The ethnonym Khanty, derived from the group’s self-name, was established in the Soviet times and identified with the name of the river Konda, (with khondikho meaning “khan’s people”). Today, linguists believe that the original Finno-Ugric root kont meant a “clan” or a “community.”

General Information
In the early documents, the Khanty are identified as Ostyaks, the term first recorded in the 16th century. Some surmised that it had originated from the name of one of the groups of the northern khanty, as yakh, “the Ob people,” since the Khanty traditionally call themselves by the name of the river they live on. However, linguists hypothesize that the Khanty used the Turkic origin of the ethnonym “Ostyak” (meaning a “foreigner,” “wild man”) to indicate the subordinate position of the non-Turkic population in the political system of the Siberian and other Tatar khanates. Until the 16th century, when the term “Ostyak” appeared in Russian sources, the Khanty, like the Mansi, was called the yugra or yugrich. The modern common name of the Khanty and Mansi, associated with the settlement in the Ob basin, is Ob Ugrians (as opposed to the Hungarian/Khungarian Ugrians).
Surrounding society and the main economic activity of the region of residence

The Khanty-Mansi autonomous area - Yugra is the largest oil-producing region in the world. The oil and gas sectors of the economy provide the primary share of the gross product, ensure the influx of investment into the area, support the development of infrastructure, as well the structure of export.

Spiritual Culture

The Khanty beliefs were formed over thousands of years, and as such, they are a fusion of myths, rituals, magic, totemism, shamanism, and various cults associated with hunting and fishing. The ancient images of Mother Earth and Father Sky were supplemented with numerous deities and ancestor spirits, family protectors, and master spirits of rivers, groves, forests, stones, trees, animals, fish, etc. The heavenly god Torum (Numi-Torum), whose name means “sky,” “universe,” and “weather,” took the leading position. He is also called “luminous,” “golden,” and “great.”

Supplementary materials
Other materials describing the life, culture and history of the people
Interactive Atlas of the Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East