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Social and natural resources

History and culture

The first knowledge of the Yamal land and the indigenous peoples that have been living on this land from time immemorial - the Nenets and the Khanty - dates back to XI century. However, the Novgorod merchants came to the End of the Earth (which is the translation of the word "Yamal" from the Nenets language) even before that. From 1187, the Lower Ob belonged to the "subordinate regions" of Velikiy Novgorod. After its fall, it passed into the hands of Moscow princes; from 1502, the territorial reference - "Obdorskie" and "Yugorskie" - was added to the titles. In 1595, one of the Cossack detachments built a fort with the name of Obdorsk (today it is the capital city of YaNAO - Salekhard).


  The beauty of Yamal's natural landscape.yamal_nature


The inclusion of the northern lands into a strong Russian state had a very progressive impact. The population grew, and the administrative division changed. This region saw a development of trade in peltry-wares, the northern inconnu, fossil ivory, fish glue, quill, shelf fungus, boats, fur clothing, and other goods.
As of the middle of XX century, the fishing and hunting industries were intensified by new process equipment. A new industry of economy - animal breeding - was growing rapidly. Special attention was given to reindeer breeding, a traditional sector of the northern economy.
In 1949, the railway reached Labytnangi; year 1964 saw the launch of scheduled air services to Yamal.
The status of YaNAO in the economy of Russia is determined by its gas fields which were discovered in the early 1960's. The names of towns scattered across the boudless spaces of tundra and taiga - Nadym, Novy Urengoi, Noyabrsk - are now known to the whole world. People of these cities explore the wealth of subsoil reserves of natural resources.
An integral part of Yamal's cultural life is traditional ceremonies and feast days of the people of the Extreme North. The modern decorative art of the indigenous population is considered unique. To develop it even further, workshops for art and crafts have been opened, and ethnographic expeditions and international festivals organized.


yamal_populationNovy Urengoi hosts the "Feast Day of the Peoples of the North" every year. 


Natural resources

The Okrug is one of the leading regions of Russia in terms of hydrocarbons reserves, particularly of natural gas and oil.
Moreover, Yamal can boast of domestic reindeer herds - 600,000 heads - which are the biggest in Russia. Its rivers are a home to the world's biggest population of cisco. The basis for the ichthyofauna is the fish that in the olden times was called the "tsar fish" - whitefish and inconnu.


  Yamal has almost 70% of the world's reserves of cisco.yamal_fish


Underground waters are contained in a huge artesian basin with an area of 3,000,000 square metres which includes reserves of thermal waters.

Since the old days Yamal has been known in the world for its premium furs. Animal breeding farms breed mink and fox. The main objects of trapping in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug are: sable, squirrel, muskrat, polar fox, fox, Siberian weasel, and ermine.


Population and labour force

The population of Salekhard, the capital of the Okrug, is 42,000.
The Okrug is characterized by a high level of urbanization - the proportion of urban population is 85%. The majority of towns' populations range from 20,000 to 50,000. Noyabrsk and Novy Urengoi are the only cities with population of 100,000 to 120,000.


Reindeer breeding yaranga (tent). 


Science and education

In 2007, 5 organisations in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug were involved in scientific research and development. Branches of large education establishments from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tyumen, and the Urals operate in Yamal. The majority of young locals in Yamal leave the Okrug to get education to large Russian cities.



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