The Vakh River (Russian: Вах) is a river in Khanty–Mansia, Russia. It is a right tributary of the Ob River. The Vakh River is 964 kilometres (599 mi) long with a basin of 76,700 square kilometres (29,600 sq mi). It begins in the basin of the Ob, the Yenisei, and the Taz rivers. The Vakh River's main tributaries are the Kulynigol, the Sabun, the Kolikyegan, and the Bolshoy Megtygyegan. Since the Vakh, like the Ket River, flows from east to west, it was an important early transportation route. A short portage connects its headwaters to the Sym River, which flows into the Yenisei. See Siberian River Routes.

Vakh River
RegionKhanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ coordinates
60°49′09″N 76°49′06″E / 60.819142°N 76.818466°E / 60.819142; 76.818466Coordinates: 60°49′09″N 76°49′06″E / 60.819142°N 76.818466°E / 60.819142; 76.818466
Basin features
River systemOb River

The interfluvial area between two of the Vakh tributaries, the Kolikyegan and Sabun, is a zone of raised string bogs covering 12,885 square kilometres (4,975 sq mi). It is a status B Ramsar wetland, nominated for designation as a Wetland of International Importance in 2000.[1]

Early pottery from the Vakh River basin, Vasiugan and Tomsk-Chulym is dominated by comb-pit decorations.[2] An 1875 account of the people of the region said, "The Samoyedes of Southern Siberia are neighbours of the Youraks, and inhabit the Upper Taz, the Yelogouï, and the affluents of the Vakh river. They are pure Samoyedes as regards race."[3]

Russians began to significantly affect the Khanty people on the Vakh river area by 1896. These people were eking out a living by hunting, fishing and selling squirrel skins. The Russians introduced tobacco and alcohol.[4] Moral codes began breaking down, and new infectious diseases were introduced. There was a brief attempt to counter the problems through shamanistic ceremonies. Valuable horses were sacrificed, but without effect.[5]




  • Fraser, Lauchlan H.; Keddy, Paul A. (2005-06-10). The World's Largest Wetlands: Ecology and Conservation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83404-9. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  • Jordan, Peter; Zvelebil, Marek (2010-04-15). Ceramics Before Farming: The Dispersal of Pottery Among Prehistoric Eurasian Hunter-Gatherers. Left Coast Press. p. 216. ISBN 978-1-59874-245-9. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  • Wahl, O. W. (1875). The land of the czar. Chapman and Hall. p. 154. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  • Walter, Mariko Namba; Fridman, Eva Jane Neumann (2004). Shamanism: an encyclopedia of world beliefs, practices and culture. Vol. 1. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-645-3. Retrieved 2013-03-28.