#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Enets – forest and tundra – are one of the smallest peoples of the North. According to Rosstat, there are only 203 of them. The film team of the Kultura TV channel in the fall of 2022 studied the life of the Enets in Taimyr – the film turned out to be about ethnographic memory.
TV reporters received unique information about the almost extinct culture from conversations with eight Enets aged 25 to 76 living in Dudinka and Potapovo – the material was published by our colleagues on the goarctic.ru portal.
Offerings to the Fire
When they have life problems, the Enets “feed” the fire of the hearth. 72-year-old Zoya Bolina said that for the ritual, the hostess took the fat of a sacrificed deer, and then you need to listen to whether the fire accepted the offering:
“My grandfather in those ancient times was old. I myself attended such a ceremony. The internal fat, it is so white, it should be dried well, and then it can be stored for a very long time”.
Master of the tundra
Zoya Bolina’s father once told her about a meeting with the Master of the Tundra: he was driving on a moonlit night in winter and saw behind some big deer and a majestic man sitting on a sled. He looked back slightly, as if calling: “Catch up”.
“I started chasing deer and following him little by little. He was riding and kinda urging me: “Catch up”. Then at some moment I stopped: “Who was it”? But there was no one”, Zoya’s father told her.
After the meeting, the father crossed the trace with a trochee and said: “Hou, master of the tundra, I am not your rival, don’t call me anymore”. And after that, without looking back, he went along his sledge track.
Zoya and Peter Bolin’s grandfather had a bear’s paw among the family shrines-guardians. The Bolins did not hunt the bear – the animal was considered their patron saint, so no one knew how they could have the paw. When Peter was seven years old, his grandfather initiated him into a hunter with this paw.
Now Peter is seventy years old, he lives in Dudinka, but still goes hunting. When the grandfather felt the approach of death, he decided not to leave this paw to his children: the eldest became a communist, his daughter became a teacher, and his youngest son was kinda frivolous.
Earlier, This Is Taimyr reported that one of the rarest languages of the Earth – Enets – can now be studied online, Russia is preparing a new method for studying the Arctic indigenous peoples’ languages, Nornickel presented traditional chums (indigenous nomads’ homes) to representatives of indigenous ethnic groups, and the National Geographic magazine spoke about Taimyr life.
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Text: Anzhelika Stepanova, Photos: Marina Peshkova, Denis Kozhevnikov and paintings by the Enets artist and reindeer herder Ivan Silkin