This is rather old news but Smithsonian just did an article about it. In 1978 some Soviet geologists discovered a family of 6, the Lykov family, that had lived in the taiga in isolation for 40 years. They were Old Believers, a fundamentalist sect that was persecuted by Peter the Great, who tried to cut off their beards. And the persecution never really stopped after that. So they fled into the taiga, which is the forests of Siberia.
They had made shoes and cooking pots out of birch bark, and they lived in a little hut with one window. The kids had never seen anyone not in their own family but they knew how to read and write from a Bible they had.
I have noticed that hair, especially male facial hair, is often used as a political or social statement. And when the government tries to regulate your beard, it's time to head for the hills!
(Incidentally there have been recent incidents of hooligans jumping Amish men and trying to cut their beards. That's rather cowardly, I think.)
Free books updated Sep 1, 2014
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