A Dolgan man

Dolgans (Russian: долганы; self-designation: долган, тыа-кихи, саха) are a Turkic people, who mostly inhabit Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. The 2010 Census counted 7,885 Dolgans. This number includes 5,517 in former Taymyr Autonomous Okrug. There are 26 Dolgans in Ukraine, four of whom speak Dolgan (2001 Ukrainian Census).

Dolgans speak the Dolgan language.[1] Some believe that it is a dialect of Yakut language.

The Dolgan identity began to emerge during the 19th and early 20th centuries, under the influence of three groups who migrated to the Krasnoyarsk area from the Lena River and Olenyok River region: Evenks, Yakuts, Enets, and so-called Tundra peasants (Зату́ндренные крестья́не Zatúndrennye krest’jáne, literally "tundranized peasants").

Originally, the Dolgans were nomadic hunters and reindeer herders. However, they were prevented from following a nomadic lifestyle during the Soviet era and required to form kolkhozy (rural collectives) that – in addition to their traditional activities – engaged in reindeer breeding, fishing, dairy farming and market gardening. In 1983, the anthropologist Shirin Akiner claimed: "Dolgans enjoy full Soviet citizenship. They are found in all occupations, though the majority are peasants and collective farm workers. Their standard of housing is comparable to that of other national groups in the Soviet Union."[2]

Most Dolgans practice old shamanistic beliefs; however, some are influenced with Orthodox Christianity.

Notable Dolgans

See also


  1. Hickey, Raymond (14 May 2012). The Handbook of Language Contact. John Wiley & Sons. p. 728. ISBN 978-1-4443-1816-6. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  2. Akiner, Shirin (1983). Islamic Peoples of the Soviet Union (with an Appendix on the Non-Muslim Turkic Peoples of the Soviet Union). Kegan Paul International. p. 422. ISBN 978-0-7103-0025-6. Retrieved 26 August 2012.

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