база публикаций

RUSSIA (TOPICS) есть новые публикации за сегодня \\ 14.12.18


Дата публикации: 20 сентября 2007
Публикатор: Александр Павлович Шиманский
Источник: (c) http://russia.by
Номер публикации: №1190292790 / Жалобы? Ошибка? Выделите проблемный текст и нажмите CTRL+ENTER!


Identification and Location

The Tats live in the Caucasus: in the Azerbaijan Republic and in Daghestan. The Tats of Azerbaijan dwell on the Apsheron Peninsula (where the city of Baku is located) and in the Kubinsky, Konakhkendsky, Shemakhinsky, Divichinsky, and Ismailinsky regions--in terms of the pre-Revolutionary administrative divisions, the Bakinsky, Kubinsky, Geokchaysky, and Shemakhinsky districts (uezd) of Baku Province (Bakinskaia Guberniia) and the Kazakhsky and Zangezursky districts of Elisavetpol Province. In Daghestan the Tats live in seven settlements in the vicinity of Derbent (the former Kaitag-Tabasaran District). "Tat" is the self-designation of the Tats. In the past it was also a social term, reflecting the form of life and the status of certain groups of the population. The Turks use the name "Tat" for agriculturists, the settled inhabitants of Central Asia, the Crimea, and the Caucasus. The Tats dwell in three natural climatic zones: a mountain zone with an extended winter and a short summer; a foothill zone with a warm, quite capricious climate (a garden zone); and a zone on the plain (the Apsheron Peninsula) with an arid climate, strong winds, and sandy, saline soil.


In the nineteenth century the Tats were settled in large homogeneous groups. The intensive processes of assimilation by the Turkic-speaking Azerbaijanis cut back the territory and numbers of the Tats. In 1886 they numbered more than 120,000 in Azerbaijan and 3,600 in Daghestan. According to the census of 1926 the number of Tats in Azerbaijan (despite the effect of natural increase) had dropped to 28,500, although there were also 38,300 "Azerbaijanis" with Tat as their native language. According to the census of 1989 the number of Tats in Azerbaijan was 10,200, with around 13,000 in Daghestan. Here their number had grown to a large degree at the expense of the Mountain Jewish community (whose native language is Tat), who had registered as Tats. The Tats have not only been assimilated by the Azerbaijanis. The inhabitants of the settlements Kilvar and Matrasa (Christians belonging to the Armeno-Gregorian church) have lost their native Tat language over the course of the past fifty years and regard themselves as Armenians. This process was furthered by an Armenian-language school created here in the 1920s, the continual migrations of Armenians (bearing with them the Armenian language, culture, and self-consciousness), and marriages between Tats and Armenians.

Linguistic Affiliation

The Tat language belongs to the Southwest Iranian Group of the Indo-European Language Family. Aside from the Tats proper, the Mountain Jews who live in Azerbaijan, Daghestan, and, in small groups, in Kabardino-Balkaria and Georgia also speak Tat. The Tat language comprises two basic dialects, "Muslim Tat" (including the speech of the Armeno-Tats) and "Jewish Tat." The majority of Tats also know Russian, as well as the Azerbaijani language, the interethnic language of Azerbaijan and lower Daghestan. Before the October Revolution the written and literary language of the Tats was Persian, in which they studied in the Muslim schools and conducted official correspondence and, in part, clerical work (along with Russian). In the 1920s a writing system was created for the Tat language (for the Jewish Tat dialect only) on the basis of the Latin alphabet. In Daghestan this script was used for instruction in elementary school and the publication of newspapers, magazines, works on folklore, and the writings of Tat (Mountain Jewish) authors, starting in 1929. Since 1938 Tat has been written with the Cyrillic alphabet. The Tat language in Azerbaijan (the Muslim Tat dialect) is unwritten. Here the Azerbaijani language serves as the written and literary language as well as language of instruction.

