In Russian
Contents Alataians
Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Alans and Ases
  Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
  L.P.POTAPOV (1905-2000)
"Science" Publishing house, Leningrad branch,  Leningrad, 1969
Ethnic composition of Altaians at the end of the 19th beginning of 20th c. 14

Southern Altaians












Northern Altaians




Yaryks and Yalans


Kumandy and Chelkandy



Part 1 Ethnic composition of Altaians at the end of the 19th beginning of 20th c.

The majority of Altaians now live in the Mountain Altai Autonomous Province . Their number by 1959 census was 44,654 persons. Before the Great October Socialist Revolution the Altaians did not constitute a homogeneous nation, and had no common endoethnonym self-name. They were divided on to a number of tribal or territorial groups, frequently isolated, different in occupations and way of life, ethnic origin, etc., they were identifying themselves by a tribal or territorial name .

During the period of Soviet history the Altaians have consolidated. They developed modern kinds of agriculture (mainly animal husbandry and agriculture) (This panegric should be taken for what it is, a mandatory lip service to the system at the time. Impoverishment, loss of deep steppe pastures, loss of herds, dependency on state supplied staples, involuntary settlement and subsistence agriculture replacing efficient traditional husbandry that was honed for 5 millenia, loss of culture of independence and self-reliance - all that is sweetly called "modern kinds of" - Translator's Note). They saw the arrival of some types of socialist industry. With the socialist economy, the Altaians appreciably raised their cultural level and their family life was sharply changed. The main trend of the new process is not only a leveling of economy and an increase in the material and cultural standard of life even in most rustic corners, but also form ing new common features of culture and daily life in various areas of the Mountain Altai Province, previously sharply differing .

Under influence of new socioeconomic processes the division of Altaians along tribal or territorial lines nowadays practically disappeared, though memory of it is very alive, especially among senior generation. A relict of the tribal divisions and compartmentalization still is a significant number of dialects and vernaculars in the modern Altai language, though this vestige is also gradually erased (with education run exclusively in foreign dominating language, a loss of native language is a programmed objective . Those not able to master the language are left to tend to the collectivized horses. The same is happening in the Chinese part of Altai - Translator's Note). To change the demarcated tribal consciousness, typical for the history of Altaians, was inflicted a common and uniform national consciousness.

We face a fairly difficult scientific task. We should fill in the blanks about the origin of modern Altaians, whose historical past is rooted in extreme antiquity. The problem of the Altai Turkic-speaking tribes' origin for a long time remains among most difficult and undeveloped problems in the (Russian-written) Siberian ethnography. Though Altai drew the attention of scientists for a long time, during pre-revolutionary epoch only two from them, W.Radloff and N.Aristov touched this problem, but even that was not done on purpose, but in passing. Radloff wrongly believed that generally Altai is the most ancient ancestral home of the Türkic tribes, and thought that studying Altaians, which he did for decades, can throw a light on the question of the Türkic origin in general (This is one of not too many statements that the Türks' homeland is not Altai, they were immigrant newcomers to Altai - Translator's Note). Aristov also believed that Altai is an ancestral home of the Türks . However, perusing the problem of the origin and ethnic composition of the Türkic tribes and nations in Russia, he paid little attention to the Altaians, though he stated a convinced assumption that Southern Altaians are descendants of the Gaogui tribes ( Modern Chinese Pinyin Gaoche 高車), interchangeably called by the Chinese written sources with the term Tele (Modern Chinese Pinyin Tiele 鐵勒 ). In respect to the northern Altaians, this author accepted the Radloff 's suggestion that they are Turkified Enisei Ostyaks (Kets) and Nenetses, though for some of them, Kumandy and Chelkandy, in essence Aristov made an exception, and was inclined to see in them the descendants of ancient Türks-Tukue ( Modern Chinese Pinyin Tujue 突 厥 ).

Thus, we can quite justifiably state: until present were made no attempts of anything resembling a serious research to come to conclusion about the Altaians' origin. The pre-Revolutionary science even saw it as an insurmountable task. W.Radloff openly stated: "It appears highly improbable that it would be ever possible to resolve the origin problem for the most ancient inhabitants of Siberia". 1

The Soviet historical science, in particular ethnography treats this problem of the Siberian science differently. It not only does not deny a possibility of successful study of the origin of various Siberian nations, but even accumulated in this respect valuable research experience, both practical, and theoretical.

The origin of any Siberian nation certainly presents one of the most challenging historical and ethnographical problems, especially when a nation does not have literacy and literature in its past ( L.P.Potapov in his study scantly used the Altai written monuments and indigenous records of the countries that controlled the fates and territories of the Altai peoples, limiting his study outside Russian colonial records only to the published general works. Many studies published in the decades after completion of the L.Potapov work further illustrate and complement his conclusions   - Translator's Note). However, the scientific methods and techniques mentioned above yield positive results in the study of the origins for many Siberian nations, and demonstrated their usefulness. The main aspect of such research is a consistent application of historical materialism based on complex studies and comparison of different types of sources. In respect to every nation can be asserted that they did not appear out of blue, but were formed during specific, sometimes very long historical periods. The process of emerging of the nations flows in specific historical and geographical conditions, and is induced by very specific social and economic causes.

1. W.W. Radloff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1. Leipzig, 1884, p. 143.

Specific conditions in forming a nation are reflected in the various types of sources, which should be found and studied as a complex . Such sources for ethnogenesis studies of the Southern Siberian nations first of all are various archeological monuments, especially burials, because they usually contain rich household inventory supplied for the diseased in accordance with the ancient religious beliefs, when sending him to the "other world", and also very valuable anthropological material like the bone remains of the buried people (And L.P.Potapov completely ignores in his study any prior archeological or osteological studies - Translator's Note). Various ethnographical data reflecting material culture, social and spiritual life, various customs and ceremonies, etc., present very valuable source for the problem being investigated, separately with inherent various vestiges of an antiquity, and in comparison with the similar materials describing culture and daily life of different peoples. Clearly, the anthropological materials on the modern population of the Southern Siberia, their language, folklore, ethnonymy and toponym y, etc. are also of great importance as historical sources, and should be used in the solution of the problem in a widest aspect. At last, the written historical sources need to be mentioned . The written sources have high scientific value, and should be considered in a complex with other source study materials. In respect to the many modern Siberian nations, illiterate or young literate in the past, the ancient Chinese annalistic chronicles, and not only the m, but also Tibetan, Ancient Turkic (including stone inscriptions ), Persian, Arabic, Mongolian and Russian written monuments (the last are from the 17th century) are especially helpful. Reference s in any written sources about investigated nation s, its territory, about its name, information on culture and daily life, etc. are very valuable and should be used in combination with other kinds of sources.

We would like to mention some specific written historical sources related to our work. Of them first of all should be named the Chinese, mainly annalistic sources, published in a number of works known for a long time, and some new ones. 2 Should be named the new Tibetan manuscript from the collection of Pelliot, 3 and, certainly, a number of known Persian, Arabic sources, some Mongolian, Russian, and at last the Ancient Turkic sources. 4 (Funny, is not it that the study of Türkic people lists Türkic sources as a last resource, and that in 1969 publication - Translator's Note).

2 N.Ya.Bichurin (Iakinf). N.Ya.Bichurin. Collection of information on peoples in Central Asia in ancient times. M.-L., vol. 1, 2, 1950; vol. CH., 1953;
. Chavannes. Documents sur les Tou-Kiue (Turcs) occidentaux, St.-Pet., 1903;
0. Franke. Beitrage aus chinesischen Quellen zur Kenntnis der Turkvolker und Skythen Zentralasiens. Berlin, 1904;
J. J. M. de Grt. Die Hunnen dei voichrisllichen Zeit. Chinesischen Urkunden zur Geschichte Asien, Berlin-Leipzig, 1921-1926;
Liu Mau-tsai. Die chinesischen Nachrichten zur Geschichte der Ost-Türken (T'uküe), Bd. 1, 2. Wiesbaden, 1958;
H. V.Kuner. Chinese news about peoples of the Southern Siberia, Central Asia and Far East. ., 1961, etc.;
Z. J. Bat. Reconnaissance en Haute Asie septentrionale par cinq en-voyes ouighours au 8-e siecle. Journal Asiatique, Paris, 1966;
G. 1ausn. A propos du Manuscrit Pelliot Tibetain 1283. Asiatique, Paris, 1957.
4 V. Minorsky.
     1) Hudud al-Alam. The regions of the World. A Persian geography. London, 1937;
     2) Scharaf al-Zaman Tahir Marvasi on China, the Turks and India. London, 1942;
     3) Tamim ibn Bahr's. Journey to the Uygurs. Bull, of the School of Oriental and African studies, University of London, vol. 12, 1948, pt. 2;
Rashid ad-Din. The collection of annals, M.-L., vol. 1, Book 1, 2, 1952; vol. 2, 1960;
The Secret Legend. The Mongolian chronicle of 1240, vol. 1. M.-L., 1941;
W. Radlff. Die alttiirkischen 1nschritten der Mongolei, 1-3. St.-Pet., 1894-1895; new edition, 1897; second edition, 1899;
     1) Monuments of Ancient Turkic writing. M.-L., 1951;
     2) Enisei Türkic writing. M.-L., 1952;
     3) Monuments of Ancient Turkic writing of Mongolia and Kirgizia. M.-L., 1959, etc.
In more detail foreign and Russian written sources are specified in my works: Sketches on a history of Altaians. Issue 2. M.-L., 1953; History of Tuva, vol. 1. ., 1964 (in Introduction and a number of the chapters written by me).

Investigation of the questions of the Altaians' origin should be done separately by two large groups, which geographical ly can be called southern and northern, because between them till the Socialism Period were sharp differences in culture and daily life, i n language and anthropological type, testifying to a ethnic origin and different history of culture between the southern and northern Altaians. In linguistic classifications of Türkic languages not all Altaians are grouped together.

In one of such popular classifications the Southern Altaians, and the majority of the northern, are attributed to the group containing Kirgizes, Kazakhs, a part of Uzbeks ( who settled in Uzbekistan in after disintegration of Djuchi Ulus, or (Russian moniker) Golden Horde, in the beginning of the 16th century under Sheibani-khan and frequently called before the Revolution "nomadic Uzbeks"), Bashkirs, Tobol and Baraba Tatars, etc. This group of Türkic languages in the mentioned classification received a name of Northwestern or Kypchak. However, the Shors in that classification, are attributed to another, a so-called North- Eastern group of languages, which by its main language is also call Uigur. 5 New research brought essential corrective amendments to th at classification, to the history of forming and development of Altaians' language, but the fact of separation of the spoken language on to dialects united in two groups, southern and northern, each characterized by phonetic, lexical and grammatical distinctions, 6 remains in force.

