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L.P.POTAPOV (1905-2000)
ETHNIC COMPOSITION AND ORIGIN OF ALTAIANS
HISTORICAL ETHNOGRAPHICAL ESSAY
USSR Academy of Sciences, Siberian branch
History, Philology and Philosophy Institute
Mountain Altai Scientific Research Institute of Language and Literature History
"Science" Publishing house, Leningrad branch, Leningrad, 1969
Editor-in-Chief Acad.
A.P.Okladnikov
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Part Part 1 => Part 2 => Part 3 =>
Introduction 3

Insights

7
Part 1. Ethnic composition of Altaians at the end of the 19th begining of 20th c. 14

Southern Altaians

24

Altaians

32

Todosh

36

Kypchaks

38

Munduzes

38

Naimans

39

Northern Altaians

46

Yaryk s and Yalan s

51

Kumandy and Chelkandy

54

Chelkandy

69
Part 2. Closest ethnic ancestors of Altaians - New Time and Late Middle Age 80

Historical review 17th c.

80

Chagats - Chiks

82

Teleuts

85

Enisei Kyrgyzes

87

Tuvinians

88

Russians are coming

89

Argyns

90

Mongols

91

Teleuts

98

Naimans

103

Ases

103

Telenguts

103

Teleses

104

Kumandy

107

Chelkandy

111

Historical review - 18th c. (continued)

112

Teleuts

114

Southern Altaians

140
Part 3. Ancient people in the ethnic composition of Altaians - Antique Period 147

Tele

147

Tele, Teles, and Türks

162

Ases and Azes

166

Chiks

167

Aba

168

Ases and their kishtyms. Tuhas (Tocharians)

169

Kypchaks and Kimaks

170

Naiman

175

Teleut ethnography

176

Boma and Alats

178

Dubo

179

Solu or So

183

Toba

185

Tas

186

Tirgeshes and Dulu

186

Bokli

187

Si - Tatabs

188

Türks Tukue

188

Tele, Teles, and Türks

194

Altai kiji

194

Northern Altaians

194

Links

Introduction

Warning! If you are looking for entertainment, this is a wrong place! The reading is torturous. Relax, and go seek greener meadows!

For the retrospective study of the Türkic tribes' origin, L.P.Potapov used an Altai test tube, utilizing a fact that over the millenniums refugees from many surrounding lands gathered in Altai. The layers of refugees superimposed, intermixed, and merged like layers of old paint on an ancient structure. Peeling one layer after another, L.Potapov in many cases could track down the origin of the Altai tribes to their first naming in the Chinese dynastic chronicles, in the works of antique Greek authors, and other antique sources. L.Potapov clearly understood that for the Türkic tribes, Altai was a shelter with ongoing historical merging, and not a source from which emanated numerous Türkic tribes and peoples. L.P.Potapov points to the "Karasuk time" Minusinsk depression in the middle of the 2nd millennium - 7th century BC as a stopover location in the spread of some Türkic tribes, possibly together with the Ket tribes.

In the substantive section of the Introduction segment, on a specific subject L.Potapov argues with a crystal clarity for a scientific method of historical research, and rejects a hypothesis that is "a result of the formal linguistic reconstruction, torn off the real historical facts". Being an inferential science, history requires a strict convergence of evidence, without convergency it remains an obfuscating claim composed of an amalgam of theory and conjecture, reality and fiction, much like the UFO blurry photographs used to achieve venal ends by misrepresentation and muddying the waters. Fortunately, the reality can't be manufactured, converging evidence always wins in inferential sciences, and dubious theories like Scytho-Iranian and Keto-Hunnish conjectures eventually invariably get dispatched to the ash heap of history unless they can intelligently answer any and all conflicting evidence.

A true patriot of his country, L.Potapov does not take patriotism as a motivation to patriotically falsify history, but just the opposite, a reason for objective and largely honest depiction of the history. L.Potapov portrays the initial Russian Middle Age grab of land and tribute people, eventual consolidation of the Russian state, and the effects of its control methods on the native people, and the impacts of the Stalinist time. In that prosess he describes the technique of division the once prominent tribal confederations into progressively smaller fractions, and skipping on the consecutive dismounting and at times annihilation of the native social apparatus and its leadership, pictures the tribal decomposition and pauperization caused by the loss of traditional pastural routs and repeated economical and territorial dislocations. By the Soviet period, the task of division, marginalization, and pauperization has been largely accomplished, and the fractioned and intermingled populace, largely replaced and diluted by influx of newcomers, was being reconstituted along the territorial-administrative command structure defined from the Moscow center a la model of the Middle Asian restructuring. Thus, to life came the fake "going extinct" languages, reassembled "nations", and creation of new "literacy", mobilized to obfuscate and replace the millennium-old languages, nations, history, and literacy.