History and Cultural Relations

The contemporary Tats are the descendants of an Iranian-speaking population sent out of Persia by the dynasty of the Sasanids in the fifth to sixth centuries. Settled in various places of eastern Transcaucasia (in northern Azerbaijan near the fortress of Derbent), these colonists were a buffer for the Persians against raids from the north by the warlike nomads. In the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth the main group of Tats came into the Kuba and Baku khanates that arose in the territory of northern Azerbaijan and in 1813 became part of the Russian Empire.


The villages (kendistun) of the Tats lie in several natural climatic zones. In the northeast of Azerbaijan the Tats live in clustered mountain settlements built on ledges on the slopes of mountains, consisting on the average of 80 to 120 households. Large villages such as Lagich (700 households, 6,000 inhabitants) are rare. On the Apsheron Peninsula settlements are more dispersed. Each village has a mosque, a bath (hamum), and a well. A typical farmstead contains a small inner courtyard (duhundar); the well-to-do have a garden plot, a vineyard, and a kitchen garden. Around each farmstead runs a wall of natural limestone. Within the courtyard under an awning are an oven (tanur) for baking bread and farm buildings (a cattle shed, a chicken coop, a stable); the courtyard also has a well with a small stone basin and a few trees (fig, almond, apricot). In the mountain homesteads there is often no courtyard, although the flat roof of the next house below (on the mountain slope) serves that purpose.

In the mountains the Tat house (khuna) is usually one- or two-storied and constructed of rectangularly formed natural stone and clay mortar. The exterior side of the facade and the interior walls of the house are coated with clay and whitewashed. The roof is flat, with well-packed earthen roofing above which rises the stone chimney of the fireplace. The upper floor of the house is for living, the lower for work. In one of the walls of the living rooms there are niches (jumakhoudun) for storing clothes and bedding. Above the niches extend shelves with splendid dishes. The house has a front gallery (sÿra), a type of porch enclosed on all sides. The sÿra occupies the entire facade, or middle of it, and has a wide entrance. It is illuminated by a small aperture in the ceiling and the door. The houses of the Apsheron area lack a sÿra; it is replaced by a porch (2-3 meters in width) of stone, which runs along the entire facade of the house. In summer the porch serves as additional accommodations for the family. In the house there is an obligatory guest room. The rooms are lit by an oil lamp (shirogh) made of clay. For heating in winter they use a special device, a kÿrsi with a metal brazier, which is widespread in the Near East, Central Asia, and the Far East. There are also fireplaces.


Subsistence and Commercial Activities

From time immemorial the Tats have practiced agriculture (wheat, barley, maize), cattle raising, viticulture, and gardening. Livestock raising (sheep, cows, bulls, buffalo) is practiced in the mountain villages.


The traditional male and female apparel of the Tats basically resembled that of the Azerbaijanis. The basic garments were the shirt (zirshein) and trousers (shalvor). Men's outdoor clothing included the ghabo (the shirt known throughout the Caucasus as the arkhalug) chokha (or chukho), and wide trousers (shalvor). The ghabo tightly cinched the waist, from which it spread out with gathers. The chokha was worn with a leather belt with silver ornaments. The chokha was worn over the ghabo, frequently unbuttoned. On the chest along the sides were sewn gazyri, small tubular holders (originally for cartridges). Sheepskin coats (pustin) were worn. The trousers were tucked into knitted wool socks. Most Tats wore footgear of raw leather of the bast shoe type (tirakh) and a sheepskin hat (papakha). This hat bore strong associations of honor, prestige, and prosperity--it was rarely removed, and to snatch the papakha from someone's head was a profound insult against its owner. A semispherical hat (tezek) was also worn. In cold weather a cloth bashlyk was donned. The outdoor clothing of the women included a short arkhalug (chotghonou), detachable and gathered at the waist, with a rectangular cut on the chest, and a very wide skirt (pazha). On their feet they wore leather shoes with wedge heels, backless but with upturned toes. The headgear consisted of a cap (worn by older women), a fillet (lachaq), a light-colored shawl (kalaqin), and a dark woolen shawl (charshou) covering the woman's whole figure. In cold weather this shawl served as a warm outer garment. Women's headgear was fringed with gold and silver threads and decorated silver coins. Various types of jewelry were obligatory: necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets. The masculine and feminine costumes were sewn out of silk, velvet, satin, wool, and cotton; bright colors were preferred, predominantly red among women.


