Indigenous nomadic Nenets women. The transfer of traditional knowledge, skills and technology by Nenets women to their younger generations

Theme 4. Education
Session Name 4.8 Research as reconciliation: What is the situation in Canada and the Nordic countries?
Location IT113
Presentation Type Poster
Presenter Zoia Ravna
Author(s) Zoia Ravna (Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, Norway)
Abstract text

Intro. Indigenous peoples are and were the subjects of social studies, whether they want it or not. There is nowadays, a mountain of research data compiled by recognized academics and others from established institutions and organizations in the so-called developed world. However, there are just a few pebbles on this mountain, which represent the research done by indigenous Nenets scholars themselves. Methodology and ethics. In social science generally, and in visual anthropology particularly, ethical research and fieldwork are critical elements in studying “vulnerable groups”. Within the study of Indigenous peoples today there is need for a different perspective, presented by western educated and trained female Nenets researchers. This development would be a first step in addressing the need for more disciplined ethical approaches and provide the addition of female and indigenous insights and perspectives.


In the Russian Federation, there are no formal protections for informants e.g. declarations or guidelines such as exist in Norway. The questions on the methodology are crucial. I will focus on three main areas of research:


* The history of misunderstanding, ignoring and underestimating Nenets women by western researchers.


* The Eurocentric concept that "technology" is a superior product of western "science", predominantly developed by men and unique only to western industrialized, urban cultures.


* Examples of traditional Nenets technology, developed and used by Nenets women.


Conclusion. The urgent need to adopt new progressive and supportive policies and attitudes towards indigenous, nomadic arctic communities and cultures, particularly their women.