- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
175

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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DUDINKA TO THE KUREIKA
175
berries this year either. Much of the ground under
the trees was covered with the withered white hair of
" mare’s tails" (Equisetum), which grew there to a good
height and in great quantities. -
In walking back through the forest, we suddenly found
ourselves on the slope above the river. The slope was
overgrown with the most luxuriant forest vegetation,
and yellow birches hung over the sandy bank far below.
It was just like coming out of a primeval forest.
As we were following a path leading to the house
along the slope, we unexpectedly came upon two wooden
crosses which stood under the birches at the very edge
of the clearing. They were two old graves in this sylvan
solitude ; a beautiful spot had been chosen for them,
but long, long ago, and they were now almost entirely
overgrown and hidden by the birch forest.
On one of the graves lay the remains of an old sledge,
which showed that in any case that was a native grave,
probably of Yenisei-Ostiaks. They put sledges on their
graves, no doubt in order that the dead may travel
in them to the land beyond. As we went on towards
the house we came upon two more graves, even more
overgrown by birches than the first.
The people of this place only stay here during summer
to buy fish, which is salted ; they return to Yeniseisk
before the winter. The man told us that just now there
were great numbers of geese and ducks a few miles up
the Kureika River ; they had been collecting for their
migration to the south ; but the people had no time
to think of them, they were all so tåken up with fishing.
There was also a lot of game in the forest, they said,
capercailzie, black-game and hazel-grouse.
All the graphite that was brought by the lighters
down the Yenisei to the Correct came from a place
about 60 miles up this Kureika River. There were

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