Russia State   Nations of Russia
 :: Articles
The Russians
The Aguls
The Akhvakhs
The Aleuts
The Altaians
The Andians nations
The Andins
The Archins
The Armenians
The Aserbaijanians
The Assyrians
The Avars
The Baghulals
The Balkarians
The Baraba Tatars
The Bashkirs
The Besermians
The Bezhtians
The Botlikhs
The Bulgarians
The Buryats
The Byelorussians
The Chamalals
The Chechens
The Cherkess
The Chukchis
The Chuvashs
The Cossacks
The Crimean Tatars
The Dargins
The Didos
The Dolgans
The Enets
The Eskimos
The Estonians
The Evenks
The Evens
The Finns
The Gagauz
The Georgians
The Germans
The Ginukhs
The Godoberins
The Greeks
The Gypsies
The Hunzibs
The Ingush
The Itelmens
The Izhorians
The Jews
The Kabards
The Kalmyks
The Karachay
The Karatas
The Karelians
The Kazakhs
The Kets
The Khakass
The Khants
The Khvarshis
The Komi-Permyaks
The Komis
The Koreans
The Koryaks
The Kumuks
The Kyrgyz
The Laks
The Latvians
The Lezgins
The Lithuanians
The Mansis
The Maris
The Moldovans
The Mordvins
The Mountain Jews
The Nanais
The Negidals
The Nenets
The Nganasans
The Nivkhs
The Nogays
The Orochis
The Oroks
The Ossetians
The Permyak Komis
The Poles
The Adygy
The Rutuls
The Saams
The Selkups
The Shors
The Small Nations of North
The Tabasarans
The Tajiks
The Tatars
The Tats
The Teleuts
The Tofalars
The Tsakhurs
The Turkmens
The Tyva
The Udeghes
The Udmurts
The Ukranians
The Ulchis
The Uzbeks
The Veps
The Vods
The Yakuts
The Yukaghirs
 :: Search
Search in articles
Search in current section
 :: Constructor
 :: Game server
 :: Test

The Komis

The self-destination is komi (in plural komijaz). In the 11-15th centuries their neighbours called them Perms. By the 17th century the Russian ethnonym Sirene (Siriane, Zyryane) was well established.

The Zyryan Komis or simply Zyryans live in the Republic of Komi (415,900 sq. km., capital city Syktyvkar) and in the surrounding regions, on the Kola Peninsula, in the Nenets Autonomous District of the Archangelsk Province and in many different places in Siberia. In the upper reaches of the Kama river live the Kirov Permyaks of Zyuzdin Komis.

The Komi population increased steadily until the 1970s; after that there has been a considerable decrease in their knowledge of the native language.

Turning Points in the History of the Komis

11th c - the Komis come under the influence of the Russians;

15th c - the Komis are converted to Russian Orthodoxy and become serfs;

19th c - several uprisings against Russian rulers;

1921 - formation of the Komi (Zyryan) Autonomous Province;

1930s - mental and physical destruction of the intellectuals, or the Komi 'armed bourgeois nationalists', closing of the 'counter-revolutionary and nationalistic' societies, beginning of the intense Russification of the Komis;

1950-1960 - massive immigration of Russians to the Komi territory, as the copious natural resources of the Komi region are ruthlessly exploited; migrants are encouraged to settle in the northern areas by offers of higher salaries and other benefits.

Danger Signs

The ethnic composition of the Komi Republic has changed more drastically than that of other Finno-Ugric republics. The population of the Komi Republic has tripled since World War II due to immigration, which means that the Zyryans have become a minority in their native territory.

The cities of the Komi Republic have a Russian appearance. Only 1/3 of the population of Syktyvkar are Komis, the mining town of Vorkuta has approximately 1% of Komi population and the gas mining city of Ukhta has less than 1%. In the rural areas the Komis are still in the majority, but the economic importance of the rural areas is constantly decreasing and the mass departure from the villages continues. The reason for massive immigration is the industrial exploitation of the northern Komi territories (coal mining in Vorkuta, the utilisation of oil resources, natural gas and extensive forest resources in Uza and Ukhta). In spite of all that the Komi Republic is a backward area because it serves only as a source of raw materials. The Komis have no right to decide how much coal should be mined, how much oil should be extracted or how much forest should be cut and at what price it is sold. A Komi village is socially even more backward and that is why young people do not want to stay in the country but migrate to the cities, into the Russian cultural and language environment. The oil leakage of 1994 alone resulted in devastation of large areas in the northern part of the Komi Republic, which will definitely increase the number of those who move to the cities. A plague for the Komi region are the great interstate prison camps.

The opportunity to use the Komi language has long been negligible: it has been expurgated from the school system, from governmental offices and management. In 1994 one national newspaper and four regional papers were published in the Komi language (by way of comparison - 11 newspapers in the Komi language were published in the 1930s). There are 1/2 hours of radio broadcasts daily and about 1 hour of television broadcasts weekly in the Komi language. National nihilism is spreading, being especially common among the urban Komi. One third of the urban Komis identify themselves as Russians. The knowledge of the Komi language among local Russians (non-Komis) is almost non-existent: only 1.2% of the Russians living in Komi Republic had any command of the Komi language in 1979. At the same time, almost 80% of the Komi know Russian.

Copyright © RIN 2001-. Russia Russia site map Feedback