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1612 map by Isaac Massa showing Tingoesen landt (land of the Tungus, i.e. Evenks)

Tungusic peoples are an ethnolinguistic group formed by the speakers of Tungusic languages (also "Manchu-Tungus languages"). They are native to Siberia and Northeast Asia.

The "Tungusic" phylum is divided into two main branches, northern (Evenic, or Tungus) and southern (Jurchen-Nanai). An intermediate group (Oroch-Udege) is sometimes recognized.



The name "Tungusic" is artificial, and properly refers just to the postulated linguistic phylum (Tungusic languages). It is derived from Tungus (Тунгус), a Russian exonym for the Evenks. English usage of "Tungusic" was introduced by Friedrich Max Müller in the 1850s, based on earlier use of German Tungusisch by Heinrich Julius Klaproth. The alternative term Manchu-Tungus is also in use (Russian: Тунгусо-маньчжурские "Tunguso-Manchurian").

The word Tunguska, a region of eastern Siberia bounded on the west by the Tunguska rivers and on the east by the Pacific Ocean has its origin from the Tungus people (Evenks).[1] Russian Tungus was likely borrowed from East Turkic tunguz (literally, "wild pig, boar," from Old Turkic tonguz, id.: cf. Turkish domuz "pig"),[2] although some scholars prefer derivation from the Chinese word Donghu (東胡, "Eastern Barbarians", cf. Tonggu 通古 = Tungusic).[3] This "chance similarity in modern pronunciation led to the once widely held assumption that the Eastern Hu were Tungusic in language. However, there is little basis for this theory."[4]


It is generally suggested that the homeland of the Tungusic people is in northeastern Manchuria, somewhere near the Amur River region.[5] The Tungusic language family is grouped with Turkic and Mongolic, as Altaic (or "Micro-Altaic"), and genetic evidence from collected from the Ulchi suggests a date for the Micro-Altaic expansion predating 3500 BC.[6]

The Tungusic expansion into Siberia displaced the indigenous Siberian languages, which are now grouped under the term Paleosiberian. Several theories suggest that the Pannonian Avars of the Avar Khaganate in Central-, East- and Southeast-Europe were of Tungusic origin or of partially Tungusic origin (ruler class).[7]

The Manchu originally came from Manchuria, which is now Northeast China and Russian Far East. Following the Manchu establishment of the Qing dynasty in the 17th century, they have been almost totally assimilated into the main ethnic Han population of China. This process has accelerated especially during the 20th century.

During the 17th century, the Tsardom of Russia was expanding east across Siberia, and into Tungusic-speaking lands, ending with the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk. The first published description of a Tungusic people to reach beyond Russia into the rest of Europe was by the Dutch traveler Isaac Massa in 1612. He passed along information from Russian reports after his stay in Moscow.[8]

Ethnic groupsEdit

Tunguska rivers, forming the western boundary

"Tungusic" (Manchu-Tungus) peoples are divided into two main branches, northern and southern.

The southern branch is dominated by the Manchu (historically Jurchen). The Chinese Qing emperors were Manchu, and the Manchu group has largely been sinicized (the Manchu language being moribund, with 20 native speakers reported as of 2007[9]).

The Sibe were possibly a Tungusic-speaking section of the (Mongolic) Shiwei and have been conquered by the expanding Manchu (Jurchen). Their language is mutually intelligible with Manchu. The Nanai (Goldi) are also derived from the Jurchen. The Orok (Ulta) are an offshoot of the Nanai. Other minor groups closely related to the Nanai are the Ulch, Oroch and Udege. The Udege live in the Primorsky Krai and Khabarovsk Krai in the Russian Federation.