L.Potapov excels in discernment and analysis of the political, economical, and geographical forces, and in study of the predominantly demographical, ethnological, political and revenue collection sources. Other then the outer appearance of the religious rites, the intellectual life of the natives remains entirely outside of the study, even for the relatively recent historical periods. That can't be explained by the limitations on the volume of the publication. Such important ethnical and communal characteristics as shared religious beliefs, confessional affiliation, centers of education, educational background of the leadership and laymen, accounting and taxation methods in the Dzungar and Mongolian states, annual religious services, centers of pilgrimage, they all remain beyond the horizon, casting an impression of past aboriginal intellectual vacuum so deeply imbedded in the mythos of the Russian historiography. Even the rare glimpses, like a necessity of having a sacred mountain, or the reasons for eastern orientation of the yurt's entry, are only glossed over, without disclosure or attribution to the subjects of the study. L.Potapov, unfortunately, does not cite a single tamga, and his study is completely devoid from that irreplaceable ethnic identifier of the people. No comprehensive ethnic study of the Altaians can be complete without tracing their tamgas, and a use of this scientific marker in many cases would close the loop that  L.Potapov leaves open. Aside from the fact that  L.P.Potapov work was largely ignored by the Russian scientific establishment and Orientalists at large, no review came out addressing a nearly complete absence of the references to the ethnic treasures contained in the cultural and intellectual inheritance of the examined peoples.

A readers may also take a note that L.Potapov used for his sources, in addition to the staple material of the Russian archives and classical works, the now extremely rare works published in the brief period in the 1920's, when the inspired scholars attended theretofore ignored or untouchable subjects, and before the Soviet Turkology was decimated in the state pogroms of the 1930's.

L.Potapov's work is cited in its entirety. However, because its use for tracking individual historical destinies is difficult, quotations from it were also compiled into separate thematic articles, posted separately in a matching context. Though each article is completely self-contained, only an acquaintance with the L.Potapov's full work affords understanding the panorama of the historical, linguistic, and anthropological background. The ethnologist L.Potapov did not write a history of the investigated peoples, and limited retrospective studies to the ethnological research, but his work gives precisely that panoramic perspective that is notoriously absent in the articles and works devoted to the Türkic peoples.

* * *

Page numbers are shown at the end of a page. Posted text has a few unclear words and expressions, a majority of them are marked in the text by yellow highlighting, and not all of them were edited. Posting comments and additional information are shown in blue or highlighted by blue headings. Some terms and names can be orthographically inaccurate because of reverse translation from Russian, any comments are welcomed. To facilitate navigation in the text, to the Table of Contents were added subtitles shown in blue. It should be understood that the numbers of the tribute payers or census included only the heads of the family or household responsible for rendering tribute, the total population was 4-5 times greater. In cases where L.Potapov used foreign (Chinese, Russian), obsolete, or ambiguous terms, they were translated with accepted terms appended with the form used in the original. L.Potapov was probably a first scholar who addressed the history and the role of the Tele people, their perennial hostility toward the Türkic branch that gave their name to the Türkic Kaganates and all modern Türkic people. L.Potapov resolved that terminological confusion by using a Chinese form 突厥 Tujue or Tukue, Russian version Tuku () for this branch, also known as Göktürks (with spelling variations). The translation followed the accepted noun form Türk, adjective Türkic, with the difference between the  Türkic Tele and the Türkic Türks implied in the context by semantical juxtaposition.

Little Glossary

alman (Mong.) = yasak = tribute, exaction
coach, coaching - following herds in caravans of wagon cart coaches between pastures or during migrations
kam - as an intermediary between people and the lower world, trained in the art of accessing the lower world
kamlation - religious service conducted by a kam
kyshtym (kishtym, kishtem, etc) - serf, vassal, tribute payer. Unlike serfs in agricultural societies, kishtyms were not tied to the land
kontaishi - (correct Kontaishi/Hongtaishi (Mong., capitalized) supreme taishi
taishi (taysi, Mong.), pl. taishis - crown prince (capitalized in titles), ambassador, viceroy
uprava (Russ.) = administrative control center
yasak = tribute, exaction; yasak (adj.)= tributary, tribute-paying, tributary colony

