1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Syryenians

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SYRYENIANS (also Sirianian, Syrjenian, Zyrenian, Zirianian, Zyrian and Zirian), a tribe belonging to the Permian division of the eastern Finns. They are said to number about 85,000 on the west side of the Urals in the governments of Perm, Vologda and Archangel, and there are also about 1000 on the Siberian side of the lower Ob. Their headquarters are at Ust-Ishma, at the junction of the Ishma and Pechora. Formerly they spread farther to the west. They are of moderate stature, blond, and grey-eyed, and more energetic and inclined to trade than most of the allied tribes. They were converted to Christianity about 1350 and their language was reduced to writing. They call themselves Komi and are not sharply distinguished from the tribes known as Permian, the languages being mutually intelligible. The archaeological remains in the governments of Perm and Vatyka called Chudish by Russians are probably Syryenian. A grammar of the language was published by Castrén, and linguistic and other notices of the tribe are contained in the Journal de la société finno-ougrienne, especially for 1903. (See Finno-Ugrian.)