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(to͝onko͝oz`), Siberian ethnic group, numbering perhaps 30,000. They are subdivided into the Evenki, who live in the area from the Yenisei and Ob river basins to the Pacific Ocean and from the Amur River to the Arctic Ocean, and the Lamut, who live on the coast of the Okhotsk Sea. The Tungus are closely related to the Manchus. Before they were brought under Soviet control, the Tungus practiced a shamanistic religion. The Tungus, or Tunguzic, languages are a division of the Altaic subfamily of the Ural-Altaic family of languages (see Uralic and Altaic languagesUralic and Altaic languages
, two groups of related languages thought by many scholars to form a single Ural-Altaic linguistic family. However, other authorities hold that the Uralic and Altaic groups constitute two unconnected and separate language families.
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) that includes the Manchu literary language; they may be related to the Mongolic and Turkic families.


See I. Lissner, Man, God, and Magic (tr. 1961).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Tungu languages are spoken in eastern Siberia and are fragmented into many dialects, the most important ones being Evenki and Oroch.
Iinima mbi ya kana notayi tungu otayi vulu okuhololwa po ishewe ngiini?
From the Tungu, they received their name; from the Yakut, they took their language; and from the Russians, they received the Christian religion and their main economic activities: hunting the Arctic fox and fishing.
It is not difficult to imagine what happened when newcomers from more southerly regions--the last Samoyed (the direct ancestors of the modern-day Nenets), the Tungus in the east, or the Chukchis on the Pacific coastline--entered this sparse population.
Because of their culture, the Yakut are similar to the Tungus people who surround them, but their language links them to the other Turkish peoples, even though the nearest are more than 621 mi (1,000 km) away from Yakuty.
Dr Shein will grace the opening of the Institute of Public Administration building in Tungu, South Unguja on Saturday, before inaugurating an e-government control centre at Mazini, built with support from China government.