- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
123

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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WAITING TO GO ON
123
larger island to the west ; on it stood four tents with
some Samoyedes from the west side of the Yenisei, but
mostly Yuraks. There was also a mud-hut belonging
to a Russian, who bought fish from the natives.
As wc landed on this island, a boafs crew were
engaged in taking their seine on board to go out fishing.
There were two brothers who were Yuraks ; they had
quite a Semitic look. The rest of the crew were Samo
yedes. The two brothers owned 72 reindeer together,
and these were over on the tundra to the east of the
Yenisei, while they stayed here fishing. One of the
Samoyedes, who looked a good deal poorer, judging by
his clothes, had only 10 reindeer. On my saying that
surely that was not enough to live on, he merely replied
that indeed it was not.
Wc then went to see both the Samoyedes and the
Yuraks who were in the tents ; there did not seem to
be any very great difference between them.
Wc also called on the chief of the Yuraks and his
two wives. He was an elderly man of powerful appear
ance. His type of face was not unlike a Reindeer
Lapp’s ; but the curious thin moustaches which hung
down from the corners of his mouth, without any hair
in the middle of his upper lip, gave him a certain Chinese
look. The elder wife was old, faded and blear-eyed,
with a face like a dried apple. She, too, had some
resemblance to the Reindeer Lapps. He said himself,
pointing at her, that she was no longer of any use, and
therefore he had tåken a younger wife. She was young
enough to be his daughter. She had quite a pleasant
appearance, and seemed well-satisfied and proud of her
dignity as princess ; though one might imagine a more
enviable position than that of being the old man’s wife.
But women are often like that.
He told us that he was under the jurisdiction of

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