January 5, 2010
Every country, disposing territories on the north like Finland, Sweden and Norway cannot help but offers reindeer safari among its winter tourist services. Russia is not exception. In Russia you can choose between Karelia, Murmansk Region, Yamal peninsula and so on along the north of the country down to Chukotka which is separated from North America by the Bering Strat.
There are also such tourist services in America, but we are talking about Russia. And all the small peoples of the North living on this huge space use reindeer teams as traditional mean of transport. Each region has its own national color, and it I’ve chosen Sakha Republic and Evenki people. I have selected them in hazard because all these people with their reindeer teams are equally worth to be described.
First of all, a little ethnography, because such tours are not only adventure ones, but ethnographical as well. Evenki are a Tungusic people of Northern Asia. In Russia, the Evenki are recognized as one of the Indigenous peoples of the Russian North.
They live in many Russian regions, including Sakha Republic. There is a settlement in Sakha Republic, called Iengra. It is situated not far (according to the Siberian standards) from the city of Neryungri. Most people, living there, are Evenki. The tour operators offer to begin the nomadic reindeer safari tour from this settlement. It is a unique settlement, because only here the Evenki survive their culture and language. There is also an ethnographical museum in this settlement, introducing the visitor such aspects of Evenki culture as reindeer breeding, traditional hunting and shamanistic ritual.
A model nomadic camp is also represented in the museum. The folk music ensemble Yukte (spring brook) will fill up the canvas with their music and national costumes. On the second day time for a field trip comes. The reindeer-team driver (in the traditional culture of Evemnki reindeer-team driver is a woman) will train you reindeer-team driving.
The reindeer figures in Evenki traditional culture constantly: reindeers were gifted to guests, they were used as bride-money and every family member had her/his own reindeers. The first gift to the baby was a reindeer. The first mean of transport for a baby who can not yet walk was also a reindeer. The babies were pinioned to the pack on the reindeer’s back. By the way, Evenki ride the reindeers as well, not only team them. On the third day you will ride the reindeer too.
During the next 3 days you will drive reindeer-team and ride them (if your weight lets, I suppose. The reindeers are not horses). By the way, the interest to the encampment and cooking from the tourists is welcome. The nights you will pass in weather resistant tents. Finally you will return to Iengra. You say goodbye to your reindeer team driver and then follows the transfer to the city of Neryungri with accommodation in the hotel and reunion with the civilization. All you need to take part in such a journey is wish, money to buy a tour and Russian visa, getting of which is easy with our Russian visa service .
via Russia-InfoCentre Source: planetyakutia.com