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Accepted Paper:

The legacy of the past in Nenets stories about the contemporary life on Yamal  

Author:

Roza Laptander (University of Hamburg)

Paper short abstract:

In their spoken narratives about historical past and the present life in the tundra the Nenets tell that the present politics of the Russian state towards indigenous people of the North is different than it was during the Soviet era.

Paper long abstract:

The present politics of the Russian state towards indigenous people of the North is different than it was during the Soviet era with its colonial institutions like government bureaucracy, control of religion and traditional routs of migrations on the tundra, modernization of the culture and life of indigenous people of the North. In spoken narratives of people about their historical past and the present life in the tundra, the Nenets elders consider that during the Soviet time their life was under a strict control and governance. At the same time, they proved that the distance between the state and its people these days has a wider gap than it was during the Soviet time. One can say that the state rules towards indigenous people and their ways of living and working in the tundra became even more authorized that it was during the Soviet time. Intensive work of the extractive industry, development of modern infrastructure in the tundra, district rules of controlling reindeer herders work and fishing, and resent difficulties of climate change, made the Nenets people to become uncertain about their future life in the tundra.

Panel Know07a
Whose rules? Indigenous historicities from the north