«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.


In the beginning of October frost was not a rare guest in the tundra. Snow covered a surface with a thin white layer, lakes and narrow rivers were frozen - and it was quite unusual for us. In the european part of Russia where we both grew up, first fall the snow and rivers freeze later. The tundra looks now as a waste braun flat surface.  

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On October 4th Mordy-Yaha river "stopped" (got covered with ice), no boats can go between the ice-cakes and no fishing is possible. Our family had to slaughter a reindeer to get a raw meat meal. Because of the force majour situation of End of September our family could not prepare enough salted fish for the winter - we hope relatives living near Yuribei lake can help us with fish supply.  

Then Kostja waited till the ice on the river get stable enough to move to the place we left our snowbike for the summer time. Daytime temperature went down to -7, and nighttime temperature - down to -12 degrees Celcius. In the night in chum under the sleeping cover the temperature is also below zero. Every night we are observing the Northern lights (the Nenets: "harp") and discussing its nature.

Everybody are getting ready for the winter. Albina has sewn yagushka (pany) - winter female coat. Alexandra has made tobaki for herself, Alexander and Semyon - and making some for Pedava. Most of our winter clothes is "conservated" for the summer in 40 kms distance in South-Eastern direction - we could get there in 3 long winter movements (or 10 days of kaslanie).  

Kostja checked  reindeers every day walking 5-6 kms from chum each direction. His average day route has been about 20 kms, and Alexander sometimes joined him. Alexander has made a traditional Nenets lasso "tynzya" (тынзя') - this kind of lasso is used is nowadays tundra during cold winter time. 

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 Alexander is making "тынзя'" (tynzya) – traditional Nenets lasso made of reindeer skin: 

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Bearded seal's skin is used for ropes: 

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On October 7th we arrived at our 41st encampment place with geographical coordinates: N 70º19'21,4'' E 067º38'17,7''. The linear dostance from the previous camp - 3,6 kms. After a long time at one place we finally moved to another one. 

Reindeers just entered their mating time. The bulls (Nenets "hora") are having duels, fighting with their horns. All reindeers except the riding bulls have the hardened horns already. There are two bulls roped to one nartas now. Narta slippers are slippery enough to move along the tundra surface, but on the partly frozen ground we have to move very carefully.

For several days we had problems with gazoline supply, so we could not use our generator. In the evening and night time we burned petroleum lamp, and could not recharge our mobile phones and laptops. For one more time we were sure that technichs kills the real interpersonal connections: whithout electricity and movies we spent a lot of time just talking to Kosja and Albina and cleared a lot of questions interesting for us. Soon the problem with electricity was solved and evevning movie time was back, but lack of gazoline was still there - we had to do a good supply before going South.  

Movie time in the evening:

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