Koryaks

Koryaks (or Koriak, Russian: Коряки) are an indigenous people of the Russian Far East, who live immediately north of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Kamchatka Krai and inhabit the coastlands of the Bering Sea. The cultural borders of the Koryaks include Tigilsk in the south and the Anadyr basin in the north.

Koryaks
Koryak ceremony of starting the New Fire
Total population
8,022
Regions with significant populations
 Russia7,953 (2010 census)[1]
 Ukraine69 (2001 census)[2]
Languages
Russian, Koryak
Religion
Predominantly Russian Orthodox Christianity
also Shamanism
Related ethnic groups
other Chukotko-Kamchatkan peoples

The Koryaks are culturally similar to the Chukchis of extreme northeast Siberia. The Koryak language and Alutor (which is often regarded as a dialect of Koryak), are linguistically close to the Chukchi language. All of these languages are members of the Chukotko-Kamchatkan language family. They are more distantly related to the Itelmens on the Kamchatka Peninsula. All of these peoples and other, unrelated minorities in and around Kamchatka are known collectively as Kamchadals.

Neighbors of the Koryaks include the Evens to the west, the Alutor to the south (on the isthmus of Kamchatka Peninsula), the Kerek to the east, and the Chukchi to the northeast.

The Koryak are typically split into two groups. The coastal people are called Nemelan (or Nymylan) meaning 'village dwellers', due to their living in villages. Their lifestyle is based on local fishing and marine mammal hunting. The inland Koryak, reindeer herders, are called Chaucu (or Chauchuven), meaning 'rich in reindeer'. They are more nomadic, following the herds as they graze with the seasons.[3]

According to the 2010 census, there were 7,953 Koryaks in Russia.


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