The Komi-Zyrian (also known as Komi, Zyrians, and Zyryan Komis) are native inhabitants of the Republic of Komi and the surrounding area. The Republic of Komi is located in west Asia just west of the Ural Mountains. Komi ancestors originally inhabited the middle and upper Kama River region. Around 500 AD, the original Komi split, one group migrated to the Vychegda basin where they acquired a separate ethnic identity and evolved into the contemporary Komi or Komi-Zyrians. The half that stayed behind became known as the Komi-Permyaks.
Due to massive Russian immigration into the area in recent decades, the Komi have become a minority making up less then a quarter of the population in the Republic of Komi. Currently, the Komi subsist in the south on agriculture. They cultivate mainly rye and barley. They also rely on hunting and fishing. The majority of Komi are Christian Orthodoxy although some still follow the religion of their ancestors and are referred to as "Old believers". Old believers worship the forces of nature.