The Reindeer People

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If you think reindeer only fly in Santa stories, think again. In northeast Siberia, in the coldest inhabited country on earth, in the shaman stories of the Eveny people, reindeer fly all the time. At 96 below zero, over impassable terrain, over hundreds of miles in endless nights and days, they move like the wind.

The Eveny people ride them, bond with them, dress in their skins, find soulmates, and a different plane of time and space in their midst. The Soviets almost destroyed them, but not quite. Now an intrepid British anthropologist tells their story for the first time.

Hear a winter's tale of the "reindeer people" and soul-voyaging in Siberia.


Piers Vitebsky, head of Anthropology and Russian Northern Studies at The Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge. His new book is "The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia."

This program aired on January 18, 2006.


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