What is it like to live deep in taiga far from the noisy world? Little wooden houses, modest utensils, the mode of life we do not see every day. This is how Khanty people live in remote settlements.
The way to the settlement is not so easy. Such roads are used by locals to tranport animal skins and meat to Ugut village.
There is only one family consisting of four members in this settlement.
Khanty people know a lot of curious ways of fishing. This is one of them. They throw something edible on the bottom and fish comes up where it can get some oxygen and food. It only remains to scoop it out daily with a net.
This way of fishing is really good.
Coming home with a catch.
Cats are waiting for food.
Fresh bread is ready.
And this is where they bake it once a week.
Oksana is rather young but hard living conditions make people age fast. Sasha and Oksana have two children – a curious boy and a shy girl.
It’s very modest inside.
Kerosene lamp is an indispensible attribute.
All kids like sweets!
Some magic with the diesel generator.
And light is on!
They don’t have things they don’t need. The left part of the house is for the woman, the right one is for the man. Khanty couples do not sleep together.
The man’s part of the house. How did they manage to bring the sofa here?
Where did you see such videorecorders for the last time?
The table they eat at.
It’s the only position of the phones when they can receive any signal. It would not be possible too if oil industry is not developed in the region.
The same things you have in your bathroom.
It’s getting dark.
From the early age these children learn to survive in severe conditions of taiga. They do not need school and they always hide from boarding school educators who come here by helicpters from time to time.
It’s practically the first time when they see strangers and when they see a camera.
There are usually three and more children in families of forest Khanty people. They always need more hands to do various work so children become true helpers for their parents very early. Another reason why they have many children is hard climate and natural conditions for life. Taiga is not actually a place for people so deseases, traumas and incidents during hunting and fishing are not rare here. Children are more endangered than adults…
Their toys are miniature copies of things for adults: boys play with toy boats, bow and arrows, figures of deer, girls – with sewing accessories, pin cushions. Games often replace labour lessons so ordinary toys from our world may bring a lot of joy!
Girls aged 2-3 can already make bracelets from beads, boys can lasso any thing that resembles a deer. At the age of 6 they can collect many kilograms of berries during the season. At the age of 12 girls can keep the house as adult women, boys can hunt alone.
Education is still a problem for such children. The government of the country insists on their education and take them to boarding houses where they should spend many months. But it violates the main principle of these people which has been forming for centuries – children should be helpers for their parents in the first place. So Khanty families usually hide when hear helicopters flying for their children. Sometimes they just do not let their kids fly away with uproar.
They believe schools can’t give their children what they need for living in taiga. And they are partly right. But uneducated people are easily deceived either in trade or while making contracts with oilmen. Besides not all children who were educated at school want to come back to their traditional way of life. They start seeing life in the forest from the new side when they know about the blessings of civilization.
It’s hard to say where and who they will be in 15-20 years…
But till then they give up their only toys on the sofa and rush to their parents to help with freshly caught fish.