Home    Number 2, 2022

Clan Names of the Nivkh

[Rodovye etnonimy nivkhov]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522020051


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 18.02.2022

Accepted: 24.02.2022

About author(s)

Ekaterina Gruzdeva | http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8898-649X | ekaterina.gruzdeva@ helsinki.fi | University of Helsinki (P.O. Box 24, Unioninkatu 40, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland) | Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences (1 bld. 1 Bolshoy Kislovsky Lane, 125009, Moscow, Russia)

Marina Temina | http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0268-0559 | marinatehmina@rambler.ru | Industrial and Humanitarian College of Nikolaevsk-na-Amure (24 Popova St., 682462, Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, Russia)


ethnonymy, clan structure, clan names, Nivkh, Amur, Sakhalin


This article is devoted to the ethnological, semantic and structural analysis of the names of the Nivkh clans, which were formed in different historical periods in the lower reaches of the Amur River and on the Island of Sakhalin. The clan formed a basic unit of the Nivkh community. It united blood relatives and women who entered the clan through marriage. In addition, the clan was an important territorial and economic unit. Many clan names are associated with totemistic ideas and beliefs. Each clan had its own name that distinguished it from other clans. The names of the clans were given mainly by the name of the area in which the clan lived, but a number of clan ethnonyms are also associated with the names of totem animals, rituals, months, as well as nicknames and borrowings from neighboring languages. Ethnonyms represent both one-root words, mostly ending with a derivational suffix, and two-root lexemes, including components with the meaning of “inhabitant”, “clan” and “month”.


Gruzdeva, E.Y., and M.G. Temina. 2022. Rodovye etnonimy nivkhov [Clan Names of the Nivkh]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2: 69–94. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522020051 EDN: HQQTMS

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