«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 August 19th we arrived at our 37th encampment: N 70º15'41,1'' E 067º47'31,3''. A linear distance from the last camp - 3,5 kms. For the second time we are moving with only one our chum, withour our neighbours. Kostja rode in the first argish and choose the road. Olja lead Albina's argish, Alexandra - hers, and Alexander as usual was leading his own team. Albina drove the herd riding her narta


We've chosen for our camp a place where another family was staying the whole winter. We found the old fireplace, and also a lot of garbage. We made a pile and burned all the garbage. The problem of tundra pollution is connected not only with industry, but with some reindeer herders' families habits. During last 20 years a lot of new materials have come to tundra, and normally these materials need special recycling: glass, plastics, tinfoil ans other - and every family chooses its own way to deal with the garbage. 


Here is an example of a living "in harmony with nature" - only a part of the garbage we've found in this encampment:

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(please press "Читать полностью")


Albina's father Ilia Ivanovitch came to our chum by foot from his camp in several kilometers' distance.

On August 21st a "school helicopter" went to pick up the schoolchildren Olja and Hasavako. It all happened very quickly:  after we've got message that the bord was coming, children washed, changed clothes, then the helicopter landed, parents discussed some details with the pilots, then kids jumped in and the helicopter flew away. Children of a tundra reindeer herders usually learn in boarding schools in towns. Starting from the middle August educators start "collecting" schoolchildren in tundra, so that in the beginning of the schoolyear everyboby arrives in boarding schools. In this "school helicopter" there are usually pilots and a guide who's task is to find the nomads' camps.  

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When one discuss boarding schools, one mentions difficulties which little children are facing without family and homeliness. Less people concider parents who also experience sad feelings, and we saw them being really shocked during this parting. Hasavako and Olja flew away, it became very quiet in our chum, and everyone started to miss the kids, including us.  

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The 38th encampment's geographical coordinates: 70º16'31,1'' E 067º40'34,3'', a linear distance from the last camp place - 4,6 kms. According to Albina's words today was the first day of real autumn. The weather changed drastically: it's much colder then before, it rains a lot, nights are already dark. Nobody wants to begin kaslanie, but Kostja decided to move anyway. Ilia Ivanovitch went first, after him Kostja drove the reindeers. Then we places our chum at the Mordy-Yaha river bank.  

Место оказалось сырое, с солоноватой водой и отсутствием дров, зато удобное для оленей. Мимо нас теперь часто проезжают рыбаки из стоячих чумов – Пупта с Ханутой и Аня с Натиной (сестра Али с мужем) по пути в Бованенково. На этой стоянке у нас всегда есть рыба и возможность съездить в промышленный поселок за продуктами.

Meeting of the two worlds at the river bank: reindeers and argishes at one side, and tow-boat and two barges at another side. 

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August 25th: 

While we've choosen hors (bulls) for further castration, Hadko Horolya and Stanislav Serotetto from the 2nd brigade MOP "Yarsalinskoye" came to visit us. They made a way of 30 kms to collect 12 "working bulls" of Radik.

One more photo to our collections of rainbows of Yar-Sale tundra. A view from our chum to the right bank of Mosdi-Yaha and fishermen's huts. Inside one of them on the wall one can find a writing: «Mordi-Yaha river frozen, October 2nd, 2013.» 

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Pedava and Semyon eating apples. Now we're staying relatively close to Bovanenkovo town and can buy fresh backed bread and other food. 

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August 26th:

Kostja decided to cross to another bank of Mordi-Yaha river: he found places rich on reindeer lichen, where we can spend the autumn. First we had to transport the herd, and next day - nartas. Kostja together with Ilia Ivanovitch found the narrow place in 3 kms distance from our camp. Animals didn't want to enter the water first. Then Kostja sitting in the rubber boat, pulled one of the bulls - and after that the herd finally followed and crossed the river. On the fest bank stayed only several bulld selected for driving the nartas on the next day.  

Albina, Semyon and nartas before crossing Mordy-Yaha river:  

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August 27th: 

This day we've used a quite original way to move our nartas. First we teamed reindeers in a argish of 3 nartas (including a sacred narta) and transported them. Five nartas, the whole argish, we decide to leave at the left river bank and come for them back in the winter. Remaining nartas we joined together and pulling the rope with the Pupta and Hanuta's boat transported them to other bank. The crossing went successfully, but after that everybody was so tired that we didn't make our chum, but stayed with Pupta and Hanuta in their chum.  

August 28th:

Next morning after crossing the river Pupta and Hanuta brought us for Bovanenkovo town, from where we went to Obstaya railway station by train. Kostja and Albina with the help of Hadko and Stanislav lead the herd to Mosdi-Yaha river bank. Here they will wait for our comeback...

(As you probably know, after that we went to Salekhard, and participated there a discussion board of regional education comitee. Then we've spent some time in Yar-Sale town, and had to wait there for the helicopte which delayed several times. Only in the middle of September we joined our nomadic family again and went together through some very uneasy events.) 

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