Aurora in the Red Village

Dawn in Krasnoe

In the village Krasnoe (the red) I had the chance to see two auroras – the dawn of the sun in the morning and my first Aurora Borealis (northern lights). Krasnoe is not far from Naryan Mar, just an hour by car.

Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights

The reindeer herding economy is in a better shape here than in Nelmin Nos. Probably it’s due to the split up of the former soviet kolkhoz of the village. Some reindeer herders decided to take their share from the collective enterprise and work only with their private reindeers.

Village of Krasnoe

One of the former heads of the kolkhoz, Piotr Khabarov, supported them and is now a kind of manager of the cooperative of private reindeer herders “Yerv”. I already met him in Finland shortly before my journey and he helped me to establish contacts here in Krasnoe.

Remains of a nomad tent - Chum

Walking down the street I discovered signs of reindeer herding like the remains of the nomad tent called “Chum” and some storage sledges beside a house. In the next post I well tell you about my meetings with old reindeer herders during my first short visit in the village.

The traditional way to store things on sledges

Beside these meetings I went to the village museum to get a quick overview of the local history. The museum is usually the right place to discover something unexpected and interesting. Like in Nelmin Nos the museum serves as a storage for old photographs, most of them from the 70ies and 80ies. Beside family photos I found this photo of a veterinarian preparing vaccinations for the reindeer.

Veterinarian is preparing vaccinations

Svetlana, the museum’s director and only employee, also presented to me the hand decorated flag with the soviet emblem that the kolkhoz received as an award for outstanding economic success. The flag was proudly presented on occasions like the first of may demonstration.

The most important soviet award for the kolkhoz

In front of the village administration I found the obligatory war memorial, designed, I guess, by local villagers themselves.

The memorial bears the names of all war veterans from 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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