Ruttkay-Miklián E. Antal Reguly’s Data on the Ural Nenets

Eszter RUTTKAY-MIKLIÁN — PhD, director, Antal Reguly Museum and House of Arts and Crafts (Hungary, Zirc)



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ABSTRACT. In the 18–19th century the population on both sides of the Northern Ural was mixed considering both mother tongue and ethnicity. The impression based on the folkloristic and linguistic research from the second half of the 19th century — that the tundra zone was dominated by the Nenets type of reindeer herding and the taiga zone by the complex Ob- Ugrian husbandry (which includes mainly hunting and fishing). The ‘classical’ borders among ethnic groups and languages could not have marked sharp differences. It seems that instead of examining the history of ethnic groups and languages it is worth following the fates of smaller groups, dialects or even individual life stories to understand the processes of change. 

Reguly’s manuscript reveals that, while he was studying certain ethnic groups, his knowledge and main interest went through a significant transformation. Having toured the area between the Ural and the River Ob and later the Urals, he acquired three languages in one and a half years (Mansi, Nenets, Khanty), got to know at least three lifestyles (forest hunting, fishing, reindeer herding), mapped an area hitherto unknown (the Northern Ural), set down several volumes of verses, and took part in more than one sacrificial rites. Ethnic identity of the population of Sigva River was the subject of many debates in the literature already in the middle of the nineteenth century. Antal Reguly’s data demonstrate that besides the Khanty, Mansi and Komi ethnic groups, the Nenets also featured in the history of the Sigva population. 

KEYWORDS: Antal Reguly, Ural, Nenets, Khanty, Mansi, ethnic history, reindeer herding

УДК 39(=511.2) 

DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2018-2-84-110 



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