«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 continue our notes from June 2015. On June 7th Kostya Hudi slaughtered a reindeer (we say "slaughter", but the Nenets normally are choking a reindeer to death, because this way all blood is saved and can be used as precious vitamin source. According to the local custom, all neighbours were invited to share the raw meat meal. Men population after the meal smoked cigars, which we've given to them, it's a new tradition lately. Alexandra used the opportunity to stay alone with women (traditionally women eat after the men have finished the meal) and discussed the more convenient lesson schedule for her nomadic kindergarten.  


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Here is another cigar lover - Kostya. There is a lasso in his hands (made in Finnland). This is a capronic rope coated in plastics, and reindeer herderer usually are adding to it a plastic or horn-made spinning top. The Finnish lasso is considered more convinient for summer time than traditional leather lasso (tynzyan).  

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«Old man», «grandfather», «the chief» – Savali Podovitch Hudi

(press on "Читать полностью")

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Women are eating raw reindeer meat:

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In the evening Alexander has visited the holy place Nyarma seda ("bald (without reindeer moss) mountain"), 1,5 kilometers North-East from our 18th encampment: N  69º51'52,6'' E 069º07'36,6'. It's located on a hill in the middle of tundra, very close to a trigger point (the Nenets call them "light towers"). According to our hosts, this holy place is not related to any family, or dynasty, is not a personal holy place either. It's honoring is related to a herdsman who's reindeers were movin near the place: once a lot of reindeers were suddenly dead, and hehad victimized a reindeer to get rid off the bad omen at this exact place.

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On June 8th we arrived at the 19th encampment since the beginning of our trip: N 69º52'40,7'' E 068º59'26,8''. Linear distance from the last point - 4,8 kilometers.

It is warm, even hot sometimes (for this time of the year in local conditions), thus we still are moving in the evening- or nighttime. This time we started around 22:00 pm, montaged our chum at the new place and went to bed around 3:00 am in the morning. 

While other are buiding the chum, Kostya is sleeping after his night shift: 

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Igor and Arkasha, sons of Kostya and Puine Hudi, sitting in the woman's narta during kaslanie

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Argishes are moving in tundra (the last one is led by Albina):

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Geese are still here, but almost all of them are already sitting on their nests. The elder men say, that geese shooting must be stopped, it's "a sin" already. But for youngers it's not easy to stop this sport-like activily. We are adding geese and partridge eggs to our dayly ration: we boil eggs and sometimes make a scrambled eggs. Anyway the rule "to leave at least 2 eggs in the nest" is stricktly followed by everybody.  

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