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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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
They live in the north of the Taymyr Peninsula and are a people who has formed in a period of just a few decades by interbreeding between Tunguses, Yakuts, and Russians.
This is how the Sellduk arose on the banks of the Yenisey, the result of interbreeding between Samoyeds and Russians, and how the Dolgan arose in Taymyr, from breeding among Russians, Tunguses, and Yakuts, while on the banks of the River Lena and the River Yana, other similar groups had already been assimilated by the Yakuts.