The old Russian names for the Nganasans include Tavgi and Tavgians, which come from the Nenets word Tavs (Tavgi Samoyeds). The Enets' name is Tau, derived from their area of residence. They are called Avam Samoyeds and Vadeyev Nganasans or the Avam and Vadeyev Tavgi. Nganasan is an artificial ethnonym created by the Soviet linguist and ethnographer Georgy N. Prokofiev. It means “a real person” (similar to the Chukchi’s Luoravetlan). The books written by Andrey A. Popov perfectly illustrate the change in ethnonyms. The 1936 edition was titled The Tavgi, and the 1948 edition was titled Nganasans.

General Information
Before the Sovetization of the 1930s, Nganasans lived in the northern part of the Taymyr Peninsula from the forested areas (wintering in the wooded tundra) to the foothills of the Byrranga Mountains (summers). They roamed westward along the left shore of the Golchikha River that flows into the Yenisei and also in the catchment areas of the nearest rivers flowing into the Pyasina such as the Pura, the Mokhovaya, the Agapa, and the Dudypta. In the east, they lived north of the Khatanga River and roamed nearly as far as the sea coast.
Surrounding Society and the Main Economic Activity of the Region

Economically, the region is dominated by Norilsk Nickel, a Russian mining company, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium. It is located in the vicinity of Norilsk forming a single urban conglomerate with mining satellite towns Kayerkan, Oganer, and Talnakh. It is mostly populated by the company’s out-of-region personnel.

Spiritual Culture

In addition to pan-Siberian and strictly Arctic concepts of the world and the human being, Nganasans’ cosmogony reflects three large cultural strata: an indigenous one, a Samoyed one, and a Tungus one. The latter two could have morphed significantly among Nganasans and in some ways merged before coming to Nganasans.

Supplementary materials
Other materials describing the life, culture and history of the people
Interactive Atlas of the Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East