Bread (nu), unleavened and leavened, was baked from wheat flour. The unleavened bread was made in the tanur, a clay oven in the shape of a truncated cone set into the earth. Bread from leavened dough was baked on a cast-iron or clay griddle (saj). Flour soups (ardavá) were eaten, including soups prepared with buttermilk and seasoned with sorrel and soup with noodles (arishta). Other dishes included pastries (qitab) with a filling of pumpkin or green onion; pilaf (ash) with various seasonings; khinkal (similar to dumplings); haricots; peas, and other vegetables (pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, marrows, and peppers); fruit (apples, pears, plums, quinces, cherries, peaches, pomegranates, and apricots); and greens. In some areas watermelons, other melons, and grapes (eaten fresh or, in winter, dried) were cultivated. Walnuts figured in many Tat dishes. Dairy products consumed include cheese (panir), sour cream, curds, butter, cream (qeimaq), and qutuq (fermented milk of the yogurt type). Meat (most frequently mutton) was a rarity in the daily diet, but it was obligatory on holidays, when entertaining a guest, or at weddings. Beverages included infusions of grasses, flowers, and sweetbriar berries; tea only appeared in the village settlements toward the beginning of the twentieth century and was an expensive, prestigious commodity. Homemade vodka (araq) was prepared out of berries or fruits. The basic sweet was honey, and halvah and treacle were made.

Industrial Arts

The Tats were noted for their carpets (with nap and without), which were handwoven by the women; they also knit patterned woolen socks. The brass vessels with engraved ornamentation made by the master craftsmen of the village of Lagich enjoyed wide renown. At the beginning of the twentieth century seasonal work in the oil fields of Apsheron and the fisheries of Mingechaur and the Caspian Sea gained increasingly greater significance. At the present time many of the traditional crafts of the Tats have been abandoned. Brass vessels are no longer made, the demand having declined at the beginning of the twentieth century as cheap factory-made vessels became available. Carpet making has been maintained, but the quality of the carpets has declined with the introduction of aniline dyes into the production.

Division of Labor

Labor was divided on the basis of gender and age. The men plowed, sowed, grazed cattle, were involved in hunting and certain crafts, built houses, and went on seasonal work. The women fulfilled household duties, educated children, were engaged in some crafts, collected fruits and grapes (with the help of the children), and helped in gathering and bringing in the harvest.

Land Tenure

In traditional Tat society the following forms of land tenure were commonly known: private, communal, feudal, and mosque property (waqf). The peasants' private holdings included the garden plots (which were inherited). The head of the family could sell his farmland; his neighbors enjoyed preemptive rights. The plow land, pasturage, forests, and hay fields were the property of the village commune, which divided them among the households constituting the commune. Land reallotments were rare. In the 1930s collective farms (kolkhozy) were established. The kolkhoz workers own small private plots.


Kin Groups

The village commune of the Tats consisted of family-kinship groups (bona), each incorporating several families (hanavada). The law of inheritance was regulated by Sharia (Quranic law) and, infrequently, by adat (traditional law). With the death of the head of the family the immovable property was inherited by the sons; daughters received only movable property, each receiving one-third of the allotment of their brothers. In addition the oldest brother received an increment for seniority and the youngest an increment for marriage expenses. On the death of a husband the widow retained the rights to his property in accordance with Sharia.

Kinship Terminology

Kinship was calculated along paternal and maternal lines. Kinship along a direct line was referred to with special terms, along indirect lines descriptively. The basic Iranian terms of kinship were retained, and others were borrowed from the Azerbaijani language. To the first group belong may (mother), piyar (father), kalamay (grandmother), kalapiyar (grandfather), zan (wife), shÿvar (husband), dukhtar (daughter), birar (brother), khuvar (sister), birarzara (brother's son or daughter), and khuvarzara (sister's son or daughter). The second group includes nükÿrda (bride, groom), balduz (wife's sister), qeiin (wife's brother), qeiinata (father-in-law), qeinana (mother-in-law), amiqïzï (female first cousin on the father's side), amioghleï (male first cousin on the father's side), khala (maternal aunt), dayi (maternal uncle), ama (paternal aunt), ami (paternal uncle), and nava (grandson).

