Lena Pillars Summer Eco-Geographical School
Yakutia is one of the most amazing places in the world with boundless spaces of tundra, taiga, mountain ranges, and mighty rivers and mysterious lakes. Yakutia is striking for its natural beauty, originality and richness of culture of the people living here, which gives a lasting impression and a desire to visit the region over and over again. It is the coldest inhabited area on the planet. The Lena Pillars Natural Park is the real Yakutian diamond, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012.
The park is a testimony of one of the most mysterious stages of planet development - "Cambrian explosion", an evolutionary leap, which gave a birth to the representatives of modern animal species on the Earth. The Nature Park covers a total area of 1353 hectares and is endowed with unique natural sights, the most famous of which are the Lena Pillars, Buotama pillars, Sinsk pillars, tukulans – the waving sand massifs- a piece of desert in the permafrost, and an archaeological monument of the ancient Paleolithic - Deiring Yuriakh.
The territory adjoining to the park is interesting from history and ethnography point of view. On the way to the Lena Pillars there is a unique fusion of the Yakut, Evenk and Russian cultures. The Evenk, the indigenous peoples of Siberia, lives in the territory of the park, in the area of the traditional natural resource management. Evenk tribal communities lead almost the same lifestyle, which was led by their ancestors for thousands of years. They are engaged in reindeer herding, fishing and hunting.
The descendants of the Russian immigrants, living in the villages of the Lena river bank, preserved their ancestors’ traditions, a special dialect, the unique song culture and customs. There are the Yakut people (endonym Sakha), the northernmost Turkic nation, living side by side with the Russian, who preserved and developed animal husbandry and horse herding in the harsh sharply continental climate.
One of the most distinctive cultural heritages of Yakut people is an ancient heroic epic “Olonkho” included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The traditional summer holiday “Ysyakh” and the Yakut khomus (mouth harp) are well known worldwide.
July 17. Arrival in Yakutsk. Accommodation of participants in the dormitory of the Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University.
July 20. Departure from Yakutsk. Visiting the office of the Lena Pillars Natural Park in Pokrovsk and Museum of Khangalassky district. Drive to the village of Elanka. Visiting the Museum of the coachman. Departure from the village Elanka on a boat up the Lena River. First stop in 3 km above the village of Elanka. Construction of field camp. Spending the night in tents by the riverbank.
July 26. Trip by boat. Stop at the tourist center Labyda. Participation in an ancient Yakut rite Algys (the blessing of the spirits). Climbing ecological trail to the observation deck.
Credits: 2 ECTS
Meals: please note that the food will be prepared in the open-air and due to local circumstances we cannot provide a vegetarian menu.
Participation fee (accommodation, transportation, excursions and field meal):
Target group: Bachelor, Master and postgraduate students who are interested in Natural Sciences and Tourism, Geography issues, Geology, Paleontology, Biology, Tourism, History, Ethnography, etc.
Language of Instruction: Russian (translation into English will be provided)
Registration deadline: 15.05.17
Department of Geography, Institute of Natural Sciences
North-Eastern Federal University
Natural Sciences Academic Building, office 734b, 48 Kulakovsky str, Yakutsk 677000,
Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russia