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Nenets Autonomous Okrug (Не́нецкий автоно́мный о́круг; Nenets: Ненёцие автономной ӈокрук, Nenjocije awtonomnoj ŋokruk) is an autonomous okrug of Arkhangelsk Oblast. Its administrative center is the town of Naryawn-Mar.


Early history

The first recorded mention of the Nenets people is found in the 11th-century Primary Chronicle, a chronicle of Kievan Rus' from about 850 to 1110, originally compiled in Kiewv about 1113 by Nestor the Chronicler. At the time, Kievan Rus was under the influence of Novgorod, as was the whole of the North Eastern territories of Kievan Rus'. By the end of the fifteenth century, Novgorod's influence was waning and the area fell under the control of Muscovy and in 1499, they established, Pustozyorsk (Пустозёрск, literally meaning deserted lakes), and it became a military, commercial, cultural and administrative centre for the area.



Waerachtige verthooninge ende gelegentheyt van de Custen, streckingen ende couren, van Hollant af, be Noorden om door d'Enckte van Naau, tot voorby de Revier Oby. [1]


Description: Handcoloured map of the description of the voyage of Willem Barentz to the north. / Date: 1601/ Place: Franeker/ Cartographer: Jan Huygen van Linschoten / Digital copy of original: no-nb_krt_00679 / Owner National Library of Norway / Image Number: qKart 1641 ib.


On this detail the northern coast of Russia from Archangel to Nenets called Samoieden land oft Nieu Hollant. On the lower left the settlement of S. Michael (Archangel). At the top the arms of the Republic of the United Netherlands early version (until ~ 1635). In the lower right corner: Der Samoieden afgoden (The idols of the Samoyedes).


A caption on the map (not reproduced here) reads:


Waerachtige afbeeldinge ende gedaente der Samoieden de haer onthoudende zyn op Nova Zembla, Vaygatz en t lant van by Zuyden de Enckte van Naau, te weten van Pitzora af tot voorby de Revier Oby en ſoo gelyck als de ſelfde rydende zyn met haer ſleeckens ende haer ingeſpannen tamme rheenen mitsgaders de gedaente haerder afgoden ofte houten beelden, ſoo ale op veel hoecken ende clippen, by menichte ſtonden, gelyck als ſulcks alles ontdeckt ende ſichtelycken deerſte ryſe ondervonden is door Jan Huygen van Linschoten int Iaer 1594


(Realistic representation and form of the Samoyedes living on Nova Zembla, Waaigat and the land south of Strait Nassau, from Pitzora up to further than the River Ob and as they are riding with their sledges pulled by tame reindeer and also the form of their idols or wooden statues so as they are on many corners and cliffs in large numbers, as discovered and seen on the first voyage of Jan Huygen van Linschoten in the year 1594).



By the 18th century, the area was part of Mezensky Uyezd. In 1891, Pechorsky Uyezd was established and in 1896, so was Neskaya Volost. Prior to the formation of the autonomous okrug, this area belonged in part to Mezensky Uyezd in Arkhangelsk Oblast and partly to Izhmo-Pechorsky Uyezd in Komi (Zyriansky) Oblast.


Soviet history

The area now known as Nenets Autonomous Okrug was officially created on 15 July 1929, and later included fourteen districts

However, on 23 November 1959, all of these administrative districts were abolished and a number of areas, including the administrative area for Vorkuta, were transferred to the jurisdiction of the Komi Republic and the region took the shape that it still holds today.

In 2006 Zapolyarny Municipal District, one of the youngest districts in Russia, was formed. Zapolyarny translates as "beyond the polar [circle]", and the district was given this name because the vast majority of the district's area lies north of the arctic circle.




Arms: Per fess indented Argent and Vert a ball Azure charged with a flame Argent. In chief a rafter Vert and in base a like rafter turned upside down Argent.

Crown: A seven-pointed crown, a flame on the central point Or.

Orders On the dexter the ribbon of the Order of Friendship of Peoples , on the sinister of the Order of the Red Banner of Labor


See illustration in the head of this article


Order of Friendship of Peoples

Order of the Red Banner of Labor




The emblem of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug symbolizes the state and its status of a subject of the Russian Federation and reflects the identity and traditions of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

The use of three colors in the coat of arms - Argent, Vert and Azure symbolizes the harmony of the three elements: sky (silver), earth (green), water (blue).

Silver (Argent) symbolizes nobility, frankness, truthfulness. In national symbols, silver also means the North, purity, sincerity and snow

Green (Vert) symbolizes the summer tundra; this color is a symbol of hope, abundance and freedom.

Blue (Azure) symbolizes the Pechora River, which, according to ancient legends of the peoples living along its banks, connects the world of the living and their ancestors, past and future.

The rafter ornament is made in the form of the Nenets pattern, reflecting the characteristic features of the traditional way of life of the local population (in chief - overthrown plague, in base - deer antlers).

In the center of the coat of arms there is an image of a flame, which for the Arctic has a special life-saving value. Fire is a symbol of energy, light, comfort and warmth, which are most valued in the North. The silver flame in the blue circle symbolizes the fire and the natural wealth of the district - oil and gas.

The Golden Land Crown denotes status of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug as a subject of the Russian Federation. The ribbons of the Orders surrounding the coat of arms show the merits of the district, marked by the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1971) and the Order of Friendship of Peoples (1972). As the jewels of the orders were of Soviet symbolism these are omitted in the achievement.


Approved by Law of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug No. 121-oz dated 4 October 2007[2]







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Hubert de Vries 2019-10-26




[1] https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Huygen_van_Linschoten#/media/Bestand:Linschotens_nordenkart,_1601_(12067624705).jpg

[2] ГГР РФ: № 3610 Утвержден Законом Ненецкого автономного округа №121-оз от 4 октября 2007 года.

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