Samoyedic peoples

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Geographical distribution of Samoyedic-speaking peoples in the 17th (hatched area) and 20th (solid color) centuries

The Samoyedic peoples (sometimes Samodeic peoples)[a] are a group of closely related peoples who speak Samoyedic languages, which are part of the Uralic family. They are a linguistic, ethnic, and cultural grouping. The name derives from the obsolete term Samoyed used in Russian Empire for some Indigenous people of Siberia, see Samoyedic languages#Etymology for comments of the etymology.



People Language Numbers[1] Most important territory Other traditional territories
Nenets Nenets 45,000 Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug
Enets Enets 200–300 Krasnoyarsk Krai
Nganasans Nganasan 900–1000 Krasnoyarsk Krai
Selkups Selkup 3,700 Tomsk Oblast

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Krasnoyarsk Krai
Kamasins Kamassian 20[2][b] Krasnoyarsk Krai



Traditionally, Samoyedic languages and peoples have been divided into two major areal groups: Northern Samoyedic (Nenets, Yurats, Enets, Nganasans), and Southern Samoyedic (Selkups) with a further subgroup of Sayan-Samoyedic (Kamasins, Mators) named after the Sayan Mountains. This classification does not reflect linguistic relations, being purely geographical.

The largest of the Samoyedic peoples are the Nenets, who mainly live in two autonomous districts of Russia: Yamalo-Nenetsia and Nenetsia. Some of the Nenets and most of the Enets and Nganasans used to live in the Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District. Most of the Selkups live in Yamalo-Nenetsia, but there is also a significant population in Tomsk Oblast.


Historical pictures[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Some ethnologists use the term 'Samodeic peoples' instead 'Samoyedic', see Balzer, Marjorie (1999). The Tenacity of Ethnicity. Princeton University Press. p. 241. ISBN 978-0-691-00673-4.
  2. ^ 0,2% of the population of Sayansky District (21 ppl) are declared as Kamasins and their descendants by the district administration in the official tourist guide (2021).


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