5 A.Samoilovich. Some additions to classification of Turkish languages. Pgr., 1922., tj^uxem^ (By 1969 it became safe to mention scientists killed in the Stalin's pogroms of the intellectuals).

The differences in the economic patterns, culture and daily life between southern and northern groups of Altaians was especially large.

The Southern Altaians before the Great October Socialist Revolution were typical cattlemen, their advanced dairy farming was a mainstay of their food (A few paragraphs above, the same farming was called primitive and replaced by progressive Russian landless husbandry - Translator's Note). The Türkic-speaking (and sometimes the Mongol-speaking) names for many foodstuffs are very ancient and endured among Altaians (and newcomer Russians) till our time.

The Northern Altaians were primordial foot animal hunters. Their techniques and methods of animal hunt have hunting characteristic typical for the taiga strip of the northern Asia. It is a "foot ski hunt, with manual narts (sleds) for hunt packs, with construction of large wooden stockades for collective round-ups of hoofed animals, with trap pits, automatic bows set on animal paths, wooden snares for trapping small animals, etc. The Northern Altaians were engaged in hunting along with hoe agriculture (with tiny crops on the mountain taiga clearings), fishing in the taiga rivers, and gathering of edible roots and stalks of wild plants. Some types of gathering, at least from the second half of the 19th century, gained among them a status of a profitable commercial craft (Kernels of Russian civilization, making subsistence gatherers into commercial gatherers for the Russian market - Translator's Note). First of all it was gathering of pine nuts, which were mainly bought by the Russian traders. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries the nuts among Kumandy, Chelkandy and Tubalars were almost a prime commodity for cash earnings, after the income from the furs. During that period also increased spring gathering of ramson (Allium ursinum L.) in the spring for cash sale or exchange for flour and other produce from the Russian peasants, who willingly stored ramson for the winter. From the ancient gathering the northern Altaians also developed beekeeping, but that under an influence of the Russian peasants. The gathering of wild bee honey turned under that cultural influence into a wild-hive beekeeping, and then into the present beehive beekeeping.

This ancient economic complex driven by low level of productive forces imposed such a strong imprint on all sides of the Northern Altaians life that it caused a known ethnographer V.G.Bogoraz to class them as members of ancient primitive so-called "pra-Asian" culture, and to name them "Turkified pra-Asians". A reason for such conclusion served a fact that they, like other hunting tribes of the Sayano-Altai mountains, now speak Türkic languages and dialects.

6 N.A.Baskakov. The Altai language. (Introduction to study the Altai language and its dialects). .,
1958, p. 5.

Bogoraz generally viewed the culture of the northern Altaians, and some other mountain taiga tribes of Sayano-Altai, to be a relict of the most ancient foot hunt (animal hunt) cultures of Northern Asia, the foot because their movement in the winter was typically on ski, with the cargo either on a back, or pulled manually behind on a narta (sledge), on a drag harrow, and in the summer on foot or by boats and rafts on the small rivers in taiga. 7 From that is visible that the W.Radloff's opinion about the Northern Altaians as Turkified Enisei Ostyaks (Kets) and Nenetses found essential support in the Bogoraz hypothesis about "Turkified pra-Asians", because Bogoraz included as members of ancient pra-Asian culture both the Kets and Nenets tribes of the Sayano-Altai mountains.

Not jumping into discussion of the problem raised by V.G.Bogoraz, we shall only emphasize that the antiquity of culture in the complex described for the northern Altaians is witnessed very early by the written sources (Chinese annals) for all Sayano-Altai mountains' taiga and adjoining forest areas of other mountain ranges. The ancient hunting culture was there connected with Nenetses and some other ethnic elements, but not with the Türkic, though now all northern Altaians are Türkic-speaking, and some of them even retained in their language the ancient linguistic features known from the runiform rock monument inscriptions of the Ancient Türkic(6-8th centuries) and Uigur (8-9th centuries) periods.

Hence, the ethnographic distinction of southern and northern Altaians developed from different material and in different geographical conditions of the Altai-Sayan highlands. The Southern Altaian ethnographic features in culture and daily life developed on the foundation of nomadic and semi-nomadic pastural cattle breeding, while among the northern Altaians they were developing for many centuries on the foundation of animal foot hunting, taiga fishing, hoe agriculture and wild plant gathering.

Between these two groups of Altaians were observed sharp distinctions in the form, designs and material of the dwellings, clothing, in the character and methods for food preparation, means of transportation, in oral folklore, fine arts, mentality and customs, rites and cult. The main dwelling type among the Southern Altaians was a folding felt yurt and a conic tent with poles, covered by larch or birch bark. Among Northern Altaians tents had a different form, they used semi-dugouts and low single-chamber timber dwellings. For the Northern Altaians typical food was animal meat, hoe agriculture products, fish and edible wild plants, while for the Southern Altaians normal were dairy products.

7. I V.G.Bogoraz. Ancient migrations of peoples in Northern Eurasia and America. Collection of the Acad. Sciences Anthropology and Ethnography Museum L, P, vol. 6, l., 1928.

If for Southern Altaians the main means of transportation were riding and pack horse, for Northern Altaians these were rafts and boat in the summertime and ski in the winter. For oral folklore of the Southern Altaians was typical heroic epos, and for Northern Altaians were typical fairy tales of utilitarian and fantastic contents, small stories and legends, like myths or sagas, stories about animals, etc. The folklore contents of the Northern Altaians was filled with reflections of the hunting life. Even in religious views, in the shaman cult were clear differences (Even an outstanding ethnologist L.P.Potapov displays a lack of understanding of the Altaic religion. The label "shaman cult" makes same much sense as "priest cult", "mullah cult" or "rabbi cult", all these four are the servers of the cults called religions with their specific names: Tengriism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. "Shaman cult" does not, and can not exist - Translator's Note).

Among the Southern Altaians an outstanding role in the shaman cult played a horse, which was sacrificed at some shaman prayer services. For kamlation, shaman robed into a special coat that was symbolizing a bird, and the shaman tambourine among the Southern Altaians had special features in drawings, wooden handle form, etc. (As Protestant paraphernalia is not the same as Catholic paraphernalia, these distinctions could help in ethnic attribution of Protestant Christians vs. Catholic Christians... per L.P.Potapov's logic - Translator's Note).

Among the Northern Altaians was popular a cult of a bear, their shaman had no special coat, and the shaman tambourine by the handle, drawings, and the form quite differed from the Southern Altaian.

We do not need to describe in more detail and deeper the distinctions in culture and daily life between the Northern and Southern Altaians, because this question is sufficiently covered in the ethnographical literature. Briefly, we shall touch on the anthropological distinctions of both groups of Altaians.

Large anthropological differences between the Southern and Northern groups of Altaians do not raise doubts.

The Southern Altaians are attributed by our anthropologists, like the Tuvinians, Buryats, Mongols, and Sakha (Yakuts) to the most pronounced Mongoloid, so-called Central Asian and Southern Siberian types.

Among the Northern Altaians the Mongoloidness of the main anthropological parameters is expressed much weaker, and they also have Caucasoids features. The Northern Altaians anthropologically belong, together with a number of Ugrian and Nenets nations, to the Ural type. Thus, the Northern Altaians, especially Shors and Kumandy, display a commonality of anthropological type by the measured and descriptive attributes not with the Southern Altaians, but with the Ob Ugrians: Hanty and Mansi.

In that connection we should emphasize one more very essential moment. If the economic, cultural and anthropological type of Northern and Southern Altaians differed sharply, both the Northern and Southern Altaians demonstrate in respect to the anthropological type, and also the types of the economy, culture and daily life a genetic similarity to a circle of other, not living nowadays in the Altai tribes and nations, at times also completely different and in language (This unfinished statement gives an impression that the author is referring to antecedents he knows about, but cannot openly state - Translator's Note).

Similar similarity certainly reflects ancient ethnogenetical connections. A characteristics and analysis of it are extremely needed for studies of the origin of the Altaians both groups, mixed ethnic composition of which does not raise doubts. Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient source study material for comparative juxtaposing each tribal group respectively, and more so every separate Altaian seok, which in other cases, because we shall see below, yields fruitful results. However when specific historical ethnographic material allows, we make such comparisons.

So, a separate examination of the origin and ethnic composition questions for Southern and Northern Altaians not only is dictated by a convenience of scientific analysis, but is essentially necessary.

It is expedient to begin our research with a characteristic of the ethnic composition of both groups of Altaians.

For the purposes of the present work, first of all it would be necessary to restore a picture of tribal and territorial division of Altaians in the beginning of the 20th century. The data of the 1897 census and ethnographical literature allow to do it fairly in detail. We shall review first what specific groups of population belonged to the Southern Altaians and which groups belonged to the Northern Altaians.

To the Southern Altaians belonged:

1. Telengits, living in the basins of rivers Chui and Arguta (tributaries of Katun) with the majority concentrated in the valley of river Chui and, in addition to a common name Telengit, they called themselves Chu-kiji by their territorial association, i.e. people of the river Chui.
2. Altaians proper (Altai-kiji) settled along the middle course of Katun and in the basins of some its tributaries: Ursula, Sema, Maima, and also in system of the rivers Charysh, Kan, and Sandy. Among these Altaians was prominent a territorial group Maima-kiji, or Maimalars, i.e. inhabitants from the river Maima. So called themselves the population of the basin of the river Maima, a right bank of Katun, which by the mixture of the clans in the group was some kind of a blend of the Altaians proper clans with some clans belonging to the Northern Altaians.
3. Teleses, who lived mainly along the rivers Chulyshman, Bashkaus and Ulagan, and a part of them called themselves Ulaap-kiji, i.e. the people from river Ulagan.
4. Teleuts, living along the rivers Cherge, Maima, etc. A greater part lived outside Mountain Altai, in particular along the rivers Large and Small Bochatam, in the spurs of the Kuznetsk Ala-Tau (Ala-Tau = Motley Mountains) (nowadays the Kemerovo Province).

