A special category of the population of Siberia in the second half of the XIX – early XX centuries were foreigners. In 1861, foreigners made up 1 / 14th of the population of the Tobolsk province. Most of them lived in Berezovsky (23,116 people) and Tobolsk (20,890 people).
Representatives of the indigenous population of Khanty, Mansi, Nenets and Selkups were considered foreigners. The main occupations of the indigenous population were hunting, fishing, reindeer husbandry, crafts and crafts. For many years, its leading branch of the economy has stood out, for example, Khanty fishermen, Mansi and Selkup hunters, Nenets reindeer herders.
Until 1931, the Khants were called Ostyaks (after the name of the Ob River (As), "as yakh" - the Ob people), Mansi – Voguls, Nenets – Samoyeds. Selkups were not singled out as a separate people, calling them Ostyako-Samoyeds, then Vogulo-Samoyeds.
The basic law for many years, adopted for foreigners, was the "Charter on the management of the foreigners of Siberia", which divided all "foreign tribes" into sedentary, nomadic and wandering. Depending on the category, some foreigners paid yasak, others – rent.
Back in the XVIII century, Khanty and Mansi were baptized, but did not abandon their gods. As a result, there was a religion duality. In their minds, God the Father began to be perceived as Torum, the Virgin as Kaltash-by them, Jesus Christ as the World-susne-hum. There were icons and idols in one corner of the dwellings.