0 Herders of Salekhard

Herders of Salekhard

Posted on April 11, 2014 by tim

Salekhard is a city on Russian North, was founded in 1595 and has a population 46,650 people. It has schools, colleges, a few factories and a port. However if you take a snowmobile and run sixty miles away from the city one can see the life of people in the wild like the rain deer owners, living in traditional houses called “Chums”.  They author of the photos, Ivan, has took a guide with him, as he didn’t risk going on a snowmobile all alone deep into the wilderness. “Staying there is awful, they drink blood!”,  Ivan says that this is what he was told by a policeman when went there.

A sort of a winter road in that area.

A carriage for luggage.

While going to the herders he passed a fishermen point which is being active in summers. He just made a few photos as he writes “When you stay on the snowmobile track you are pretty ok, but if you just step aside and you go half body down the snow”.


Later, he writes, they leave the tracks and after couple of miles going off road they arrived to the herders place where they meet rain deer owner Vadim. As author tells, Vadim lives there with his wife and an infant boy in one CHUM, another house is occupied by his parents.

“Father of Vadim making new sledge”.

 As author tells locals always use Russian names: Vadim, Masha, Andrei etc.

Ivan, the author, tells that the babe is tied with special belt when he is left unattended so that he stay on one place and doesn’t hurt himself.

Ivan also says, that Masha, herder’s wife, almost didn’t talk to him and that this is your normal dress, but not a “holiday” one, as he thought. For the special occasions, he says, they use different dress.

As author says, he didn’t see the local drinking blood, on contrary the food on the table was pretty western. At night they turn on the generator and get electricity for a few hours.


“I watched TV more than I do this normally while staying there”, remembers Ivan.


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