To the Northern Altaians are usually ascribed the following tribal groups:

1.) Tubalars (Tuba-kiji, pl. Tubalar) who occupied valleys of the rivers: Large and Small Ishi, tributaries of Katun), Sara-Kokshi, Kara-Kokshi, Pyji, Uimen, etc. (tributaries of Biya).
2.) Chelkandy, settled in the basin of the river Swan (Indigenous name Kuu = Swan) and especially its tributary Baigol. They generally called themselves Kuu-kiji, i.e. the people from the river Swan, and consequently in the ethnographical literature sometimes are found under a (Russian) name "Lebedintsy" (The Russian calque indicates a bi-linguality of the initial conquistadors, who practically were exclusively Türkic Kazaks (Cossaks) within or outside of the Russian service, and could translate the Türkic meanings to Russians - Translator's Note).
3.) Kumandy, living on the bank of Biya from r. Swan downstream, almost to the city Biysk, and also in a lower course of the of Katun, where by the examined period they merged with the local Russian population.
4.) Shors, living in the Kuznetsk Ala Tau in the headwaters of the river Tom and its tributaries: Kondoma and Mrassa. 8

The Southern Altaians in the second half of the 19th century were divided into three tribal groups, each occupying a definite territory of the Mountain Altai. G.N.Potanin, during his travel at the end of 1870's, wrote down from the words of the Southern Altaians the following three, as he stated, "sections" of the Türkic tribe in the Russian Altai: Altai, Telengit and Toeles. According to our well-known traveler, "the pasture route of the first branch is on the left bank of the river Katun, of the second on of the river Chuya, of the third on Chulyshman and Bashkaus". 9 Despite the clear territorial demarcation of the above three groups of the Southern Altaians, Potanin had to note that Southern Altaians' seoks or clans live commingled. In particular, he noted living along Cholushman (Chulyshman?) Telengits, but he emphasized that the local Telengits are newcomers. Their arrival there is supported by legends from which follows that Telengits came to Chulyshman from Kongrai district, which can be located from the stories of the Altaians, it should be identified with the Sagai steppe of the Minusinsk depression. 10 However, by the time of the 1897 census the mixing between Southern Altaians various tribal groups advanced quite far. That was reflected in the materials of the census. Apparently, the mixing process went at a fast pace because at the end of the 1870's the Czarist government opened access for (Russian) immigration to the Mountain Altai, mostly taken advantage by the Russian prosperous peasantry and farmers from the foothill areas. They immediately began restricting the indigenous Southern Altaians, seizing their land tracts. All this could not fail to cause dislocations, contraction, and mixing of the indigenous Altai population.

Each of the listed groups of the Southern and Northern Altaians consisted of the certain clans (in Altaian "seok", literally meaning "bone").

8 In the present work the question of the origin of Shors is not addressed, because the research is basically limited to the population living in the Mountain Altai autonomous region.
9 G.N.Potanin. Essays of Northwestern Mongolia, vol. 4. SPb., 1883. pages 1.
10 Ibid., p. 10, 12. Compare the name of the Minusinsk depression among the Tuvinians - Horai.

They should be accounted, because many clan names would be of interest for finding-out the question of the ethnic composition and origin of the Altaians. For a base to define seok clans by the various groups of Altaians we take the data of the 1897 census, which we shall correct by the records of some researchers, who were studying the clan composition of the Mountain Altai population. 11 According to these data, for Telengits and Teleses who were living at the time of the census in the 1st and 2nd Chui volost, was registered 15 seoks (table needs proofreading)

1 Kobek 1039 persons 21.96% 9 Mogol 205 persons 4.33%
2 (garbled) 919 19.43 10 Tongjoan 128 2.71
3 Almat 551 11.65 11 Mundus 75 1.59
4 Teles 450 9.51 12 Irkit 73 1.54
5 Kypchak 436 9.22 13 Kergil (Turgesh) 54 1.14
6 Orgonchi 256 5.41 14 Soen 39 0.82
7 Dieti-As 253 5.34 15 Merkut 5 0.11
8 Yabak 246 5.20        
Total 5,000 100%        
(Russian corruption of Dieti-As "Seven Ases" was "Titas", which is used in the tribute and census records, and in citations from them by L.P.Potapov - Translator's Note)

We will pass a question whether all these seoks are Telengit seoks, and proceed with the further details of the clan composition. The Altaians proper, Altai-kiji, administratively lived in 7 Altai duchinas, were registered 36 seok clans (table needs proofreading):

1 Todosh 2978 persons 16.31% 19 Merkut 166 persons 0.91%
2 Irkit 1928 10.56 20 Koojo 139 0.76
3 Naiman 1912 10.47 21 Kaan 118 0.65
4 Kypchak 1681 9.21 22 Almat 105 0.57
5 Mundus 1342 7.34 23 Chagandyk 89 0.49
6 Teles 1333 7.30 24 Modor 72 0.39
7 Kergil (Turgesh) 1035 5.67 25 Tumat 72 0.39
8 Tongjoan 974 5.34 26 Derbet 56 0.31
9 Soen 684 3.74 27 Bogus-han 49 0.27
10 Kobek 565 3.09 28 Yaryk 28 0.15
11 Chajats 558 3.06 29 Yus 19 0.10
12 Ochy 528 2.89 30 Saal 15 0.08
13 Bailagas 398 2.18 31 Purut 9 0.05
14 Koobaly 348 1.91 32 Elik 7 0.04
15 Dieti-Sary 295 1.62 33 Mogol 3 0.02
16 Olun 275 1.51 34 Meret 2 0.01
17 (garbled) 245 1.34 35 Togus 1 0.01
18 Gandi 229 1.25 36 Suuzar 1 0.01
Total 19,000 100%        

11 1900, S.P.Shvetsov. Mountain Altai and its population, vol. 1, list 1. Barnaul

If we turn to Tubalars, who then were living in the Black (mountain taiga) administrative volosts: Komlyaj, Yus, Kuzen, and Ergej, we shall see the following seoks (table needs proofreading):

1       14 Gouts 31 persons 0.7%
2       15 Tert-As 19 0.4
3 Komdosh (Kondosh) 1038 persons 23.9% 16 Sanmai 18 0.4
4 Yus 621 14.3 17 Mundus 15  
5 Chagat 514 11.8 18 Tastar 8 0.2
6 Togus 497 11.4 19 Kergil (Turgesh) 5 0.1
7 Kuzen 451 10.4 20 Soen 5 0.1
8 Yaryk 424 9.8 21 Bailag s 5 0.1
9 Tonjarok (Russ. Tenterek) 260 6.9 22 Iedebesh 5 0.1
10 Tiber 228 5.3 23 Saryglar 3 0.1
11 Yalan 96 2.2 24 Dieti-Sary 3 0.1
12 Chor 51 1.2        
13 Tandy 46 1.1        

(Russian corruption of Tört-As "Four Ases" was "Tyort-As/Tyortas", which is used in the tribute and census records, and in citations from them by L.P.Potapov - Translator's Note)

As to Chelkandy and Kumandy their administrative volosts were not censused in the 1897. The same with the Teleuts. However, their seoks are well-known, according to a number of researchers, and first of all of W.Radloff, and also from our own long-term field trips.

Chelkandy consisted of two clans, which names we managed to ascertain personally. These clans are: Chalkanyg and Shakshylyg (per Radloff: Yakshi and Shalgan). The Upper Kumandy (in 1869 they had 576 persons) also had two clans: So (or Solu) and Kuban, and the Lower (in 1869 they had 1571 persons) had four clans:

Chooty (Yoty),
Chabat and
Ton (Tong).

In respect to the Teleuts, have survived information received by W.Radloff. In the 1860's Teleuts broke into two tribes: Teleuts proper and Ak-kishtyms and scattered in a huge area along the lower course of the river Kondoma, below it along Tom, and in the basin of the river Chumysh (a right tributary of Ob).

From there they were displaced in the 18th, in the 19th, and even in the beginning of the 20th century to the Biya district in the valley of the the lower course of Katun (down to the river Maima). Teleuts had the following clans:

1. Toro,
2. Ochu,
3. Merkit,
4 Ak-Tumat,
5. Choros.
6. Sart,
7. Kypchak,
8. Naiman,
9. Teles,
10. Torguya,
11. Mundus,
12. Todosh,
13. Parat.
14. Chalman.
15. Teleuts

Ak-kishtyms vere divided into clans:

1. Djoty (Chooty).
2. Tert-As,
3. Ang and Chungus. 12

In the 18th century a part of the Aba, (pl. Abalar) called (indiscriminately by the Russians) "Kuznetsk Tatars" was close to Teleuts, almost not differing from them in language and life. They lived in the vicinity of (the Russian fort called) Kuznetsk.

That was the clan composition of various groups of modern Altaians by the end of the 19th century.

The discussed material allows to make some conclusions. It is not difficult to notice that the names of the Southern Altaians' seoks differ from the Northern Altaians' seoks, and in the areas of the Northern Altaians with rare exceptions the southern seoks are not noted, and in the areas of the Southern Altaians was almost no Northern Altaians' seoks. Thus, exists a substantial isolation of the Southern and Northern Altaians not only in the names of the seoks, but also in the localization.

12 W. Radlff, Ibid., Bd. 1, p. 212.

Southern Altaians

But within the groups of Altaians listed above the seok location was predominantly mixed not only in general, but also within the limits of each (Russian-imposed) administrative unit (duchina or volost). Take the Southern Altaians. Their same seoks were registered by the 1897 census in the most different administrative duchinas and volosts of the Southern Altai. For example, members of the seok Todosh were found by the 1897 census in all seven duchinas of the Altai-kiji. Members of the clan Tongjoan lived in the 2nd Chui volost, among Telengits, and in four Altai duchinas. However, a majority of them lived in the Altai duchinas. Seok Almat was predominantly administratively located in both Chui volosts, i.e. mainly in the Telengit area, and a minority lived in four Altai duchinas, etc. More than a half of all Southern Altaian seoks at the end of the 19th century were dispersed in different administrative units (This dismemberment was a main reason for the loss of unifying factors like identity, culture, language, literacy, religion, and traditions - Translator's Note).

The Southern Altaians also had seoks that lived entirely within the limits of only one duchina or volost. These were the following seoks: Orgonchi and Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) in the 1st Chui volost; Yabak - in the 2nd Chuya volost; Modor, Ara, Bailagas, Derbet, Saryg in the 4th duchina. But, first, such seoks were very few, and secondly, as far as it is known, a majority of them came to Altai recently. This can be accurately asserted, for example, in relation of the seoks Modor, Ara, Derbet, Soyon, Saryg, Mogul, Tumat, and Burut. The seoks Ara and Modor are the descendants of the horsed Arins and Motors whose pasturing routs in the 17th century were in the basin of Enisei near Krasnoyarsk. A part of them, together with Enisei Kyrgyzes, was driven by the Dzungar's zaisans in the beginning of the 18th century to the basin of the river Ili, where Enisei Kyrgyzes were called Buruts. 13 From a number of the Russian official documents is apparent that in the 1740's some of them returned home near Krasnoyarsk area. Groups of such refugees from Dzungaria sometimes were detained by the Czar authorities in the western Altai border areas, for example in the area of the river Charysh. Apparently, not by an accident in the Charysh basin in Altai appeared seoks Ara and Modor, most likely, their ancestors settled there when they were coming back home from Dzungaria. This circumstance can also explain why the members of the Ara and Modor seoks, like some other newcomers, lived not dispersed, but kept close together when they found themselves in an alien ethnic environment. Undoubtedly, the newcomers were there the members of the seok Tumat, whose major part lives in Tuva. The same can be said in relation to the seoks Derbet and Mogul, who were descendants western Mongols that migrated from Tuva to Altai. Members of the seok Soyon are also migrants from the Western Tuva.

