Voices of the Reindeer Peoples


The spring blossomed out over the taiga
and scarcely waving the hands,
it has so beautified the earth,
as all of a sudden spread out a carpet.

All trees put on the magnificent attire,
that is most wonderful in spring,
The birds of passage are flying,
And bring their songs on wings.

A young reindeer stands motionless,
and after finishing drinking is playful again.
In spring there brightened up, like children
All trees, peoples and birds.
Nikolai Oyegir, Evenki poet
"This is our destiny to live this way in the taiga over many generations of development. My father lived this way. I lived this way and my children will continue." ---Samgiin, elder of the Dukha of Mongolia

Great Country
Crossed the great river
My great river, my high steep mountain
Grew up in this great country as a child playing
My great country is smiling
crossed the wide flat river
My high steep mountain, my wide river
Ever since I was a small child playing
my wide open country is smiling
Frey, Orren.(2001) Life in the Taiga- An Exploration of Tsaatan Culture and the Forces of Change. School of International Training.

"We keep our traditions. We have not lost all of them. We keep our hunting traditions such as not hunting in spring time or in certain locations such as our sacred mountains." -Gombo, Dukha elder

Golden Girl
Crossing over the mountains to the north,
I'm longing to come to my golden daughter.
Crossing over to the north,
I'm longing to come to my beautiful child.
In my northern taiga,
clouds of different colors appeared in the sky.
Frey, Orren.(2001) Life in the Taiga- An Exploration of Tsaatan Culture and the Forces of Change. School of International Training.

“The laws impacting us are obscure and there is no clear direction. So our youth group has started to take action to educate the people about the oil and natural gas pipeline proposals." —Zhargal Dampilon, GIEVUN.

"Some of the tourist companies are paying reindeer herders money to stay in one place so as to be found easily. They are losing their traditions this way and their reindeer are getting sicker the longer they remain in one place.”-Dukha reindeer herder’s wife.

"We are looked at as poachers, but we are the ones who have protected the taiga! We are part of the taiga!”-Dukha reindeer herder from the east taiga

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