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Evenki Autonomous Area

Evenki Autonomous Area (ĕvyĕnˈkē) [key], former administrative division (1992 pop. 25,100), 287,645 sq mi (745,000 sq km), N central Siberian Russia, in the Central Siberian Uplands. It became a national area in 1930 and an autonomous area in 1977, but was merged into Krasnoyarsk Territory, of which it forms the entire central section, in 2007. The village of Tura was the capital. Russians, Evenki, and Yakuts made up the bulk of the autonomous area's population, which was of a very low density.

The Evenki are a Tungus-Manchurian-speaking people of Mongol origin; they are scattered throughout Siberia and number about 24,000. Their religion intermingles Russian Orthodox and Lamaist Buddhist rites with indigenous shamanism. In prehistoric times, the Evenki lived around Lake Baykal. They were mostly conquered by Russia in the 17th cent. Under the Soviet government, the Evenki largely abandoned their nomadic existence for a more sedentary life.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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