The northern branch is mostly formed by the closely related ethnic groups of Evenks and Evens (Evenks and Evens are also grouped as "Evenic"). The Evenks live in the Evenk Autonomous Okrug of Russia in addition to many parts of eastern Siberia, especially Sakha Republic. The Evens are very closely related to the Evenks by language and culture, and they likewise inhabit various parts of eastern Siberia. People who classify themselves as Evenks in the Russian census tend to live toward the west and toward the south of eastern Siberia, whereas people who classify themselves as Evens tend to live toward the east and toward the north of eastern Siberia, with some degree of overlap in the middle (notably, in certain parts of Sakha Republic). Minor ethnic groups also in the northern branch are the Negidals and the Oroqen. The Oroqen, Solon, and Khamnigan inhabit some parts of Heilongjiang Province, Inner Mongolia, and Mongolia and may be considered as subgroups of the Evenk ethnicity, though the Solons and the Khamnigans in particular have interacted closely with Mongolic peoples (Mongol, Daur, Buryat), and they are ethnographically quite distinct from the Evenks in Russia.


Distribution of the Tungusic languages
  • means the ethnic group is mainly distributed in China.
  • means the ethnic group is mainly distributed both in China and Russia.
  • means the ethnic group is mainly distributed in Russia.

Tungusic peoples are:

English Chinese / Russian self designation Region Population Notes
Manchu 满族(满洲)/Маньчжуры ᠮᠠᠨᠵᡠMöllendorff:manju, abkai:manju) Liaoning Pro., Jilin Pro., Heilongjiang Pro., Inner Mongolia A.R., Hebei Pro., Beijing etc., People's Republic of China[10]   China: 10,410,585 (2010)[10]   Taiwan: 12000[11]

  Hong Kong: 1000[12]
  USA: 379 (2000)[13]

Oroqen 鄂伦春族/Орочоны Orocen A.B., Hulun buir city etc., Inner Mongolia A.R., People's Republic of China   China: 8,659 (2010)[14]
Xibe 锡伯族/Сибо ᠰᡞᠪᡝTransliterations:sibe) Qapqal Xibe A.C., Ili Kazakh A.P. etc., Xinjiang Uyghur A.R., Liaoning Pro., People's Republic of China   China: 190,481 (2010)[14] also have settlement in Khorgas, Tarbagatai, Ürümqi , beyond 1000 in Jilin Pro., Heilongjiang Pro., Inner Mongolia A.R., Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Evenki (Solons included) 鄂温克族、埃文基人/Эвенки Эвэнкил Ergun City, Arun Banner, Old Barag Banner, Oroqen A.B., Morin Dawa Daur A.B. etc., Inner Mongolia A.R.; Nehe City, Heilongjiang Pro., People's Republic of China.

Sakhalin Oblast. Khabarovsk Krai, Amur Oblast, Buryatia Rep., Zabaykalsky Krai, Evenk Autonomous Okrug (Evenkia), Sakha (Yakutia) Rep., Irkutsk Oblast, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Tomsk Oblast, Tyumen Oblast, Russian Federation.
Selenge Pro., Mongolia

  Russia: 38,396 (2012)[15]

  China: 30,875 (2010)[16]

  Mongolia: 537 (2015)[17]

  Ukraine:48 (2001)[18]

Nanai, Hezhen, Golds, Samagir 赫哲族、那乃人、纳奈人/нанайцы na nio, na bəi, na nai, ki lən, χə d͡ʑən Jiejinkou, Bacha, Jiamusi City; Sipai, Shuangyashan City etc., Heilongjiang Pro., People's Republic of China.

Khabarovsk Krai, Primorsky Krai, Russian Federation

  Russia: 12,160 (2002)[19]

  China: 5,354 (2010)[20]

Evens 埃文人/эвены эвэсэл Chukotka A.O.,[21] Kamchatka Krai, Magadan Oblast, Russian Federation   Russia: 22,383 (2012)[15]   Ukraine: 104 (2001)[22]
Negidals 涅吉达尔人/негидальцы элькан бэйэнин Khabarovsk Krai, Russian Federation   Russia: 513 (2012)[23]   Ukraine: 52 (2001)[24]
Uilta, Orok 乌尔他人、鄂罗克人/Ороки Uilta, Orok, Ul'ta, Ulcha, Nani Nogliksky District, Poronaysky District, Sakhalin Oblast, Russian Federation.