13 G.Miller. History of Siberia, vol. 1. L., 1937, p. 314.

Noting the fact of dispersion of the South Altaian seoks in various administrative units, we should not only on that fact to conclude about dislocation of the Telengit or Altai seok clans. It should be remembered that the (Russian) administrative division of the Southern Altaians onto 7 duchinas and 2 volosts did not reflect the historically developed stable tribal organization at all, but was a handwork of the Czar administration, which after a voluntary Altaians' joining to Russia introduced this division, using for it Mongolian and Russian terminology. The term "duchina", which real meaning is "40 carriages", was used in another sense. It now meant the whole population subordinated to the control of zaisan, irrespective of its quantity. The Altai duchinas, like the Chui volost, had no firm or settled territorial borders. The jurisdiction of such administrative unit was determined not by the territory, but by the population assigned to it, irregardless of where the nomads of that duchina or volosts lived. The population was "assigned" (for the collection of tribute) to a zaisan not individually by names and surnames, for Altaians had no surnames, but collectively under the name of a seok clan. Wherever members of this or that clan, for example the Kypchak or Naiman, lived in the Altai territory, they knew that their seok is assigned to certain zaisan, where they had to pay tribute, to file a court case, etc.

Nevertheless, the commingled southern nomads, assigned to this or that duchina and volost, were observed that the population somewhat concentrated within the limits of a certain territory.

The population of the 1st duchina, for example, lived on the right bank of Katun, especially in the basin of the river Maima. The pasturing routes of the population of the 2nd duchina were mainly along the rivers Ursul and Kenga; of the 3rd duchina along the rivers Charysh, Kan, White and Black Anui, i.e. in the western part of Altai; of the 4th duchina along the rivers Kan and Charysh; of the 5-th duchina along the rivers Kan and Kenga; of the 6-th duchina along the rivers Kan, Charysh and Kenga; of the 7-th duchina on the left bank of Katun, Ursul and Kenga. From that, it is apparent that most separated was the population of 1st duchina, in addition separated from others by the river Katun; then the population of 7-th duchina, though it adjoined the pasturing routes of the the population assigned to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5-th, and 6-th Altaian duchinas. The population of two Chui volosts was grouped more closely: the 1st along the rivers Chue and Argut, and the 2nd along the rivers Bashkaus, Chulyshman and Ulagan, i.e. in the area adjoining to the Teles lake from the south (The real name of the Teles lake is Altyn Gol/Altyngol = Türkic Golgen Lake, and that was the name used in the ancient accounts. It was called "Teles/Telets/Teletskoe lake" by the Russian conquistadors because it was in the middle of the Tele tribal region - Translator's Note).

A somewhat different picture was observed for the Northern Altaian volosts. There, as a rule a populous seok lived only within the limits their volost. For example, seok Togus lived only in Kergej (Turgesh) volost, seok Yus - in the Yus volost, seok Yaryk and seok Kondosh in the Komlyaj volost; seok Kuzen in Kuzen volost; seok Tiber only in Kergej (Turgesh) volost, etc. Exception was the seok Chagat (or Chygat), whose members lived in the Kergesh (Turgesh) (356 persons) and Komlyaj (158 persons) volosts. These administrative volosts had more precise and settled territorial demarcation in comparison with the duchinas or Shui volosts of the Southern Altaians.

The Northern Altaians did not have such fractionation of the seok clans between the administrative units like the Southern Altaians. However during the examined period there was not a complete concurrence of a volost only with one seok. Within the limits of a volost as a tribute administration unit, in addition to the main seok a few seok clans were sometimes registered, though they were small in size. According to 1897 data, in the Komlyaj volost were seoks: Yaryk (413 persons), Kondosh (1037 persons), Chagat (158 persons), and Yalan (96 persons); in the Yus volost: Yus (613 persons), Chor or Shor (51 persons), and Yaryk (11 persons); in the Kuzen volost: Kuzen (451 persons), Tonjarok (Russ. Tenterek) (260 persons), Diuty (i.e Ases, from Seven Ases Dieti-As seok) (31 persons); in the Kergesh (Turgesh) volost: Chagat (356 persons), Tiber (228 persons), Togus (497 persons), Yus (8 persons).

A Northern Altaians' seok usually lived in the territory of one volost; however that did not mean that members of every seok lived necessarily together. Even in the conditions of predominating sedentary life, members of the same clan settled dispersed, and quite often commingled with members of other seok clans, forming small settlements in the valleys of mountain taiga rivers. The overwhelming majority (over 75%) of the Northern Altaians lived in the basin of the river Biya and in the area of the northern coast of the Teles lake. The minority of them lived in the basin of the Katun right bank, below Edigan.

Next should be considered a clan composition, and attempted to establish whenever possible the major seoks of the above groups for both Southern, and Northern Altaians.

Starting with seoks in the 1st and 2nd Chui volosts, i.e. Teles and Telengit seoks. In these administrative volosts these seoks can be presented in the following list, which we compiled from the 1897 census.

14 S.P.Shvetsov (Ibid., p. 98) gives material about seok composition and their numbers for each separate Chui volost, but it has mistakes. For example, it missed a numerous seok Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) for each separate Chui volost, incorrectly calculated a percentage ratio of every seok in respect to the total population of different volosts. The table is compiled based on the numbers published by Shvetsov (Mountain Altai Population, vol. 1, b. 1, Appendix 5, p. 8-23).

1st Chui volost 2nd Chui volost
1. Almat 542 persons 33.10 1. Kobek 1034 persons 31.20
2 Teles 450 27.4 2 Sagal 912 28.4
3 Orgonchi 256 15.6 3 Kypchak 434 11.5
4 Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) 253 15.5 4 Yabak 240 7.5
5 Soen 35 2.1 5 Mogol 205 6.4
6 Sagal 7   6 Tonjoan 128 4.0
7 Yabak 6   7 Mundus 75 2.3
8 Kobek 5 1.7 8 69 2.2
9 Irkit 4 1 9 Kergil (Turgesh) 50 1.6
10 Kergil (Turgesh) 4   10 Almat 9 1
11 Kypchak 2   11 Merkit 5 1
12 Unknown seoks 76 4.6 12 Soen 4  
        13 Oirat 2  
        14 Unknown seoks 42  
Total   1640 persons Total   3209 persons

In the 1st Chui volost 89.6% of the population consisted of 4 seoks: Almat, Teles, Orgonchi, and Dieti-As (Russ. Titas), the other seoks known from the census were represented randomly. In the 2nd Chui volost 85% of the population constituted 5 seoks: Kobek, Sagal, Kypchak, Yabak, and Mogul, the other seoks registered by the census made an insignificant minority and also should be recognized as random. A nucleus of the the 1st Chui volost population were Teleses, who together with the seoks Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) and Orgonchi were a majority. We join seoks Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) and Orgonchi with the Teles, because they viewed themselves as being blood relatives, and marriages were forbidden between them. In addition, seok Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) has a legendary account where a pra-mother of the seok was a Teles girl.15 Seoks Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) and Orgonchi were located entirely in 1st Chui volost. Their members are not registered in any other Altai duchina or volost. An absolute majority of them lived in lower course of the Chulyshman, and the Teleses lived along Chulyshman, Bashkaus, and Ulagan. However, a larger part of the Teles administratively were levied in the 6th Altai duchina (1180 persons) and lived among the Altai-kiji (or Altaians proper) in the basins of the rivers Charysh, Kan, Sandy, Ursula, and others.

The 1897 census did not register a division of the Altai Teleses onto the seoks. A student A.Kalachev, who visited Teleses and Telengits in 1896, took all the population of both Chui volosts as Telengits, and called the Teleses only an aristocratic clan of the Telengits in the 1st Chui volost, because the zaisans, who hereditary ruled the volost, came from the Teleses. That certainly is difficult to accept, because the majority of this "aristocratic clan " lived among the Altaians (and partly Teleuts), ruled by the zaisans descending from other Southern Altai clans.

15 S.A.Tokarev. Pre-capitalistic vestiges in Oirotia. M.-L., 1936, p. 16.

Most likely, Teleses became fractured between Telengits, Altaians, and Teleuts by purely specific historical causes, which was actually relayed in one of the legends written down by A.Kadachev. 16 The legend, in full accordance with the historical facts, tells about Teleses living earlier by the Teles lake. They had to flee the familiar lands because of attacks by "Kirgizes" (in reality Kazakhs) lead by Kochkorbai, whom eventually they managed to kill. Looking for the a strong patron, Teleses went to Ulyassutai (in the legend city Alyastai), but soon became certain that the representatives of the Chinese emperor there were only interested in imposing on Teleses a heavy yasak (kalan). Despite the entreaties of the Chinese officials (who were then occupying Mongolia) to migrate to the vicinity of Kobdo on the river Buyantu (near Kobdo), the Teleses preferred to remain in Altai. They asked for protection the Russian authorities in the Biysk and began pay yasak to it, but had to also deposit kalan to China. Since then, they became two-tributers. The legend is easily dated by the beginning of the second half of the 18th century because it mentions the name of the Kazakh feudal lord Kochkorbai, who attacked Altai in the 1750's, during the defeat and wipeout of the Dzungaria population by the Chinese Manchurian dynasty. The Southern Altaians, because they were formally Dzungar subjects, were also threatened with total annihilation. They were saved because they came under protection of the Russian state.

Hence, the fragmentation of Teleses and territorial shifts in view of the noted facts are quite clear and explainable.

The 1897 census did not registered division onto the seoks among the Altai Teleses. They were listed by the census in general, under a name of Teles, but only as a seok, located among Telengits and Southern Altaians (Radloff also noted them among Teleuts), which was abetted by totally unstudious ethnography of Teleses, without which it was difficult to see the real picture. The fragmentation of Teleses among various groups of Altaians and preservation among them of the common ethnonym resulted that Teleses were treated as a seok. And they themselves, being submerged in a different tribal environment, tried to preserve intact their common self-name endoethnonym, instead of the names of their seoks. Most likely, Teleses were a separate tribe, with inherent clan subdivisions. Even now it is still possible, at least partially, to determine some Teles seoks.

