Shifting sands and climate change: modalities of dwelling at Yarte, Yamal, Siberia
David Anderson (University of Aberdeen)
Karen Milek (School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen)
Paper short abstract:
This paper combines ethnography, archaeology and environmental science to describe different modalities of human and animal dwelling at Yarte - an ensemble of sandy hills and lakes in mid-Yamal. This paper contrasts the shifting moral narratives at this site with reference to climate change.
Paper long abstract:
The Yuribei River bisects the High Arctic Peninsula of Yamal forming alternately a resource and a natural barrier to human movement. Its high sandy banks have created a dwelling space for mobile hunters and reindeer herders for thousands of years. This paper combines insights from ethnography, archaeology and environmental sciences to describe the many different modalities of human and animal dwelling at Yarte - an ensemble of sandy hills and lakes in mid-Yamal. For scientists, the constantly eroding banks of the river provide both a marker of human/animal action as well as a moralistic maker of anthropogenitic "impact". For local Nenetses, a competing moral narrative traces the emergence of underground forces onto the middle plain where humans live today. This paper contrasts the shifting moral narratives at this site with reference to the contemporary challenges of climate change.
Dwelling in an evanescent landscape: people's strategies to deal with chronical uncertainty