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

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - V. Nosónovski Pesok and the Samoyedes

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Several of the men were well-built and powerful ;
not so short as our Reindeer Lapps, but more like
the Yamal Samoyedes in height, and rather like them
in features. For the most part they were either
beardless, or had a little thin hair on their upper lip ;
only a few of them had any growth on their chins
and cheeks. The women were for the most part
noticeably shorter than the men, and usually had a
more typically Asiatic look ; they seemed to be of
purer race.
Although it was one of the many holidays in Russia
and Siberia and they were not working, only two or
three of the women had put on any holiday finery ;
one was in a red cloak and another in a dark-blue one
with a red border. The others had rather shabby
leather dresses, sometimes torn ; but then they are
not well off, these fisher Samoyedes ; they may best
be compared with our Fishing Lapps.
They told us that their " prince," who lived
in the most easterly of the tents, had gone
down to the trader’s on the beach to the west,
and wc should have to go there if wc wanted to
see him.
Every little tribe or " family " of Samoyedes is
governed by a prince or chief, who is their leader and
judge, and who has to collect the tax (yasak) for the
Russian Government and pay it in.
While wc stood there one of the women began to
take off the covering of her tent, which was mostly
ragged canvas, and then took down the poles. This was
in order to pitch the tent again close by. That is how
they do their spring cleaning; when the floor of the
tent gets too dirty with all the things they throw
away, they simply move on. An abandoned tent site
is regarded as unclean, and they never pitch their tent

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