#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. A new profession may appear in Russia – a chum worker. This is a housewife in nomadic conditions in the North. She runs the household in the chum, where the reindeer herder lives while he watches over the herd.
Most often, this work is done by the reindeer breeder’s wife, daughter, or one of the closest relatives. But it happens that these functions are taken over by an outside woman. Her task is to maintain the fire in the chum, prepare firewood, heat water from the snow, cook food, and mend clothes during the long months of moving along the tundra with a deer herd.
If necessary, the chum worker can help the reindeer breeder with the herd. At the same time, she does not receive any material remuneration for this, since such a specialty and profession does not officially exist. The list of specialties in the Arctic includes a reindeer breeder-mechanic, a veterinarian, a paramedic, who are taught, for example, at the Taimyr College in Dudinka.
Grigory Ledkov, the North, Siberia and the Far East Indigenous Peoples Association president, proposed to include chum workers in the list of Russian professions.
“Currently, chum workers are not included in the list of professions. We get out, as best we can – we accept some of them for the reindeer breeder assistant position, junior reindeer breeder, and so on. It’s time to finally resolve this issue”, Grigory Ledkov believes.
19 indigenous peoples live in the Russian Arctic. They are mainly engaged in traditional economic activities. These are animal husbandry, commercial hunting and fishing, timber harvesting and gathering, construction of national dwellings and folk crafts.
Earlier, we wrote that the National Geographic magazine told about the life of the Taimyr nomads. Also, Russian bloggers visited the ethnic camp in Taimyr.
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Text: Denis Kozhevnikov, Photo: author