«True people» (Nenei nenecha) – self-name of Nenets, the indigenous people of the Yamal peninsula, and the name of the complex 2015–2016 ethnographic expedition. Project participants and the visitors of the resource will be the part of the reindeer herders's family during the whole year just to «dive» in the casual life of the modern XXI century nomads.


We cotinue our December diary notes. On December 15-16 we replaces our chum - Albina didn't like how it was stood in hurry after last time kaslaniye. We places chum sticks wider apart and thus chum covers could be strained better. Radik and his family places their chum near ours. After family reuniting we both and Kostya's parent moved again (same as in spring) to left part of the chum, and Kostya with Albina moved to the right part. We also replaces nartas and moved some stuff from one to another.

Our chums stay in several dozens meters distance from winter road Labytnangy - Syo-Yaha, and often see loaded trucks. We decided to stay here for several weeks. The herd ran on in 1,5 kms distance from the chum and from time to time come closer. 27 kms southeast from our camp there is Yuribey railway station (station Nr.15 of industrial railway Obskaya-Karskaya). Kostya and Alexander regularly go to the station by snowmobile to collect so called "dry firewood". According to the federal programm tundra inhabitants are supplied with the wood, which is brought to this station. This is a big help to us in winter time in the area where are no wood available.   

Replacing of the chum - Albina, Yana'mama and Alexander: 

IMG 4467

(to continue reading please press "Читать полностью")


 Albina placing the chum sticks:

IMG 4472


IMG 4505


IMG 4506

Pedaba and Semyon pose for Alexandra:  

IMG 4507

Pedava and Kostya:

IMG 4515

Hair cutting day in our chum: 


On December 17th men have brought Albina and Alexandra to the railway station, where both women enteren the passenger train used to transport shift workers to industrial bases. Tundra people can travel by this train free, they have only to register themselves in advance in the Yamal district civic movement for Indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North "Yamal". Both women went to Salekhard and Yar-Sale to deal with some documents and pick up schoolchildren for winter vacation. 

Our camp: 

IMG 4714

Alexander's diary notes, December 17-25th: 

Kostya and me planned to do a lot of thing during Alexandra and Albina's absencce - all usual for the chum staying close to railway. We had to refill our firewood stock - for this we travel with freight sledge 27 kms one way to Yuribey station. One middle-size load is enough for 3-4 days. This time of the year our tundra family became almost a single user of a huge pile of firewood which was brought to the station in the middle of December. We've seen unloading of this pile and noted that different from previous years wood was places aside from the railroad tracks. So we come here once in several days, while our neighbors go to the stacks and dig in snow last year's wood supply. We informed everybody, where this year's firewood is located, but it seems that they still haven't change the practice.    

These days we talked a lot to fishermen catching fish in Yuribey, who become unwilled heroes of one of Yamal television's programms about fishery supervision raids. As far as we know, sipervision hasn't caught anybody redhanded, only has removed the nets. This act was consideres unjustful by the local inhabitants - the nets are still a private property! As for fishery law and allowed quantities, we are going to write a special article about this topic related to a real conflict between govenrmental and traditional law. Here we'd like to mention some of the catch quata (according to the Nenets living in the wildlife sanctuary): broad whitefish – 5 kgs/year; vendace – 200 kgs/year, nelma – 6 kgs/year, pike – 100 kgs/year, muksun – 0 kgs/year. So calculate yourself, and we will come back to this topic later.  

On December 19th we've had visitors, whos chum stays in about 60 kms distance north from us. I was absent, and Kostya later told me about the dialog with them: 

– These Russians (lutsa – so the Nenets call everybody, same as Americans use Russians) are still living with you? 

– Yes, still didn't go.

– What do they do? Any help? 

– Sure. For example now they help to transport firewood. Also they help in the chum. Remove and montage the chum...Lead the argish during kaslaniye...So they can do everything. 

– Can they!?

– Of cource, they are people too. 

On December 20th there were first trucks on the winter road near our chum, and in the night on December 22nd it was the snowstorm - strongest in the whole expedition time. I was disapointed - I wanted to to pictures of chums and tundra this day, the shortest day in the year. I wanted to show a real light of a tundra day, which is often called "polar night". But instead ot if there was a milk-like substance in the air, and chums and nartas weren't seen even from 15-20 meters distance. The snowstorm has calmed after 24 hours, and then we came back to usual tasks and worries, what helped us to wait until Alexandra and Albina were back.  

Add comment

Security code*