Calving started in Yamal reindeer herding

Our friend Eduard Khudi and his wife Valentina sent these photos today, of the first reindeer calf of the year, born the 27th April in the Yamal tundra in the camp of Sergei Serotetto's son Lev. The big wave of calving has not started yet, but since then around 5-7 calves have appeared in this …

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The influence of world politics in the forest of Northern Lapland

We all know that the current situation with Russia and Ukraine is rapidly changing a lot of the ways and values on which we have been relying in the past decades for our everyday lives. But recently I was surprised when discussing the impacts with Karoliina Majuri, a reindeer herder and colleague here at Lapland …

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Nomadic or sedentary life: difficult choice?

Most people on our planet make their life choices mostly about in which settlement, country, climate etc they want to live. But the remaining nomads in the Arctic (unfortunately there are not that many any more) have this additional decision to make whether they bring up their children out on the tundra or in a …

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Happy new year Yamal style

First of all, happy new year to all our readers, followers, and a big thank you to all those who contribute to making this blog a success. This is my first ever new years trip to the Russian Arctic. Flying from Finland to Yamal, one of the first visible impressions is the extensive use of …

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Spirituality of abandoned Arctic Infrastructure

So-called 'ghost towns' attract people in a certain sense, the ailing beauty of their ruins and the atmosphere of silence that is so different from the silence that you experience when you are somewhere out on the tundra in the Arctic in a snow-desert. But when I recently walked with a friend through an abandoned …

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Forest fires create hell on earth: Yakutia

related to the recent post about the forest fires in Siberia, here I share some footage from local people. This is not official news, it's private people's videos, often shot from their phones. It shows close up how Sakha people struggle to save their land and their homes from the inferno - mostly in vein. …

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Arctic climate amplification and Siberia’s burning forests

Usually Arctic amplification is referred to as the reason why the Arctic is warming faster than the earth's average, as the Arctic's surface gets darker (due to less sea ice and snow), and the surface absorbs more heat.What we see currently in Siberia with the burning forests sheds yet another light on how this affects …

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Reindeer nomadism as profession, lifestyle, passion and love: Sergei Serotetto

русский текст ниже One of the world's most respected reindeer nomads, 1954-2021, mourning for a friend (all photos in this post © by Florian Stammler) Один из самых уважаемых оленводов , друг ушёл из жизни The news from the tundra was a shock: last year we celebrated Sergei Serotetto's 66th birthday together in his chum …

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Rain on snow – how do people and reindeer learn to survive?

This winter and spring we hear again disastrous news from sudden temperature rises and falls, leading to thick ice-crusts on reindeer pastures that block reindeer's access to their pastures. While the most famous of these events happened in 2014 in the Centre of the Yamal Peninsula, West Siberia, the phenomenon is known probably to reindeer …

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Trust Versus Paranoia: Can the Siberian fire spirit explain the spectacular failure of the UK Covid track and trace app?

Piers Vitebsky and Roza Laptander are going to give an interesting example on how to de-provincialise Arctic social sciences. This time on a topic that could hardly be more timely: they refer to their elaborate ethnographies of indigenous Siberians' communications with the fire spirit to explain why apps to track the corona virus may fail. …

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