Mansi people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug (Russia)
 Russia12,228 (2021)[1][2]
 Ukraine43 (2001)[3]
Mansi, Russian
Shamanism, Russian Orthodoxy
Related ethnic groups

The Mansi (Mansi: Мāньси / Мāньси мāхум,[4] Māńsi / Māńsi māhum, IPA: [ˈmaːnʲsʲi, ˈmaːnʲsʲi ˈmaːxʊm]) are an Ugric 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 were formerly known as the Voguls.[5]

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.


Settlement of Mansi in the Ural Federal District by urban and rural settlements in%, 2010 census
Mansi population according to 2021 census[6]
Total Men Women
Total 12,228 5,685 6,543
Tyumen Oblast 11,583 5,356 6,227
*Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug 11,065 5,136 5,929
Sverdlovsk Oblast 334 170 164
Komi Republic 5 3 2

According to the 2021 census, there were 12,228 Mansi in Russia.


"Winter outfit of the Voguls" depicting Mansi people c. 1873
Voguls (Mansi) c. 1873

The ancestors of Mansi people populated the areas west of the Urals.[7] Mansi findings have been unearthed in the vicinity of Perm.[7]

In the first millennium BC, they migrated to Western Siberia where they assimilated with the native inhabitants.[7]Other researchers say that the Khanty people originated in the south Ural steppe and moved northwards into their current location about 500 AD.[8]

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.[citation needed]

Relationship with historical Magyar conquerors[edit]

The Mansi are one of the closest linguistic relatives of modern Hungarians. Genetic data by Maroti et al. 2022, revealed high genetic affinity between Magyar conquerors and modern day Bashkirs, with both could be modeled as ~50% Mansi-like, ~35% Sarmatian-like, and ~15% Hun/Xiongnu-like. The admixture event is suggested to have taken place in the Southern Ural region at 643–431 BCE.[9]


The Mansi share many similarities with the Khanty people and together they are called Ob-Ugric peoples. Their languages are closely related but also clearly distinct from each other.[10]

Traditional livelihood[edit]

The Mansi were semi-nomadic hunters and fishermen. Some Mansi also raised reindeer. A few Mansi engaged in agriculture (cultivating barley) and raised cattle and horses.[11]

During the winter, the Mansi lived in stationary huts made out of earth and branches at permanent villages. During the spring, the Mansi moved towards hunting and fishing grounds, where they constructed temporary rectangular-shaped shelters out of birch-bark and poles.[11]

Weapons used by the Mansi were advanced for the period and included longbows, arrows, spears, and the use of iron helmets and chain mail.[11]


A notable part of the traditional Mansi religion is the bear cult. A bear celebration is held in connection with the bear hunt (a similar concept to the Finnish peijaiset); it lasts for several days and involves songs, dances and plays. Mansi folklore also includes mythical and heroic stories and fate songs, which are biographical poems. An example of the traditional material culture of Ob-Ugric peoples is ornamenting leather clothing and birchbark objects with mosaics.[10]


According to a 2019 study, in addition to having a high level of East Eurasian-like ancestry, the Mansi have also West Eurasian admixture. Their admixture can be modelled to be about 60 % Bronze Age Baikal Lake-like and 40% Srubnaya-like, or about 54% Nganasan-like and about 38% Srubnaya-like, with additional ANE-related admixture.[12]

In a 2018 study, Mansi samples showed variation in the amounts of West and East Eurasian admixtures. Some of them clustered with the Khanty, while outlier samples had additional West Eurasian admixture, making them closer to Uralic-speakers from Volga-Ural region.[13]

Notable Mansi[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Росстат — Всероссийская перепись населения 2020". Retrieved 2023-01-03.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ромбандеева Е. И. (2005). Русско-Мансийский словарь: учебное пособие [Russian-Mansi dictionary: textbook] (in Russian). СПб.: Миралл. p. 129. ISBN 5-902499-14-3.
  5. ^ "Mansi |". Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  6. ^ "Национальный состав населения". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  7. ^ a b c "The Mansis". The Peoples of the Red Book. EE: EKI.
  8. ^ "Britannica".
  9. ^ Maróti, Zoltán; Neparáczki, Endre; Schütz, Oszkár; Maár, Kitti; Varga, Gergely I. B.; Kovács, Bence; Kalmár, Tibor; Nyerki, Emil; Nagy, István; Latinovics, Dóra; Tihanyi, Balázs; Marcsik, Antónia; Pálfi, György; Bernert, Zsolt; Gallina, Zsolt (2022-07-11). "The genetic origin of Huns, Avars, and conquering Hungarians". Current Biology. 32 (13): 2858–2870.e7. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2022.04.093. ISSN 0960-9822. PMID 35617951. S2CID 246191357.
  10. ^ a b Kulonen, Ulla-Maija: ”Obinugrilaiset”, in Laakso, Johanna (ed.): Uralilaiset kansat. Helsinki: WSOY, 1991. ISBN 951-0-16485-2.
  11. ^ a b c Forsyth, James (1994). A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony 1581-1990. Cambridge University Press. pp. 11–13. ISBN 978-0-521-47771-0.
  12. ^ Jeong, Choongwon; Balanovsky, Oleg; Lukianova, Elena; Kahbatkyzy, Nurzhibek; Flegontov, Pavel; Zaporozhchenko, Valery; Immel, Alexander; Wang, Chuan-Chao; Ixan, Olzhas; Khussainova, Elmira; Bekmanov, Bakhytzhan; Zaibert, Victor; Lavryashina, Maria; Pocheshkhova, Elvira; Yusupov, Yuldash (2019-04-29). "The genetic history of admixture across inner Eurasia". Nature Ecology & Evolution. 3 (6): 966–976. doi:10.1038/s41559-019-0878-2. ISSN 2397-334X. PMC 6542712. PMID 31036896.
  13. ^ Tambets, Kristiina; Yunusbayev, Bayazit; Hudjashov, Georgi; Ilumäe, Anne-Mai; Rootsi, Siiri; Honkola, Terhi; Vesakoski, Outi; Atkinson, Quentin; Skoglund, Pontus; Kushniarevich, Alena; Litvinov, Sergey; Reidla, Maere; Metspalu, Ene; Saag, Lehti; Rantanen, Timo (2018). "Genes reveal traces of common recent demographic history for most of the Uralic-speaking populations". Genome Biology. 19 (1). doi:10.1186/s13059-018-1522-1. ISSN 1474-760X. PMC 6151024. PMID 30241495.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: unflagged free DOI (link)

External links[edit]