Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra is the place of original residence of indigenous small-numbered peoples.
Indigenous small-numbered people, for whom the territory of the Autonomous Okrug is the place of their original residence, are defined in accordance with federal legislation.
Article 62 of the Charter (Basic Law) of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra
Indigenous peoples today are 350 million people living in more than 70 countries and speaking 5,000 languages. Cultures of indigenous peoples are characterized by enduring strength of the relationship between man and nature, inseparability of traditional and modern ways of life, they are sources of an alternative worldview, containing potential for understanding the role of a human in the world. Indigenous peoples' traditional use of natural resources contributes to conservation of a significant part of the planet's biodiversity. At the same time, these peoples are strongly affected by globalization and climate change.
Indigenous small-numbered peoples of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra, Khanty and Mansi are two kindred peoples. Ethnonyms Khanty and Mansi are formed fr om the self-designation of the peoples Khande, Kantek and Mansi. They were adopted as official names after 1917. In the old scientific literature and documents of the tsar administration, the Khanty were called Ostyaks, and the Mansi were called Voguls.
Explorer of the North of Western Siberia Alexander A. Dunin-Gorkavich, who visited these lands, describes the Khanty as follows: ‘The Ostyaks generally have good nature, willingness to help everyone and strict honesty. They do not feel animosity against each other and live peacefully. Ostyaks are not familiar with extreme poverty: every poor person believes to have the right to come to a wealthier one and eat his food, especially after a good hunting or fishing. There is even a kind of public charity, by virtue of which every aged and incapable of work Ostyak, if he or she does not have relatives, is provided with food by tribesmen.
Given peaceful nature of the Ostyaks, we can say with confidence, that there are no murders at all. Ostyaks are accustomed to respecting other people's property. Therefore, theft and fraud are extremely rare among them.
In 1904, Ivan Ostroumov gives the Voguls the following description in his historical and ethnographic essay ‘Voguly-Mansi’: ‘The Voguls are peace-loving people, they are kind-hearted and good-natured; their mutual relations are extremely good: they do not know what fraud, theft, and especially murder is.’
Another term has been established in the scientific literature to designate the peoples of the Khanty and Mansi as a whole: the Ob Ugrians. The first part of it indicates the main place of residence, and the second comes from the words Ugra, Ugoria. This is how the territories in the Polar Urals and Western Siberia, as well as their inhabitants, were named in the Russian chronicles of the 11th-15th centuries.
The languages of the Khanty and Mansi peoples are classified by linguists as Ugric (Ugra), and cognate Hungarian language also belongs to this group. The Ugric languages are part of the Finno-Ugric group of the Uralic language family.
Given the fact that the Khanty and Mansi languages belong to the Finno-Ugric group, it is assumed that once there was a community of people who spoke this proto-language. The question of wh ere the ancestral home of this community was located is extremely difficult. Despite ambiguity and inconsistency of the Khanty and Mansi peoples origin, researchers are unanimous in their opinion about the two-component nature of their culture, which has absorbed traditions of local taiga tribes and the Ugric peoples who came from the south. Linguists suggest the possibility of ancient ties of the Uralic language family with Indo-European and Turkic, there are parallels with the Yukaghir, Chukchi-Kamchatka, Eskimo-Aleut languages, some relations with Proto-Iranian languages have been found.
There is a point of view according to which the ancestors of the Samoyeds and Ugrians developed the territory of Western Siberia from the Mesolithic period (6 thousand years BC). Proto-Samoyeds and Proto-Ugrians segregated in the Neolithic period (4 thousand years BC). This chronology is relative, since modern science disputes regarding identification of archaeological cultures with specific ethnic groups. Some scholars assume the existence of cultural and historical communities, within which the ancestors of different ethnic groups could live. Final separation of them took place already in historical time.
Archeological data traced extensive trade relations of the population of Western Siberia in the 1st millennium AD. Finds in ancient hoards and burials prove that at the turn of the era there was an exchange of goods with China, which was probably performed by merchants who traveled through the territory of Western Siberia. Similar contacts took place later: in the 7th-8th centuries - with Central Asia and northeastern Persia, in the 10th century - with the Volga Bulgaria through the Urals.
In the later period of Western Siberia ethnic groups formation, it can be said there was interethnic contacts. Ethnic contacts mean consanguineous, marital ties. This process is confirmed by ethnographic data on material and spiritual culture, in particular, materials on the funeral rite, one of the most vivid indicators of ethnicity.
Ob Ugrians had interethnic ties with neighboring peoples: Nenets, Selkups, Komi-Zyryans, Siberian Tatars.
Initially the contacts between the indigenous peoples of Western Siberia and the Russian state took place at the level of commodity exchange (XIII-XIV centuries). In the XV-XVI centuries, peoples of the Khanty, Mansi, and Selkups established tribal unions - princedoms. The Siberian Tatars had an early feudal state formation: the Khanate of Sibir. After the conquest of Kazan in 1552, when borders were established between the Russian state and Siberia, relations had different nature. Joining of Siberia to the Tsardom of Muscovy begins. By this time, Ugric and Samoyed population paid tribute to the Siberian Tatars and took part in military campaigns. But after Yermak's campaigns in the 80s of the 16th century, which are the starting point for annexation of Western Siberia to the territory of Russia, the indigenous peoples begin to pay tribute to the Russian state.
All these cultural, historical and ethnic processes undoubtedly influenced formation and formalization of the original traditional culture of the Khanty and Mansi peoples.
Khanty and Mansi were traditionally semi-sedentary hunters and fishermen. In the north they were engaged in reindeer breeding, in the south - in cattle breeding. Hunters and fishermen had a seasonal settlement and dwelling. There were many types of dwellings, some of them were temporary, portable, others were permanent. There were various outbuildings and religious buildings.
Household items were made from local materials: wood, birch bark, cedar root, etc. Clothing of the Khanty and Mansi peoples differed significantly in groups northern ones had done up clothing (without a cut, worn over the head), southern and eastern ones worn open clothes. The ornaments were rich and varied.
Share of expatriate population has steadily increased due to industrial development of the territory of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra. Indigenous peoples now account for about 2% of the total population of Ugra.