Abashiri City, Sapporo City, Hokkaido, Japan

  Russia: 295 (2012)[25]   Japan: 20 (1989)
Ulch 乌尔奇人/Ульчи нани Ulchsky District, Khabarovsk Krai, Russian Federation   Russia: 2,765 (2012)[23]   Ukraine: 76
Oroch 奥罗奇人/О́рочи Nani Khabarovsk Krai, Primorsky Krai, Sakhalin Oblast, Magadan Oblast, Russian Federation   Russia: 596 (2010)[23]   Ukraine: 288 (2001)
Udege 乌德赫人/Удэгейцы удээ, удэхе, Udihe, Udekhe, Udeghe Khabarovsk Krai, Primorsky Krai, Russian Federation   Russia: 1,496 (2010)[23]   Ukraine: 42 (2001)[26]

Population geneticsEdit

Haplogroups (values in percent)
Population Language n C  C-M217 C-M48 C-M86/M77 C-M407 O O-M122 O-M119 O-M268 O-M176 N N-Tat N-P43 R1a R1b Q Others Reference
Evenks (China) Northern Tungusic 41 43.9 43.9 - 34.1 - 36.6 24.4 2.4 9.8 2.4 4.9 0.0 2.4 4.9 0.0 9.8 0.0 Hammer 2006[27]
Evenks (China) Northern Tungusic 26 57.7 57.7 30.8 - 0.0 34.6 23.1 7.7 3.8 0.0 3.8 - - 0.0 0.0 0.0 K-M9(xNO-M214, P-92R7)=3.8 Xue 2006[28]
Evenks (Russia) Northern Tungusic 95 68.4 68.4 - 54.7 - 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 18.9 16.8 2.1 1.1 0.0 4.2 I1-P30=5.3
Hammer 2006[27]
Evens (Russia) Northern Tungusic 31 74.2 74.2 - 61.3 - 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 12.9 12.9 0.0 6.5 0.0 3.2 I2a1-P37.2=3.2 Hammer 2006[27]
Hezhe (China) Amur Tungusic 45 28.9 22.2 11.1 - - 51.1 44.4 0.0 6.7 4.4 20.0 - 17.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Xue 2006[28]
Manchu (China) Jurchen-Manchu 52 26.9 26.9 - 0.0 - 57.7 38.5 3.8 9.6 3.8 5.8 0.0 0.0 1.9 - 0.0 R2a-M124=3.8
R1-M173(xP25, M73, M269, SRY10831b)=1.9
Hammer 2006[27]
Manchu (China) Jurchen-Manchu 35 25.7 25.7 2.9 - - 54.3 37.1 2.9 14.3 5.7 14.3 0.0 2.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 DE-YAP(xE-SRY4064)=2.9
K-M9(xNO-M214, P-92R7)=2.9
Xue 2006[28]
Oroqen (China) Northern Tungusic 22 90.9 90.9 - 68.2 - 4.5 0.0 0.0 4.5 0.0 4.5 4.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Hammer 2006[27]
Oroqen (China) Northern Tungusic 31 61.3 61.3 41.9 - - 29.0 19.4 0.0 6.5 0.0 6.5 0.0 6.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 K-M9(xNO-M214, P-92R7)=3.2 Xue 2006[28]
Ulchi (Russia) Amur Tungusic 52 69.2 69.2 34.6 26.9 0.0 15.4 11.5 1.9 1.9 - 5.8 3.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.8 I-P37=1.9%
Balanovska 2018[29]
Xibe (China) Jurchen-Manchu 41 26.8 26.8 4.9 - - 36.6 26.8 7.3 2.4 2.4 17.1 4.9 0.0 0.0 - - J-12f2=7.3
BT-SRY10831.1(xC-M130, DE-YAP, J-12f2, K-M9)=2.4
Xue 2006[28]

