The end of land

Just before the pandemic and global crisis broke out, we flew to the far North of Siberia; Yamal. We are here to capture the Nenet. The Nenet are a nomadic reindeer herding tribe. Every year they travel hundreds of kilometers from the north to the south of the peninsula. In the local language, Yamal means “the end of land” and that’s how it feels.

As far as the eye can see, white and more white, a sleek smoothness, polished by wind to the utmost, absolute shine. The tundra looks like a dazzling and lifeless smoothness. White, like any color, is indescribable in itself. It exists, but it begins to individualize and subject only to the definition in combination with other colors. Here in the tundra of Yamal there are no other shades. There is only the boundless white cosmos and the Nenet.

For a week we stayed with the Ledkov family, consisting of father Vitaliy, mother Tatiana, daughter Lika and son Radik. A third child will be arriving soon. The two brothers of Vitaliy live in the mya (home) next to the family. Together the brothers have about 1.000 reindeer.