Learn more about Evenks

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Total population 67,000 (est.)
Regions with significant populations Russia, China, Mongolia
Language Russian, Evenk
Religion Shamanism, Russian Orthodoxy, Tibetan Buddhism <tr>
<th style="background-color:#fee8ab;">Related ethnic groups</th>
<td style="background-color:#fff6d9;">other Tungusic peoples</td>


The Evenks (obsolete: Tungus, autonym: Эвэнки) are a nomadic Tungusic people, one of the Northern Indigenous Peoples (pop. 35,527, 2002 Census) of Siberia and the Russian Far East. The Evenki (Simplified Chinese:鄂温克族; Pinyin: Èwēnkè Zú) form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China.


[edit] Evenks of Russia

The Evenks were formerly known as tungus. This designation was spread by the Russians, who acquired it from the Yakuts and the Siberian Tatars (in the Yakut language tongus) in the 17th century. The Evenks have several self-designations of which the best known is even, evenk. This became the official designation for the people in 1931. Some groups call themselves orochen ('an inhabitant of the River Oro'), orochon ('a rearer of reindeer'), ile ('a human being'), etc. At one time or another tribal designations and place-names have also been used as self-designations, for instance manjagir, birachen, solon, etc. Several of these have even been taken for separate ethnic entities. The Evens or Lamuts receive a separate mention because, though originally close to the Evenks, they are now considered to be a different people.

The Evenks inhabit a huge territory of the Siberian taiga from the River Ob in the west to the Okhotsk Sea in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to Manchuria and Sakhalin in the south. The total area of their habitat is about 2,500,000 km². In all of Russia only the Russians inhabit a larger territory. According to the administrative structure, the Evenks inhabit, from west to east, Tyumen and Tomsk Oblasts, Krasnoyarsk Krai with Evenk Autonomous Okrug, Irkutsk, Chita, and Amur Oblasts, the Buryat and the Sakha Republics, Khabarovsk Krai, and Sakhalin Oblast. However, the territory where they are a titular nation is confined solely to Evenk Autonomous Okrug, where 3,802 of the 35,527 Evenks live (according to the 2002 Census). More than 18,200 Evenks live in the Sakha Republic.

Anthropologically the Evenk belong to the Baikal or Paleo-Siberian group of the Mongolian type, originating from the ancient Paleo-Siberian people of the Yenisei River up to the Okhotsk Sea[citation needed].

The Evenk language is the largest of the northern group of the Manchu-Tungus languages, a group which also includes the Even and Negidal languages.

[edit] Evenks of China

According to the 2000 Census, there are 30,505 Evenks in China mainly made up of the Solons and the Khamnigans, 88.8% of China's Evenks live in the Hulunbuir region in the north of the Inner Mongolia Province, near the city of Hailar. The Evenk Autonomous Banner is also located near Hulunbuir. There are also around 3,000 Evenks in neighbouring Heilongjiang Province.

[edit] Religion

Prior to contact with the Russians, the religion of the Evenks was shamanism. Although many of them have adopted Lamaism (which is the mainstream form of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism) the Evenks of both the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China are a nominally Orthodox Christian people. Along with their Even cousins and a few other tribes in Siberia, they are some of the only Asiatic peoples who nominally practice Orthodox Christianity, which they had voluntarily adopted (as opposed to being coerced to do so) during contacts from Russian expansion into Siberia.

[edit] External link


es:Ewenki fi:Evenkit fr:Evenks ko:예벤키족 ja:エヴェンキ pl:Ewenkowie ru:Эвенки sv:evenker zh:鄂温克族


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