Finno-Ugric peoples

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Finno-Ugric peoples
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 United States2,288,100
Finno-Ugric languages: Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian
various Christian faiths, Shamanism and Animism
Related ethnic groups
Samoyedic peoples

The Finno-Ugric peoples are any of several peoples of North-West Eurasia who speak languages of the Finno-Ugric group of the Uralic language family, such as the Khanty, Mansi, Hungarians, Maris, Mordvins, Sámi, Estonians, Karelians, Finns, Udmurts, and Komis.[1]

The four most numerous Finno-Ugric peoples are the Hungarians (13–14 million), Finns (6–7 million), Estonians (1.1 million) and Mordvins (744,000). The first three of these have their own independent states – Hungary, Finland, and Estonia. The traditional area of the indigenous Sami people is in Northern Fenno-Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula in Northwest Russia and is known as Sápmi.

Some other Finno-Ugric peoples have autonomous republics in Russia: Karelians (Republic of Karelia), Komi (Komi Republic), Udmurts (Udmurt Republic), Mari (Mari El Republic), and Mordvins (Moksha and Erzya; Republic of Mordovia).

Khanty and Mansi peoples live in Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug of Russia. Komi subgroup Komi-Permyaks used to live in Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug, but today this area is a territory with special status within Perm Krai.


Modern ethnic groups[edit]

People Group Traditional language Language group Culture area[2] Numbers Most important territory Other traditional territories Subgroups
Khanty Ugric peoples Khanty language Ugric languages Arctic culture area 31,000[3] Khanty-Mansi Yamalo-Nenets
Mansi Ugric peoples Mansi language Ugric languages Arctic culture area 12,000[3] Khanty-Mansi
Hungarians Ugric peoples Hungarian language Ugric languages Danube culture area 13,000,000–14,000,000 Hungary Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine Székely, Csángó, Jász
Komis Permians Komi language Permic languages Arctic culture area 323,000[3] Komi Republic Perm Krai Komi-Permyaks
Udmurts Permians Udmurt language Permic languages Volga culture area 552,000[3] Udmurt Republic Besermyan
Maris Volga Finns Mari language Mari language Volga culture area 548,000[3] Mari Republic Bashkortostan Meadow Mari, Hill Mari, Eastern Mari
Mordvins Volga Finns Erzya and Moksha languages Mordvinic languages Volga culture area 744,000[3] Mordva Republic Samara Oblast, Penza Oblast, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Orenburg Oblast Erzyas, Mokshas
Finns Finnic peoples Finnish language Finnic languages Baltic Sea culture area 6,200,000–7,000,000 Finland Leningrad Oblast, Karelia Republic, Sweden, Norway Tornedalians, Forest Finns, Kvens, Ingrian Finns
Karelians Finnic peoples Karelian language Finnic languages Baltic Sea culture area 61,000 Karelia Republic Tver Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Leningrad Oblast Karelians (proper), Olonets Karelians, Ludic Karelians
Vepsians Finnic peoples Veps language Finnic languages Baltic Sea culture area 5,900[3] Karelia Republic Leningrad Oblast, Vologda Oblast
Izhorians Finnic peoples Ingrian language Finnic languages Baltic Sea culture area 300[3] Leningrad Oblast
Votes Finnic peoples Vote language Finnic languages Baltic Sea culture area 60[3] Leningrad Oblast
Estonians Finnic peoples Estonian language Finnic languages Baltic Sea culture area 1,100,000 Estonia Latvia, Leningrad Oblast, Pskov Oblast Setos, Võros
Livonians Finnic peoples Livonian language Finnic languages Baltic Sea culture area 180 Latvia
Sámi Sami Sami languages Sami languages Arctic culture area 80,000 Norway Sweden, Finland, Murmansk Oblast Inari Sami, Skolt Sami
Pie chart showing the percentage rates of specific nations speaking languages of the Finno-Ugric family

Extinct ethnic groups[edit]

Uralic peoples

Finno-Ugric identity[edit]

In Finnic- and Ugric-speaking countries such as Finland, Estonia and Hungary that find themselves surrounded by unrelated tongues, language origins and language history have long been relevant to national identity.[4]

Vladimir Lenin may have had Mordvin ancestry.[5]


Shamanism has had a historically important influence on the mythologies of Siberian peoples, including the Uralic, Yeniseian, Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, and other northern Eurasia and Central Asian peoples. A central concept in their cosmologies is the myth that the world was created from an egg. There are also myths about the Milky Way, ideas about the existence of the World tree or pillar, and the idea that asterisms represent animal spirits.[6] A myth about a bird floating on the primary ocean that dives for the ground is a central Uralic cosmogonic myth.[7]

International Finno-Ugric societies[edit]

In 1992, the 1st World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples was organized in Syktyvkar in the Komi Republic in Russia, the 2nd World Congress in 1996 in Budapest in Hungary, the 3rd Congress in 2000 in Helsinki in Finland, the 4th Congress in 2004 in Tallinn in Estonia, the 5th Congress in 2008 in Khanty-Mansyisk in Russia, and the 6th Congress in 2012 in Siófok in Hungary.[8][9][10][11] The members of the Finno-Ugric Peoples' Consultative Committee include: the Erzyas, Estonians, Finns, Hungarians, Ingrian Finns, Ingrians, Karelians, Khants, Komis, Mansis, Maris, Mokshas, Nenetses, Permian Komis, Saamis, Tver Karelians, Udmurts, Vepsians; Observers: Livonians, Setos.[12][13]

In 2007, the 1st Festival of the Finno-Ugric Peoples was hosted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia, and visited by Finnish President, Tarja Halonen, and Hungarian Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsány.[14][15]

Population genetics[edit]

