The Living Yamal: Field Notes

It is rare today to find a culture living totally in sync with the natural environment, following the seasons, meeting all their human needs with natural materials, and following a complicated religious system passed down orally through the ages. One such culture lives today on the Yamal Peninsula of Siberia. The Yamal also holds what may be the greatest untapped natural gas reserves in the world. This Russian resource is being developed jointly by Amoco Eurasia Corporation and the Russian company Nadym Gazprom (NGP). Can this reserve be developed without destroying the native culture? Amoco hopes so and they have asked the Arctic scientists of the Smithsonian to help.

The Living Yamal Project was created to "promote understanding, preservation, and protection of the cultural and historical legacy of the peoples of the Yamal region" according to William Fitzhugh, who directs the project along with the visiting Russian scientist Igor Krupnik. The scientists conduct research in the Yamal and advise Amoco on ways to develop the area with the least impact on the Yamal peoples.

Follow the team as they encounter a vibrant native culture:

- The Expedition Begins...  Meet the team.
- Yamal Culture................. The team spends the night with the Nenets.
- Sacred Landscape........... Shamanistic practices in Siberia.
- Unearthing the Past........ Traces of ancient culture.
- Contact............................ Can the Nenets ancient ways survive?