Infobox Ethnic group
group = Evenks

population = approx. 67,000Fact|date=January 2007
regions = Russia, China, Mongolia
languages = Russian, Evenk
religions = Animism, Russian Orthodoxy, Tibetan Buddhism
related = Evens, Oroqen, Oroch, other Tungusic peoples
The Evenks or Evenki (autonym: Эвэнкил "Evenkil"; _ru. Эвенки "Evenki"; _zh. 鄂温克族 _pn. "Èwēnkè Zú"; formerly known as Tungus or Tunguz) are a Tungusic people of Northern Asia. In Russia, the Evenks are recognized as one of the Indigenous peoples of the Russian North, with a population of 35,527 (2002 Census). In China, the Evenki form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China, with a population of 30,505, as per 2000 Census.

Evenks of Russia

. 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.

Besides of indigenous ethnic groups of Siberia includes similarly named Evens (formerly known as "Lamuts"). Although related to the Evenks, the Evens are now considered to be a separate ethnic group.

The Evenks are spread over 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 live, from west to east, in 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 SeaFact|date=January 2007.

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.

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.

In 1763, the Qing government moved 500 Solon Evenk and 500 Daur families to the Tacheng and Kuldja areas of Xinjiang, in order to strengthen the empire's western border. 1020 Xibe families (some 4000 persons) followed the next year. Since then, however, the Solons of Xinjiang have assimilated into other ethnic groups, and are not identified as such anymore. [Herold J. Wiens [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0004-5608(196912)59%3A4%3C753%3ACITEAL%3E2.0.CO%3B2-R "Change in the Ethnography and Land Use of the Ili Valley and Region, Chinese Turkestan"] , Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 59, No. 4 (Dec., 1969), pp. 753-775 (JSTOR access required)] [ [http://russian.xjts.cn/RUSSIAN/channel9/28/200306/27/73.html Tianshannet / Окно в Синьцзян / Народности, не относящиеся к тюркской группе] (Win dow to Xinjiang / Non-Turkic peoples) ru icon]


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.


External links

* [http://www.eki.ee/books/redbook/evenks.shtml Evenks]

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