L.P. POTAPOV
ETHNIC COMPOSITION AND ORIGIN OF ALTAIANS
3

Introduction

Questions of an origin of the peoples of our multinational Soviet state became important, both in theoretical, and practical sense. Many (deported and undeported, decimated or wiped out) peoples of former Russia brought to "independent existence" by the Great October Socialist Revolution, for the first time in history followed the road of national self-determination and had an opportunity to build economy, culture and life in conditions "free" from national oppression. Development of socialist economy, culture and life among many peoples, especially those that until recently recently were characterized by extreme political, economic and cultural backwardness, had no writing and literature, caused among them in all population layers huge interest to the historical past and first of all to their origin. Questions about who we are, how and whence have have came, what was our previous history, etc. arose among each such people. To satisfy these spiritual needs and requirements is an importsnt important and urgent task of the Soviet historical science. It is impossible to forget that the bourgeois science usually treats such peoples as "prehistoric", ostensibly without their own history, and by that it stipulates their historical inferiority. But even when some members of the bourgeois science do not deny that these peoples had a history, they declare an impossibility of its scientific study, its reconstruction, and usually explain it by the absence of appropriate sources and materials. In other words, with a general formal recognition of the backward illiterate or newly-literate peoples as historical, nevertheless they actually affirm that they cannot have a scientifically established history, therefore they should be attributed to a category of a kind of a second grade peoples.

The Soviet scientists treat this problem differently, they not only resolutely deny a ridiculous unscientific division of peoples on historical and unhistorical, but also have developed ways and methods of studying history and origin of the so-called "unhistorical" peoples, and primarily found new kinds of valuable scientific sources for such research, and mastered them.
4

To such sources first of all belong various types of archeological monuments and very numerous kinds of ethnographic materials. Then to them belong various anthropological materials, folklore and language, ethnonymy and toponymy, etc. It is self-evident that the bigest value in the complex of the above sources are any types of information about peoples contained in any written sources.

The main method in study of the history and origin of the peoples is a complex use of sources, their analysis and comparison, chronological arrangement and classification in respect with the periodization of the historical process. Only a combination of various kinds of sources enables studies of the historical processes for illiterate peoples both as a whole, and also its separate parts, of the ethnic history containing main ethnic components, formation of people, change of ethnic composition under influence of the the historical reasons, etc. 

The Soviet historians, in particular ethnographers, have already accumulated a significant experience of such studies, received positive results, and by that brought their contribution into the science, opened a new direction in the historical research with international appreciation. Presently, when to independent life switched or are switching many peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, freed from the imperialistic colonial oppression, experience of the Soviet scientists in studies of the historical past of the illiterate or newly-literate peoples has a great positive value. On these continents occupied by huge number of various tribes and nations, questions of historical past of the freed peoples rise immediately in the construction of the new life. Not accidentally to the USSR Academy of Sciences are sent requests from different recently freed states for a help and advice in the research organization about the history and origin, for example, of the peoples of Africa, Southeast Asia, etc. However, within the limits of the Soviet Union the study work on the history illiterate or newly-literate peoples is still insufficient, and obviously lags behind the practical needs for such research. This lack is especially felt in such multinational areas, as Caucasus and Siberia. In respect to Siberia, it can be noted that the most was done for peoples of the Southern Siberia. A new example can be the edition of the "History of Tuva".
5

This work is devoted to Altaians. Notwithstanding that we already addressed the questions of the Altaians' origin, its decision till this moment remained too general, marking only prime junctures of the Altaian ethnogenesis. Now we can illuminate it specially and with more particulars, though certainly not encompassing everything. Of other works on the problem examined in this book only one can be named. It is a small article by P.E.Tadyev "Ethnic structure of pre-revolutionary Altaians and particulars of their administrative system". Unfortunately, the article contains some factual mistakes and individual regretful statements that make its use somewhat ungainly. For example, it talks about 15 (!) seok clans of Kumandy (moreover, while referring to our article), which apparently is reached by ascribing to Kumandy some people of the Shor or Teleut seoks, and repeating different names of the same seoks (for example, Yots, Yuts), and so on... The article denies, without argumentation, a tribal independence of the Altai Teleses, this ancient ethnic Türkic-speaking group whose ethnogenetical sources are ascending the ancient Türkic period (6th-8th centuries), and from that time are traced to the present, as discussed in the final chapter. Hence, P.E.Tadyev's article, though it raises a question about ethnic composition of Altaians, however does not provide the answer.
6

Insights

We investigated material about the origin of the Altaians covering a period from the middle of the first millennium of our era to the present (500 AD - 1969), reflecting the chronological extent of the modern Altaians' ethnic history. But in respect to the ethnic history of the Altai population during even more ancient epoch, and the ethnic substratum for the ethnogenesis of the remote historical ancestors of the modern Altaians, it should be acknowledged that in many respects that topic has not been investigated. We shall only briefly note some aspects which study requires wide comparative research of archeological and anthropological material, on a background of general historical processes not only in the Central, but in the Middle Asia and in the Near East (This is one of the most far-reaching observations of L.P. Potapov, that the roots of the Altaian peoples originated not in the Altai, but as far away as the Middle Asia and in the Near East - Translator's Note).

