The Ugric Branch

The Hungarians (Magyar)

Population: (Over 14,000,000)

Concentration: Mainly Hungary over 2,000,000 living in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, the former Yugoslavia, Australia and North America.

Religion: Mainly Christian

Ethnic Inheritance: Dominantly Eastern European with slight Mongoloid influence.

Language: Hungarian

When the Hungarians separated from the other Ugric peoples they began to migrate south-east below the Urals. They had become a nomadic organization, soon they came into contact with the Turks, who were the dominate force in the region. The ancestors of the Hungarians joined a Turkish tribal confederation named on-ogur (meaning ‘ten tribes’). The confederation a mixture of Hungarians, Turks and Huns, began moving westward eventually conquered the Carpathian Basin, (the approximate area of modern Hungary) which at the time was sparsely inhabited by the Pechenegs. In 1001 the Hungarians were first influenced by Rome when there first Christian king, Stephen (Istvan) reigned. Hungary was occupied by the Turks after the Hungarian defeat, following the Battle of the Mohacs in 1526. The Turkish forces were replaced by the German Habsburg domination at the end of the 17th century.

One of the earliest mentions of Hungarians was in a Byzantine geographical survey of Constantine Porphyrogenitus titled ‘De administrando imperio’ they were listed as the Megyer, but were not differentiated from the Turks, this was common in early reports.

The contacts with the Turks gave the Hungarians a lot of vocabulary. There were also loan words from the Slavs of Hungary when they were introduced to Christianity.

In the late 18th century the Hungarians began a common literary medium which received a wide dialect base, and was used as the national language. Recent foreign influences were replaced by native words and constructions. Latin was still used for official purposes in the 19th century. The Hungarian language today is made up of eight major dialects.


The Ob-Ugric Sub-Branch

Concentration: Mainly within the Khanty-Mansi National District (Khanty-Mansiysky Natsionalny Okrug) in Russia.

Religion: Christianization occured in the 1700’s, but shamanism and animism has survived to this day.

The Ob-Ugric languages have about 30-40% common roots. They were first mentioned in Historical Sources during the early Middle Ages. In modern times many have been assimilated by there Russian and Tatar neighbors.

After the separation of the Proto-Ugric tribes the ancestors of the Ob-Ugric tribes lived somewhere west of the Urals. The Russian chronicles explains them as living in the vicinity of the Pechora River in 1092 when they are called the Jugra. Within a few centuries they had moved along the lower Ob-River in northwest Siberia where they assimilated the local inhabitants called the Por in legends. The Ob-Ugric tribes had begun to divide around the 13th century but remained along the Ob-River. Between the 13th and 18th century the Khanty and Mansi tribes fought hard against the Tatar and Russian invaders.

Russian colonizers seized there best lands and traders exploited them. In the 1950’s and 60’s there were oil reserves discovered in western Siberia, which led to there soils and waters being polluted, every year 20,000 to 25,000 tons of oil pollutes there soil because of careless accidents. Today they are mainly educated in Russian. Ob-Ugric peoples are discriminated against because of there dark skin.

The Khants (Khanty)

Population: Approx. 22,500

Ethnic Inheritance: Well noticeable Mongoloid features, blended with European traits.

Language: Khanty

The Khanty are divided into two main dialect groups, communication between dialect groups can be difficult. There language consists of many loan words from the Komi-Zyryan, Mongolian-Tatar, Nenets, and Russian languages. Many are bilingual in Russian. There has been a slight decline in the number of mother tongue speakers.

After 1563 the Khants were ruled by the Tatars when Khan Kuchum declared himself emperor of Siberia. The Russians defeated the Tatars in 1582 and the Khants came under Russian influence. When Soviet rule came much of there culture was destroyed and there children were sent to boarding schools and forced to learn Russian. Eventually there was a revolt called the Kazym Rebellion which led to there villages being burnt. After that anyone who took part in the Bear Funeral Rights was subject to 10 years imprisonment and bear hunting was forbidden. Anything connected with Khant culture was destroyed.

The Mansis (Manshi)

Population: Approx. 8,500

Ethnic Inheritance: Well noticeable Mongoloid features stronger in the southern Mansi, blended with European traits.

Language: Mansi

The Mansi are made up of Southern, Northern, Western and Eastern dialects, because of there vast distances communication is often difficult between dialects. There are many loan words borrowed from Russian, Komi and Khanty.

The first written record of the Mansi was in 1396 in the Russian Chronicals. Bishop Perm Gerasim tried to convert the Mansi to Christianity in 1455 but was killed by the Mansi in a Raid. They were baptized on a mass scale between 1714-1722 anyone who resisted was executed. Even so shamanism and animism have continued to survive. The Mansi have continued to fight with the Russians even up to this century. There literary language was established in 1931.