Oroches

OROCHES, ethnic gr. in the FE (Khabarovsk Terr.). Live along the rr. flowing into the Tatar Strait, mainly on the Tumnin R. and its tribs. and on the Khungari R. (the Amur trib.). In the late 19th cent., they lived in settl. on the Amur, near Lake Kizi, etc. The pop. in 1897 amounted to 551 p., in 2002 to 900 p. Anthropologically, O. are close to the N variant of the Baikal type of the N-Asiatic race. Their lang. belongs to the S subgroup of the Tungus-Manchurian gr. of the Altai lang. fam. There used to be Tumnin, Khadin, and Khungari dialects. Under the influence of neighb., esp. in 1960-80s, the O. lang. was gradually lost. In 1959, only 50.5% of O. considered the O. lang. their mother tongue, in 1989—17.8% (82.2% of O. called Rus. their native lang.). No written lang. has been created in the Oroch lang. Not much is known about how the O. got their name.

The indigenous pop. of the Amur area—Ulchas andNanais—called them O. since time immemorial, and later, in the 19th cent., the Russians called them this as well. In the 1930s, the same ethnonym was officially entered in Oroch passports. Based on the 1897 census, S.K. Patkanov noted that there was no general self-name for the O., they named themselves acc. to the clan and place of residence. Later, the self-name Nani was identified, which meant local resident, similar to the Nanais and Ulchas. Acc. to O., this ethnonym was brought from the Amur by their tribesmen who lived for a long time among the Amur aborigines. However, it was not widely used among most of the O., who lived along the rr. of the Tatar Strait.

The O. ethnos was formed on the flanks of the Sikhote-Alin Mts. in the terr. from De Kastri Bay in the N to the Botia R. in the S. The elements of diff. ethnic origin, incl. substrate (Nivkh, Ainus, etc.), Evenk, and oth. which appeared in this area at diff. times took part in this long process. Some of these ethnic components left their traces in the lang., cult., and clan composition of O. Later contacts with Evenks and continuous contacts with the indig. pop. of the Amur area (Ulchas, Nanais, Negidals, Udegeys) were also very important.

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Saami

SAAMI, Lopars (Lapps, Laplanders), people living on the Kola Pen. (RF), 2,132 acc. to the 2002 census. 30,000 S. live in the N of Norway, 17,000 in Sweden, and 5,000 in Finland. The Kola S. call themselves samm’, samm’lench. The ethnic word sabme is usu. explained as the Latvian-Lithuanian words zemee (the earth) and zemas (low, low-lying), once borrowed by the Baltic Finns. Another hypothesis claims it is related to Ural ethnic words of the same stem (sa(a)m) meaning (water, river people); or to the Rus. term samoyad’; or to the Finn. word Suomi (“Finland”). The old names of S. are: Lopars, Lapps, lop’ (used in the Old-Rus. chronicles), lappi, lappalainen (Finn.). The etymology of these words is questionable. Some hypothesis established their Finn. (Fin. words lappea, lape—“country” or loppu—“the end”), or Swed. origin: lappi—Swed. loan word from the ethnic Lapp word vuowjos (“wedge, or wedge-formed patch on the clothes,” where the wedge is the symbol of a tribe, or a soc. inst.).

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Selkups

SELKUPS (until the 1930s, Ostyak-Samoyedes), people in W Sib. Live at the watersheds of the Ob and its tribs., Tym, Ket, and Vasyugan in Tomsk Obl., the Pur and Taz rr. in Yamal-Nenets Aut. Area of Tyumen Obl. and the Turukhan R. in Krasnoyarsk Terr. Originally inhabited the l. and r. tribs. of the Ob, incl. the Parabel’ with tribs., Chuzik, and Kenga. In 1989, numbered 3,564, incl. 1,530 in Yamal-Nenets Aut. Area, 1,347 in Tomsk Obl., 359 in Krasnoyarsk Terr. Acc. to the 2002 population census data—4,367. Anthropologically, the S. belong to the Ural transit. race with a trace of European. The lang. belongs to the Samodian branch of the Uralic lang. fam., it has 3 dialects: the Tym and Ket’ (S S.), and the Taz (N S.). Less than half of the S. (47.7%) consider the S. lang. their mother tongue, the oths. indicate Rus., which is spoken by virtually everyone.

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Tofalars

TOFALARS, people living in Nizhneudinsk Distr. of Irkutsk Obl. Inhabit the taiga-covered N slopes of the E Sayan Mts., the basins of the upper reaches of the rr. Biryusa, Uda, Kan, and Gutara. Pop. 1,020 (2002), mainly living in the vill. of Alygdzher, Verkhnyaya Gutara, and Nerkha.The T.’s self-names: Tofa, Topa, Tokha, Tyva, go back to the self-name of Turkic speaking tribes (Tuba), descendants of the ancient Uigurs called Dubo in the Chinese chronicles of the 1st millennium. Previous ethnicon—Karagases—is derived from the name of one of the T. clan gr. The modern name “T.” is the plural of the self-name “Tofa.” The term “Tofy” is also used.The T. anthropol. type is a Katanga type of the N Asian race with a small Central Asian component. Numer. mixed marriages led to loss of trad. anthropol. T. image, which is replaced by an increasingly pronounced Eur. type. Today it is mostly a mixed Mongoloid-Eur. population, and the younger they are the more Eur. they are. Almost 60% of the children born in 1970-84 and registered as T. in their birth certificates are of mixed ethnic descent (mostly with the Rus. and Buryats).T. lang. belongs to the Uigur subgr. of Turkic gr., Altaian fam., and has E and W gr. of dialects. Today 55.5% of T. consider Rus. their native lang. Attempts have been made to revive Tofalar in the last few years: they now teach it at school and have published a text-book.

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