"A visit to "my relatives": the Khanty & the Mansi" Khanty-Mansiyskiy Avtonomnyy Okrug by hunwagner

Being a Hungarian, I have been interested in visiting our closest surviving linguistic relatives, the Khanty and Mansi since I first learned about them in elementary school.
The opportunity to do so came in 2002, when I stopped in Tyumeny on my way home overlanding from Japan, and travelled up the Irtish and Ob rivers to the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.
While the area is overwhelmingly Russified now with booming oil towns, I did find vast expanses of stunningly beautiful, pristine nature and also communities of our "relatives" still maintaining much of their traditional culture.
I hope I will be able to return for a second visit one day...

The Khanty

The Khanty today number only some 22.000. They are found mostly in the eastern part of the Khanty-Mansi AO, as well as in the south-western part of the neighbouring Yamal-Nenets AO. Only the Northern and the Eastern Khanty maintain their native language and traditional way of life to varying degrees nowadays.

The Mansi

The Mansi number only 8000, living in the western part of the Khanty-Mansi AO. Only the Northern Mansi still speak their native language and live in communities where traditional ways are still followed.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Unique cultures and unspoilt landscapes way off the beaten track
  • Cons:High prices, rampaging development, limited transport - and zillions of mosquitos!
  • In a nutshell:Definitely a region of "special interest" only!
  • Last visit to Khanty-Mansiyskiy Avtonomnyy Okrug: Aug 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (9)

  • cosmicdancer's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    Thanks so much, Laszlo, for sharing your experiences with this group. I live in the US and my mother is Hungarian. I have been researching this group and would love to visit.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2009 at 9:23 AM

    Laszlo, you are a great traveller I must say! Thanks for your rich pages...

  • kikalena's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:20 AM

    a very interesting place to visit! It must have been marvellous to see these people and listen to their language.I'd love to visit more off the beaten path places in Russia.

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2007 at 1:04 AM

    fascinating , I wonder how it is possible to survive in winter in north siberia

  • zlatiq's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2006 at 7:13 PM

    that is so interesting!i wshould find out more info on this:)thanks

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2005 at 10:23 AM

    Very interesting! Cool pictures!

  • AyurinHiro's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2005 at 10:04 AM

    It must be an interesting experience to visit your linguistic relatives. :-) Their costume look beautiful! Thanks for your visiting our page.

  • Polska's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2005 at 1:27 PM

    ugy irigyellek! ugy mennek oda en is! amugy van egy baratnom itt Lengyelorszagban, aki magyarul, finnul s udmurtul (sic!) is beszel :))

  • ukirsari's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2004 at 5:29 AM

    kak krasivaja fotografiiya :)


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