For example, should be finally clarified what ethnic type, and whence from (from Ordos or from the Middle and Near East areas) during the so-called "Karasuk period" (middle of the 2nd millenium BC - 7th century BC) to the Altai and Minusinsk depression migrated population among which could be found the most ancient ancestors of some modern peoples in Siberia, not only of the Türkic-speaking peoples, but for example also the Kets, whose origin remains mysterious till this moment.

Still unclear remains the question of the ethnic composition of the Mountain Altai inhabitants during the so-called "Scythian time" (5th - 3rd centuries BC), whose cultural monuments are widely known from excavations of the Pazaryk kurgans (Genetical research has already answered these questions, finding Pazarykans to be Paleosibirians, connected with the contemporary population of Mountain Altai, see here - Translator's Note). The evidence about the origin of Pazaryk culture, notable for its Ahaemenid imports and Middle Asian thoroughbred horses, from the Sakas' areas, probably, of the Iranian-lingual tribal confederations (The idea of Iranian-linguality of a mix of Paleosibirians and Mongolians for all practical purposes is over - Translator's Note) is being accumulated. But the evidenceit needs a science-level examination.

Or the question, especially important for the history of the Sayano-Altai mountains population, about the role and influence of the Huns in the formation of ethnic composition of that region during the last centuries BC and the first centuries of our era, during the so-called Hunnic period. The Oriental historical science studied the Hunnish problem for hundreds years. 5 Were extended various reasons in favor of Türkic-speaking, Mongolic-speaking, and even Iranian-linguality of the Hunnic tribes. A majority of the modern researchers, especially Soviet researchers, came to the opinion that the Huns were a political association of nomadic tribes, ethnically non-uniform, but with a prevalence in it of the Türkic-speaking tribes.

Very recently was advanced a new point of view on this question, the substance of which is that the Huns spoke a "Eniseian" language, i.e. a language of the type which until now is spoken by a small Siberian nation of Kets (and now assimilated Kotts), who live along Enisei. 6 This hypothesis, as it belongs to the most prominent and authoritative modern Sinologist from England, originally caused a sensation and even some confusion among some foreign Orientalists.

5 K.A.Inostrantsev. The Hunnu (Huns) and Huns. L., 1926; A.N.Bernshtam. Essay on the history of Huns. L., 1951; F. Altheim. Geschichte dec Hunnen. Berlin, Bd. 1, 1959; Bd. 2, 1960.
6 E. C. Pulleyblank. The Consonantal system of old Chinese. The Hsiung-nu Language. Asia Major, New Series (vol. 9), pt. 2, London, 1962, p. 239-265.
7

The matter is, it challenged the view widely spread in the world of the Oriental studies that that Huns were ancestors of the ancient Türks - Tugue (Tukue) (6th century) as was repeatedly certified by the ancient Chinese written sources. Therefore we shall review the E.Pulleyblank hypothesis in the present book. To do that is especially necessary because we, in the historical, ethnographic, and archeological research of the Sayano-Altai mountains nations, basing on various historical sources, repeatedly stated that the ancient Türkic-speaking ancestors of the modern Altaians and Tuvinians belong to the Hunnish ethnic group, which we see as a conglomerate with a prevalence in it of the Türkic-speaking ethnic elements.

As a linguist, professor E.Pulleyblank believes that the main evidence for the theory of the ancient Türks - Tugue Hunnic origin was an obvious connection between the word ch'en-li - "sky" in the Hun language with the Türkic tangri (page 240). Referring to the well-known P.Pelliot, prof. Pulleyblank emphasizes that this connection in Türkic and Mongolian languages is unstable, and finds that in these both languages this word was a borrowing. Further, he literally brushed off the number of statements by early Chinese historians about the descent of the ancient Türks from the Huns, dismissing their "evidential weight" only because during the Ancient Türkic period, to which the statements of the written sources belong, the "real Huns" ostensibly "have disappeared for a long time" because of the appearance in the middle of the 6th century to the historical arena of ancient the Türks. These are the arguments, on the basis of which the theory of the Hunnic origin of the ancient Türks is proclaimed as being disproved.

