Most Iugan Khanty still live on very large family hunting territories, getting their living from the forest and rivers. The forest provides building materials for our houses, sleds, skis and traps, as well as firewood. Fish are caught by weirs and nets most of the year, except in the spring flood season. Fish camps are established in late summer to catch and smoke fish. In late summer and fall, the forests also supply pine nuts and a variety of forest berries.
Hunting season begins in autumn and extends through spring. Iugan families may travel to the deep forest for several long stays during the winter to hunt. A family may get two to four moose for meat. Fur animals are hunted, especially squirrels and sable, and once in a while a bear, wolverine, marten, fox, badger or otter. Gamebirds, and in spring ducks, are taken for soup.
Furs, fish, berries, pine nuts and meat from moose are sold for cash to buy food products such as flour, sugar, cooking oil and tea, as well as clothing. A productive Iugan extended family settlement may present for sale more than a ton of pine nuts, a hundred kilograms of dried berries, a hundred or more squirrel pelts, perhaps 30 or more sable pelts and maybe a hundred kgs of moose meat. Cash from the sale of these forest products is supplemented by money from economic agreements with oil companies.
Video of how the land sustains us
A hunter in winter camp
Building a house
A summer kitchen
Woman preparing moosehide
The land has always supported us