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Nenets: A culture of ice and snow

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The Nenets, a unique peoples from northern Russia, are a culture deeply rooted in the cold temperatures and the migrations of reindeer. Currently there are two different groups, the Tundra and the Forest Nenets. There are currently 41,000 living in the tundra. The Nenets are known for their close relationship with reindeer and the ways in which they use them. They herd, breed, slaughter, and follow reindeer through specific migration patterns. The Nenets are the last of their kind in their unique ways and are being threatened by not only modernization but also globalization in the aspect that Russia’s government is forcing them to assimilate into the modern culture.
The ancestors of the Nenets originated in southern Russia and migrated north due to numerous reasons over 1000 years ago. They were originally part of the Samoyed peoples, a much larger community comprised of many different groups. Both the forest and tundra Nenets are being threatened by the Russian government to move in the aspect that oil is plentiful in the land and the government desires to drill into it. There is also a vast amount of natural gas that the government wants to obtain. This forces the Nenets to assimilate and move on their own accord instead of following the seasonal migrations.
The Nenets live a very simple and traditional life and do not expect a lot out of the land. They survive mostly by hunting and fishing. During the winter months, Nenet men will carve a hole in the ice and plunge their hands into the water when a fish is captured. Considering the weather can get to -50 degrees Celsisus, this is quite a feat. The Nenets are hardy people who flourish in the cold and barren lands of Siberia. They make seasonal migrations through the tundra and...

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...e “old lady of the chum” who protects the domestic aspects of life. The deities are given reindeer blood and vodka when their assistance is required. (BBC).
Currently, the Nenet culture is being threatened by the Russian government in many different ways.

Works Cited

Dolitsky, A. (1984). Soviet Studies of Northern Peoples. Current Anthropology, 25.4, p. 502-503. Retrieved on Feb. 26, 2014, from https://jstorproxy.tmcc.edu/stable/2742912

Forsyth, J. & Pierce, R. A. (1993). A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony 1581-1990. The American Historical Review, 98.4. p. 1290-1291. Retrieved on Feb. 20, 2014, from https://jstorproxy.tmcc.edu/stable/2166736

Countries and Their Cultures. (n.d.). Kinship, marriage, and family. Retrieved on April 1, 2014, from http://www.everyculture.com/Russia-Eurasia-China/Nenets-Kinship-Marriage-and-Family.html
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