Nikolaeva Akulina Stepanovna
For 25 years I worked as a medic, dental technician in Momsky ulus, Khonuu village, in the regional centre. I was born here, so from young age I was bonded with the herd. That’s why I’m here now. I retired and moved to the village of Sasyr, my native village, to help my relatives. At first I worked as a chum (tent) keeper, and now I'm on vocation. I sew, I do traditional sewing, I sew fur clothes. I teach my grandchildren. I have three grandchildren, one daughter. My daughter works. They all live in Yakutsk. From Yakutsk they come all the way here not to forget their Even language and culture and traditions. Therefore, we teach them the traditions of reindeer herders from an early age. Even without deer is not even. We want this to continue for many more years to come.
My ancestors worked in this herd, including my mother, Maria Afanasyevna Sleptsova. This year, if she were alive, today, on July 1st, she would be 95 years old. Today we will honor her memory. My father, Stepan Grigoryevich Sleptsov, was a reindeer herder, a champion of the Republic. They had seven children, and six of them were born in a herd, in a tent. I was the only one born in the hospital. That's probably why I became a medic. Mom worked as a chum (tent) keeper. Unfortunately, my father died an early death. When my father passed, my mother still stayed with her reindeer, and she raised us all by herself, all of us. We've all graduated, we've all worked in our ulus.
All my sisters are teachers, tutors. We are happy that we have deer, and we are happy that we are still riding the trails of our ancestors and teaching our children and grandchildren. Here’s my daughter. Come here, my grandchildren. Here is my future reindeer herder, Artem Ivanov. And this is Antosha, Anton Ivanov. They are future reindeer herders. For the first time this year they came to the camp "Garpanga". This camp has been in existence for 20 years, and the head of this camp is my sister, Zoya Stepanovna Sadovnikova. Here, my eldest granddaughter, come here. She is already grazing deer, helps as a chum (tent) keeper. She sews already, makes a rocktuga with me, I teach her to sew.
She sings, dances in Even. And they, too, are learning the Even language.