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An open-air museum of Mari culture.

The Volga Finns are a historical group of indigenous peoples of Russia whose descendants include the Mari people, the Erzya and the Moksha Mordvins [1] [2], as well as extinct Merya, Muromian and Meshchera people.[3]

Volga Finns live in the basins of the Sura and Moksha Rivers, as well as (in smaller numbers) in the interfluve between the Volga and the Belaya Rivers. The Mari language has two dialects, the Meadow Mari and the Hill Mari. The Mordvinic languages include the Erzya language and Moksha language. [4]. These dialects and languages are related and form the Volga-Finnic subgroup of the Finno-Ugric language family.

The speakers of Finno-Permic languages, the Permians are sometimes considered belonging to the Volga Finnic group of peoples because according to some theories their ancient homeland lies in the Northern part of the Volga River basin. [5]

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