Holidays and Crafts
The national art of Izhma craftsmen and сraftswomen is most vividly displayed in reindeer fur items. Jumpers and parkas trimmed with national patterns are the most interesting for ethnographic museum workers. Pimy are a different thing. These are fur slippers, which are in high demand with guests. Reindeer-skin footwear sewn by hand according to century-old technologies is still popular with both the country and city residents of the Komi Republic.
Besides everyday things which are in demand on the market, the Izhma craftswomen have started the production of Komi-izhrna tol and souvenir pictures made of reindeer skin pieces. Izhma Reindeer, a workshop manufacturing fur and leather goods and uniting all the home-workers, is locate« the village of Sizyabsk. Another center preserving national crafts operates quite effectively in the village of Vertep. The products of craftsmen of this center are sold at all area and local folklore holidays and national fairs. The main regional holiday. Lud, is celebrated on the last Sunday of June or the Sunday of July, just before the start of the haymaking season. Besides performance of folklore groups, this holiday is interesting for its unusual horse races which have cross-country courses passing through water-meadow and ravines, horse races are a tradition which has been retained since very old times, and revived in the last part of the 20th century.
Reindeer herder's Day is celebrated in March with reindeer harness races, snow races and "Northern All-Round Competitions".
Ethographic tourism and folklore studies attract many scientists, explorers and tourists to the region. However, it is quite difficult to familiarize oneself with the veryday life of Izhma reindeer herders in the summer. Only helicopters fly to their ares at the Kara Sea. That is why those loving ethnography had better come to Ihrna in the winter, when reindeer herders' nomadic tents are located in white moss forests and reindeer get reindeer moss from loose snow that has no hard crust. A tour visiting winter pastures is intended for the connoisseurs of Northern minor group cultures. It provides an opportunity to see reindeer herders' everyday life, as well as traditional sport contests — leaps over sleds, tynzey (lasso) throwing and ax throwing. The Izhma Area is the only area in the Komi Republic where these sports develop not only on an individual bases, but also in special sports schools. An essential part of a winter Izhma tour is reindeer harness riding (using three or four trained reindeer).
Sebys - Ethnic Hunting and Fishing Reserve
The valley of the Sebys River, a tributary of the Izhma, has been designate as a reserve where fishing and hunting are allowed for the Komi-lzhma. Geologists discovered oil-bearing beds on the territory of the reserve in the 1990s. There followed court litigation for the protection of the reserve from encroachments of oil industry workers. The Izhma people succeeded in protecting the reserve. Nature also helped; the test bore-hole at the Sebys failed to find oil at the estimated depth. Nowadays, one can find hunting routes on the territory of the reserve in winter, and ecological routes in summer which are developed by the District Center of Youth Tourism, as well as the écologiste from the village of Lasty. These educational tours зге mainly popular with Izhma students and their peers from neighboring areas.
Rafting on the Izhma
The most popular multiday tour - rafting on the Izhma - starts from the town of Sosnogorsk 200 m from the railway station. It takes 10 days on canoes and 15 days on catamarans or rubber boats. The tour of the 1st degree of complexity is attractive for family, school and youth summer leisure. The river has easy rapids alternating with lengthy stretches. There are plenty of spits, beaches and water meadows. This makes it easy to camp even for not too experienced groups. Hunters' and fishermen's houses, which usually have a bathhouse nearby, make it possible to hide from bad weather and to organize washing up in groups. Also, those fond of phytotherapy have an excellent opportunity to collect herbs all summer in this ecologically-clean zone.
Irael- Izhma - Ust-Tsilma
This is a bicycle tour of the 2nd degree of complexity. It has become feasible recently, since the construction of the road to the Ust-Tsilma Area. The route goes from the Irael rail-way station to Izhma and then to Plotkin Nos, where there is a ferry-boat crossing.
Where to apply:
Guest House in the village of Sizjabsk
-Your “North is the Reindeer’s Country»
Tel.: (8212) 280-444
«Lingua Tour» Agency
Tel: 8(8212) 24-56-10, 29-11-91.