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Dersu Uzala

Year of birth: 1849
Year of death: 1908

Hunter, the Nanaian (the Golds), who lived all his life in the taiga. After the death of his wife and children from smallpox, he lived in the open air and only in the winter he arranged for himself a temporary yurt of bark residue or birchbark. He acts as the main character in the novels of V.K. Arseniev “Dersu Uzala” and “Across the Ussuriland”.

The young scientist Vladimir Klavdievich Arseniev and the “forest man” Dersu passed (1902-1907) together a lot of kilometers of the Ussuri taiga and became great friends. After the expedition in 1907, Arsenyev invited the half-blind Dersu to live in his house in Khabarovsk. Dersu liked his “captain” very much but he was burdened with his life in the city. He, the free son of the forests, felt stuffy under lock and key.

In the spring of 1908, he said goodbye to his great friend and went on foot to the Primorsk Territory, to his homeland, to the Ussuri river head. He was found killed near the station of Korfovskaya, not far from Khabarovsk. Twilight caught him on his way. Dersu lit a fire near the road in order to wear through the cold spring night. It was his last fire. The robbers did not find any valuables at Dersu. According to Arseniev, Dersu was killed on March 13, 1908, by convict Kozlov in the area of the Khekhtsir heights, near the stone quarry.

Now in the village of Korfovsky, not far from the place of Dersu’s death, in the memory of him, a huge granite block was put, and schoolchildren planted pines around it.