NPO Fenno-Ugria, 28 Pärnu St, 10141 Tallinn, Estonia
372 644 511
9, info@fennougria.ee

Votians


The Votians are a small people now living at Krakolye and Luzhitsy, two villages in Kingisepa district, Leningrad Region of the Russian Federation.

The Votians were not mentioned in the 1989 census. They were last mentioned in the census of 1926. According to it, 705 Votians lived in the Soviet Union, of whom 684 considered Votian to be their mother tongue. Today's estimates for these villages range from 20-25 to 100 Votians oficially considered to be Russian.

Votian belongs to the Uralic family, Finno - Ugrain branch, Baltic - Finnish group.

Votian is made up of the Western, Eastern, Kurovtsy (Kukkosin) and Kriewian dialects. The latter, which functioned in Latvia, became extinct early in the nineteenth century. Of the Votian dialects of Russia the Eastern one, spoken in the villages of Podmoshye, Itsepino and some others, was the first to disappear. The last native speaker of it died in the middle of the 1980s.

Only the Western dialect has survived. It's interesting to note that the villages of Luzhitsy and Krakolye are beginning to speak, if this is the word in the present situation, two dialects differing mainly in the case system development.

The dialects differed for the most part phonetically, but they had some morphological and lexical peculiarities as well. The Kurovtsy dialect was strongly influenced by Ingrian.

Genetically close to Votian are Ingrian, the Ingermanland dialects of Finnish and the North-Westren dialects of Estonian.

Article from The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire (Margus Kolga, Igor Tõnurist, Lembit Vaba, Jüri Viikberg)