- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
30

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
30
put the whole population of the peninsula at about
1000, including women and children. They belong
to the branch of the Yurak-Samoyede race known as
Kamen-Samoyedes (i.e. Ural-Samoyedes), which is some
what mixed with Ostiak-Samoyedes. They are a branch
of the Yuraks. A number of them inhabit the slopes
of the Urals south of the borders of Yamal, and they
are also estimated at about a thousand.
Samoyedes from the government of Archangel, west
of the Urals, occasionally come to Yamal ; but apart
from these almost all the Samoyedes there are from the
Obdorsk district.
They make two great migrations in the course of
the year. At the beginning of winter they trek with
their reindeer to the forest districts near Nadim and
Obdorsk, and spend the winter in the woods there, in
the lower basin of the Obi.
At the winter fair of Obdorsk they seil their furs,
walrus-tusks, reindeer-skins, reindeer-meat, &c, and
supply themselves with the necessary provisions, powder
and shot, and anything else they require. The pro
visions consist chiefly of meal, white bread, butter,
tea and tobacco, which is usually chewed, only a few
take snuff or smoke ; the wealthier among them also
buy sugar and wheaten flour, and of course they all
buy vodka according to their means, for they are very
fond of it, and are apt to take it to excess if they only
get a chance. At a pinch they will buy vodka from
people who have a stock on the tundra, and then they
may pay as much as a reindeer (i.e. 10 roubles) for a
chetvert, which is about 3 litres.
In March and April they return to their pastures
in Yamal.* The journey from Obdorsk to the central
* To save the reindeer from being too much tormented by mos-
quitoes and gadflies in summer, they have to take them either to the
north, where it is colder, or up into the mountains.

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