Mordvin people

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Total population
Regions with significant populations Russia
Mordovia, Tatarstan, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Samara Oblast
Language Mordvin languages, Russian, Tatar
Religion Russian Orthodoxy, Shamanism <tr>
<th style="background-color:#fee8ab;">Related ethnic groups</th>
<td style="background-color:#fff6d9;">other Finno-Ugric peoples</td>


The Mordvins (Mordva) are a people who speak languages of the Finno-Volgaic branch of the Finno-Ugric language family.

Less than one third of Mordvins live in the autonomous republic of Mordovia, Russian Federation, in the basin of the Volga River. The rest are scattered over the Russian oblasts of Samara, Penza, Orenburg and Nizhni Novgorod, as well as Tatarstan, Central Asia, Siberia, Far East, Armenia and USA.

The Mordvins consist of two main groups: Erzya Mordvins, who speak Erzya, and Moksha Mordvins, who speak Moksha. Both prefer to call themselves Erza and Moksha respectively, usually don't recognize the Mordva term, and consider themselves different peoples. In the era between the two World Wars, the two literary languages (Erzyan and Mokshan) were further developed from a traditional split stemming back to the Christian literature from the beginning of the nineteenth century, and both are still in use today.

The Qaratay Mordvin ethnic group live in Kama Tamağı District of Tatarstan, and have shifted to speaking Tatar, albeit with a large proportion of Mordvin vocabulary (substratum). Another Mordva group (Teryukhan), living in the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast of Russia have switched to Russian in the 19th century. The Teryukhans recognize the term Mordva as pertaining to themselves, whereas the Qaratay also call themselves Muksha.

Many Mordvins refer to the western group of the Erzyans as Shoksha (or Shoksho). For some reason, this name is rarely mentioned in literature. The Shoksha Mordvins live isolated from the bulk of the Erzyans, and their dialect has been influenced by the Mokshan dialects.

Since 1950s the number of Erzyas and Mokshas in Mordovia, and their knowledge of their mother tongues has decreased. In 2003 there were around 1,054,000 Mordvins.

The Mordvin national epic is called Mastorava, which stands for "Mother Earth". It was compiled by A. M. Sharonov and first published in 1994.

[edit] List of notable Mordvins

[edit] List of Mordvin papers

  • Chilisema (for children)
  • Erzyan pravda (newspaper)
  • Moksha (literature, culture)
  • Mokshen pravda (newspaper)
  • Syatko (literature, culture)
  • Yakster Tyashtenya (for children)

[edit] External links

cv:Мордвасем de:Mordwinen eo:Mordovoj fr:Mordves ko:모르도바인 ja:モルドヴィン人 ru:Мордва sr:Мордвини sh:Mordvini fi:Mordvalaiset tt:Mordwalar

Mordvin people

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