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Nenets Autonomus Area

Nenets Autonomus Area located in the north of the East European Plain is a subject of the Northwestern Federal District and borders with Yamalo-Nents Autonomous Area, Mezensky District of Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Komi Republic. The Area is inhabited by 42 023 citizens. With the total area of 175 810 sq. km Nenets Area occupies Kanin peninsula, two large islands — Vaygach and Kolguyev and minor isles — Peskov, Dolgiy, Bolshoy Zelenets, Maliy Zelenets, Sengeevskiy, Gulyavskie Koshki and others. Almost the whole territory of the Area except for the south-western part lies behind the Arctic Circle and is washed by the Barents Sea, the White Sea and the Kara Sea.

In 1929 Nenets Area became the first national Area in the Far North and in 1977 was renamed into Nenets Autonomous Area. Two thirds of the population are Russians and the remaining third is the small people of the North, Komi and Nentsi.

The administrative centre Naryan-Mar (translated from Nenets as «Red Town») is 1500 km far from Moscow. There is no time difference with Moscow. The town can be reached by airplane and in the sea navigation period from mid-June through October by sea transport. The town was founded in 1930s as a sea port and a river dock. Nowadays Naryan-Mar is one of the major terminals for crude oil tankers.

Nenets Area is located in the arctic climatic zone with a distinct influence of Atlantic cyclones that make the weather very unstable. The subarctic climate is harsh and is characterized by cold winters that last for 5 months in the western part of the Area and for 6,5 months in the eastern. Winter temperature average is —11-20C and summer +6+13C. Winters can have occasional thaws while night frosts happen in summers. Autumn sea makes the shoreline climate slightly milder and in spring and summer cools it. The maximum precipitation occurs from August through September. Fogs and snowstorms are very frequent in the Area.

The larger part of Nenets Autonomous Area is characterized by permafrost that interrupts only along the shoreline and in the southern part. The Nenets Area land is mostly tundra — arctic mountainous, northern, southern, one forth is covered by forest-tundra and only about 8% of the whole territory by northern taiga.

Nenets Area is of great interest for extreme, geological, ethnographic and ecological tourism. It is a land of treasures for keen naturalists and scientists.

Area is the home for the Nenets State Reserve with area of around 314 hectares where 182 hectares is water area. The Reserve stretches across the north-east of the Lowland tundra, the Pechora river delta and all islands of the Pechora bay. The Reserve is the shelter for unique endemic plants and rare bird and animal species, like Bewick’s swans, ernes, white-billed loons, lesser white-fronted geese, Atlantic walruses, gray seals, sea hares (bearded seals), ringed seals and even a unique amphibia — Siberian salamander. Bays are places of visits for rare cetaceans, like arctic finwhales and northern bottle-nosed whales.

The Pechora delta is the place for spawning of valuable fish species — navaga and salmon. Lakes are inhabited by summer salmon, omul and umber. Coastal waters are home for smelt and Arctic cod.

People with a taste for berries would not pass-by huge cranberry, cloudberry, great bilberry and red bilberry meadows. Tundra can also offer a generous harvest of edible mushrooms for mushroom pickers.

Camp sites of ancient people associated with the Paleolithic period (8th century B.C.) as well as the Bronze Age people settlements were discovered on the Area territory. 200 ancient Nenets culture attractions were found on Vaygach island, which is regarded as sacred Nenets island, with sanctuaries and burial grounds, camp sites, idols and altars among them.

In 1991 the Pustozersky Comprehensive Historical and Natural Museum was opened in Naryan-Mar, becoming also a scientific base for archaeologists, historians and ecologists. The Museum acts as the initiator of various exhibitions, lections and archaeological expeditions.

There are 320 amateur artistic ensembles in Nenets Autonomous Area that try to preserve ancient cultural traditions of the small people of the North and frequently participate in All-Russian and international festivals and events.

Festivals and exhibitions that happen in the Area is the place to purchase unique souvenirs made of leather and fur, wood, bones and antlers by traditional school craftsmen, moreover you are able to witness the work process.

For more detailed information on Nenets Autonomus Area, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.

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