Reindeer People of Siberia


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Life on the edge of the world: Inside the remote Siberian tribe that survives in -50C temperatures on a diet of raw reindeer meat. The Nenets are a tight-knit nomadic people living in the Yamal-Nenets region on the outskirts of Russia. They live in reindeer-hide teepees, dress in reindeer fur clothes and eat raw reindeer meat to survive. Each year they migrate more than 1,000 miles on hand-made, wooden sledges following their herd.

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Pictured (left) is 97-year-old Paraskovia bracing the cold and (right) Stanislav Serotteto preparing himself for the gruelling migration process.

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Their numbers make up around 10,000 and together they command a reindeer flock of approximately 300,000. Children are expected to take part in daily chores from an early age.

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The Yamal-Nenets region - a name which translates to 'edge of the world' - lies on the outskirts of Russia.

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They live in reindeer-hide teepees, dress in reindeer fur clothes, eat raw reindeer meat and sacrifice the animals to the gods of their ancient religion.

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The Nenets have been around for thousands of years, leading a nomadic existence on the Arctic tundra more than 2,000 miles from Moscow. Pictured are three women tending to their reindeer herd.

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Their reindeer herd is vital to the Nenets' existence and their lives revolve entirely around breeding and herding the creatures. Pictured is a mother preparing tea using ice taken from nearby surroundings.

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The excess raw meat they don't consume is sold to factories, and a share of this is supplied to European countries.

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Hides are also used for the tribe's clothes and teepees, as they provide much-needed insulation against the harsh temperatures. Pictured, Vladimir Serotteto, 43, who has lived in the Siberian tundra his whole life.

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Nenet families follow the natural migration patterns of the reindeer, traveling across the flat, bleak terrain and the frozen waters of the Ob River.

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They rely on wooden sledges, built by hand, for transportation during migration, and from a young age sons are expected to learn these skills.

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While they are on the move, the Nenets have to keep reconstructing their teepees, known as chums. Pictured, Pavel, 46, with his son.

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Cameramen and photographers spent a month living with and documenting the Nenets as part of a project to preserve the legacy of nearly-extinct tribes around the world.

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Elders from the Yamto Nenets tribe sharing a joke: Sixty-four-year old Marfa Liedkov (left) and her daughter Uliana.

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A young Nanet woman holding her pet dog.

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For many thousands of years a man and a deer have been inseparably connected. From the Nenets language “deer” is translated as “giving life”. And the aboriginal dwellers of tundra call themselves “children of deer”.

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A Nenet man drinks the blood from a butchered reindeer.

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A Nanet family eating raw deer meat.

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A young woman with freckles.

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A father with his daughter and son posing for the camera.

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A young girl sitting on a sled with deer meat.

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A mother holding her baby while and girl showing off her puppy.

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A young girl with rosy cheeks.

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A young freckled woman eating raw deer meat.

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A Nenet woman sews a deer skin coat as her son watches the camera man.

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A young boy watching camera people as they take pictures.

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A young girl holding her baby brother.

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A boy pulling a small tree from the forest.

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A young mother tending to her baby.

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The interior of a typical Nenet teepee.

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A woman chopping fire wood.

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A Nenet woman prepares fish for dinner.

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