We shall not mount here a linguistic refutation of the hypothesis, for it is beyond our competence. However we are obliged to explain, what source heritage prof. Pulleyblank scoffs so easily, coming from his idea about Huns' descendants disappearance during the Ancient Türkic time. From the dynastic history Choushu (551-583) was already known for a long time that the ancestors of the ancient Türks - Tugue, under a name Ashina, were a separate branch of the house of Hunnu (Huns) 7 The ethnogenetical connection of the ancient Türks with the Hunnu (Huns) was very definitely stated by the source. But there also are other historical messages, that allow to detail and refine this connection.

7 Bichurin (Iakinf). Collection of information on peoples in Central Asia in ancient times, vol. 1. M.-L., 1950, p. 220.
7

Since the appearance of the publication of the new sources about the history of the eastern Türks - Tugue, there is no doubt that they came from a mixing of the late Huns, who penetrated to the west after 265 AD (i.e. during mass migration to the west of the Hunnic tribes from the eastern part of the Central Asia and from Ordos), in the area of the small Pinlyan and Hesi states (Gansu province) with the local Iranian-lingual "barbarians". 88 From there, after a defeat of Pinlyan by China in the 2-nd half of the 5 century, the ancestors of Tugue coached away to the Gaochan mountains, northwest from Turfan, and were subjugated by Jujans, and then settled by Jujans on the southern slopes of Mongolian Altai, where they were engaged in metalwork for the Jujan kagans. 9 Besides that, the known ancient written sources indicate the origin of some Türkic-speaking tribes belonging to the Tele group, also directly from the Huns. Take the Uigurs, whose Türkic-linguality does not cause any doubt. Tangshu directly tells that Uigur ancestors were Huns. 10 In the earlier dynastic history Weishu the ancestors of the Tele tribes, in particular the ancestors of Uigurs, not only are derived from the Huns, but also identified with them in respect to the language. The annals say: "Their language is like Hunnu, but with a small difference". 11

Hence, the evidence tells about the Türkic-lingual character of the language of a part of the Huns, because we consider the Huns as a whole to be an ethnic conglomerate. We have a right to cite this proof, for prof. Pulleyblank himself uses such arguments. For example he writes that based on Weishu, because Uhuans and Syanbi spoke one language, and P.Pelliot very convincingly have shown the Mongol-speaking of some Syanbi groups, and consequently the Uhuans were also Mongol-speaking 12 (As the following discourse demonstrates, Syanbi had plenty of the Türkic-lingual tribes, so the implication that if Syanbi had Mongol-speaking groups then any other group was also Mongolic-speaking is arbitrary.

Summary of L.Potapov account on Syanbi constituents in this work:

Türkic Tele Uigur clan Toba (Touba, Tabgach) - founder, dynastic clan
Tungus Tanguts=future Mongol Uhuans (Uanhe, Wuhuan) - army that defeated Huns (P.Pelliot: Mongol)
Türkic Tele (Gaogui) significant part of Tele accepted Syanbi name
Türkic Huns numbering up to 100 thousand wagon carts "accepted national name Syanbi"
Türkic modern Teleut seok Mundus legendary descent from Tanynihai
Türkic Alats (Boma), a tribe of tribe of Skewbald horses (record of 4th c.)
Türkic So, primogenitor tribe of Türk tribes in Syanbi state (Liu Mau-tsai, B.Ogel: a name of one of Syanbi tribes) - Translator's Note)
.

Resigning only to the cited facts, unduly ignored by the prof. Pulleyblank, we would like to emphasize that the so-called "real Huns" during the Ancient Türkic time have not disappeared at all. A number of tribes from the ethnic composition of the Huns have joined, probably partially, under their tribal names, partially under changed names, in the confederation of the Tele tribes, or in the Ancient Türkic Kaganates. Anyway, among the Tele tribes, one tribe even had folk name of Hunnu (Huns) and is known that it was called Hun. 13

8 Liu Mau-tsai. Die chinesischen Nachrichten zur Geschichte der Ost-tiirken (T'u-kue), Bd. 1. Wiesbaden, 1958, S. 40; the History of Tuva, vol. 1, p. 59-60.
9 In more detail and with wider source study base, the question on the origin of the Türks has provided S.G.Klyashtorny (Ancient Türkic runiform monuments as a source on history of Central Asia. . 1964, p. 106-114).
10 N.Ya.Bichurin, Ibid., p. 301
11 Ibid., p. 214. Compare: "Ancestors of Tele were descendants of the Hunnu (Huns) (Sui-shu)", Liu Mau-tsai, Ibid., p. 109.
12 . Pulleyblank, Ibid., p. 259.
13 O.itsak. Xun, der Volksname der Hsiung-nu. Central Asiatic Journal, vol. 5, 1959, 1.
8

By the way, S.G.Klyashtorny recently noted that in the Sogdian "old letters" the name of Central Asian Huns is reproduced for the first time not hieroglyphically, but with an alphabetical script in the form xūn ~ hūn 14 (ū = Umacron = long U, like in boon, coon, spoon, maroon => hoon - Translator's Note).

