The inhabitants of the northern districts - nomad tribes of Samoyedes, Zyryans, Lapps, and the Finnish tribes of Karelians and Chudes - support themselves by fishing and hunting.
But about 1877 systematic attempts at settlement were made by the Russian government, several families of Samoyedes being established at stations on the W.
3 The Finns came to apply to the upper gods the term Yumala which originally denoted the living sky; the Samoyedes made the same use of Num, and the Mongols of Tengri.
The island is visited periodically by a few Samoyedes; they formerly considered it sacred, and some of their sacrificial piles, consisting of drift-wood, deer's horns and the skulls of bears and deer, have been observed by travellers.
In spite of their conversion to Christianity, the Samoyedes still regard these piles with superstition.