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A Forgotten Moscow: the charms & characters of 1935 Kaleidoscope of Russian Life: A short swim in the Yenisei River and the Olympic torch

The Khanty taiga dwellers: breeding deers, reading tracks

Khanty-Mansijsky autonomous region (also known as Jugra), located in the Urals, officially exists since 1931, though the first written mention of the people inhabiting the "northern lands" was recorded in the Tale of Bygone Years in 1096. In Soviet period north development has begun very roughly.
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Fedor Telkov

Khanty-Mansijsky autonomous region (also known as Jugra), located in the Urals, officially exists since 1931, though the first written mention of the people inhabiting the "northern lands" was recorded in the Tale of Bygone Years in 1096. In Soviet period north development has begun very roughly.
The Soviet system has brought both positive, and the negative contribution to the life of native people of the North. On the one hand they introduced better education - writing, specialized schools, boarding schools, representatives of local intelligentsia have been grown up. On the other hand the collectivization and industry growth have forced out aboriginals from occupied territories.

Fedor Telkov

The Soviet system has brought both positive, and the negative contribution to the life of native people of the North. On the one hand they introduced better education - writing, specialized schools, boarding schools, representatives of local intelligentsia have been grown up. On the other hand the collectivization and industry growth have forced out aboriginals from occupied territories.
Refusal of a traditional way of life has led to that the part of the locals any more doesn't speak in national languages. The youth leave taiga for the better life. However positive processes of restoration recently begin – some representatives of the people of the North start to come back to the roots, transforming the life to the new form, for example in ethno-tourism, or become ascetics.

Fedor Telkov

Refusal of a traditional way of life has led to that the part of the locals any more doesn't speak in national languages. The youth leave taiga for the better life. However positive processes of restoration recently begin – some representatives of the people of the North start to come back to the roots, transforming the life to the new form, for example in ethno-tourism, or become ascetics.
Whether they want to or not, most Khantys leading a traditional lifestyle act as ecologists and rangers. They have to clean up the forest after careless vacationers, workers, and recreational hunters, in addition to stopping them from breaking rules in the forest.

Fedor Telkov

Whether they want to or not, most Khantys leading a traditional lifestyle act as ecologists and rangers. They have to clean up the forest after careless vacationers, workers, and recreational hunters, in addition to stopping them from breaking rules in the forest.
The family of Kazamkinyh lives in Nizhnevartovsk area in village Varyogan. In village they have two houses, at local school children study, however this family spends the big and best part of the life on settlements in a taiga. Today the head of the family Vitaly is engaged in small business. Generally this family sincerely trusts and observes all centuries-old traditions.

Fedor Telkov

The family of Kazamkinyh lives in Nizhnevartovsk area in village Varyogan. In village they have two houses, at local school children study, however this family spends the big and best part of the life on settlements in a taiga. Today the head of the family Vitaly is engaged in small business. Generally this family sincerely trusts and observes all centuries-old traditions.
All Khanty families who reside on the taiga have three camps that they live in: one for the winter, one for the spring, and one for the summer. When they move from one to the other depends on the change in seasons, reindeer calving periods, and the amount of livestock feed (moss), etc. Each camp has everything they need: a hut, an enclosure for deer, barns, and a sleigh, among other things.

Fedor Telkov

All Khanty families who reside on the taiga have three camps that they live in: one for the winter, one for the spring, and one for the summer. When they move from one to the other depends on the change in seasons, reindeer calving periods, and the amount of livestock feed (moss), etc. Each camp has everything they need: a hut, an enclosure for deer, barns, and a sleigh, among other things.
A typical Khanty hut is wooden and not very high. It has low doorways, one common room with a small storage area in front of it, two windows, and an elevated wooden decking called nary. This family’s camp (a few square hectares) is enclosed to keep their herd of deer from wandering away. Hunting for the Khanty is no playing matter. It is a means of feeding their family. No matter where they go, they always take their rifle along with them.

