• A stop for the reindeer herders on their way from the Kola peninsula to the Arkhangelsk Region. Long seasonal migrations are typical. During wintertime they drive their herds along the edge of the forest and in summer closer to the coasts.
  • Migrations normally start in short stretches of 10 to 15 km per day. During the course of the year the reindeer herders and their herds complete seasonal migrations: in spring (for example, from March) they head north, where the reindeers suffer less from mosquitoes and flies. From the start of August the herds get driven back south, to the edges of the forests, where the reindeers find food under the loose snow.
  • The boy in the hood is out in a traditional man’s outfit. A thick wide shirt made of reindeer hide with fur on the inside.
  • The basic food of the Nenets. Raw or boiled reindeer meat.
  • In the families of reindeer herders, children under school age migrate along with their parents, and then they send them to boarding school. When parents go past the boarding school with their herds they can take their children out for weekends and school holidays.
  • Instead of the traditional collapsible homes made of reindeer hide, these days herders tend to use canvas tents and take with them small portable stoves for heating.
  • Nowdays the majority of reindeers are concentrated in herder cooperatives. In the whole district there are around 180 thousand reindeers.
  • Women's clothing is looser than men’s. In winter Nenets women wear garments with a slit in the front made of two-layers, with the fur both on the inside and the outside. Fur gloves are sewn onto the sleeves which have a hole for taking out the hands.
  • The bigger the herd of reindeer the less time the owner allows them to spend in one particular place since they can consume pastures quickly.
  • In the tundra there isn’t a single family who doesn’t have a domesticated reindeer. More often than not it's a little reindeer that was born weak. Tame reindeers often lost their mothers after they died at childbirth.
  • Both grown ups and children look after these small reindeers. At first, during the suckling period, it lives in the tent and sleeps, rests and eats in the area where its little owner has his bed. A tame reindeer has great practical use, stories abound about tame reindeers saving their master from some misfortune.
  • The basic tool of work of the reindeer herder is the lasso – a long rope made of thin strips of reindeer leather. The loop is tightened with the help of a bone pulley with two openings. In one of them the end of the lasso is fastened while the loop runs through the second one.
  • Nenets sleds consist of a body attached to curved front runners. For stability the distance between the runners is greater than that of the width of the seat. Sitting on the left side, they direct it with their rein.
  • The village of Nes. Now the majority of reindeer herders own property where their cooperative is based and go out into the tundra for one to three seasons and take their reindeers out to pasture. But there are even families who still maintain an entirely nomadic lifestyle.
  • About 1200 people live in the settlement of Nes – amongst them are Nenets, Komi and Russians. You can only get to the settlement by helicopter – which flies in twice a week.
  • Generally speaking, the traditional religion of the Nenets is paganism, shamanism. But after perestroika missionaries started to arrive in the villages where there were settled reindeer herders and converting them to Orthodoxy. A few years ago an Orthodox church was built in Nes.
  • What the Nenets call a “Beautiful Place”, which they consider holy, on the border between the Nenets Autonomous Region and Archangel Region.
Here it’s customary to place a gift to the local spirit. Otherwise, the belief goes, the spirits will take revenge and place obstacles in your way.
  • The person who does not respect the masters of the place can get lost in the tundra. This is not hard to believe. Its 50km distance to the nearest inhabited place. You can only cross by reindeer or on a snowmobile and only find your way from memory.
  • Just a portait of a Nenets man with the unusual name of Ananya - village of Nes.