Lire en Français


It is cold outside and the reindeer's hooves snap. These bony clicks that we hear announce the return of the herd to the fold. After a long day grazing on swampy lichen and with their legs stuck in the taiga, these nice animals come to sleep there, for the night around the tipis, in their open-air dormitory.


Magsar engulfed in his "deel" (traditional clothing), he, the king of his reindeers, thinks of all these changes that the few Tsaatans (nomadic people, reindeer herders) of the Khövsgöl highlands will have to undergo. For the first time in the silent course of these years of nomadic solitude, his family will be observed by curious people gathered in front of their house. Everyone will be amazed by this Siberian show.


In the tipi, the little one from the family watches the guests, who look at this variety of dried meats and reindeer cheeses wrapped in old t-shirts, hanging above their heads. Underneath these refined dishes, which gently swing on a cleverly placed string, Urchee prepares a discolored butter tea on the fireplace for her new guests.


The temperature warms up, and with a few drinks, and by avoiding getting in each other's face, the atmosphere also climbs in degrees. So, willingly, we decide to talk to each other without understanding each other, but we all understand the place we take and occupy in others' land, on their values and especially on the value of their land. And we all know how to become respectful and responsible for our actions, and we understand the actions that make a difference. Then, we will be able to distinguish this wonderful life among the Tsaatans, filled with simple inventions for survival and ingenious human adaptations, so much so that we cannot begin to be surprised.


Tomorrow, Magsar will have a shamanism session to understand the future of the household, or he will go with his newest child, to see his "Ovoo" (stone embankment where the deities are honored) of blue fabrics, hidden behind the hills, to give as an offering and receive what he is asking.