Nenets

Nenets

About Nenets

The Nenets, also known as Samoyeds, are an indigenous people in northern arctic Russia. According to the latest census in 2002, there are 41,302 Nenets in the Russian Federation, most of them living in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Nenets Autonomous Okrug. They speak either the Tundra or Forest varieties of Nenets. Due to a false etymology, the name Samoyed entered the Russian language as a corruption of the self-reference Saamod, Saamid (the Samoyedic suffix "-d" denotes plurality). It is the same as Saami (formerly Lapps or Lapons) in Finland, and Suomi, the Finnish name of Finland. In Russian ethnographic literature of the 19th century, they were also called "Samoyad", "Samod", (samoyad', samod', samodijtsy, samodijskie narody) which was often transliterated into English as Samodi. The literal morphs samo and yed in Russian convey the meaning "self-eater", which appears as derogatory.

Contributions by Altenmann, Ghirlandajo, and Manitobamountie.