Mansi people

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Family of Mansi 1901.png
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug (Russia)
 Russia 12,269 (2010)[1]
 Ukraine 43 (2001)[2]
Russian, Mansi
Shamanism, Russian Orthodoxy
Related ethnic groups

The Mansi (Mansi: Мāньси / Мāньси мāхум, Māńsi / Māńsi māhum, IPA: [ˈmaːnʲsʲi, ˈmaːnʲsʲi ˈmaːxʊm]) are an indigenous people living in Khanty–Mansia, an autonomous okrug within Tyumen Oblast in Russia. In Khanty–Mansia, the Khanty and Mansi languages have co-official status with Russian. The Mansi language is one of the postulated Ugric languages of the Uralic family. The Mansi people are obsoletely known as the Voguls.

Together with the Khanty people, the Mansi are politically represented by the Association to Save Yugra, an organisation founded during Perestroika of the late 1980s. This organisation was among the first regional indigenous associations in Russia.


Mansi population according to 2002 census[citation needed]
Total Men Women
Total 11,432 5,167 6,265
Tyumen Oblast 10,561 4,786 5,775
*Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug 9,894 4,510 5,384
Sverdlovsk Oblast 259 130 129
Komi Republic 11 8 3

According to the 2010 census, there were 12,269 Mansi in Russia.


The ancestors of Mansi people populated the areas west of the Urals.[3] Mansi findings have been unearthed in the vicinity of Perm.[3]

In the first millennium BC, they migrated to Western Siberia where they assimilated with the native inhabitants.[3] According to others they are originated from the south Ural steppe and moved into their current location about 500 AD.[4]

The Mansi have been in contact with the Russian state at least since the 16th century when most of western Siberia was brought under Russian control by Yermak Timofeyevich. Due to their higher exposure to Russian and Soviet control, they are generally more assimilated than their northern neighbours, the Khanty.


In the 1960s, exploitation of the rich oil deposits of Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug began, causing the Soviet Union's largest internal migration wave since the Second World War. This led to a dramatic marginalisation of the Mansi and Khanty who today constitute slightly more than one percent of the district's population.[citation needed]

Voguls delivering tribute to Yermak Timofeyevich.

As for most other Northern indigenous peoples of Russia, the Soviet state ordered the creation of a "national literature" for the Mansi people which consisted mostly of works hailing the enlightenment and progress brought to the Mansi by Lenin's revolution[citation needed]. The most prominent Mansi representative of this genre was the writer Yuvan Shestalov, who after the breakup of the Soviet Union converted to shamanism. Since then he claimed that the Mansi are in fact the descendants of the ancient Sumerians, an assertion shared by few.[citation needed]

Prominent Mansis[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Официальный сайт Всероссийской переписи населения 2010 года. Информационные материалы об окончательных итогах Всероссийской переписи населения 2010 года [Official site of the National Population Census 2010. Informational materials about the final outcome Russian Census 2010] (in Russian). RU: GKS. 
  2. ^ "National composition of population". Census (in Ukrainian). UA: State statistics committee of Ukraine. 2001. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Mansis". The Peoples of the Red Book. EE: EKI. 
  4. ^ "Khanty & Mansi". Encyclopædia Britannica.