The Kumandin language


In Soviet period, Kumandin was considered a dialect of the Altai language. In 2000, Kumandins were included in the list of indigenous small-numbered peoples of the Russian Federation and their language was recognized as a separate language (by RF government decree № 255 of March 24, 2000).

Folklore Kumandin group "Odychak" (Ogonek)
from the village of Chateaubal.
General Characteristics

Kumandins (based on the name of one of the ethnic groups; etymologically, this ethnonym is compared to куман and linked with the Turkic root qu: <*qub ‘pale’ + -man). There are several variants of this self-designation: куванды, куванта, кувандык, as well as тадар кижи. Sometimes, Kumandins are divided into Örö Kumandins, or Upper Kumandins inhabiting the upper course of the Biya river, and Altyna Kumandins, or Lower Kumandins living in the middle course of the Biya river. As ethnic group, Kumandins developed as a result of long-term contacts between the ancient Samoyedic, Ugrian, Yeniseian population and the Turkic groups that arrived on this territory later.

Interactive atlas of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East