18 Ch.K.Kalachev. Trip to Telengits to Altai. Olden Times Alive, 1900, 6th year, b. 3-4, p. 499-500.

We already discussed above the seoks Orgonchi and Dieti-As (Russ. Titas), which up to present deem themselves as blood relatives, and do not marry among themselves or the Teles to avoid incest, but at the same time do not deem themselves blood relatives not with a single Telengit or Altaian seok. This makes abundantly clear that seoks Orgonchi and Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) are the Teles seoks. Here it is pertinent to point out that the name Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) in the 1897 census (and used by Kalachev) is a Russian distortion of the term Dieti-As (Seven As'es) (Following analogy with Jeti-su = "seven rivers", "seven Ases" could be also found under spelling "Jeti-As", "Dieti-As", and "Dzeti-As" - Translator's Note), and to recollect one of the G.N.Potanin's field records that the real name of Teleses is Djity-tas (seven bald-headed). 17 That record is valuable, despite the distortion of the name and its etymology, because it recognizes the identity of the Teleses and Dieti-Ases (Russ. Titas).

Then we have the data on one Teles seok that lived among Tubalars for a long time. The old Tubalars, with whom we had a chance to work in the field (at the end of 1920's and the beginning of 1930's), spoke with confidence about the Teles origin of the Yaryk. They called it a part of the Teleses who were living along the river Chulshshan and migrated to the Komlyaj volost, where it split into two seoks: Sygynchy-Yaryk (Yaryks maral hunters) and Kara-Yaryk ("black", i.e. simple Yaryks). In the Komlyaj volost they had two their own demichies (zaisan assistants), which ruled both Yaryk seoks. The Teles origin of the seok Yaryk is also supported by the fact that it was considered to be a blood relatives of the Teleses, and marriages between the seoks Yaryk and the Teles were forbidden.

In that connection is pertinent again to make a reference to Kirgizes, among which tribal divisions (alongside with the Teles and Mundus) is present Djaryk (i.e. Yaryk). 18 Probably, Yaryks came to Kirgizia together with Munduses and related to them Teleses. Thus, the presence of the Djaryks among the Kirgizes serves as the indirect proof that Tubalar seok Yaryk really originated from the Teleses.

At last, in respect to the seok Yaryk being newcomer to Tubalars also testifies this substantive fact. Seok Yaryk in the areas of their resettlement had no hunting ranges belonging to their clan, and used some gullies in the clan ranges belonging to the Tubalar seok Kondosh (Komdosh ?). Seok Yaryk also had no clan's sacred mountain, and revered the Komdosh (Kondosh ?) clan mountain .

Further, we have direct indications on the origin from Teleses of the Tubalar seok Chigat (Chagat, Chygat). Among the Tubalars, Chygats are considered to be a Teles extraction from the southern areas around the Teles lake. 19 Notably, the clan hunting ranges of the seok Chigat were located in the headwaters of Abakan, which is quite explainable because the Chygats came out from the Teles fold.

17 G.N.Potanin, Ibid., p. 9.
18 S.M.Abramzon. Parallels in ethnonymy of Kirgizes and Altaians. Works of Kirgiz arheologo-etnogr. exped., vol. 3, Frunze, 1959, p. 38
19 S.P.Shvetsov, Ibid., p. 105.

The Chulyshman Teleses live mixed with Telengits and partly with Southern Altaians. The common name Teles now is not an only appellation, because the population living along Ulagan also call themselves Ulaan-kiji, i.e. Ulaganians. We think that this situation developed as a result of ethnic and territorial consolidation. Along with fractionalization of the Teleses caused by the reasons described above, was also going a process of territorial consolidation, reflected in the endoethnonym self-name Ulaan-kiji.

The preservation of the ethnonym Teles in the area adjoining the Teles lake from the south could be also helped by purely historical circumstance. In the 17th century Teleses lived there in large numbers, under a control of their princes, which is described by the Russian historical documents. 20 The Altyn Gol (Russ. Teles) lake was in hands of Teleses, and from their name it received its Russian name. In any case, the Altai Teleses cannot be identified with Telengits in any way, as was, for example premised by A.Kalachev and S.P.Shvetsov. They also cannot be considered as being just a seok of Altaians, Telengits or Teleuts.

Teleses on Altai are a remainder of a great and ancient tribal group. Against identification of Teleses with Telengits testify some historical sources of the 13th century. So, the famed "Secret Legend" named Teleses in the list of "forest peoples" along with Telengits. 21 The existence on the Altai of the medieval Teleses is clearly explainable and should be expected, as we intend to demonstrate in the subsequent chapters. It remains to address the Teleses living outside of Altai.

First of all should noted the Tuva Teleses, who call themselves Tulüsh or Tülüsh. G.N.Potanin was a first who pointed out the Tulüsh Tuvinians, comparing that name with the term Teles. Later he was supported by G.Grumm-Grjimailo. A significant part of Teleses lives in the modern Kirgizia, where they undoubtedly are comers from the Sayano-Altai mountains. Teleses are part of the Kirgizes' ethnic composition, together with Munduses and other tribal divisions of Southern Altaians. 22

However, among the Kirgiz Teleses, particularly of the southern Teles group, endured memories about their ancestors arrival to Kirgizia. As thinks S.M.Abramzon, they migrated in the middle of the 18th century from the southern part of the modern East Turkestan (modern Chinese Xinjiang/New Territory Province). 23 We believe that in the middle of the 18th century, in connection with the coming defeat of Dzungaria, very unlikely that there waqs a resettlement from the East Turkestan (modern Xinjiang) to Kirgizia, it probably happened somewhat earlier, during the Dzungar Khanate, when the Altai Teleses were sucked into the Oirat military actions and partly found themselves in the East Turkestan (modern Xinjiang). In the further examination we will touch on this subject.

20 L.P.Potapov. Essays on a history of Altaians. M.-L., 1953, and the Secret Legend, p. 161.
21 N.A.Aristov. Notes on ethnic composition of Türkic tribes and nations. Olden Times Alive, 1896, v. 3-4, p. 341
22 S.M.Abramzon. Ethnic history of Kirgizes. In Coll.: Türkological collection in honor of A.N.Kononov's 60-year anniversary, ., 1966,

In the 1st Chui volost, in addition to Teleses (with seoks Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) and Orgonchi), who numbered about 60% of the total population of the volost, the 1897 census recorded a numerous seok Almat (33% of the population). Apparently, it is a Telengit seok, because among other groups of Southern Altaians was registered in small numbers (little more than 100 persons). They are the descendants medieval Almats, a branch of the 13th century Keraits.

In the 2nd Chui volost the main and most numerous seoks were Kobek, Sagal, and Yabak (the last small in numbers), making together about 70% of the population of the volost. Of them, according to A.Kalachev, an "aristocratic clan" of which came zaisans was Kobek, settled mainly in the basin oif the Bashkaus. 20% of all Altai Kobeks lived in the 2nd Chui volost. One third of them was assigned to the 2nd Altai duchina (basins of the rivers Charysh and Kan). Seok Yabak was registered only in the 2nd Chui volost and nowhere else. In the legend recorded by by G.N.Potanin, seoks Yabak and Kobek are related, their eponymic founders were first brothers. 24

The Southern Altaians legends and sayings tell that in the past Telengits were very numerous people. "There are more Telengits than the spotted birch" says one saying (ala kaingnang kop Telenget), and a more ancient expression that says "alton tujen Telenget" i.e. "Sixty tumens of Telengits " (tumen =10 thousand), testifies to the same. 25 The messages of Altaians about a large number of Telengits in the past have a real historical base, discussed below. By the way, one of the legends, written down among Altaians in 1880's, says that Telengits (or a part of them), who live along Chulyshman, came there from the Kongrai country, or fairly from Kongrai-Sagai. Kongrai, as believed G.N.Potanin not without some reasons, means the name of Enisei, and Kongrai-Sagai is the Sagai steppe, which certainly is quite possible, for into that steppe the Telengits could penetrate from the south, from the part of the Tuva where they once lived. 26 It is also known that a group of Telengits together with Oirats migrated to the lower course of the Volga, where among the Volga Kalmyks they completely Mongolized by language.

In the 2nd Chui volost (like in the 1st one), in addition to the main Telengit seoks, were registered in small numbers various others seoks and groups: Altai, Teleut, (garbled text).

24 G.N.Potanin, Ibid., p. 7.
25 Ibid., p. 9.
26 Ibid., p. 10.

These are: Kypchak, Tonjoan, Mundus, Kergil (Turgesh), Irkit, and Soen, of which the last two can be counted as Tuvinian, because their main body lives in Tuva. Seok Soen is a descendant of the Sayans who submitted to the citizenship of Russia after a defeat of Dzungaria together with other "Uryanhaians" (Tuvinians), and also Teleuts and Altaians. Soon after that they, under control of a chief or zaisan Doldoi coached in the summer in the valleys of the rivers Yabagan (Abakan ?) and Kan, and in the winter near the lake Kengin. They numbered then a 100 persons (97 adults).


Let's now examine seoks of the Altaians proper. Of the 36 seoks registered among them in the 1897 census, we can exclude as obviously not actually Altaian the following: first of all Teles, then Kobek, Almat, Saal or Sagal (Telengit), Soen and Tandy (Tuvinian), Derbet and the Mogul (Mongolian by origin, though linguistically Turkified), Ara, Modor and Burut (Arins, Motors and Enisei Kyrgyz groups, which among Altaians became seoks), Yaryk, Togus, Yus (Tubalar, and the Yaryk, as noted above, in the past belonged to Teles). Further, we cannot regard as seoks a few singles, registered by the census under obviously distorted names: Elik, Meret, Suuzar. Then, it is not feasible to accept Kaal and Chagandyk as seoks, for they were local groups of the Altaians who called themselves by the locality, i.e. by the rivers Kan and Chagan (Kaal is a corruption because of a typo in the name of the river Kaan), where they lived. At last, the names Bogus-han (49 persons) and Koojo (139 persons) seem to be unclear corruptions (probably Koojo is a corruption of Kiji).

Thus, at a first glance, the actually Altai seoks would appear the following:

1. Todosh (Tuvinians),
2. Irkit (Tuvinians),
3. Naiman (Teleuts),
4. Kypchak (Teleuts),
5. Mundus (Teleuts),
6. Kergil (Turgesh),
7. Tongjoan (Tuvinians),
8. Chapty (Tuvinians),
9. Ochy (Teleuts),
10. Bailagas (Ases ?),
11. Koobaly (Tuvinians),
12. Dieti-Sary (Kyrgyzes),
13. Olüp (Tuvinians),
14. Merkut (Teleuts),
15. Tumat (Tuvinians).

However some of these "actually Altaian" peoples also have Tuvinians, where are the large groups of population with the same names, and the same among the Teleuts. These are Irkit, Todosh (Todot), Tumat, Koobaly (in Tuvinian Hoovalyg), and Olüp. Hence, these seoks can't be accepted as solely Altaian.

Seok Chapty probably consists of the east Tuvinian natives around lake Kosogol and Karagases, where until present live groups called Cheptei.