The Tungusic people are closely related to other Northern Asian populations and to the Mongols. The main haplogroup of the Ewenic peoples (Evenks, Evens, Oroqens, and Negidals) is the C-M48 subclade (and especially its C-M86 subclade) of Haplogroup C-M217.[30][27][28][31][32][33] Besides the Ewenic peoples, C-M86 is also common among Mongols (165/426 = 38.7% C-M77 in a sample of Kalmyks,[34] 29/97 = 29.9% C-M86 in a sample of Mongols from northwest Mongolia,[35] 27/149 = 18.1% C-M86 in a sample from Mongolia[27]), Kazakhs (225/1294 = 17.39% C-M86, with Y-DNA belonging to this clade being observed in 58/76 = 76.3% of a sample of the Baiuly, 80/122 = 65.6% of a sample of the Alimuly, and 30/86 = 34.9% of a sample of the Jetyru, three tribes of western Kazakhstan who are collectively known as the Junior/Lesser/Kishi jüz or the Alshyns[36]), and Ulchi (14/52 = 26.9%[29]). Y-DNA haplogroup C is also the most common haplogroup among the Udege (12/20 = 60% C-M48,[30] 14/21 = 66.7% C-RPS4Y711,[37] 19/31 = 61.3% C3*(xC3c, C3d) plus 3/31 = 9.7% C3c[31]), but the frequency among them of the C-M86 subclade is unclear.

Haplogroup N Y-DNA is also found among Ewenic peoples with varying frequency. Haplogroup N Y-DNA among Evenks in the basin of the Yenisei River and the Taimyr Peninsula most often belongs to the N-P43 subclade, which they share mainly with the Samoyedic and Ugric peoples of Western Siberia. Haplogroup N among Evenks, Evens, and Negidals in Eastern Siberia (the basin of the Lena River and parts to its south or east) belongs mainly to the N-Tat subclade, haplotypes of which they often share either with Yakut or with Buryat.

However, the modern Manchu people show relatively high amounts of Haplogroup O2, which is common among Chinese and Koreans, and Haplogroup O1b2, which is common among Japanese and Koreans.

According to a study of Tungusic Evenks, Evens, and Udeges in Russia published in 2013, their main mtDNA haplogroups are :

Haplogroup Pop. % Notes
Haplogroup C 121/283 42.76%
C4b 55/283 19.43%
C4a 54/283 19.08%
C5 11/283 3.89%
Haplogroup D 69/283 24.38%
D4l2 18/283 6.36%
D5a2a2 12/283 4.24%
D4e4a 10/283 3.53%
D3 8/283 2.83%
D4o2 8/283 2.83%
D4i2 5/283 1.77%
D4j 5/283 1.77%
D4m2 3/283 1.06%
Haplogroup Z1a 25/283 8.83%
Z1a(xZ1a1, Z1a2) 12/283 4.24%
Z1a2 9/283 3.18%
Z1a1 4/283 1.41%
Haplogroup A 11/283 3.89%
A4(xA2a, A2b1, A8, A12a) 7/283 2.47%
A12a 2/283 0.71%
A2a 2/283 0.71%
Haplogroup N9b 10/283 3.53% (observed only in the sample of Udege)
Haplogroup G 10/283 3.53%
G1b 9/283 3.18%
G2a1 1/283 0.35%
Haplogroup Y1a 8/283 2.83%
Haplogroup M7 8/283 2.83%
M7a2a 6/283 2.12%
M7c1d 2/283 0.71%
Haplogroup F1b1 6/283 2.12%

The Ewenic (Evenk and Even) people in Siberia appear similar to their North Siberian Turkic (Yakut and Dolgan) and Yukaghir neighbors in regard to their mitochondrial gene pool, exhibiting high frequencies of haplogroups C4a, C4b, C5, D4l2, and D5a2a2. D4l2 seems to be relatively common among Dolgans, Ewenic people, and Yukaghirs and less common among Yakut, whereas D5a2a2 seems to be relatively common among Evenks in the basin of the Iyengra River and the Yakut and less common among Evens, Yukaghirs, and Dolgans. C4a, C4b, and C5 seem to be spread relatively evenly among these populations. Evens, Evenks in the basin of the Nyukzha River, and Yukaghirs also share mtDNA haplogroup Z1a with notable frequency, but this haplogroup is rare among Evenks in many other areas as well as among Yakut and Dolgans.