A study of Population Genetics of Finno-Ugric speaking humans in North Eurasia carried out between 2002–2008 in the Department of Forensic Medicine at the University of Helsinki showed that most of the Finno-Ugric speaking populations possess an amalgamation of West and East Eurasian gene pools, genetic drift, and recurrent founder effects. North Eurasian Finno-Ugric-speaking populations were found to be genetically a heterogeneous group showing lower haplotype diversities compared to more southern populations. North Eurasian Finno-Ugric-speaking populations possess unique genetic features due to complex genetic changes shaped by molecular and population genetics and adaptation to the areas of Boreal and Arctic North Eurasia.[16]

The proposal of a Finno-Ugric language family has led to the postulation not just of an ancient Proto–Finno-Ugric people, but that the modern Finno-Ugric–speaking peoples are genetically related.[17] Such hypotheses are based on the assumption that heredity can be traced though linguistic relatedness.[18] However, Finno-Ugric has not been reconstructed linguistically; attempts to do so have been indistinguishable from Proto-Uralic.[19]

Like in any other human population, individual groups within the Finno-Ugric language family have a diverse array of cultural, environmental, and genetic influences. However, modern genetic studies have shown that the Y-chromosome haplogroup N3, and sometimes N2, having branched from haplogroup N, which, itself, probably spread north, then west and east from Northern China about 12,000–14,000 years ago from father haplogroup NO (haplogroup O being the most common Y-chromosome haplogroup in Southeast Asia), is almost a specific trait, though certainly not restricted, to Uralic- or Finno-Ugric-speaking populations, especially as high frequency or primary paternal haplogroup.[20]

A recent study has found that haplogroup NO of the Finno-Ugric peoples and their descendants probably spread north, then west and east from Northern China about 12,000–14,000 years ago from its father lineage and today is found in Eastern Europe. The Department of Forensic Medicine at the University of Helsinki showed that most of the Finno-Ugric speaking populations possess an amalgamation of West and East Eurasian gene pools, supporting the idea of mixed origins in these modern populations.


R1a1a7-M458 frequency peaks among Slavic and Finno-Ugric peoples.[21]

R1a1a1i (Z280+)

This group seems to have connection with among others the Finno-Ugric peoples.[22] It is the North-East European subclade of R1a1a1 and spread from the Baltic to the Ural Mountains as well as the Carpathian Basin. The majority of the Steppe Magyars likely belonged to this haplogroup, carrying the Ugric Hungarian language.[23]


Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Hajdu, 1975, Finno-Ugrian Languages and Peoples, Andre Deutsch Ltd (translated by G.F. Cushing); Toivo Vuorela, 1997, The Finno-Ugric Peoples, RoutledgeCurzon
  2. ^ Korhonen, Mikko: Uralin tällä ja tuolla puolen. In the book Laakso, Johanna (edit.): Uralilaiset kansat, p. 23.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Demoskop Weekly No 543-544 Archived October 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "A Paradigm Shift in Finnish Linguistic Prehistory". Merlijn de Smit. 2003. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  5. ^ Liliana Riga (12 November 2012). The Bolsheviks and the Russian Empire. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-01422-0.
  6. ^ Leeming, pp. 136
  7. ^ Vladimir Napolskikh. Earth-Diver Myth (А812) in northern Eurasia and North America: twenty years later
  8. ^ "7th World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples". World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Statutes of the Consultative Committee of Finno-Ugrian peoples". Finno-Ugric Peoples' Consultative Committee. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  10. ^ "The Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples". Russia. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Fenno-Ugria". Estonia. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Finno-Ugric Peoples' Consultative Committee, Members". World Congresses of the Finno-Ugric Peoples. Finno-Ugric Peoples' Consultative Committee. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura (in Finnish)". Finno-Ugrian Society (in English). Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  14. ^ "International Festival of the Finno-Ugric Peoples". Press Release from the Kremlin in Russia. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Press Statements by President Vladimir Putin, leaders of Finland and Hungary". Press Release from the Kremlin in Russia. July 19, 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Work of Ville Nikolai Pimenoff". University of Helsinki, Finland. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  17. ^ Gyarmathi, Sámuel (1 January 1983). "Grammatical Proof of the Affinity of the Hungarian Language with Languages of Fennic Origin". John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 90-272-0976-6. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  18. ^ "FAQ about Finno-Ugricn Languages". Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Problems in the Taxonomy of the Uralic languages in the Light of Modern Comparative Studies". Salminen, Tapani. 2002.
  20. ^ "Article Abstract: A counter-clockwise northern route of the Y-chromosome haplogroup N from Southeast Asia towards Europe". European Journal of Human Genetics. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  21. ^ "Separating the post-Glacial Coancestry of European and Asian Y Chromosomes Within haplogroup R1a". European Journal of Human Genetics. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Proto-Baltic Languages". Virdainas. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
  23. ^ "Hungarian_Magyar_Y-DNA_Project". Family Tree DNA. Retrieved 15 July 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mile Nedeljković, Leksikon naroda sveta, Beograd, 2001.
  • People of Volga and Uralic regions. Komi-Zyrians. Komi-Permyaks. Mari. Mordvins. Udmurts. Moscow, 2000. (Russian: Народы Поволжья и Приуралья. Коми-зыряне. Коми-пермяки. Марийцы. Мордва. Удмурты. М., 2000.)
  • Petrukhin, Vladimir. Myths of Finno-Ugric Peoples. Moscow, 2005. 463 p. (Russian: Петрухин В. Я. Мифы финно-угров. М., 2005. 463 с.)
  • World Outlook of Finno-Ugric People. Moscow, 1990. (Russian: Мировоззрение финно-угорских народов. М., 1990.)

External links[edit]