- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
99

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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NOSONOVSKI PESOK AND THE SAMOYEDES
99
bank of the Yenisei, and not Yuraks, as wc had thought
on first seeing them. For they were dressed like
Yuraks, in dark, tunic-shaped coats with hoods and
red borders ; but no doubt they had got these through
being married to Yurak women.
Otherwise, judging from their appearance, the
Yuraks of the district to the west of the Yenisei and
the Yenisei-Samoyedes seem to be nearly related
tribes ; their languages differ somewhat, but belong to
the same linguistic stock.
On landing, wc were, of course, stared at and closely
inspected from every side, but what specially aroused
the curiosity of these hunters was our guns ; they
lifted them as cautiously as though they had been
precious gems, looked at them fore and aft and fingered
them all over.
They lived in five tents which stood on the level
ground above the steep slope to the beach ; they were
all reindeer Samoyedes, but they kept their reindeer
70 versts inland on the tundra on the opposite side of
the Yenisei, while they themselves spent the summer
here fishing. They had at the most 200 reindeer
apiece, and could not be called rich. That was why
they had to take to fishing ; whereas the rich Samo
yedes, who may have 1000 or 2000 reindeer, never
think of degrading themselves by such a life, which
they look down upon ; they live all the year round
with their reindeer in the interior of the tundra.
The man who lived in the first tent wc came to
pointed with pride to his womenfolk, and told us he
had two wives. One of them wc saw sitting cross
legged inside the tent, sewing skins. By her side was
a child of three or four with long, light-brown curls,
making one involuntarily look at the mother and her
husband, who were both as dark as pitch. But the

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