Marriage and Family


Endogamy was the norm. A marriage with a blood relative (particularly a cousin) was regarded as the most honorable. The norm was marriage by contract, but the abduction of girls (without their consent) and marriage by elopement (with their consent but without that of the parents) were also known. Betrothals were sometimes arranged in the cradle. The ideal age for marriage was traditionally considered to be 14 years for women, 18 for men. But girls were often married when considerably younger--at 11 to 13--whereas men married later. A widow had the right to marry a second time. The marriage of a widow with the brother of her deceased husband (levirate) was condoned. The conclusion of the marriage bond was accompanied by the exchange of gifts and the payment of various sums by the groom and his parents to the parents of the girl. The bride-price did not remain theirs, however, but went to benefit the bride. The groom paid the mother of the bride "milk money" (sÿd bagha; in Azerbaijani, literally, "the price of milk") in the sum of ten to twenty rubles. The marriage contract was concluded by a mullah in the presence of witnesses for both sides. By the contract the groom would pay kebin--provision for the wife in case of divorce--ranging from twenty rubles to several thousand. The kebin money was regarded as the inviolable property of the wife. The bride was selected for the young man by his parents, who sent matchmakers to the girl's parents. Once they had received consent, they set a date for the betrothal (ärus), to which they invited the relatives of the groom and the bride. They brought clothing and jewelry as gifts from the groom to the bride and sweets for those attending the betrothal. The wedding (arsi) was held in the autumn or winter, when time could be spared time from fieldwork. For the wedding they prepared a dowry, refreshments, and gifts. The groom presented the bride's father with a horse, a weapon (dagger or rifle), and cattle (the number of head already stipulated before the betrothal). The wedding took place over two to seven days, simultaneously in the house of the groom and that of the bride. The refreshments were conveyed to the house of the bride by the groom's family. The bride, wearing a special veil (arna), her face hidden, was brought to the groom's house on a horse. Before she entered the house, the mother of the groom sprinkled the bride with rice or wheat. At the wedding, songs in the Azerbaijani language and Azerbaijani dances were performed, and musicians (a drummer and two clarinet players) entertained the guests. After the wedding the bride observed customary avoidance towards the parents of her husband and his older kinsmen: she did not speak to them (expressing herself with gestures) and strove not to be seen by them at all. The husband's brother avoided his sister-in-law and could only see her veiled. The custom of avoidance was also observed by the husband, who over the course of the first two years carefully concealed himself from the parents of the bride.

Domestic Unit

The average size of the Tat family at the end of the nineteenth century was eight people. The nuclear family, consisting of a married couple and their children, predominated. Larger families, including parents and the families of their sons (the paternal type of extended family) or the families of married brothers (the fraternal type of extended family) were rare. The head of the family was the husband (in his absence, the oldest son) who enjoyed the respect and unquestioning submission of all members of the family. When the head entered the room, the entire family rose and did not sit down again before receiving his permission. The head was in charge of the economy, assigned tasks to every member of the family, and demanded the assignment of all earnings into the common funds.


Children of 5-6 years of age helped their parents at work. The boys drove horses to water and pastured the cattle, and the girls prepared food and learned to knit and weave. At first children of both genders were completely in the care of their mother. Later the mother took responsibility for the girls, whereas the boys came under the supervision of their father. Great attention was devoted to moral education and gaining familiarity with the traditions and norms of Tat society.

Sociopolitical Organization

In social life the adat and Sharia applied. In murders, woundings, mutilations, or rapes the norm of family retribution was preferable, a murder calling for a murder. In cases in which the murderer paid the family of the victim a sum determined by the adat, the killer had to beg forgiveness of the elders of the family that he had insulted. In the second half of the nineteenth century many traditional customs and norms disappeared, replaced by the legislation of the Russian Empire, according to which certain offenses (e.g., murder, rape) were regarded as punishable crimes.