The mitochondrial gene pool of the Udege appears to differ starkly from that of the Ewenic people. According to the same study by Duggan et al. (2013), the members of a sample of Udege belong to haplogroup N9b (10/31 = 32.3%, probably descended from Jōmon people of northern Japan), haplogroup C4b1 (6/31 = 19.4%, also found among Evenks, Evens, Yakut, Dolgans, Buryat, Bargut, and Yukaghirs; three of the six Udege members of C4b1 belong to the C4b1f subclade marked by a T14153C mutation, which has only been observed in Udege to date), haplogroup M7a2a3 (5/31 = 16.1%, probably descended from Jōmon people, but also observed among Evenks in the basin of the Nyukzha River and among Buryat), haplogroup M8a1b (4/31 = 12.9%, related to Japanese haplogroup M8a1a), haplogroup M9a1a1a2 (3/31 = 9.7%, this subclade also has been found in a Nivkh individual and belongs to a mainly Japanese but also Korean, Khamnigan, Kalmyk, Chinese, and Tibetan branch of the M9a1a1 clade, which is widespread in East Asia and notably frequent among present-day Tibetans), haplogroup Y1a (2/31 = 6.5%, shared mainly with the Hezhen, other Amur Tungusic/Nani peoples, and Nivkhs), and C4a1a4a (1/31 = 3.2%, also observed among Tibetans, Bargut, Buryat, Kyrgyz, Altai Kizhi, Teleut, Shor, Yakut, Evenks, and Evens).

