«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.


On June 14th we arrived at our 21st encampment since beginning of our journey. As usual we are carefully noting our coordinates: N  69º57'02,5'' E 068º52'08,9''. Linear distance from last point – 6,5 km.

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Since the beginning of June Hasavako is alone leading his team:

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Sergey, Yaroslav and Maya's son, is 13 years old. He was leading his team alone the whole time. but now he suddenly said he was bored and wanted to lead the team of "wild bulls". The Nenets call "wild" the reindeers who are not good trained. 

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Albina's argish:

(please press "Читать далее")

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We've stopped at the South bank of "Vosmyorka" ("Eight") lake and met there Vassily Tikilevitch Serotetto, a personality quite well-known in Yar-Salinskaya tundra. Vassily (or Medko, also called "Medny" (cupreous) is en elder cousin of our host Kostya. Because of the age difference Kostya calls Vassily "uncle". Previously he's been team leader of the 2nd brigade MOP "Yarsalinskoye", now he retired and became a private reindeer herder. With his sons he's looking after rather big herd of 2000 reindeers: 

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Vassily Serotetto:

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Here we must note that chums of this family were that we've seen in the South all the time and it was exactly the reason why we has to plan very carefully our moving in Northern direction. As our hosts explain to us, the problem would be if such a big hers would mix to our hosts's herd. If this would happen, we'd have to tend the herd according to their timetable. It's still hard to say what will happen in the end, anyway Vassily Tokolevitch already crossed our way, he came by boot along Mordy-yaha. Summertime while his sons are tending the herd, he is catching fish in Mordy-yah.

On June 15th 2015 we crossed Mordy-yaha river, the point of crossing was N  69º57'39,7'' E 068º47'16,8'', linear distance from our 21st encampment - about 3,5 km. In the early morning our neighbours reindeer herders Efim and Yakov Yaptiki visited us: they looked for their reindeers, which have splitted from the herd, and they were right in time before we crossed the river.

Yerkolava (choosing the bulls) in the day of crossing the Mosdy-yaha:IMG 2291

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Sun was shining brightly in the morning, and we hoped to film the river crossing. Unfortunately after all agrishes started to move, the heady rain has started, and we were unable to film the fullsize video.

River crossing was organized quite similar to last crossing (Limbi-yaha), but the task was much harder this time. First of all Mosdy-yaha is wider (in the crossing place about 70 m) and its stream much faster. Different from last year, this time in the herd which had to cross the river there were about 300 reindeer fawns. 

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As we were told, river crossing can be developing according to two types of scenarios: the herd can at once enter the water and the argishes are crossing the river after it. But sometimes reindeers stop and don't want to move, and herders have to force them into water. In this situation it's crucial not to frighten them, it would only make the crossing worse.

Kostya is leading his argish into the water: 

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This time we had to deal with both scenarios. In the beginning most of the herd have run into water: after waiting on the bank for a while first reindeer jumped into the water, they were followed by others. After most of the herd arrived on the other bank, herders sat in who gum boats and started to lead argishes (same way we describes in Limbi-yaha crossing). A man in the boot was using the rope and lead reindeers of the first narta, then the whole argish has followed. Exception was made only for Alexandra's argish - Albina has just forced it into the water, let the first bull lead it - the bull has swam itself, and this argish has crossed the river without help of the boat. 

Our leading boatsmen - Yarik and Myangcha:

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Albina is bringing the argish to river crossing point: 

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Adults, children (including babies in cradles) and cats were brought to the other bank in boots. Dogs swam by themselves.

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Diffikulties appeared at the end: about two dozens of she-deers with fawns refused to get into the water. Herders tried all way to force them, even built corral of argishes with only way to go out - to the water - but they escaped. Finally herders decided to leave these animals on the right bank, and later in the more quiet moment Kostya lead them to the other bank. 

And finally after river crossinf we reached to our 22dn encampment: N  69º58'00,2'' E 068º44'49,7''. Linear distance from our 21st encampment - about 5 km. We are standing at the left bank of Mordy-yaha, in about 40 km distance from the industrial town Bovanenkovo in the area of rather big gas field. This area is familiar for our hosts, and they truly feel here loke home. 

Quadricycle is a new favorite "toy" for tundra inhabitants. We don't know for sure, if one needs a lisence to drive it, so we won't tell who's quadricycle is this on the picture below:

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