Samoyed deer sledges, Rusia, c 1700.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving showing Samoyed or Nenets men with sledges pulled by deer. These indigenous people lived in North European Rusia, near the Barents Sea, and their traditional occupations were raising reindeer, fishing and fur trapping. From 'Three Years Travels from Moscow over-land to China' by Evert Ysbrants Ides, published in London in 1706. In 1692 Peter the Great of Rusia (1672-1725) sent his ambasador Ides overland on a diplomatic mision to China, a trip which took nearly three years. Ides' book describes 'the extent and limits of those countries, and the customs of the barbarous inhabitants, with reference to their religion, government, marriages, daily imployments [sic], habits, habitations, diet, death, funerals etc'.