Religion and Expressive Culture


In confessional terms, the Tats may be divided into two groups: Muslims, who are the majority (Sunnites in northern Azerbaijan and in Daghestan and Shiites in the southern districts of Azerbaijan), and Armeno-Gregorians (the villages of Kilvar and Matrasa). The Tat-speaking Mountain Jews (a portion of whom presently call themselves "Tat") observe Judaism. In daily life a large number of superstitions survive. One was forbidden to pour water on a fire in a hearth: it was believed that a son would then die. It was not acceptable to give away leavening for bread: it was believed that all prosperity would vanish from the house. Sacred places--pirs, normally the graves of holy persons--were revered. In times of drought a ceremony was conducted to bring rain, and in times of protracted rains a ceremony was performed to bring out the sun. Various rituals were to be carried out on the holiday of Novruz bairam, the beginning of spring. On this day people were not allowed to work--they were obliged to go visiting; arrange entertainment; color their hands, feet, and hair with henna; and pour rose water on each other.


A distinctive Tat style was most apparent in carpet weaving (ornamentation, color range). Toward the beginning of the twentieth century the traditional geometrical ornamentation began to be replaced by a stylized floral ornamentation. In the Soviet period carpets have appeared with stylized depictions of birds, animals, and portraits of notable political figures. Tat folklore has largely been lost. Performances of folk poetry were being given only in the Azerbaijani language as early as the 1920s. Funeral lamentations were performed in two languages (Tat and Azerbaijani), and only lullabies were sung in Tat. The traditional folklore was better preserved among the Tats of the Kuba District.


Traditional treatments involved herbs and cauterization. The curative sulfur springs were popular. Births were attended only by midwives (mamo).

Death and Afterlife

Among the Muslim Tats burials were conducted according to Muslim ritual. A ceremony of mourning was carried out over the deceased: women struck their faces and chests, tore their hair, scratched their faces, and performed the traditional lamentations. Upon interment the body was placed on its right side with the head toward the south in the direction of Mecca, and a mullah read the Quran. Funeral feasts with entertainment were conducted on the seventh day, the fortieth day, and the anniversary. Close relatives observed mourning, wearing black clothing and not shaving their beards. A widow observed mourning for not less than a year.

Translated by David Testen.

-- Volkova, Natalia G.Testen, David



Akiner, Shirin (1986). Islamic Peoples of the Soviet Union: An Historical and Statistical Handbook. 2nd ed., 239-243. London: KPI.

Bennigsen, Alexandre, and S. Enders Wimbush (1986). Muslims of the Soviet Empire: A Guide, 220-222. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Griunberg, A. L. (1963). lazyk Severoazerbaidzhanskikh Tatov (The language of the North Azerbaijan Tats). Leningrad.

Kovalevsky, M. M. (1888). "Zametki o iuridicheskom byte tatov" (Remarks on the juridical life of the Tats). In Trudy Etnograficheskogo otdela Imperatorskogo obshchestva liubitelei estestvoznaniia, antropologii i etnografii pri Moskovskom Universitete (Proceedings of the Ethnographic Division of the Imperial Society of Lovers of the Natural Sciences, Anthropology, and Ethnography at Moscow University). Vol. 8. Moscow.

Kurdov, K. M. (1913). "Taty Shemakhinskogo uezda Bakinskoi gubernii" (The Tats of the Shemakhinsky District of the Bakinsky Province). Russkii Antropologichesii Zhurnal (Moscow), nos. 1-2.

Liushkevich, F. L. (1971). "Termin Tat kak etnonim v Srednei Azii, Irane i Zakavkaz'e" (The term "Tat" as an ethnonym in Central Asia, Iran, and Transcaucasia). Sovetskaia Etnografiia 3.

Miller, B. V. (1929). Taty, ikh rasselenie i govory (The Tats, their settlements and dialects). Baku.

Опубликовано 20 сентября 2007 года

Ваше мнение?

© Portalus.ru, возможно немассовое копирование материалов при условии обратной индексируемой гиперссылки на Порталус.


Прямая трансляция:

Сегодня в тренде top-100

О Порталусе Рейтинг Каталог Авторам Реклама