 

Citation from S.G.Klyashtorny work. Actually it was Henning who published the alphabetical name of the Huns, S.G.Klyashtorny only cited Henning's work (see W.B. Henning text here). It was also Henning who determined that Sogdians kept calling Türks "Huns" into the 8th century.

"In 308 AD, the Shanyu of the Hun tribes of Shansi Lu Yuan, who before 304 AD had a prince title Han, proclaimed himself an emperor 149. In 311 his son Lu Tsun besieged the capital of Qin empire - Loyang, the dramatic events which followed after a capture of the city found reflection in one of the most interesting documents, written by the eyewitness, - a letter of a Sogdian merchant Nanaivandak 150.

149  Eberhard, Liu Yuan ve Liu Ts'ung, s. 3-72; Franke, Geschichte, Bd II S. 40-53.
150  Henning, Sogdian ancient letters, pp. 601-615. In this document the tribes that captured Loyang, are named (-xūn ~ hūn); because the identity of these tribes with the Sünnu (Hsiung-nu) of the Chinese sources is undoubted, the Sogdian old letters for the first time reproduced the name of the Central Asian Huns, written not in hieroglyphic script, but in an alphabetical script. In the Sogdian texts from the Mug mountain the ethnonym γwn designates eastern Türks (Livshits, Sogdian Ambassador, page 103). It is improbable that there took place a preservation of the "tradition of the Chinese sources. Such tradition did really exist in the official Chinese historiography, where the Sünnu ethnonym in some cases appeared as a synonym for the name Tutszue (Tukue) (Liu Mau-tsai, II, p. 778), However it is unclear how this Chinese literary tradition could affect the specifically private correspondence of the small Sogdian rulers in the beginning of the 8th century. If the identification γwn of the Mug document B-17 with the eastern Türks is justified, wouldn't it be more correct to assume an existence of a local Sogdian tradition (literary and verbal), based on the old (4th century AD) acquaintance with the one of the Hunnic tribes in the Hesi-Gaochan that subsequently became known under a name Türk. About the term γwn in the Mug documents also compare: Bogolyubov and Smirnova, Sogdian document, B-1, page 127."

Our long-term study of the history of Sayano-Altai and Khangai uplands tribes is convincing that the nomadic tribes, especially large, do not disappear completely even during the most dramatic times of their life, during wars and defeats, but disperse and reappear again, and consolidate again under the old or a new name.

Turning now to a brief of the prof. Pulleyblank new hypothesis, which is based on purely linguistic proofs. The author collected 190 probable Hunnish words from the ancient Han period (202 BC-25 AD); 57 words from Hou Han-shi (25-265); 31 words from Qin-shu (265-420). 15 Of all this quantity of presumably Hunnish words the overwhelming majority represents peronal names or titles, that certainly greatly reduces their scientific value, because these both categories of words are widely spread by borrowing. But among them are some so-called cultural words, research of which can yield fruitful results. After a common phonologic analysis by inferential restoration of the ancient Chinese phonological transcriptions that designate these words, the author comes to a conclusion that in the Hunnish dictionary of 278 words are two features (the presence of the initial "g" "l") that speak against the Altai connections and do not display close similarity to any form of Türkic or Mongolic language known to us. 16

So in a new fashion was decided the destiny of the Hunnish language as a whole, and started a search of its modern descendant, which in the opinion of the author is the modern "Enisei", specifically the Ket language, not long ago called in the scientific literature "Enisei-Ostyak". Prof. Pulleyblank performed a heavy work comparing some chosen by him presumably Hunnish words with the modern Ket or with the words of the recently extinct Kott language related to Ket. He does not conceal that "it was difficult for him to compare the phonology of the Hunnu (Huns) (we shall add, by inferential restoration - L. .) words as they are deciphered from the Chinese transcriptions of the Han period, with not sufficiently known Ket and Kott languages two millenniums later" 17 (citation is a reverse translation from Russian back to English - Translator's Note).

