 remaining. The village of Gvasyugi is a small bastion where the Udeghe people and their endangered culture and language live on. It is a small village where broken past and dreams mix with the resilience to live on and persist. It is a rare opportunity to visit the Udeghe and better understand their past and current ways of life.

The opportunity to organize day trips to Gvasyugi is possible especially during the warmer season and is about one hour's drive from our base. (In winter the terrain can be more challenging and time consuming but still possible by snowmobile).