Tyvan chums in ethnocultural complex of "The Aldyn-Bulak", Russia, Tyva
Saami family in Norway around 1900. The structure in the foreground is a kåsa, the one in the background is a lavvu. Neither of these is a chum.
A chum (pronounced "choom") is a temporary dwelling used by the nomadicYamal-Nenets and Khantyreindeer herders of northwestern Siberia of Russia. They are also used by the southernmost reindeer herders, of the Todzha region of the Republic of Tyva and their cross-border relatives in northern Mongolia. It has a design similar to a Native Americantipi but some versions are less vertical. It is very closely related to the Samilavvu in construction, but is somewhat larger in size. Some chums can be up to thirty feet (ten meters) in diameter.
Drawing of a chum, 2008
The traditional chum consists of reindeer hides sewn together and wrapped around wooden poles that are organized in a circle. In the middle there is a fireplace used for heating and to keep the mosquitoes away. The smoke escapes through a hole on top of the chum. The canvas and wooden poles are usually quite heavy, but could be transported by using their reindeer. The chum is still in use today as a year-round shelter for the Yamal-Nenets, Khanty and Todzha Tyvan people of Russia.