Tungus (tŏŏnkŏŏz´), Siberian ethnic group, numbering perhaps 30,000. They are subdivided into the Evenki, who live in the area from the Yenisei and Ob river basins to the Pacific Ocean and from the Amur River to the Arctic Ocean, and the Lamut, who live on the coast of the Okhotsk Sea. The Tungus are closely related to the Manchus. Before they were brought under Soviet control, the Tungus practiced a shamanistic religion. The Tungus, or Tunguzic, languages are a division of the Altaic subfamily of the Ural-Altaic family of languages (see Uralic and Altaic languages) that includes the Manchu literary language; they may be related to the Mongolic and Turkic families.
See I. Lissner, Man, God, and Magic (tr. 1961).