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The Nenets people (Russian ненцы, historically: Samoyed ) are an indigenous people with about 41,000 members in the North East of the European part of Russia and in the north- west Siberia. Most Nenets Autonomous District in the Nenets Autonomous District of the Yamal -Nenets Autonomous District and the former Taimyr. Their language is the Nenets. An approximately 1,500 people strong group of Forest Nenets living mainly in the northeast of the Khanty and Mansi Autonomous Okrug.
The name Samoyed entered the Russian language as a popular etymological modification of the self - referential Saamod, Saamid ( the Samoyed suffix "-d" denotes the plural). In the Russian ethnographic literature of the 19th century they were also " Самоядь " or called " Самодь " ( samojad or Samod ).
The morphemes samo and jed mean in Russian " self - eater ", which acts dismissively. Therefore, the name has been used Samoyeds in the 20th century more and more rare, the people brought the name Nenets out, which means " people ".
When reading old Russian documents you should have in mind that the term " Samoyed " was often used for various peoples of northern Siberia, the different Uralic languages spoken: Nenets, Nganasans, Enzen, Selkups (Speaker of the Samoyedic languages). Nowadays, the term " Samoyedic peoples " the whole group of these various peoples. Nenets are therefore only part of the Samoyedic peoples.
Way of life
The Nenets are traditionally nomadic reindeer herders, fishermen and hunters. Of all the indigenous peoples of western Siberia, the Nenets have most successfully to preserve their traditional way of life, language and culture. About 75 % still speak their native language with strong regional differences. Today, however, they are mostly settled down.
Full- nomads, however, include the 1000-2000 Forest Nenets Autonomous Region in hard to reach West Siberian Yamal Peninsula. They usually live in family groups and draw as with their reindeer herds around: in winter by the southern taiga and in the warm summer months through the tundra to the coast of the Arctic Ocean.
The greatest threat to their continued existence is based on the development and exploitation of rich oil and gas deposits on the Yamal Peninsula and in the Nenets Autonomous District of the. Also, the oil field Wankor 130 km west of Igarka is to be developed through a pipeline to Dikson. For Europe, the home of the Nenets is the most important region of origin of natural gas. As the natural gas is connected to the extremely sensitive polar regions with the large-scale destruction of pastures and the transection of hiking trails, the future of the Nenets and their traditional reindeer herding is in question. The resistance of the Nenets in the organization " Yasavey - He knows the way " concentrated. This association receives support primarily from the Russian Federation of small peoples of Siberia ( RAIPON ) and from a number of Western organizations, especially from Scandinavia and Germany.