Oral history of Naryan-Mar Babushkas

Anastasiia Aristarkhovna Pomyleva

I had to stay in the capital of the region – Naryan Mar for some time to plan the proper work in far more distant settlements and I tried to develop my skills in interview-recording. A lot of people from the Nenets villages who got the chance to obtain a prestigious flat in the capital, the only city in the region, are moving here after retirement.

Feodosia Semionovna Kauts, former village head of Nelmin Nos

Of course they are mostly people who had some higher job in the state administration or climbed up the social ladder by education. A lot of older ladies are available for oral history interviews here in the town.

Most of them discovered their Nenets roots after retirement and became active in the so called Ethno-cultural Centre located in a newly build gigantomaniac house of culture called „Arktika“.

Cultur and Business Centre "Arktika"

I got a warm welcome from the director of the centre and was introduced to the Nenets folklore and theatre troupe „Ilebts“. The ladies enjoyed to remember the old days in the tundra and the small settlements.

The majority are coming from the Malozemelskaia tundra, the name for the area west of the Pechora delta. The first Nenets Kolkhoz was founded here in the 1920s and it was also the first to go bankrupt at the beginning of the 1990s.

I will go to the central settlement Nelmin-Nos soon to see how much truth is in the nostalgic recollections and the warnings about alcoholism and violence now in the village.


About Stephan Dudeck

Anthropologist at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland, the Centre for Arctic Social Studies at the European University at Saint Petersburg and the Centre of Arctic and Siberian Exploration at the Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
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One Response to Oral history of Naryan-Mar Babushkas

  1. fstammle says:

    there is a little discussion on nostalgia on the ‘neighbouring’ blog at http://arcticanthropology.org/2012/02/24/oral-history-european-nenets/

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