Komi kō´mē, kô´– [key], Finnic people of the northeastern part of European Russia. There are two traditional branches of the Komi—Zyrians and Permyaks. The Zyrians are now officially called Komi and make up over half of the population. The Permyaks are now called Komi-Permyaks. Both speak a Finno-Permian language. The Komi live in the Komi Republic; the Komi-Permyaks live in Perm Territory (into which the former Komi-Permyak Autonomous Area was incorporated in 2005). There are about 400,000 Komi (both groups). Traditionally they have been Orthodox Christians since the 14th cent. The enlightener of the Komi and a saint of the Orthodox Eastern Church was Stephen of Perm (1340–96). He constructed an alphabet for the Komi and translated some parts of the Bible into their language.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Peoples (except New World)