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Stepping Back in Time

Author: Nikolai Gernet
Translation: Paul E. Richardson


Nov/Dec 2014
Regions
Page 29   ( 6 pages)


Summary: Kenozersky National Park is a portal back in time, where the ways of life, traditions, and beliefs are those of many decades before.


Extract:

Kenozersky National Park is a portal back in time, where the ways of life, traditions and beliefs are those of many decades before...

Created in December 1991, Kenozersky lies in the southwestern part of Arkhangelsk Oblast, on the border with the Republic of Karelia, where the Plesetsk and Kargopol municipal regions meet. It extends 72 kilometers north to south and 27 kilometers east to west.

Thanks to its seclusion and remoteness, the Kenozero region has long been a preserve for cultural relics. As far back as the middle of the nineteenth century, scientists began traveling here to study locals’ daily lives and traditions.

Even today, getting to the region is far from simple. It is nearly 200 kilometers to the nearest train station, and half that distance must be traveled over dirt roads replete with sharp turns and steep hillocks.

In winter, life in the villages here slows down appreciably. Babushkas plod unhurriedly down snow-covered paths, while grain-laden horses and backpack-hauling fisherman move slowly across the flat expanse created by the frozen lake.

We arrived on snowmobiles at sunset, to photograph shrines in sacred groves.

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