The data seems to reflect some amount of gene flow with peoples living around the Sea of Okhotsk (Koryaks, Nivkhs, Ainus, etc.) on the one hand and peoples living in Central Asia (Turkic peoples, Mongols) on the other.[38] A minor connection with Beringian populations (Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Eskimo-Aleut, Na-Dene) is apparent in the presence of mtDNA that belongs to haplogroup D2, haplogroup D3, and haplogroup A2a among present-day Northern Tungusic people.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Languages of the Seat of War in the East, by Max Müller, 1855
  2. ^ Tungus. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved May 2 2019 from
  3. ^ [1] The Collected Works of M.A. Czap Marie Antoinette Czaplicka, p. 88
  4. ^ Pulleyblank (1983), p. 452
  5. ^ С.М.Широкогорова, Sergei Mikhailovich Shirokogorov
  6. ^ E. V. Balanovska et al., "Demographic and Genetic Portraits of the Ulchi Population", Russian Journal of Genetics, October 2018, Volume 54, Issue 10, pp 1245–1253.
  7. ^ Helimski, E (2004). "Die Sprache(n) der Awaren: Die mandschu-tungusische Alternative". Proceedings of the First International Conference on Manchu-Tungus Studies, Vol. II: 59–72.
  8. ^ [2] Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume III: A Century of Advance. Book 4. By Donald F. Lach
  9. ^ Bradley, David. 2007. East and Southeast Asia. In R. E. Asher & Christopher Moseley (eds.), Atlas of the world’s languages, 2nd edn., 159–209. London & New York: Routledge.
  10. ^ a b 2010人口普查|1=《中国2010年人口普查资料(上中下)》,国务院人口普查办公室编,中国统计出版社,2012年1月,ISBN 978-7-5037-6507-0
  11. ^ 中华民国满族协会|1=翁福祥. "台灣滿族的由來暨現況". 中华民国满族协会. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  12. ^ 中国人民大学 (1997). "民族研究" (1–12): 21.
  13. ^ "Census: Table 1. First, Second, and Total Responses to the Ancestry Question by Detailed Ancestry Code: 2000" (PDF). 美国人口普查局. 2000. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  14. ^ a b "中国2010年人口普查资料". 国家统计局.
  15. ^ a b Ethnic groups in Russia, 2010 census, Rosstat. Retrieved 15 February 2012 (in Russian)
  16. ^ "Evenk Archives - Intercontinental Cry". Intercontinental Cry. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  17. ^ "2015 POPULATION AND HOUSING BY-CENSUS OF MONGOLIA: NATIONAL REPORT". National Statistics Office of Mongolia. 20 February 2017.
  18. ^ "About number and composition population of Ukraine by data All-Ukrainian census of the population 2001". Ukraine Census 2001. State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 17 December 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  19. ^ Russia Population Census
  20. ^ Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China [3] (2010)
  21. ^ 『言語学大辞典 第2巻 世界言語編(中)さ-に』 亀井孝、河野六郎、千野栄一、三根谷徹、北村甫、南不二男、風間喜代三、西田龍雄、上村幸雄、松本克己、土田滋、上野善道 編(1988)三省堂
  22. ^ "About number and composition population of Ukraine by data All-Ukrainian census of the population 2001". Ukraine Census 2001. State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 17 December 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  23. ^ a b c d Russian Census 2010: Population by ethnicity (in Russian)
  24. ^ State statistics committee of Ukraine - National composition of population, 2001 census (Ukrainian)
  25. ^ "ВПН-2010". Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  26. ^ State statistics committee of Ukraine - National composition of population, 2001 census (Ukrainian)
  27. ^ a b c d e f g Michael F. Hammer, Tatiana M. Karafet, Hwayong Park, Keiichi Omoto, Shinji Harihara, Mark Stoneking, and Satoshi Horai, "Dual origins of the Japanese: common ground for hunter-gatherer and farmer Y chromosomes." J Hum Genet (2006) 51:47–58. DOI 10.1007/s10038-005-0322-0
  28. ^ a b c d e f Yali Xue, Tatiana Zerjal, Weidong Bao, Suling Zhu, Qunfang Shu, Jiujin Xu, Ruofu Du, Songbin Fu, Pu Li, Matthew E. Hurles, Huanming Yang, and Chris Tyler-Smith, "Male Demography in East Asia: A North–South Contrast in Human Population Expansion Times." Genetics 172: 2431–2439 (April 2006). DOI: 10.1534/genetics.105.054270
  29. ^ a b E. V. Balanovska, Y. V. Bogunov, E. N. Kamenshikova, O. A. Balaganskaya, A. T. Agdzhoyan, A. A. Bogunova, R. A. Skhalyakho, I. E. Alborova, M. K. Zhabagin, S. M. Koshel, D. M. Daragan, E. B. Borisova, A. A. Galakhova, O. V. Maltceva, Kh. Kh. Mustafin, N. K. Yankovsky, and O. P. Balanovsky, "Demographic and Genetic Portraits of the Ulchi Population." ISSN 1022-7954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2018, Vol. 54, No. 10, pp. 1245–1253.
  30. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Lell2002 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  31. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Kharkov2012 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  32. ^ Cite error: The named reference Duggan2013 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  33. ^ Cite error: The named reference Fedorova2013 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  34. ^ Boris Malyarchuk, Miroslava Derenko, Galina Denisova, Sanj Khoyt, Marcin Woźniak, Tomasz Grzybowski, and Ilya Zakharov, "Y-chromosome diversity in the Kalmyks at the ethnical and tribal levels." Journal of Human Genetics (2013) 58, 804–811; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.108.
  35. ^ Cite error: The named reference DiCristofaro2013 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  36. ^ Cite error: The named reference Ashirbekov2017 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  37. ^ Cite error: The named reference Jin2010 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  38. ^ Pakendorf, Brigitte; Osakovsky, Vladimir; Novgorodov, Innokentiy; Makarov, Sergey; Spitsyn, Victor; Butthof, Anne; Crawford, Michael; Wiebe, Victor; Whitten, Mark (2013-12-12). "Investigating the Prehistory of Tungusic Peoples of Siberia and the Amur-Ussuri Region with Complete mtDNA Genome Sequences and Y-chromosomal Markers". PLOS ONE. 8 (12): e83570. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083570. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3861515. PMID 24349531.

External linksEdit