Ulchi, a Tungus-Manchi people are descendants of Neolithic hunters-fishermen-gatherers of the Amur area and Primorye. They live in the Khabarovsk territory in the middle reaches of the Amur. The Ulchi have different endonyms: Nani “locals,” Manguns/Manguni (“people of the Amur”: Mangu means the Amur, ni means people), Olchi, Gilayks, Hedzenay (those living down the river).

General information

The name Ulchi has been the only official ethnonym since the 1930s. In the late 19 th- early 20th centuries, the Ulchi lived in the villages of Solontsy, Cherny Yar (Puli), Pakhta, Bogorodskoye (Tencha), and others. The village of Ukhta on the Amur marks the linguistic “border” between the Ulchi and the Nivkh. Currently, the Ulchi live in the villages of Ukhta, Pul, Cherny Yar, Koima, Mongol, Kada, Bolba, Kolchom, Dudi, Bulava, Bogorodskoye.

Surrounding society and the main economic activity of the region of residence

In the 21st century, the Ulchi district demonstrates the following economic indicators: The timber industry. Timber resources are estimated at 257.7 million cubic meters. The overall annual allowable cut totals 2.63 million cubic meters including 2.1 million cubic meters in available annual cut. There is only one lessee, Rimbunan Hijau FE LLC, that has an impact on the timber industry’s indicators in the Ulchi district. One large forest lessee, Dallesprom OJSC, significantly reduced its logging; the logging camp moved from the village of De-Kastri to the village of Konstantinovka in the Nikolaevsk District. Logging totaled 72.04 cubic meters over three months of 2022, or 58.5 % of the 2021 figure. Timber hauling totaled 81,520 cubic meters, round timber production totaled 71,100 cubic meters or 67.8 % of the 2021 figure. The timber industry’s preliminary estimate puts the revenue from sales of products, goods, and services in the accounting period at RUB 273.5 million, or 62.7 % of the 2021 figure.

Spiritual culture

The Ulchi saw mountains, rivers, lakes, and hunting grounds as living entities; all elements of nature, animals, birds, and fishes had an immortal soul and had their master spirits. Specific deities personified the cosmos, earth, sun, moon, and stars. The universe consisted of three worlds: the upper, or heavenly, world populated by heavenly people; the middle world populated by earthly, mortal people; the lower world, or the world of the dead. Additionally, the Ulchi had an underwater world called Temun. Heavenly people were patrons and judges of earthly people, they taught them moral precepts, a humane attitude to each other, to master spirits, and to nature.

Supplementary materials
Other materials describing the life, culture and history of the people
Interactive Atlas of the Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East