Northern Peoples of Russia Munsi

This famous in the past nation today only has just over 12 thousand people.

Several centuries ago, the glory of the warriors and masters of hunting – Mansi – was spread from the Urals to Moscow.

“Mansi” in translation means “people.”

Glorious Past

Ancient tribes of Mansi inhabited the western Urals and Trans-Baikal. Over time, these lands became controlled by Russia. Since then Mansi’s military power went downhill and the memory of the Mansi heroes is preserved only in folklore.

Mansi migration brought them to the Ob River basin, where they settled among Khanty.

Adapted Mansi song:

Khanty and Mansi – Historical Unification

Khanty and Mansi – these two people is difficult to separate from each other. They speak the same language, and their cultures and the way of life are very similar. And they also live on the territory, which is formed by their names – the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District.

Arrival of Christianity

During the reign of Peter the Great a part of Mansi adopted Orthodoxy.

Yet they still preserved some pagan symbols. Up to the beginning of the 20thcentury the important role in Mansi life belonged to shamans. They say that this tradition is still alive today, but is carefully hidden from prying eyes.

Unity with Nature – Mansi Lifestyle

Wise Mansi treated animals with reverence: didn’t make noise in forests, didn’t hunt for young animals or pregnant females, and never settled in animals’ habitat.

Some trees were considered sacred, and you could not even step over them.

The Moon and the Sun were the personification of masculine and feminine. A lunar eclipse for Mansi was a warning of the impending danger.

Preserving Mansi

Some areas of the North are far from civilization. There Mansi people still engage in reindeer herding and hunting, preserving traditional crafts. Mansi live in a leisurely pace. In some places Mansi places still use household items and utensils made ​​in the last century and inherited.

Today Mansi increase their population and carefully preserve traditional culture.


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