From the remaining Altaian proper seoks, such seoks as Ochy, Naiman, Merkut (Merkit), Kypchak, Mundus also are among Teleuts, and the last two also are among Telengits. Hence, these seoks also cannot be taken solely as Altai seoks, for among the Teleuts they are also relatively numerous.

Only seoks Kerl, Tongjoan, Bailagas and Dieti-Sary are remaining, they were among the Altaians proper and were absent among Telengits and Teleuts.

27 st_ Readings in the History and Antiquities Society of Russia, 1866, Book 2, p. 113-114. Testimony of Uryanhaian (Tuvinian) Cheobu Horin from 1760.

In respect to the Tongjoan seok, attention attracts their affiliation with the Tuvinian clan group called among Kumandy Tongak and Tong.

Seok Dieti-Sary are the descendants of the Enisei Kyrgyzes, they appeared on Altai after a disintegration of their feudal ulus, which in the 17th century played a prominent political role in the life of the Sayano-Altai mountains' tribes. As is known, among the Enisei Kyrgyzes one of the ruling clans was called Diety-Sary (Djesary, Desary or Esary of the Russian 17th century historical documents). In the Altai the name Diety-Sary, according to the phonetics of the Southern Altai language, began to sound as Dieti-Sary (Following analogy with Jeti-su = "seven rivers , also could be found under spelling "Jeti-Sary" - Translator's Note).

So, the Altaians proper had only two seoks (Kergil and Bailagas) not found among the other groups of Altaians and their Tuvinian neighbors.

From that is obvious that the so-called Altai-kiji, or Altaians proper, are a group very mixed in clan and tribal, and ethnic relation, which adopted a generalized geographical self-name endoethnonym as reflection of their Altai location. We intend to demonstrate below its mixed composition also in a historical aspect.

To finish this review of the Southern Altaians clan composition, we turn directly to the Teleuts. The census of 1897 did not count Teleuts of the Mountain Altai (Biya district) as a separate ethnic group or a tribe. Under that name were counted only 105 persons, as natives of "Kuznetsk Teleuts". Among them, like among other Altaian groups, were only ascertained their seoks and the administrative unit. Because the majority of Teleut seoks have common names with Altaians proper and Telengits, to separate Teleuts from the other Altaians, as a rule, is impossible by the seok name. However it is well-known that the Mountain Altai Teleuts, at least till 1930's were called Teleuts, in contrast with the Altai-kiji, and perfectly knew their seoks. To clarify the Teleut clan composition is necessary to turn to the earlier material collected by W.W.Radloff about Teleuts located north of Altai (Kuznetsk district), in particular those living along the rivers Large and Small Bochag.

W.Radloff has noted in the 1860's that Teleuts consisted of two tribes: Teleuts and Ak-kishtyms (also called in the text kyshtyms). He documented the above18 seoks among them, of which four belonged to Ak-kishtyms. Unfortunately, W.Radloff did not dive the number of Teleuts in each seok clan, but only a total number.

The researcher informs that in the Kuznetsk district were 2991 Teleuts, and in the Biysk (Mountain Altai and its northern foothills) lived 2791 people. The Radloff list makes clear that Teleuts living far outside Mountain Altai have seoks with the same common names as are among the Altaians proper and among the Teleses.

These Teleut seoks are the following:

1. K-ga Naiman,
2. Todosh,
3. Mundus,
4. Teles,
5. Ochy,
6. Tumat.

We deem the last seok as being more Tuvian than Altai seok, because among the Tuvinians, Tumats constitute a numerically largest group. A few Teleut seoks are are abscent from among other Southern Altaians. Essentially, they only are the seoks Tertas (seok with Russian name Tertas is in Türkic "Tört-As" = "Four As'es" - Translator's Note), Merkit and Togul (compare river Togul, a tributary of Chumysh), and incidentally a part of the Togul people, as we shall see further, migrated to the Northern Altai and intermixed with Tubalars, there they began to be called Yalan, about which the local Tubalar population is remembering until present. Certainly the Teleuts have "seoks" obviously alien for them, being small groups of Central Asian or Mongolian nations that joined Teleuts. Apparently, those are the "seoks" Sart and Torb (of Central Asian origin), Purut (Enisei Kyrgyz immigrants to Dzungaria), Choros (Oirats - western Mongols), Uts (Üts ?) (or Diuts), Chooty (or Chjots), most of their population is located in the Eastern Tuva. We cannot add anything about the seok Chungus (recorded by Radloff). Probably, this name sounds as Chitan (in the records of anthropologist A.Yarho dated by 1920). 28 It is as much difficult to ascertain the seoks Ang and Chalman (recorded by Radloff), which Yarho already did not find any more.

The review and comparison of seok names and their numbers for different groups of Southern Altaians shows, first, that in spite that each mentioned group having principal in numbers and distinguished by their name seoks, not present among other groups, Southern Altaians as a whole have typically common seoks. Secondly, all Southern Altaians have seoks common with the Tuvinians. Consequently, we have reasons to draw a conclusion about a common origin of modern Southern Altaians, and also about their close relationship with the modern Tuvinians.

Certainly, it is desirable to find out which ethnic and tribal components formed a basis of the above Southern Altaian listed groups. This question could be answered by the materials of the 1897 census. Taking, for example, the Altaians proper, aka Altai-kiji, administratively assigned to 7 Altai duchinas, based on the seok names and their population numbers, we come to the following picture. 29

28 A.I.Yarho. Altai-Sayan Türks. Abakan, 1947. A clan Chingys was noted among Olets in the Mongolian Altai (G.N.Potanin, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 42).
29 S.P.Shvetsov, Ibid., p. 91-92.

Seoks Kergil and Bailagas, which we can consider to be typical only for this group of Altaians, because they are not present among other groups, totaled 8% of all Altaians assigned to these seven duchinas registered by the census. The main mass of the Altai-kiji population represented other groups and seoks, which simultaneously existed among Teleuts, Teleses, Telengits, and Tuvinians, namely: seok Teles - 7.3%; the Telengit seoks Kobek, Almat and Sagal, etc. - 4%; seoks, common with Teleut, Kypchak, Todosh, Naiman, Mundus - 49%; seoks, common with Tuvinians, Irkit, Tongjoan, Soion, Koobalu, Tandy, etc. - 24.7%. So, numerically in the first place among the Altaians proper were Teleut or common with Teleuts seoks; in the second place were Tuvinian seoks; in the third place were their own seoks, absent among other groups of Altaians; in the fourth place were Teleses, and in the fifth place were Telengit seoks.

Altai-kiji composition in descending order:

1. Teleuts seoks - 49%
2. Tuvinian seoks - 24.7%
3. Altai-kiji seoks - 8%
4. Teles seoks- 7.3%
5. Telengit seoks - 4%

For the Mountain the Altai Teleuts we we can't give documented numerical material, because their seoks were counted as Altaians proper (Altai-kiji) and Telengits, and for the 6th Kuznetsk district's Teleuts the figures for separate seoks are also absent. Are known only their seok names and a combined number, as was already mentioned above.

If we had examined what numerical picture in respect to the clan composition is shown by Southern Altaians as a whole, the materials of the 1897 census demonstrate about the same ratio of the Teleut, Telengit, Teles and Tuvian components as for the Altai-kiji.

Teleut seoks (Todosh, Kypchak, Naiman, Mundus, Togul) constitute 40%, Teles and Telengit seoks constitute 25%, and Tuvian seoks constitute 20.5%. 30

Because the data of the 1897 census allowed to expose seoks that constitute a majority of the Southern Altaians, it is proper to cite some field ethnographic material we collected that describes the origin and kinship connections of the major seoks in a way known by the local population from the verbally transmitted historical legends, genealogy, etc. The most numerous seoks in the southern group of Altaians were Todosh and Kypchak.


In the G.N.Potanin's records, in the Altai, seok Todosh had Kara-Todosh and Kidat-Todosh divisions, 31 i.e. "Black" (or ordinary) Todoshes and "Chinese" Todoshes. Altaians held that a part of Todoshes come to Altai from Tuva, where in the past at one time they paid alman to the Manchurian dynasty. Fifty years later after G.N.Potanin, S.A.Tokarev recorded already 3 divisions of the seok among the Altaians: Kara-Todosh, Kidat-Todosh and Mandi-Todosh,  32, of which the last two mean the same, and in essence designate Todoshes dependent from the Manchurian emperor (Kydat), or more accurately, from the Manchurian dynasty (Mandi, and in Tuvinian Manji), who were apparently living earlier in the territory of Tuva, when after defeat of Dzungaria she was occupied by the forces of the Manchurian dynasty.

30 Calculations are made on the basis of the Appendix 5 of the work: S.P.Shvetsov, ibid., p. 8-23.
31 G.N.Potanin, Ibid., p. 2.
32 S.A.Tokarev, Ibid., p. 19.

In our records dated by the end of 1930's (in the Choi and Chemal aimaks), the seok Todosh was subdivided into three blood-related seoks with a ban on marriages between them (bala alyshpas): 1) Mandi Kydat Todosh, 2) Chapty-Todosh, 3) Ochy-Todosh. Manda Kydat Todosh means "Manchurian Todoshes". Tokarev both attributive words for the seok Todosh (Kydat and Mandi) divided into two independent adjectives, and that produced two Todosh seoks with the same semantics. In our records, that is a single seok. In respect to the names Ochy-Todosh and Chapty-Todosh, we encountered an explanation that reflects a notion about a common origin of both seoks from the Todoshes.

The Teleut and Altaian seok Todosh, absent among Teleses and Chui Telengits, comprises an interesting problem. Not without justification, it should be equated with the group of Tuvinians called Todot even recently. Not in a smaller degree carry a scientific value the information about its kinship connections with other Southern Altai seoks.

According to the views of the senior generation of Altaians, the seok Todosh is related-in-law (kudalyshka) with the seok Kypchak, i.e. is in "kinship" relations by once obligatory (later preferable) marriage connections. Both mentioned seoks are considered kudalar (in-laws). We already had to undeline that this fact deserves a special attention, because it is in accordance with a similar ancient custom existing among the Kypchaks (Russ. Polovetses), which were in "courtship" relations with Besenyos (Badjinaks, Greek Patchinaks, Russ. Pechenegs). The records of the Ipatiev annals about the campaigns of the Rus Princes in 1187 - 1192 underline the relationship between Besenyo (Badjinak) and the Kypchaks, who called each other in-laws and did not want to fight with each other. 33 For this reason we can surely assert that seok Todosh is ethnically related with the seok Kypchak (After centuries, and possibly millennia of intermarriages, that is a safe assumption, even if the initial conditions were totally different, and Todoshes and Kypchaks initially differed not only in ethnic or tribal origin, but also possibly were totally different linguistically - Translator's Note). At the same time seok Todosh, as was stated above, was held to be blood-related not by marriage, but by blood with the seok Chapty and the seok Ochy, which is supported by the genealogic legend, according to which the head of the seok Chapty came from a mother from the seok Todosh, and an unknown father. This man, when he was a boy, was given a name Chapty. The Altai seok Chapty, maybe should be equated, as was stated above, with Tofalar-Karagas and Tuvinian group from the lake Kosogol called Cheptei, and view this fact as one of commonality indicators of some ethnic elements among the Southern Altaians and individual groups of the Eastern Sayan mountains' population.

