Nenets still rely on their traditional clothing, which is compiled by women. Men wear the malitsa, a layer made of 4 reindeer skins, the nearest to the fur inside and leather the outer coat. It is compiled with a hood and mittens integrated into the suit . When the cold is extreme, still carry over another garment: the gus, which men wear the part of the leather on the inside and the outside skin. In that case, a man  is able to spend all night and sleep outside with the herd, at temperatures of 50 degrees below zero. Yagushka is the women dress, which has a double layer of skin, made from 8 reindeer skins and tied ahead. Finally, both men and women wear boots that come to their hips, with an inner layer (tobaki) and the outer boot (Kisy).


It is a curious fact that clothing when is too old or is already in very bad conditions, it is not discarded, but they carry to forest and hanging from a tree, because they believe it will be useful in the afterlife.

treball dona nenet

The housing of the Nenets is the chum, a space where they live and work, made by reindeer skins, which are placed over a structure of long wooden sticks, many of which have special place and are not interchangeable. In general, each chum, lives a family, and chums number depends on the size of the camp, the place chosen for installation always depends on the resources available: pasture, water and firewood; but also their beliefs. When the boss of the family find the right place, digs into the ground the khorei, his stick reindeer driving: that will be the center of the chum.

chum desfet

The space inside and outside the chum, is always distributed in the same way. Sleds and caravans are arranged in semicircles around the chum, with sleds of provisions and belongings of women placed in front or near the door, where it is also their workplace. Men’s things stay at the back, which is where they usually also work. Finally, the sacred sled is always placed in the back of the chum, and pointing to its center, The “toilets” are located away from the camp, and separated the men from the women.

secred sled

They often carry a stick to go to “restroom”, worth doing like them … It turns out that the reindeer find  irresistible salt of urine and do not pay attention can be absolutely surrounded !!!!

‘We’re leaving in three days !! But before we left we will give you time to tell you something else.

‘See you soon, then !!

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There is very little for April 15. We are eager to seeing our friends Nenets and our friend and fellow, Aleksey. Everything is ready, and the visa is in our passport already.

That who are the Nenets? They are the shepherds from the End of the World.

You see, there is a place where winter temperatures drop to 50º C below zero. Where meanders, under the ice, the fifth longest river in the world and where even far beyond where the eye can see, there is only meadows, streams and dwarf shrubs. In this place, it thrived long time ago, a strong and vibrant culture, which called this land, Yamal. Yamal in the language of this culture, in nenet,  means “World’s End“.

nenet tempesta

The Siberian Arctic Nenet people are the last representatives of an unique style of herdering. They travel with their herds of reindeer, throughout the year, following ancient migration routes, a distance of over 1,000 kilometers, from the pastures of mosses and lichens in summer from the North, to the winter pastures in the taiga, just south of the Arctic Circle. A large area that has been  their Nenet’s home for more than a millennium.

The Nenet people live in the polar regions of northeastern Europe and northwestern Siberia, from the Kanin Peninsula in the White Sea to the delta of the Yenisey. They also inhabit the Arctic Ocean islands and the Kola Peninsula. A territory of about one million square kilometers. The homeland of the Nenets is the tundra, a country of permafrost, many rivers, lakes (about 50,000) and extensive wetlands. Along the banks of the Ob River, the Nenet settlements reach the long extensive territory of  forests of the Siberian taiga.

nens nenet

In the Yamal Peninsula, which belongs to the Russian Federation and occupies an area of 1.5 times France, live more than 10,000 nomadic herders and 300,000 “domestic”reindeer.

When spring comes, the Nenets and their flocks begin their journey towards north. During this trip they will be setting up camps every three or four days. In the caravan,  head of the family goes first, with a light sled; after children and women, after sleds with utensils and tools and chum, their mobile home, then the reindeer herd, and end their sacred sleigh with its special cargo.

nenet camp

Did you enjoyed with what we have told? If so, and you want to know more about this amazing culture, before we leave you we will tell you more.

See you soon!

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