The Analysis of the Distribution and Meaning of the Evenki's Clan Name: Centering on Baj, Kim, and Shama/Sama
The subjects of analysis in this paper, the clan name roots “Baj,” “Kim,” and “Shama/Sama,” while distributed commonly among the Altai, Ye i, and isolated language groups, are most widely distributed among the Evenki. The clan name root “Baj-” is widely distributed among indigenous Siberian nations, but is most frequently found among the Manchu-Tungus, especially the Evenki. Therefore, it appears that clans with this root originated from Pribajkal'e, known to be the origin of the Evenki, and spread widely among the nearby Buryats, Mongols, and Yakuts, later spread east to the Nivhi of the Amur River, to the Enisej Protoasiatic language nations such as the Yukaghir or Ket to the north, and the Samoyed language group nations such as the Ne and Selkup.
According to the analysis results in this paper, the Evenki clan name “Kim” has the meaning of “person,” but also is somewhat associated with gold, metal, or stone. On one hand, while the origin of the clan name “Kim” cannot be clearly established, the clan was assimilated into the Evenki near in ancient times, after which the clan name became widely known among the Manchu-Tungus nations, and furthermore in the Turk nations. The clan name Shama/sama is widely spread across Siberia, including the Manchu-Tungus language group nations of the Altai language family, the Turk language family, and the Samoyed language groups of the Ural language family. Moreover, this clan name is not associated with famous mythic ancestors or heroes of historically famous Asian nations, and it cannot be translated into contemporary language; thus the identification of the meaning and origins of this word is by no means an easy task.