Dolgans (Russian: dolgany; self-designation: dolgan, tya-kihi, saha) are a Turkic-speaking people, who mostly inhabit Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. The 2002 Census counted 7,261 Dolgans. This number includes 5,517 in former Taymyr Autonomous Okrug. There are 26 Dolgans in Ukraine, four of whom speak Dolgan (2001 Ukrainian Census). Dolgans speak Dolgan language. Some believe that it is a dialect of Yakut language. Dolgan identity emerged in the 19th _ early 20th century, when some of the Evenks, Yakuts, Enets, and the so-called Tundra peasants migrated to the region away from the Lena River and Olenyok River. Originally, the Dolgans were nomadic reindeer breeders and hunters. They were eventually forced to settle and form kolkhozes during the Soviet times, engaging in reindeer breeding, hunting, fishing, dairy farming as well as market gardening. Most Dolgans are Orthodox Christians, belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church; old shamanistic beliefs, however, survive among them.
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