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A People of the Tundra – Nenets Culture

The exhibition A People of the Tundra tells about the culture of the Nenets in Northern Russia. Reindeer herding has been the most important traditional source of livelihood for this people that lives on the tundra. Migrating with the reindeer has had a strong influence on the material and immaterial culture of the Nenets.

Feb 14, 2013
Every week until May 26, 2013
Contact Name Sámi Museum Siida
Contact Email
Contact Phone +358 400 898 212
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The home regions of the Nenets extend in Northern Russia from the White Sea to eastern Taimyr in the large zone between Arkhangelsk and the River Yenisei. In the 2010 census, the number of Nenets was 44,640. About a half of the people speak Nenets as their first language. The Nenets are the biggest one of the “small” indigenous peoples of Russia.

The Nenets adopted large-scale reindeer herding no later than the 1700s. Their traditional social order has been based on herding villages that have comprised of the men of one line and their wives. In the Soviet era, the lives of the Nenets changed in many ways as a result of the collectivization of reindeer husbandry. Now, reindeer are usually herded through herding brigades formed by families. At present, only some Nenets lead a traditional-type life and earn their living through herding. The future of Nenets culture depends to a great extent on the future of the Arctic. Threats are posed by the extraction of natural resources in the traditional living areas of the Nenets – especially by gas and oil industry – and the environmental changes caused by global warming.

In Siida’s exhibition, we display, for example, fine Nenets handicrafts with reindeer fur appliqué decorations such as panitsas and malitsas (men’s and women’s winter fur coats), boots, bags and pouches, and practical everyday objects like tools, dishes and toys.

The exhibition A People of the Tundra has been produced through the cooperation of the Sámi Museum Siida and Nenetsia Museum of Local Heritage in Naryan-Mar, the capital of Nenetsia. As part of this exchange, an exhibition of the Sámi Museum Siida has been displayed in the museum in Naryan-Mari from September 2012 to February 2013. The exchange has been realized as part of the project Néda – Culture Tourism Project of the Indigenous Peoples of the North (2010–13). The project gets funding from the EU Kolarctic ENPI CBC programme.

A People of the Tundra is open for the public from 15 Feb. to 26 May 2013. Siida is open Tue–Fri from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.

Further information:
Arja Jomppanen, Head Curator, tel. +358 (0)40 579 3313,  arja.jomppanen(at)samimuseum.fi
Press photographs of the exhibition can be downloaded from the Media Photo Gallery of Siida’s website.
The website of Néda Ordym project: http://www.nédaordym.fi

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Subscription URL: http://siida.fi/contents/exhibitions/old-exhibitions/a-people-of-the-tundra/icalendar_export_event
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