Fedor Telkov

A typical Khanty hut is wooden and not very high. It has low doorways, one common room with a small storage area in front of it, two windows, and an elevated wooden decking called nary. This family’s camp (a few square hectares) is enclosed to keep their herd of deer from wandering away. Hunting for the Khanty is no playing matter. It is a means of feeding their family. No matter where they go, they always take their rifle along with them.
Despite their unending hunt, the Khanty make sure that the populations of the animals they hunt don’t fall. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have anything to eat in the future. Khanty cuisine is unique for the ease and speed of cooking: either boiled fish or meat or raw, frozen meat called stroganina.

Fedor Telkov

Despite their unending hunt, the Khanty make sure that the populations of the animals they hunt don’t fall. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have anything to eat in the future. Khanty cuisine is unique for the ease and speed of cooking: either boiled fish or meat or raw, frozen meat called stroganina.
Children in Khanty families enjoy special respect and love since their people’s religion believes that the souls of deceased elders migrate to new-born babies. The Khanty have preserved their ancestors’ religious beliefs and are reluctant to speak of them, as it is a deeply personal matter. Their fear from Soviet times—when many shamans were punished for their ‘heresy’—still remains.

Fedor Telkov

Children in Khanty families enjoy special respect and love since their people’s religion believes that the souls of deceased elders migrate to new-born babies. The Khanty have preserved their ancestors’ religious beliefs and are reluctant to speak of them, as it is a deeply personal matter. Their fear from Soviet times—when many shamans were punished for their ‘heresy’—still remains.
A labaz is a small hut built on tall stilts (in order to keep wild animals away) where gear, clothing, products, and meat are stored. The labaz and the area around it are considered sacred; after twilight has fallen, it is forbidden to go there, much less take anything from it.

Fedor Telkov

A labaz is a small hut built on tall stilts (in order to keep wild animals away) where gear, clothing, products, and meat are stored. The labaz and the area around it are considered sacred; after twilight has fallen, it is forbidden to go there, much less take anything from it.
However modern Khantys use TV, cell phones, walkie-talkies, and all technical conveniences. A lot of modern means of transportation are used because the Khanty have to cover large distances across the taiga. In the summer, they use cars and horses; in the winter, they use snowmobiles, reindeer sleighs, and skis.

Fedor Telkov

However modern Khantys use TV, cell phones, walkie-talkies, and all technical conveniences. A lot of modern means of transportation are used because the Khanty have to cover large distances across the taiga. In the summer, they use cars and horses; in the winter, they use snowmobiles, reindeer sleighs, and skis.
Khanty settlements have a direct tie to oil drilling (NB! 51% of the oil produced in Russia comes from Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Region). Khant Vitaly describes it in the following way: the Khanty have always settled by rivers that have a lot of fish in the winter. The fish, in turn, is found where oilfields are (because “black gold” has a higher temperature than water and the oxygen the fish need to live emerges under the ice). As such, oil is drilled in places inhabited by the Khanty who are evicted from them.

Fedor Telkov

Khanty settlements have a direct tie to oil drilling (NB! 51% of the oil produced in Russia comes from Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Region). Khant Vitaly describes it in the following way: the Khanty have always settled by rivers that have a lot of fish in the winter. The fish, in turn, is found where oilfields are (because “black gold” has a higher temperature than water and the oxygen the fish need to live emerges under the ice). As such, oil is drilled in places inhabited by the Khanty who are evicted from them.
The taiga is a difficult place to live. In the winter, temperatures reach -60 degrees Celsius (-76 degrees Fahrenheit). The short, cool summer is swamped with insects. Whatever, the true Khanty can easily predict the weather by looking at the stars and “reading” animal tracks.

Fedor Telkov

The taiga is a difficult place to live. In the winter, temperatures reach -60 degrees Celsius (-76 degrees Fahrenheit). The short, cool summer is swamped with insects. Whatever, the true Khanty can easily predict the weather by looking at the stars and “reading” animal tracks.
January 13, 2014
Tags: regions, nature

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