I am a Young Reindeer Herder

September 24, 2017 • Alena Gerasimova

The “Young Reindeer Herder” movement was initiated in 2015 in the Evenki village called Iengra, in Republic of Yakutia, Russia. The movement, which has an Evenki name – bi ilmakta ete’yechimni, encourages children to continue reindeer husbandry and also promotes delivering traditional knowledge from elders to youth.  One of the brightest achievements of the children’s movement is organizing  traditional children’s reindeer race, the number of participants of this competition is growing every year. The movement also attracts reindeer herding youth who study at the indigenous boarding school “Arctic” which is situated in Neryungri, Russia.

 22 – 23 of September the “Arctic” school has been celebrating the annual Bakaldin Festival (in Evenki language Bakaldin means meeting) and this year’s celebration was to honor reindeer.

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Annual Reindeer Herder’s Day in Iengra (Yakutia)

March 6, 2017 • Alena Gerasimova

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. 

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New Cookbook about Evenki Food Culture is About to be Released

October 20, 2016 • Alena Gerasimova

Nadezhda Gerasimova – the author of the cookbook

Iengra is an Evenki village at the south of Sakha Republic Yakutia. The name of the village in Evenki language means “branchy antlers”(the same name of the river that the village is situated by and the shape of the Iengra river reminds reindeer antlers). Iengra is mostly inhabited by Evenki people, the representatives from the ancient Evenki clans – Nyurmagan, Buta, Bellet, Longorki, Keptuke and others. Traditional livelihood of Evenki people in Iengra is reindeer herding, hunting and fishing.

Nadezhda Gerasimova is Evenki from reindeer herding family in Iengra, she is an author of the culinary book about traditional food culture of Evenki people. According to the author, the main purpose of the book is to preserve Evenki traditional knowledge on food, history and culture of Evenki people from Southern Yakutia.  

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Reindeer Herders’ Day in Iengra, As Seen From a Drone..

March 5, 2015 • Philip Burgess

Reindeer Herders Day Drone ViewDrones are appearing all over the place these days, it is probably only a matter of time before the larger ones become more stringently regulated. In the meantime, here is a nice video made by a drone, of the ‘Reindeer Herders Day’ in Iengra (which took place last week) in the Republic of Sakha Yakutia, Russia. Iengra is nearly 900 km of the regions’ capital Yakutsk. Many Evenki and Eveny herders live in and around the village, and herders from here are part of the Nomadic Herders project.

Reindeer Herders’ days occur all over Russia at this time of year and are a celebration of the profession of reindeer herding and usually there are reindeer races, various competitions, ceremonies and more.


Nomadic Herders Project Visits Iengra and Khatystyr, Sakha (Yakutia)

February 25, 2013 • Björn Alfthan

Last week, Mikhail Pogodaev, Anna Degteva, Svein Mathiesen and Bjorn Alfthan headed south to visit potential areas of focus for the Nomadic Herders’ GEF project. We were accompanied by Anatoly Grigorjev, Director of the Union of Indigenous Obschinas of the Republic of Sakha, who knows first hand the issues and challenges facing reindeer herders’ in the region.

After a brief stop in Neryungri to discuss the project with the Head and Vice-Head of Neryungri District, we made our way to Iengra, a village 60 km south of Neryungri. There we had our first consultation meeting with reindeer herders and administrators of the village, to discuss the project and gather feedback on priorities for the project. After Pogodaev presented the primary concepts of the project, we covered many topics related to reindeer herding, land use change and biodiversity. Priorities emerging from the discussions included the need for dialogue with industry on land use issues; significant problems with wolf predation; and how to engage youth into the future.

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