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Our Yamal photo tour in the Russian Siberian Northwest is an excellent opportunity to live a unique experience. In the indigenous language, Yamal means “the end of the world”, where we will live with a group of reindeer herders, who will succeed for miles of years in their nomadic lifestyle in the Russian Arctic. We will live together as they do and we will enjoy its landscapes where, in addition, we will try to capture the beauty of the northern lights.
One of the best destinations on the planet to live an adventure in the Arctic, surrounded by impressive nature and fauna, while living the daily life of the Nenets in first person. During these six days, we will live with them in the tundra, photographing their daily lives as reindeer herders, as well as their customs and traditions in their camp formed by Chums (traditional tents).
At 8 a.m. meeting at the airport of Salekhard. Set out for Yamal Tundra in order to reach reindeer herders nomad camp, area of Landiq’yato lake and Yenzor Yaha river, Yamal peninsula (TREKOL snow and swamp-going vehicle and snowmobile, way-time approx. 7-9 hours, subject to weather and road condition). Depending on the weather and road conditions, there can be chosen the alternate destination to the Nenets nomads camp in Panaevskaya tundra, on the right bank of Ob river.
Lunch (lunch box) en route. Evening arrival to chum, meeting with the family. Dinner in chum (incl.national cuisine).
After breakfast ice-fishing. Setting or check-up of fishing nets with driving to the lake/river. Reindeer herder uses any opportunity to catch fresh fish for his family, as he knows which river or a lake is full of fish. As soon as a new nomad camp is set near such location, they take their nets and ready for catch. But it is not as easy as it may seem. You need to cut through one meter thick ice to set the net, yes, you have to work hard to catch the fish.
Guests can attend traditional fishing or try fishing with the rod and line if there is one in the nomads’ camp.
Wood cutting, ice chopping, and other everyday activities of Nenets nomads.
After breakfast set out for the main herd on snowmobiles or reindeer sleigh. Slow deep dive into the world of Nenets reindeer herder, i.e. in the world of His reindeers. Here is the whole life of a human is devoted to the pace of reindeers life… Every day despite the weather, they entrap reindeers. For this purpose they set corral of sledge, made in the morning at the herd coming. Thud of hooves as wake up clock. Sledges are forming semi-circle, tied with a rope. First reindeers come into this corral, then they are caught and taken for gear up. Men leave the corral stepping over the rope, but women go under it.
Involvement into reindeers lassoing, sleigh riding, reindeers’ bread feeding, taking pictures.
After breakfast getting acquainted with everyday life of Yamal chum-keeper. It is women who build house for the whole family. To build a house is to curry, adapt, foul reindeer coat with smoke, than to sew niuk, cover for chum. Women are also in charge of sewing dress and footwear for the whole family. In terms of -40c it is very important to make warm and comfortable malitsa (reindeer parka) for men and yagushka for women.
Master classes on reatment of reindeer skins, bead weaving, making special natural ropes of reindeer veins or sewing and fitting of national dress, taking pictures.
Evening conversation around fire about culture and religion.
After breakfast series of master-classes: making poles for chum (choosing wood, preparing tree trunks, preparation and finishing), cargo sleigh repair or throwing the tynzyan (lasso) onto khorey (pole for steering the sledge).
About 10 a.m. set out for Salekhard (TREKOL all-terrain vehicle/ snowmobile, way-time approx 7-9 hours, subject to weather and road condition). Quick lunch on the way.
Arrival to Salekhard. Dinner in Okhota restaurant, traditional cuisine of Russian North.
After breakfast, we will go to Salekhard airport, where we will take the flight back home and end our Yamal photo tour.
Salekhard Airport, Russia