«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 congratulate all our readers regarding the new 2016 year. Here we continue publishing our diary notes and tell about December in Yar-Sale tundra. 

On December 4th and 5th Kostya and Alexander went to Yuribey for the second time, with the same goals as before: to exchange horns for gazoline and to buy bread from the factory worker. We won't explain rules of "barted trade" in tundra. When we write "went to Yuribey", it could sound so easy, but in reality it is 60 kms driving to Kostya's parents' chum, and then again 30 kms to the slaughter base, where Anatoly, the factory worker, could provide gazoline and food. With other words, Kostya has made about 150 kms ride in tundra with fully loaded sledge.   

We think it's important to notice that tundra isn't a highway: it's a flatland covered with snow (often the layer is really deep) with some frozen hills. This road is quite difficult for drivers and for his passengers as well - they feel all unevennesses. Another problem make rivers and lates with their banks covered with snow. All these landscape specifics are turning the driving to some kind of extreme sport with a certain grade of risk and traumatic experiences. 

We were interested in the work of Yuribey slaughter base, and Kostya made a turn to this place. There are several slaughterues in Yamal tundra, all belogning to "Yamal reindeers" company - in Yar-Sale, Syo-Yaha, Payuta and Yuribey. Sovkhos brigades can sell there reindeer meat from November to beginning of December. On the day Alexander and Kostya were visiting the base, herders from Panayev tundra have brought there their reindeers.  

Usually the slaughtery takes only carcass, while heards, fell and tripe are thrown away. This year this order has changed - fell is also kept for furhter downstream processing - same as in Northland. But our friends as many tundra reindeer herders have got fells and heads of slaughtered reindeers.   

Kostya and Alexander came back with gazoine and bread in the late evening of December 5th. Our nomadic family has changed their plans for firther moving. Before they wanted to stay for longer winter stay near Yasavey river - further north than other reindeer herders families and closer to the places they stay in summer. Kostya was afraid that his traditional winter stay places have to so much reindeer lichen as needed for animals - because of many brigades and private herders stayed on these places before him. Nevertheless we will move in this direction - closer to Kostya's parents' chum to collect the animals that splitted from the herd. So we have 60 kms ahead of us, and have to cover this distance before middle of December. 

Slaughter base Yuribey:

IMG 4366

(to continue reading please press "Читать полностью")

Waiting camera for reindeers in the slaughtery:

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«Death corridor» – the last road for reindeers in the slagher base:

IMG 4372

Fells and heads:

IMG 4390

Slaughter base Yuribey:

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