He speaks Finnish with Finns, Mongolian with Buriats, Ostiak with Ostiaks; he shows remarkable facility in adapting his agricultural practices to new conditions, without, however, abandoning the village community; he becomes hunter, cattle-breeder or fisherman, and carries on these occupations according to local usage; he modifies his dress and adapts his religious beliefs to the locality he inhabits.
The tribe may be subdivided into three main groups: (a) The Yuraks in the coast-region from the Yenisei to the White Sea; (b) the Tavghi Samoyedes, between the Yenisei and the Khatanga; (c) the Ostiak Samoyedes, intermingled with Ostiaks, to the S.
The Yalmal peninsula, where they find great facilities for hunting, is especially venerated by the Ob Ostiak Samoyedes, and there they have one of their chief idols, Khese.
The exact number of the Ostiak Samoyedes is not known; the Tavghi Samoyedes may number about woo, and the Yuraks, mixed with the former, are estimated at 6000 in Obdorsk (about 150 settled), 5000 in European Russia in the tundras of the Mezen, and about 350 in Yeniseisk.
Castren considers that three of their stems are of Ostiak origin, the remainder being Samoyedic. The Kamasins, in the Kansk district of Yeniseisk, are either herdsmen or agriculturists.