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Seids on Kusovy Islands in the White Sea

On the sea way from the port of Kem to the Solovetsky Islands there is the archipelago of Kuzova including 16 small desert islands of which the highest and the largest are Nemetsky Kyuzov (140 m) and Russky Kyuzov (123 m). These are the highest landmarks in the entire White Sea region of Karelia.

The archipelago's nature is amazing. Features of its relief, geographical position of islands provide aesthetic and landscape uniqueness of each island generating the impression of severe though harmonious world of the northen country. Spruce forest is the integral part of island landscapes. Even the name of the archipelago may be interpreted as the fur-tree islands as, on one of the versions, it comes from Karelian word kuusi which means fur-tree.

Kuzova are especially famous for many unique cult complexes remained since the times of mysterious ancient Sami people who came to the White Sea region more than two and a half of thousand years ago and earned their livelihood by fishing, hunting and reindeer breeding. The Sami beliefs were based on totemic conceptions, worship of nature, stones, mountains, trees. They worshipped seids, special sacred stones, which form resembled human figures. They said that seids bring luck in hunting and preserve against illnesses. The archipelago impresses with lots of ancient sanctuaries; the scientists have counted there more than 800 various compositions of stone. On the top of Nemetsky Kyuzov there has been found a true pantheon of Lappish deities - more than 150 seids and idols. Cult monuments of ancient Sami are included in the list of protected objects of the All-Russian value.

The islands' fauna is diverse and rich. Of course, seagulls dominate over rge coast. There are also white partridges, razorbilled auks, kiddaws, common eiders, etc.

Ringed seals, bearded seals (the largest seal in the Arctic waters) and a white whales are found in the sea near Kuzova.

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Created: October 3, 2001. Last updated: October 1, 2009.
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