(also Shortsy; self-designation, shor), a nationality living in southern Kemerovo Oblast (Gornaia Shoriia), RSFSR, chiefly in the basin of the Tom’ River and its tributaries the Kon-doma and Mras-Su. In Russian historical documents of the 17th and 18th centuries the Shortzy are called the Kuznets, Kondoma, or Mras Tatars. According to the 1979 census, the Shortzy number 16,000. They speak Shortzy. Although considered in the past to be Russian Orthodox, they in fact continued to practice shamanism and forms of worship associated with hunting and fishing.
The Shortzy nationality was formed over a protracted period in which Ugrian, Samoyed, Ket-speaking, and Turkic tribes intermingled. In culture and origin the Shortzy are related to the northern Altais and certain ethnic groups of Khakass. Until the early 20th century the Shortzy retained, to a considerable extent, vestiges of clan relations. Before the October Revolution of 1917 they engaged chiefly in hunting and fishing, although some groups practiced primitive land cultivation as well; smithery was important, as were the mining and smelting of iron ore—hence the name Kuznets (Blacksmith) Tatars.
Under Soviet power the life of the Shortzy has changed radically. The majority are employed in agriculture: they engage in land cultivation and stock raising and pursue the traditional economic activities of hunting, fishing, and the gathering of pine nuts. Many Shortzy work in industry, and a sizable intelligentsia has developed.
REFERENCESPotapov, L. P. Ocherki istorii Shorii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Narody Sibiri. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.