Tunguses, a tribe of N. E. Siberia, of Mongolian origin, extending as far W. as the Yenisei and as far E. as Anadyrsk, in Ion. 171°. They number about 70,000. Among their allied tribes are the Monzhurs and the Gilyaks and others of the Amoor. The Mantchoos belong to the Tungusic stock. The Tunguses proper and their congeners the Lamuts are well disposed, and mostly belong to the Greek church and pay tribute to the czar. They are generally divided into reindeer, horse, and dog Tunguses; but they are chiefly devoted to the reindeer, which they use for riding and for carrying freight, while other tribes use them chiefly in sledges. The Tunguses and the Lamuts are very slender, and have dark olive complexions, no beards, straight black hair, and oblique eyes. Men and women wear almost the same rich costume of fur hoods and pantaloons, short deer-skin boots, and highly ornamented buckskin aprons. They differ greatly from the Tchuktchis and Koriaks, though leading the same nomadic life; while among the latter there are men owning thousands of reindeers, one possessing 300 would be deemed immensely rich among the Tunguses. Unlike most other tribes, they never break up their tents without leaving a pole as a landmark for resuming the same habitation on returning from their wanderings.
The Russian traders of the sea of Okhotsk derive most of their supply of Siberian squirrel skins for the European markets from the Tunguses and Lamuts in that region.