«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.


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On October 19th we arrived at our 42nd encampment place since beginning of our journey: N 70º11'49,2'' E 067º51'57,9''. The linear distance from the previous camp - 16,4 km. This time we started our way from the bottom land of Mordy-Yaha river to the place where we are going to spend winter months. Usually winter everyday routine is different from summer time, it depends strongly from current weather situation and short days. So our everyday schedule look as follow: Albina or Alexandra starts to burn wood in the stove about 6 am (later it  will be at 5 am). Then all adults are having breakfast under the light of a petroleum lamp, while it is still dark outside. For breakfast we have tea, bread with butter, sugar and seal oil (so it's more teatime than breakfast).

After everybody is done with the food, we pack all bed stuff and other things on nartas, dismantle the chum and make a coral. Kostja leaves to collect all the reindeers and lead them closer to the chum. Whle we haven't reach syabu narta (narta with wooden floor planks), in our half of the chum we use planks and plastic sheets we found on the way (construcion garbage). Albina and Kosta use old floors given by their relatives-fishermen's family.

In the morning on October 19th the termomether showed -18 degree Celcius, the day temperature was -15. Next tea time is outside, and after it it's yerkolava time (picking bulls for nartas). Because this time rest time between two movements are rather long, bulls don't enter coral that easily, and without proper practice we are also making mistakes.  

We are moving in Southern direction: Kostja goes first in the same narta with Semyon, then goes Alexandra's argish. Albina in her argish and Alexander are controlling the herd from the back, and Kostja's dog Seryau helps them in this task. The nartas started the way about 1 pm. Some of our nartas were left in the bank of Mordy-yaha river in the end of August. Kostja connected them to his narta, and we crossed Mordy-yaha river again - this time over ice. 

During September reindeers from the herd have gained more weight and become more powerful. In the autumn they can run during the whole kaslanie. After about 3 hours of running we decided to stay overnight on Yorya-yaha river's bank (in August we've made pictures in these places, you can find them here in our diary). 

(please press "Читать полностью")


Argish on the bank of Yorya-yaha river: 

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We crossed the river at this place earlier in May (you can read about it here ). We installed our chum when it got dark already. There is a lot of firewood around this camp's place, we burned it in the stove the whole evening, but it hasn't warm up the chum anyway. In the night outside temperature dropped to -28 degrees Celcius. We added frozen fish and instant potato puree to our evening tea (it's one of important products in tundra, besides instant noodles - and it's become even more important when one have to cook something really quickly). 

On the picture below Alexander is wearing the winter clothes and shoes - kisi

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On October 20th we've reached our 43rd camp. The linear distance from the last place - 15,4 km.

Abother day of kaslanie, everything according to well-known routine. We started moving earlien then usual - about 11 am, it gives us more daylight time. As Kostja and Albina say, many private reindeer herders, not to mention herders brigades, often move and install chums in the dark. To our great relief our nomadic family tries always to finish the day movement during daytime.  

The day temperature was about -15 degrees. In one moment we saw two chums from afar. We were afraid that our reindeers could mix wich other people's herds again, so we decided to stop immediately and build the chum. Kostja realized that the chums were of our sommertime neighbor Vladimir Votkivitch and Telo and Semyon Hudi. The last two posess of the thousand head's herd and are considered "the tallest Nenets in Yamal", according to the neighbors.

On October 21st we've got to our 44th encampment place: N 70º03'59,4'' E 068º13'46,5''. The linear distance from our last camp - 4,6 km. A very strong wind accompanied us since the last night, and usually by such a wind people here do not move. But we were afraid of mixing our herd's reindeer with other herds, so we decided to move again. During the yerkolava a snowstorm began, and reindeers all scattered away, so we had to build the coral in other place. Then on the way the weather suddenly turned warn, the temperature reached +2 degrees Celcius, our fur clother all became wet, and we had to wear rubbershoes instead of fur shoewear.

We crossed Bovanenkovo-Uhta gaspipe line (the same we crossed in the summer but further north). Kostja found the place rich on reindeer lichen, and we places the chum there. Began drying our clothes, which needs much time.  

The next two days - October 22nd and 23rd - our camp was places near the gaspipe line. We had to dry our clothes, and another reason - we were waiting for weather to turn warmer. Usually there is less firewood near the places rich on reindeer lichen. Albina has gone in her narta to collect osier-bed. In about 4 kilometers distance from our chum there were a small industrial object controlling the gaspipe line (pump station, according to the Nenets). We tried to reach is by foot and ask workers for some petroleum. To our great disapointment there were no people there at all. Probably the station is controlled from the distance. 

On October 24th we reached our 45th encampment place:  N 70º00'04,7'' E 068º42'49,4''. The linear distance from our last palce - 20 km. 

Another day of kaslanie, another time wake up at 5 am. The wind fell and it's much warmer now - about -2 degrees Celcius. All the string on our nartas are frozen. This time we moved the longest distance and reached nartas which we left in Summer in tundra: here we found finally winter fur clothes for all the family members. 

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