The Nenets, like many other Arctic nations of the Russian Federation, developed their first official writing system at the beginning of the 20th century. However, they certainly had a form of literature before this time. Like many other northern nations, they already had highly developed oral traditions and folklore. During the Soviet era, the local administration carried out intensive efforts to educate the indigenous population and produced the first textbooks for primary schools as well as literature, as in other Russian Northern languages. Initially, these books were primarily only available in native languages, but later they started to be published bilingually or just in Russian. In this paper we give a short introduction to the history of the Nenets’ written language and literature and the role of the traditional oral culture in its development.
Keywords: indigenous languages of Russia, recently created writing systems, minority peoples, Nenets language, Nenets literature