Tungusic language speakers

Tungusic language speakers
As a language group, Tungusic is a branch of Altaic. It includes two branches: one includes Ewenki and Oroqen, and the other Manchu, Sibo (or Xibe) and Hoche (or Hezhe/Hezhen). The speakers of Oroqen and Ewenki in China are mainly distributed over Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang. The two languages do not have writing systems in China, and in school children learn Chinese or Mongolian. The population of Oroqen speakers is about 4,000 and that of Ewenki speakers in China about 20,000. Both the Oroqen and Ewenki people like singing and dancing. They are mainly engaged in hunting and animal husbandry.
The languages of Manchu and Sibo are so closely related that some scholars regard Sibo as a dialect of Manchu. There are about 10 million Manchu people in China, mainly distributed over north (especially northeast) China. The Manchu nationality ruled over China between 1644 and 1911; the people started to learn Chinese after they occupied China, and now only a number of old people in remote villages can speak Manchu. The Sibo people include two groups: one is distributed over northeast China and speaks Chinese or Mongolian, and the other lives in northwest China and speaks the Sibo language. The population of Sibo speakers is about 30,000. The Hoche people have a total population of about 4,500, living in Heilongjiang. The Hoche language does not have a writing system. Most Hoche people speak Chinese and only a few old people can speak Hoche. As for religion, Tungusic language speakers used to follow a form of shamanism, but most have given up the religion.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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