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AMONG THE SAMOYEDS.
CHAP. I.- THE LITTLE GIRLS DRESS.
That is a hard word.
It is pronounced Samo-yed.
It is the name of a people who live in Russia.
They live in the north part of Russia.
Their country is a very cold country.
It is winter almost all the year. They have no beautiful summer like ours.
The little girls in the picture are going to have a ride in the sledge.
See how warmly they are clothed.
Going for a Ride
See the long tunic! It is made of white reindeer skin with the fur inside.
It is prettily trimmed with strips of fur and bright cloth.
The flounces on the bottom of the tunic are made sometimes of bear's fur.
Sometimes they are made of the fur of the beautiful silver fox.
Their boots are made of white fur.
These boots are called pimi. They reach above the knee. They too are trimmed with strips of gray and black fur, and bits of gray cloth.
They wear another pair of fur boots inside of these.
Their long fur mittens reach high up on the arm. Their hoods are very warm.
These little girls wear their hair braided in two braids.
Each braid is trimmed with a row of brass buttons.
The dress of the boys is like that of the girls.
It is not trimmed quite so much.
II.- THE TENTS.
Do you see the tents in the picture?
The Samoyeds live in tents. The tents are made of birch bark. In winter they are covered with skins.
Every crevice in the tent is filled with moss, to keep out the cold.
The tent is lined with furs.
There is no floor.
But the moss grows very thickly over the ground.
This moss is dry and soft like a carpet.
The Samoyeds spread skins of soft fur on the moss.
They sit on these skins. They have no chairs.
They sleep on these skins of fur. They have no beds like ours.
The babies have cradles lined with furs.
So you see the tent is very warm and snug.
It is like a big bird's nest.
The charcoal fire is in the centre of the tent. The smoke goes out through a hole in the top of the tent.
The women make the soup in a big copper kettle.
Then the family all sit round the kettle and eat out of it.
They eat raw reindeer meat. They eat raw fish.
They often have some pretty pets in the tent.
One traveller saw two little red foxes in a Samoyed tent.
The dog was taking care of them.
They always have dogs. The dogs help take care of the reindeer.
III. - THE REINDEER.
I will tell you the name of one of the little girls in the picture.
It is Nien-tsah.
It is a queer name, is it not? Nien-tsah has a little snow-white reindeer for a pet.
He follows her about, and begs for a bit of black bread.
Black bread is the kind of bread everybody eats in Russia.
You would not like it.
But Nien-tsah likes it, and her pet reindeer likes it.
There are reindeer in the picture. See their big branching horns! There are three of them fastened to the sledge.
Nien-tsah and her little friend will ride very fast.
The pet reindeer will follow behind.
They have only one rein to drive with.
But they will carry a very long pole to guide the reindeer.
Nien-tash's father has a herd of three thousand reindeer.
I suppose you wonder where he keeps them in the winter.
Cows and horses must have a barn to stay in.
But reindeer do not need any barn.
The cold does not hurt them. They like it.
So they live out-of-doors all the time.
They do not eat hay nor grain. They eat the white moss that grows all over the ground.
In the winter the moss is covered with snow.
The reindeer digs away the snow himself to get at the moss.
If the snow is very deep, he digs under it.
He digs along under the snow until you cannot see him.
So you see it is not much work to take care of the reindeer.
The reindeer is not very handsome. But he has beautiful soft eyes.