33 P.Potapov. Essays on a history of Altaians, p. 146-147.


Among the Southern Altaians, including Teleuts, a special interest is certainly raising the seok Kypchak, and not only by virtue of its prevalence. Already the name of the seok motivates to recollect both the ancient, and medieval Kypchaks, the living and coaching areas of which included the Sayano-Altai mountains. We would like to turn attention to the fact that deserves a most close awareness from the Southern Altaians' ethnic history point of view.


Studying the Altai seok Kypchak, we learned that among the modern Altaians seok Kypchak is held as blood-related with the seok Mundus, and marriages between these two seoks were banned as incestuous. The Altaian seoks being strictly exogamic, this fact carries a cardinal scientific determinant in the studies of the Altaian seoks' origin. The consanguinity of the seoks Kypchak and Mundus is also stated in a genealogic legend about the origin of the seok Mundus.

According to our field records, the founder of the seok Mundus was born by a girl from the seok Kypchak. When she was asked from whom was her son, she answered: "I have eaten three little hailstones (mus) and gave birth". From that boy subsequently descended the people of the seok Mundus, still said about: "Musdang chykkan Mundus" (Munduses born from icicle). Hence, a primogenitor of the seok Mundus on the mother side came from the seok Kypchak. A variation of that legend, written down in the past by V.Verbitsky, says that a girl from one of the seoks (which one is not stated), remained alone alive after some war, found after a strong rain one icicle (mus) and two wheat kernels laying together, and ate them. Becoming pregnant from that, she has given a birth to two twin boys, named Mundus, and Mundus, with one called Kotkor Mundus, and  the second called Chulum Mundus. Married after that, that woman has given birth to one more son, named Teles. 34 Thus, the cited genealogic legends assert blood (from one pra-mother) relationship between Kypchaks, Munduses and Teleses that possibly, as shown further, reflect some historical facts. The origin from the Kypchaks of a branch of Teleses was reflected in one of the genealogies written down among Kirgizes. 35

It should be emphasized that legend about the girl's conception from little hailstone is very ancient among the population of eastern part of the Central Asia. It was recorded by the early Chinese annalistic sources narrating some events in the middle of the 2 century AD and connected with the history of Syanbians.

The existence of such legend among the modern Southern Altaians can serve as a weighty argument evidencing their ancient ethnogenetical connections. Seok Mundus, especially widespread among Teleuts, is also known as one of the tribal subdivisions of the modern Kirgizes.

34 V.Verbitsky. Altaians. ., 1893, p. 136. The same variation is written down by G. N.Potanin (Ibid., p. 3).
35 See S.M.Abramzon. From an ethnic history of Kirgizes, p. 165.

The Altai legend about the origin of the seok Munduz is corroborated by the Kirgiz ethnographic material, because Kirgizes have a division Kotkar-Munduz, and among the ancestors of the Teles subdivision (in Kirgiz Döölyös) is a name Chulum. 36 Hence, among the modern Kirgizes survived a knowledge about a consanguinity of the Altai Teleses and Munduses, who migrated to Tien Shan and joined Kirgizes. 37 The presence of a common tribal subdivision Mundus (and Teles likewise) among the Southern Altaians, Teleuts and Kirgizes tells about a real historical commonality of individual ethnic elements of these nations, which is corroborated by the affinity of their languages and a mass of ethnographic material. 38


Naiman also belongs to the numerous seoks of the Southern Altaians. Naiman as tribal subdivision is among Kazakhs, Kirgizes, Uzbeks, and others. In our field materials, the seok Naiman is a newcomer in the Altai. Its members came to Altai from Tuva, where, by the way, now is no Naiman tribal subdivision. The old Altaian men who told us about seok Naiman, were convinced that Naimans earlier lived (timing unknown) along the Hemchik, but then they turned up on the northern side of the Sayan mountains, along Abakan river. Further reportedly two Naiman brothers by the names Yrgai and Syrgai and their maternal uncle  Shybyktai moved to the taiga adjoining Teles lake, and settled in the mouth of the river Pyji (a left tributary of river Biya) among the seok Yus. However, because of often quarrels with Tubalars, they coached away to the river Chemal (a right tributary of river Katun), and from there to the left bank of Katun, to the 5th Altai duchina, where  zaisans were hereditary from the clan Todosh. One of the brothers was of swarthy complexion. From him originated the Kara-Naiman clan in the Altai. The second brother has given rise to the clan Kogul-Naiman. 39 Subsequently, Naiman grew so numerous and strong that from them were even chosen zaisans in 7th Altai duchina. 40

36 Ibid., p. 166.
37 Exist information that Kirgizian Munduzes appeared here (in the Altai) from Gissar and Kulyab. About that see M.G.Aitbaev's report at a scientific session on an ethnogenesis of Kirgizes in 1956 in Frunze (Works of Kirgiz archeological ethnographic expedition, vol. 3, Frunze, 1959, p. 134).
38 S.M.Abramzon. ethnogenetical connections of Kirgizes with peoples of Altai. Reports of the USSR delegation at 14th International congress of Orientalists. ., 1960.
39 Another variation of the Naimans' origin, more plausible in a historical plane wrote down K.Sokolov. It tells about  Mongolian origin of Naimans, who settled in the Altai in the beginning of the 17th century (Notes of ioner (missionary ?) of the Altai spiritual mission Ursul branch for 1900 4 val "Orthodox blagovestit", 1900, No 24). Kirgizes have subdivisions: Kara-Naiman and Kbko-Naiman
40. S.M.Abramzon. ethnogenetical connections of Kirgizes..., p. 3.

In blood-related kinship with the seok Naiman, which mutually exclude marriages, was the seok Yabyr, which the 1897 census identifies with the seok Yaryk. If this identification is justified, it means that seok Naiman held itself in blood-related kinship with the Teleses, because was established that Yaryk descended from Teleses. We do not have the field materials confirming the identity of Yabyr with Yaryk, but some data about seok Yabyr points to connections with the ancient cattle breeding nomadic populace, indicated by a ban on killing golden eagles that exist only among Yabyrs, because the golden eagle was a sacred bird for them. This trait allows to presume connections of the seok Yabyr with Teleuts, particularly with the seok Merkit or Merkut, also present among the tribal subdivisions of Kirgizes, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, etc. Among Teleuts, the members of the seok Merkit ascended their origin from an eagle or a golden eagle, whom they revered as a sacred bird and never killed. 41

In addition to the large seoks, that constitute a numerical base of the Southern Altaians, we have ethnographic material about individual small seoks, for example for seok Olüp. The tale says that seok Olüp came fairly recently, specifically "in the Oirat time", when the Altaians were dominated by the Oirat or Dzungar khans. Its origin is explained like this. Zaisan Puktush from the clan Mundus after one of many battles, which at that time were frequent in the Altai, found in a field a child in a cradle. The cradle stood in a crevice of a birch. From the bark of the birch to it run a tubule, by which dripped birch juice. The boy ate the birch sap. Puktush took the boy and said about him: "Yerdeng tapkan Terlik, üch kaingash enelü" (Terlik found on the ground, with three young birches as mother). Zaisan named the boy Terlik, and has made him a founder of the seok Olüp.

In our opinion, seok Olüp turned up in the Altai after migration there from Tuva. It certainly can't be excluded that zaisan Puktush during one of the campaigns in Tuva had really brought back to Altai a boy from the seok Olüp. But zaisan could hardly invent the name of the seok, because in the 18th century a seok with this name was already known. In fact, in Tuva till this moment exist a significant group by the name Olüp (Olp) in the Oünnar hoshun, its territory extends south from the left bank of Ulug-Hem (Enisei) to the Tannu-Ola ridge.

By the way, Puktush is not a legendary, but a historical person. The Altai zaisans of the 1st duchina ascended their genealogy from this very Puktush. After Puktush, zaisan was Ereldei, also from the seok Mundus, the name Ereldei, like the name Puktush, is mentioned in the documents dated 1757-1758 42. Hence, the seok Olüp appeared in the Altai at about a middle of the 18th century.

41 W. Radlff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 2, p. 32.

After reviewing the sources for Southern Altaian seoks, it is appropriate to turn the attention to some aspects of their culture and daily life that can be used as sources for the question of the of Altaians' origin. The ethnic history and ethnogenetical connections of the Southern Altaians were reflected in ethnographic materials, the analysis of which will assist the objective of our work. Without dipping into the ancient periods, we shall turn our attention to prominent traits of the nomadic cattle breeding life of the Southern Altaians, typical for the pre-revolutionary period (i.e. pre-1917 Russian Bolshevik takeover) of their life.

First of all of interest are such traits that reflect ethnogenetical connections of Altaians with other nations. A brief juxtaposition can be started by attracting materials about Kirgizes, who nowadays live so far from Altai. Without mentioning the close affinity of the language, and commonality of some tribal subdivisions, addressed above, we can point to the parallels in the material and spiritual culture, impossible to be explained by random coincidence. 43 The nomadic portable home of the Southern Altaians is a felt yurt (kerege), identical with the Kirgiz yurt in material, design, form, and terms for separate components. The same is observed in respect to some types of clothing. In the male dress of Altaians, in particular a robe, a similarity is attested with Kazakh robe, especially in the terminology (Alt. chokpek, Kaz. shokpen) or with sheepskin fur coats (Alt. and Kaz. ton); in the female dress a close similarity is attested with the Kirgiz dress. For example, the winter dress of the Teleut women (ton) is completely the same as the ancient Kirgiz female ichik fur coat. Both for Altaians and Kirgizes is typical wearing fabric waistband (kur), etc. 44 Take such work tool of the old household as a jagged wooden plank for napping and tanning of rawhides. It has the same name idrek among the Altaians and Pamir Kirgizes. Among both peoples the idreps (idreks ?) are so identical in form and material that they cannot be distinguished. Especially close similarity is in the methods of meat and dairy products preparation, and the terminology connected with them. The Altaian sour dairy cheese kurut is known to Kirgizes, Kazakhs, etc. under the same name.

After Ereldei, until the (1917 Russian) Revolution, all zaisans of the First Altai duchina were from the Mundus clan.

43 Ethnic and Material culture of Kirgizes as a source of their ethnogenesis. Works of Kirgiz Archeological Ethnogr. Exped., vol. 3. Wider parallels in the culture and daily life of Kirgizes and Altaians are given in the mentioned above S.M.Abramzon's work "ethnogenetical connections of Kirgizes with peoples of Altai".
44 I.Mahova, Ibid., p. 57.

