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Siberian Yakut Beadwork and Jewelry


Most of the coldest places on Earth aren't inhabited or only have a relatively small number of people. But Yakutsk in Siberia, Russia, lays claim to being the coldest large city in the world. It lies just 280 miles south of the Arctic Circle, home to over 300,000 hardy souls. The whole city was built on permafrost. 

It's never ever above freezing from 10 November to 14 March, inclusive. It does get warm and even hot for two short months in the summer.   (Note -71 degree C = -96 degree F)



Clearly, clothing is super important to surviving such low temperatures in winter. 

This video below by Dayana on her Kuin B Youtube channel shows how the Yakut people dress to survive in the mind-numbing cold even in the world's coldest outdoor market! It's hard to look good when you have to dress warm!

Shown are some absolutely gorgeous beadwork in the traditional reindeer skin boots and fur hat.  Fur is the best protection against harsh winters. It's one thing to use fur for survival, another thing to use fur as a status symbol, strutting around much warmer climes just to show off. 


She also does a question and answer on Yakutian culture, history and life.

Yakutsk is the capital of the Sakha Republic and is also the headquarters for many coal, diamond and gold mining companies in the region.  The largest open pit diamond mine is also located in this eastern part of Russia.

The Yakut or Sakha are the indigenous people there. They are descended from Turkic (those who speak Turkish dialects) nomads who migrated to the region and intermingled with Mongolian people, centuries ago. 

Another Youtuber, Maria of Life in Yakutia, shows what traditional Yakut women's wear and jewelry looks like.  The white outfit is the traditional dress not the pink one. 

The sterling silver jewelry is stunning. These adorn the head, ears, wrists and neck. The necklaces are made out of many separate components linked together to form a long front piece.  Maria says that if she were to wear the full regalia, the accessories would weigh 16 kg (35 lb) ! She also has a horse tail accessory which works like a mosquito swatter in the summertime. 


Shown below are some lovely up close look at Siberian Yakut jewelry from EthnicShopRU.  I suspect the art of silversmithing probably traveled with the Turkic nomads from the area around Turkey to their new home.  The exquisite detail, intricacies and workmanship certainly suggest that.








Before You Go:

Disclosure 

 This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful jewelry and people!

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  2. Great video, Pearl! I lived in the Yukon for four years in the mid-'80s, and the coldest day I experienced was -65C or thereabouts. Interesting to see the different beading on garments and styles of clothing.

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    1. I think the coldest I've been in was -50C with the wind chill factored in. This was when I lived in Calgary.

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  3. So interesting! I thought living in Wisconsin was cold! Beautiful jewelry. Thank you for a very interesting post!

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  4. wow! I thought Minot, ND was cold! I can't imagine functioning outside, even briefly, in that kind of cold. The jewelry is beautiful. thank you for sharing this culture.

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  5. Those silver parures are gorgeous! I love silver!

    Whenever it gets to -40c here I always console myself by saying I could live in Yakutsk!

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  6. I loved the video Pearl. It's going to be 79* in Bakersfield, CA today.

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  7. BRRRRR!!! I can't even imagine being in that cold. My guess is that they don't wear that beautiful jewelry when it gets that cold. My big question is why do they live there???

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    1. Same reason why people live at other extremes like very hot climates. It is home.

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  8. The strive for the beautiful is inherent in people and even extreme weather cannot stop it :)

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  9. Wow, those were fun to watch. Thanks for this great blog, Pearl! P.S. it's 70-ish degrees here. Not that you want to know that...😄

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    1. Nope - especially not after last night’s dump of 10-15 cm of snow!!!

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