What were the Imperial Russian terms for a mixed-race Siberian person?

Historical background: As Russia expanded eastward, many mixed children were born to native women and Russian men. Near the end of this process, the Russian-American Company imported the Spanish term criollo, "descendant of persons not native to the New World", as креол to describe such children in its colonies. The creoles were a distinct social estate with different rights than either of their parents (perhaps one инородцы and one сельские обыватели) had. According to Lydia Black's "Russians in Alaska" (pp. 215), креол was never used or applied outside of Alaska. Reading that, I started to wonder what other terms it had replaced.

2 Answers 2


There's no such thing like "Siberian person" - Siberia is huge, really huge and was populated by very different people with different history, culture and genetic heritage.

That said, there never was a single term universally used. Well, there's a word "полукровка" but it was used in context of any racial or ethnic mix-up. Also keep in mind that it's de-facto shifting to being offensive.

But Russia does not have any special diversified terminology like самбо, метисы, креолы, мулаты which can be used for multi-ethnic people of some Russian origin.

The other thing is that quite often Russian settlers mixed with local people - and new ethnic groups came to existence. In Transbaikal region there were so-called гураны, in Yakutia there were so-called якутяне (nowadays this term is used to designated the population of Yakutia as a whole). In modern times, a person who have one Yakut parent and one Russian parent is called сахаляр. There were so-called албазинцы, who ethnically were more Chinese, but culturally — a mix between the Russian and Chinese cultures. There were камчадалы, there were чалдоны, actually this list can be amended with dozens of other words of this kind.

But almost all of these words are purely of historical interest and were more about culture, rather than race.


The only useful meaning for "Siberian person" is a person who have lived in Siberia for a long time or has been born there (often in context to be proud of he does not afraid of cold or he has a strong spirit). In Russian the term Siberian person is сибиряк - for men and сибирячка - for women. About ethnic group it can be said that the person is for example half-Russian or half-Chinese - наполовину русский or наполовину китаец.

May be where some terms that locals can used for specific half-Russian person but they are not spread much(i live in central region and can remember none)

And term полукровка is almost in fantasy context - for example Harry Potter is well-known полукровка.

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