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In Russia's Arctic, Children of Reindeer Herders Spend Summer Working and Playing

Like their ancestors before them, the indigenous reindeer herders of Russia’s Arctic lead a largely nomadic lifestyle.

Herders accompany reindeer on the animals’ seasonal migrations across the vast tundra, traveling distances of 200 to 1,500 kilometers each year with their homes in tow.

Once children reach school age, they typically stay behind in the village to attend boarding school, rejoining their parents for the winter and summer holidays.

And while the summer months bring a respite from the bitter Arctic cold, there’s still plenty of work to be done for adults and children alike — but also opportunities for leisure.

Photographer Alexander Romanov traveled to the far northern reaches of the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district in July to capture how reindeer herders and their families spend the summer: