Annual Reindeer Herder’s Day in Iengra (Yakutia)

March 6, 2017 • Alena GerasimovaReindeer Herders

Traditional reindeer herding holiday, which is called Uktyvun in Evenki,  started on the 1st of March in the village of Iengra, Neryunrinsky District of Yakutia. Indigenous representatives from all the reindeer herding family communities, who spend most of the year with their herds in the taiga, came to the village to celebrate. 

The celebrations in the frame of Reidneer Herder’s Day lasted for 4 days starting with workshops and seminars for reindeer herders and community in the village; traditional beauty contest among young Evenki women. Traditional reindeer races started in March 3 at the Iengra river, when compeitions were held among children and students. 

The main celebrations started at 11 a.m. on March 4 at the Iengra river. The program began with the grand opening of the reindeer race “Games of North”. Reindeer herders in beautiful national clothing were greeted by the community and guests from Nryungri ad other regions. Reindeer herders from neighbouring districts also attended, from Aldansky District and Amur Oblast.  

Despite a cold weather and strong wind, Reindeer Herder’s Day was interesting and eventful.  For the indigenous nomadic Evenki people, the event offers a chance to show their prowess in wrestling and other traditional local sports, but, above all, reindeer races. 


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