14 S.G.Klyashtorny, Ancient Türkic runiform monuments as a source on a history of Central Asia. M. 1964, p. 106-114, p. 108; (   32Mb PDF)
15 . Pulleyblank Ibid., p. 240.
16\ Ibid., p. 242. *1 6 'Tr' ^ " ^0 it especiallyly fair, what now, and Altaian " and? TR ' 9 language as supposes initial g, because a little
9

Declaring that "the phonology cannot come to the aid", the author turns to the vocabulary and suggests a number of comparisons of cultural words between the languages of the Hunnu (Huns) and "Enisei". In the end he quite successfully compared three words with the "Enisei": "son", "stone", "milk". Then, with the good stretching and disclaimers come the words: "horse", "sour milk". At last, for the words "butter", "koumiss" and "dry cheese" were not found any comparisons because of their absence in Ket. The author is recognizing that "sour milk", "koumiss", like the word "sky", can be tracked in the Mongolian and Türkic languages. And one more Hunnish word - "boots" - can be somewhat compared with the Ket word, which was already noted earlier. However, the author after prof. Ligeti (L. Ligeti) and prof. Bailey (. Bailey) is inclined to the Iranic origin of this term.18

In addition, from the number of the Hunnish words prof. Pulleyblank examines four most known titles as shanjuj, hatun, etc. of which he finds only one, and that with a disclaimer that it is "only an assumption", comparable with "Enisei", and the others he finds in the Türko-Mongolian groupping.

From all the findings prof. Pulleyblank draws an unexpected conclusion: "the simplest hypothesis for explanation of these facts is that the Hunnu (Huns) spoke in Eniseian language, that the Türks and Mongols, their successors in the eastern steppes, absorbed elements of the Hunnish cultural and political organization with corresponding names". 19 The suggested hypothesis, based on linguistic evidence, prof. Pulleyblank suggests to subject to cross-check by other types of evidence, in particular archeological. 20

Evaluating the prof. Pulleyblank hypothesis, we should recognize that it is a result of the formal linguistic reconstruction, torn off the real historical facts, from the historical process during the Hunnic and subsequent time in the huge open spaces of the Central Asia and a belt of extensive steppes extending from Altai to Danube. As is known, the Hunnic confederation, with the original center in the 3rd century BC located on the southern side of Gobi desert, including Ordos, spread its political domination far to the west (up to the Middle Asia) and to the east (up to the Great Hingan and Liaodong gulf inclusive), on the south to China and to the north to Baikal. Later, the Huns reached the southeast of Europe. However, in all this huge space nowhere were preserved any traces of the Ket of the "Enisei" speech, but the Türkic languages (and in places Mongolian languages) survived everywhere.

18 L. Ligeti. Mots de civilisation de Haut Asie en transcription thi-noise. Acta Orientalia, vol. 1, 1950, fasc. Budapest.
19 E. Pulleyblank, Ibid.. Page 243.
20 Ibid., p. 265.
10

It is difficult to imagine that in such wide area of Hunnic diffusion, if the Huns spoke in Ket, would not remain any traces of the "Eniseian" language. On the contrary, according to the Chinese annalistic records and genealogical legends, the Türkic-speaking Tele and Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes undoubtedly descended from the Hunnish ethnos.

They preserved and developed Türkic languages. And not only the languages. Many ceremonies and customs, features of economy, culture and life of the ancient Türkic-speaking tribes are similar to the Hunni just because genetically they ascend back to Huns. We succeeded in being convinced of it on the archeological material from excavation of the Hunnic and Ancient Türkic time in Tuva. 21 We also archeologically know the Huns east of Baikal and in Mongolia. But where is among the modern descendants of the ancient Hunnic tribes the Ket-lingual "Enisei" speech, or even its slightest traces?

The anthropology also does not confirm connections of the Huns with the Enisei Kets. The anthropological materials now available on the Huns of the east of Baikal and Mongolia, and modern craniological materials on the Kets do not give any reasons to connect the Huns with the Kets. The Kets display clear resemblance with the modern peoples in the north of the Middle Siberia (Selkups, Nentses). The Huns of the east of Baikal, for example, are much more Mongoloid, and their relationship with more ancient native population is well traced by comparison of the anthropological material from the Neolith, Bronze Age and Scythian time. There also are no indicators to establish anthropological affinity between the Kets and the Huns of Tuva. 22

Therefore, giving its due to the work, talent and erudition of the prof. E. Pulleyblank, who published his reconstruction of the phonetical structure of the ancient and middle Chinese language, introducing many important changes into the known reconstruction of B.Karlgren, 23 from the historical ethnographic point of view we can't fail to consider critically the hypothesis about the language of the Huns as a "Eniseian" language (i.e. Ket, Kott, Aryan) because it is in total contradiction with a large chain of scientifically established historical and ethnogenetical facts, because it is isolated from specific historical material which can't be ignored in deciding the question about the ethnic composition and language of the Huns.

