Plenary session

Valeri Patrushev

Ethnogeny of Finno-Ugrians of Russia


At present time there are 20 nations in the world, that belong to the Uralic language group. That makes more than 26 million people. Correspondingly, the proportion of Uralic nations living in Russia is not big, less than 17 % (about 3,6 million people). Out of the total population of Russia they comprise a little more than 3 %. On a huge oratory from the river Hatanga in the East to the North-Western borders of Russia they occupy small "islands" admist the population speaking other languages. The most significant group of them. are the Volga and Baltic Finns and the Permian peoples of the European Russia.

It is possible to distinguish main periods of etnogeny. taking into account major changes resulting from internal development as well as from external influences. The oldest period - VIII - IV millenium B.C. was a time when the Uralic nations existed as a single community. The most probable archaic homelands, mentioned by researchers are regions of Cis-Urals, Western Siberia close to Ural mountains or wider areas. An opinion exists also - the absence of a compact archaic homeland of the Uralic nations (Janos Pusztay). The IV millenium B.C, is the time of separate existence of Finno-Ugrian and Samoyed communities. ( ) Hybrid cultures, that were similar to Volosovo culture were formed in the Baltics. In Cis-Urals the Garmsko-Borski type community was formed.

XV - VI centuries B.C. was a time for formation of ethnical communities of historic nations in the cores of big communities with a tendency of separation into regional group of population. The community of Finnish-speaking tribes with textile (textile-impressed or thread-woven) ceramics on a vast territory from Kama river to Scandinavia was the base for all Finno-Ugrian nations of the Volga area and Baltics. This population became an important part in Ahmylovo, Dyakovo and Gorodets cultures. The tribes of Ananyino type formed a community that become the ancestors of Permian nations of Cis-Urals.

V century B.C.- century A.D. - a time of formation of regional communities, active mutual influences. In Cis-Ural area, the tribes of Lebyazky type became active. On the basis of the Ananyino-type population, tribes of Pyanobor-Glyadenovo types developed at first, and afterwards on the basis of last mentioned, Azelino and Mazunino types developed. From the middle of the 1st millenium B.C. a specific Gorodetsk culture with horn ceramics formed and an ethnical re-orientation of Dyakovo culture took place, when the Baltic elements started to prevail, In the first centuries A.D., when the Finno-Ugric traits took a win again, a late Dyakovo inhabitance became a base for Rostov Meria. With a certain influence from Baits, the ethnical peculiarities of Baltic Finns are formed.

From VI century, according to historic documents, known as a time of formation of modern nations. On the basis of a Baltic-Finnish community, with a certain influence of neighbouring nations Korela, Vesj, Livs, Votians are formed, that in themselves were a basis for modem nations. Near Volga the Ahmylovo type population became a base to Kostroma Merja and Maris and also, possibly Muroma. Gorodets tribes became the base for formation of Mordva. In Cis-Ural area, on the basis of Pyanobor-Azelino and Gljadenovo tribes, developed the Poloma, Lomovatovo and Vanvizdinsky cultures of V -X centuries. Poloma culture, where Ugric traits are noticed, was exchanged with Chepetsky culture of IX - XV centuries, that grew into the culture of Udmurts. Lomovatovo culture, that had a sufficent influence from behind Ural Ugrics, became a base for formation of Rodanovo cultures of IX - XV centuries, that was the ethnical base for Komi-Pennuacs at that time- On the basis Vanvizdinskoj culture with the participation of Baltic-Finnish Inches, a Vim culture of XI - XIV centuries formed, that developed into Komi-Zyrjan culture. The picture of Finno-Ugrian inhabitance areas in Cis-Urals is up to VIII - IX centuries complemented by Magyars that became territorially .separated from Ob-Ugrians.

During the Russian colonisation of Finno-Ugrian peoplesí territory Archaeological materials and written sources give proof of an important role of Finno-Ugrians in the historical destinies of other nations.

Original Russian text