Dialogue on the Threshold

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Friday, 1 June 2012

The Vogouls (1) Ethnonym, territory, language

These people are sometimes called Vagouls and Vagoulitzes; but the appellation they give themselves is Mansi. They are of Finnish extraction as well as their language, but this latter has so many peculiarities of its own, and comprehends such a number of different dialects, that it has often, with good reason, been taken for a distinct language. The Vogouls have established their habitations in the forests on the northern side of Mount Oural, extending themselves to the westward, and still farther on the plains to the eastward of this chain of mountains. The disposition of their abode is such, that the houses are continued along the borders of a number of little rivers which fall into the Kama and Irtisch, on the borders of Solikamsk and Verghotouria, not far from the rivers Kolva, Vischoura, and Tawda. Here they have dwelt for time immemorial, and are possessed of traditions which have a great conformity with history. Some authors pretend that they are the brethren of the ancient Ougrians, or of the present Hungarians, and found their conjecture on the situation of the Vogoul territory, and the striking resemblance there is between the languages of the two nations. This people was subjected to the dominion of Russia at the same time with Siberia.

Russia, or a Compleat Historical Account of All the Nations which Compose that Empire. London. Printed for J. Nichols; T. Cadell in the Strand; H. Payne, Pall-Mall; and N. Conant, Fleet Street. 1780. 2 volumes in 8vo. 10 shillings.

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