21 This data is partly published by us: History of Tuva, vol. 1, p. 60-64.
22 For this information I am obliged to anthropologist I.I.Gohman who studied anthropology of Hunnic burials.
23 B.Karlgren 1) Analytic dictionary of Chinese and Sino-Japanese, 1940; 2) Grammata Serica, script and phonetics of Chinese and Sino-Japanese. Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, 1940.
11

At last, we shall point to one more aspect of that hypothesis, from the historical ethnographical point of view. With the overwhelming predominance in the prospective Hunnic words of the names and titles, it should be contemplated that they could be absorbed by the Huns from other languages, including the "Enisei" language, because it is known that the remote ancestors of the Kets appeared in Siberia from the southern areas of the Central Asia, and the modern Ket language is even frequently classed as connected to the Tibeto-Burmese group. 24 Rejecting the hypothesis of the prof. Pulleyblank, we are not inclined to view his work, comparison of prospective Hunnish words with "Enisean"-Ket, useless. On the contrary, there can not be any doubts that the author brought a serious contribution of new historical insights to the Hunnish problem that indicated a presence in the Hunnish ethnic conglomerate of ancient ancestors of the Enisei Kets, or about their close contact with this conglomerate, and even if the contact was not directly with the political center of the Huns, then it was with its periphery. That corroborates the point of view that holds the Hunnish ethnicity as an exceptional conglomerate of mainly Türkic, and also Mongolian, Enisei-Ket, and some other ethnic elements that are yet to be defined.

Digressing from all upheavals connected with the Hunnish problem, we should emphasize a huge value Hunnish time archeological monuments, and of the anthropological material from them, for studying the ethnogenesis problem of the peoples of Southern Siberia generally and Altaians in particular. Unfortunately, in Altai the archeological monuments of the Hunnish time have not been investigated yet. On an appreciable scale it was done only in Tuva. 25 Some results of that study in Tuva enable an assertion that the Hunnish time should be viewed as an initial stage in the ethnogenesis of the modern Tuvinians and, probably, of the modern Altaians. During that period by infiltration from the southern areas (and admixture with local population) in the Sayano-Altai mountains developed a Mongoloid physical type of the population, characteristic for the inhabitants of Tuva and Altai. The remote historical ancestors of the modern Altaians and Tuvinians, the Tele tribes, descended from the Hunnish lode, which is certified by the Chinese written sources. That is the reason for close examination of the a material belonging to the Tele and ancient Türks - Tugue tribes related to the study of the Altaians' earliest historical ancestors.

24 A known linguist Levi writes: "The importance of the Ket of language as a link between the Caucasus and the Far East is difficult to overestimate" (. Lewi. Ketica. Materialen aus dem ketischen oder jenisseiost-jakischen aufgezeichnet von Kai Dormer. Helsinki, 1955, p. 125). More about it see: E.A.Alekseenko. Kets. L., 1967; A.P.Dulzon. Ket language. Tomsk, 1968.
25 See works: Works of the Tuva complex arheologo-ethnographic expedition of Ethnography Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. M.-L., vol. 1, 1960; vol. 14, 1966; the History of Tuva, vol. 1.
12

In this work we applied a somewhat divergent technique, different from our earlier publications. Starting from the well documented modern ethnic composition of the Altaians, we gradually deep into the depth of centuries, and relying on evidence of various sources, we determine the main ethnic components of various historical depth that played a main role in the origin of the modern Altaians. The defined volume of our work did not allow to include extensive specialized archeological material, though some generalizations and the conclusions following from it we included in individual parts of the final chapter. We have to expressed a hope that the offered work reflects the modern state of the sources and would appear useful not only for modern Altaians, but also for the future ethnogenetical research for the broad audience of the Sayano-Altai mountains peoples.
12

Publisher's data

Leonid Pavlovich Potapov
ETHNIC COMPOSITION AND ORIGIN OF ALTAIANS
Approved for print by
USSR Academy of Sciences History, Philology and Philosophy Institute
Publishing house editor E.G. Dagin
Artist M.I.Razulevich
Technical editor E.Ya.Volkova
Proof-readers L.M.Bova and Sh.A.Ivanov
Turned over to printing 15/ 1968. Approved for print 16/1 1969 RISO USSR Aof S No 146-190.
Paper format 60 x 90 1/16. Paper sheets 6 1/8. Print sheets 12? = 12? nom. print sheets. Material control publishing sheets 13,42. Publication No 3879.
Polygraphic order. No 1374. M-22017. Print 2000 copies. Paper No 1
Price 95 kopecks.
Leningrad branch of Publishing house "Science". Leningrad, B-164, Mendeleev line, No.1
1st print shop of Publishing house "Science". Leningrad, B-34, 9th line, No 12

 

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