Mrs. Anna Nerkagi, Nenets writer:
"The Horde. This is the only way to define that gathering of pale,
frightened, forsaken people. They exist like ants in an enormous anthill.
But at least in an anthill there is order and law, a division of labor. In
the name of labor, each industrious ant brings to the anthill each blade of
grass, each grain of sand. But in the Horde . . . The horrible Horde is like
a nest of worms ingesting filth, then feeding on each other.
Enmity is old. Its roots are deep and cannot be traced, because these
Moles were the last free ones. For a long time they did not acknowledge the
Horde itself, and it was they who gave the Horde its scornful name—Khaly-Mya—the
dwelling place of worms. The members of the Horde scorned them in turn,
calling them the Dirty Ones.
The moles are descendants of those who were once rooted in labor. The
essence of their life was the deer—that beautiful animal with four legs, a
fluffy tail, and wonderfully warm fur of different colors, from bluish-black
to light blue, like the lake's morning mist.
The crowning greatness of the deer was its antlers. They grew on the top
of its head like rays of the rising sun, sprouting through the fur and
gradually turning to strong bone, then gracefully branching. In a similar
way songs are born. The antlers were the deer's song, so the ancestors would
say. The deer and the people lived one life, so closely connected that the
death of the one became the death of the other, both physically and
The moles came here last, unable to survive on their own, migrating on
the few remaining deer. And they were met by mocking jokes and the scornful
laughter of the worms, who had their moment of triumph. Like howling evil
dogs, the worms greeted the caravans, throwing stones at the deer.
The last of the free people passed through the Horde as if running a
gauntlet. Many were killed and mutilated. The rest set up their dwellings,
for good, in this shameful place of death. The women caressed the deer for
the last time. The men held their life-brothers by the mane, fell on their
knees, then raised the executioner's axe. They let the axe fall without
realizing that their souls were now dead forever.
At that moment a new era began, an era of slavery. For people without
labor—labor assigned to their hands, mind, and soul by God—turn into
Mr. Yuri Vaella, Nenets poet:
“What joy in camp today!
My uncle has a new dweller
In his tent — a TV set.
On a blue screen
One movie follows another,
Fears, sobs, and songs,
Of the Big World
Pouring into this small one.
Changing the expression
On the faces of
And my neighbors
Who come to marvel at this new wonder.
Yet my grandpa is not amazed;
He looks gloomy today,
Sitting in shadows,
With knitted eyebrows,
Cradling his chin . . .
And in the evening
Grandma tells me a secret:
On his way to the drilling station.
Grandpa dug out
Two carcasses of beheaded reindeer
Lost a few months ago
From a nearby camp”.
(“The Drilling Station” – oil industry workers
kill lot of wild and domestic reindeer)