Russian development and toponymy of the Pelym region according to written and field sources of the 18th21st centuries 

Dmitrieva T.N.


Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, 2 (53)


              page 155165




The paper is aimed at the study of the under-investigated Russian toponymy of the north of the Sverdlovsk Region, specifically, of the oikonyms the names of villages along the lower reaches of the Pelym River. The basin of the Pelym River, a tributary of the Tavda River, is of interest as the Mansi native territory. It is also an area of the early land development by the Russians beyond the Urals, which began at the end of the 16th century. The objective of this study is to establish the origins of the earliest layer of names of the Russian villages along the Pelym River and to trace the history of their functioning from the 18th century to the present day. The work is based on the material of historical documents (customs books of the town of Pelym of the second half of the 17th century), information from written, statistical, and cartographic sources (travel materials of academician G.F. Müller of 1742, expeditions of B. Munkácsi in 18881889, lists of the settlements of the Ural and Sverdlovsk regions, and modern maps of the region), as well as field materials of the 1960s collected by the Ural University Toponymic Expedition. Research methods include descriptive, etymological, comparative, reconstruction, and statistical analysis of linguistic material. It has been ascertained that almost all considered oikonyms have anthroponomical origins and are derived from the surnames of first settlers. They reflect the history of the deve-lopment of the Pelym region, including its active settlement by the Russian riflemen Streltsy (villages Krivonogova, Khudyakova, Kuznetsova, Tolmacheva etc.). The names of the Russian villages which were founded in the Mansi native territory were subjected to adaptation in the Mansi language, or the Mansi were gi-ving them their own names, which is clearly shown by the materials of B. Munkácsi of the late 19th century (Ponomareva village → Panamarovskaya in Russian and Varaulėχ-pɵwėl in Mansi, Kadaulova (Kaidaulova) village → Khɵitėl-p. in Mansi etc.). Of the 17 Russian oikonyms of the lower Pelym known in the 18th century and recorded by G.F. Müller in the description of his travel in 1742, only one has survived to this day the name of the village of Vekshina, which is still extant. The memory of the disappeared Pelym villages and their names are preserved by the local microtoponyms present on the modern maps, as well as by the surnames of the descendants of the inhabitants of these villages.

Key words: Pelym, Tavda, Pelym volost, Sverdlovsk region, Russian development of Siberia, toponymic landscape, Russian-Mansi interaction, Russian toponymy, oikonyms.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 25.02.2020

Article is published: 28.05.2021


Dmitrieva T.N., Ural Federal University, prosp. Lenin, 51, Ekaterinburg, 620000, Russian Federation, E-mail:,