The same can be stated about cream from cooked milk (kaimak), sour milk (airan/ayran), however Altaians more frequently call it with its Mongolian name chegen (Mongolian name for koumiss/kumys), etc. Even the name of a vessel for storage of kumys saba is equally known in the Altai, among Kirgizes, Kazakhs, etc. Turning now with our comparisons to the domestic life, folk art, beliefs, and folklore, the same phenomena can be observed again. Much in common was already noted among Altaians and Kirgizes in a number of wedding customs, traditions of family relations, in ceremonies, and in the religious beliefs connected with birth and upbringing of children, in the terminology for consanguinity and property, with terminology of marriage relations, and so forth 45

Notwithstanding that Kirgizes during many centuries profess Islam, among them persevered vestiges of folk beliefs identical with the Altaian shamanistic views ("shamanistic" is a euphemism for Tengrianism - Translator's Note). We mean a cult of mountains, so advanced in the Altai, reverence of the ancient Türkic deity Umai, patronesses of children, etc. Incidentally, the Kirgiz cemetery's grave structures on the slopes of Biyik ridge (northern Xingjian, Chinese "New Province" name for Uiguristan) 46 are very similar to the six-side timber dwellings among the modern Altaians. Probably, the construction of such Kirgiz grave structures preserved a memory of their ancient timber dwelling similar with the Altaian homes.

We can not list all cases of amazing analogies between Altaians and Kirgizes. There are plenty in the character of the national calendar, in national measures, folk medicine, musical instruments, fine arts, folklore, etc. For example, in ornaments, the analogy between Altai and Kirgiz materials was demonstrated by S.V.Ivanov in a number of his works. 47

45 A.Efimova. Teleut wedding. In Coll.: Materials on weddings,  family - clan traditions of the peoples of the USSR, L., 1926;
     1) Clan, classification system of relationship and marriage norms among the Altaians and Teleuts. In Coll.: Materials on wedding and family - clan traditions of the peoples of the USSR, L., 1926;
     2) Marriage, terms of relationship and psychological prohibitions among Kirgizes. In Coll.: Collection of ethnographic materials, No 2, L., 1928;
L. E. Karunovskaya. From the Altai beliefs and rites connected with children. Coll. MAE, vol. 6, 1927;
S.M.Abramzon. Questions of Kirgiz ethnogenesis according to ethnography. Works of the Kirgiz Archeological Ethnogr. Exped., vol. 3.
46 S.M.Abramzon. Questions of Kirgiz ethnogenesis..., p. 38.
47 Historico-Ethnographic Atlas of Siberia. M.-L., 1960 (S.V.Ivanov's article).

  The researcher has proved a commonality of some elements in the national ornament among the Southern Altaians and Kirgizes, for a certain circle of nations it is a typical traditional complex of ornamental motives. Ivanov suggested to conditionally call this a Kypchak complex . 48 The epic of the Djuchi ulus period and spread at that time among Kypchak people, was preserved among the Southern Altaians, it is also partially traditional among the Kirgizes (Tale of Edige, Tohtamysh). All examples of analogies in the culture and daily life of the Southern Altaians and especially Kirgizes, however briefly are stated, testify to a past commonality of the ethnic components of these nations, and in part about a commonality of their historical life (in the Kypchak period) and close cultural and historical connections.

We can not dwell on parallels of culture and daily life between the Southern Altaians with Kazakhs, Tuvinians and other Türkic-speaking nations, and only shall refer to a number of published works, where it is clearly shown 49 But the discussion about Mongolian elements in the cattlemen culture and daily life of Southern Altaians can't be omitted. For example, it is definitely visible in clothing. The Telengit and Teles males and females wore Mongolian-cut coatdresses with long hems, and robe-type sheepskin coats, single-breasted to the right, i.e. left overlap on the Upper, with a typical step ledge on the breast. Especially typical was identical with the western Mongolian female terlik, a sleeveless long hemmed dress of the married women, worn atop of a coatdresses or a fur coat, called chegedek.

The Mongolian features were observed in the housing of some local Southern Altaian groups, in the common form of a felt yurt (low dome), orientation of doors to the south instead of traditional Türkic orientation to the east, in the names of separate parts of the yurt (smoke opening,  skeleton lattice, and roof poles), etc. Not in a smaller measure it also exists in food. The most widespread drink chegen from fermented milk among Altaians in the name and in the method of preparation (from cooked milk) is of the Mongolian origin. We shall also point to the ancient Mongolian way of slaughtering sheep or rams by a cutting the belly (below chest bone), inserting a hand through a chest cavity diaphragm and tearing the aorta, that existed alongside the Altai way of cutting the throat, and draining blood into a vessel.

49 S.V.Ivanov. Kirgiz ornament as ethnogenetical source. Works of Kirgiz Archeological Ethnogr. Exped., vol. 3, p. 63.
     1) Features of  Kazakh material culture associated with the  nomadic way of life. Coll. MAZ, vol. 12, 1949;
     2) Clothes of Altaians. Coll. MAHE, vol. 13, 1951;
     3) Food of Altaians (ethnographical sketch). Coll. MAHE, vol. 14, 1952;
     4) Materials on ethnography of Tuvinians of the Ngun-Taiga and Kara-Holya. Works of Tuva Complex archeological ethnogr. Tuv Ped Inst. Ethnogr-USSR Academy of Sciences, vol. 1, M.-L., 1960;
     5) Sketches of ethnography among Tuvinians in the basin of Hemchik left bank, Works of Tuvinsk. Complex archeolgo-ethnogr. exped. Inst. Ethnogr. USSR Academy of Sciences, vol. 2, M.-L., 1966.

In this relation are very indicative the Southern Altaian names of domesticated animals of different sex and age. For young animals of both sexes are common Mongolian names, for example kupan (3-year foal and calf), tonon (4-year foal), etc. As brighter indicator of the Mongolian elements in the Southern Altaian culture is folklore, in particular the heroic epos. Its affinity in some respects with the Mongolian folklore was noted by N.K.Dmitriev and especially by G.N.Potanin. 50 We shall not continue citing here other references about specific ethnographical material confirming our conclusion about (anthropological, not biological) Mongolisms in the culture and daily life of the Southern Altaians. We shall only mention that the presence of such Mongolisms is caused not so much by some possible borrowings, as by participation of the Mongolian people in the ethnogenesis of the Southern Altaians. The  Southern Altaians repeatedly, throughout their history, absorbed and assimilated, first of all linguistically, various groups of Mongols.

From the investigated historical ethnographic material we can make a number of conclusions in regard to the ethnic composition and some ethnic processes among the Southern Altaians during end of the 19th and the beginnings of the 20th centuries. It is abundantly clear that the ethnic substrate of the modern Southern Altaians is essentially composed of three Türkic-speaking tribal groups or associations, each of which has its own origin which does not exclude a close ethnic relationship between them. These are the Teles, Telengits and Teleuts. Of them, the Teleuts were the most numerous and, as we shall see, widely spread in the previous centuries. Very probable that Telengits and Teleuts in the past constituted a single Türkic-speaking ethnic community which later received, at least from the 17th century (if to follow the Russian written sources) their different names. In the very beginning of the 17th century the Russian written sources begin to mention Teleuts, whose name in the Mongolian (Dzungarian) documents in respect to the same groups of the population sounds as Telengut (i.e. Teleut is a Russian corruption of the single name Telengit/Telengut of a single tribe, which reduces the Southern Altaians substrate down to two related tribes, Teles and  Telengit - Translator's Note).

Leaving for now open the question about identity of the names Teleut and Telengut, but in view of W.Radloff's message that Teleuts call themselves Telenget, that their language has some differences from the language of the Chui Telengits and Altaians proper (Altai-kiji), we can quite confidently note that in the past Teles and Telengits were different tribes, the historical proofs of that will be given in the subsequent chapters.

50 About that also see: L.P.Potapov. The Altai heroic epos. Soviet Ethnography, 1949, No 1.

Returning to our task, we note the mixed composition of the seoks within each group of the Southern Altaians. This mixing and splinting process touched Teleses and Chui Telengits to a lesser degree, their seoks generally remained intact, and fractionation of their seoks into Altaians proper, Teleuts, and others happened to a much lesser degree. The Altaians proper, i.e. the Altai-kiji ended up the most mixed. Essentially, they were an amalgam of various Teleut-Telengit and Teles seoks with the Tuvinian tribal groups (Kobaly, Irkit, Soion, Tandy, etc.). They also include small splinter group of various historical tribes and nations (Naimans, Merkits, Kypchaks, Oirats, Derbets, etc.), sometimes not even Türkic-lingual in the past, like Mongols, Oirats, Arins, Motors, etc. Prevailing in that conglomerate were Teleses, Teleut-Telengits, and Tuva ethnic groups (over 70%). Possibly because of the extreme degree of the Altai-kiji intermixing, they began seeing themselves as a new ethnic community that gradually consolidated linguistically, territorially, culturally and in lifestyle, and they became going under a geographical self-name. However, the new ethnic community shaped as a  territorial group "Altai-kiji" regenerated along the lines of an ancient tribal organization. It integrated remains of various tribes, clans, and even nations in the past different in origin and even linguistically in some cases. These isolated small groups began to be considered as blood-related seok clans, between them even developed exogamy. Nevertheless, the Altai-kiji seoks retained a consciousness of consanguinity or belonging both with the same-named, and with some differently-named seoks of other Southern Altaian: Telengits-Teleuts, and Teleses.

Theis resurrection process started after a fall of Dzungaria and annexation of the Southern Altaians to the Russian state in the middle of the 18th century, and continued for two centuries. The Altai-kiji as an ethnic community did not exist before the annexation of Altaians to Russia, and naturally they were not reflected in the historical sources. All three main Türkic-speaking above named tribal groups: Teleuts-Telengits and Teleses, are a substrate of the ethnic composition of the modern Southern Altaians, they preserved in their name the ancient ethnonym Tele. We are returning later to the ethnonym Tele when we examine the most ancient ethnic groups in the ethnic history of Altaians.

To give a concise definition to the substance of the ethnic process among the Southern Altaians during examined period, it should be defined as a decomposition process of the (previous) tribal links, and a formation of territorial connections. The tribal organization decomposition process was appreciably reflected in the materials of the 1897 census, especially in fractioning of seoks among administrative units, dislocation of the seoks, repeatedly noted above; the process of forming a territorial community was a defining phenomenon in the ethnic history of Altaians at least from the second half of the 19th century to the Great October Socialist Revolution, after which the process acquired a  character of national consolidation.

The Altaians proper, as was stated above, emerged during the (Russian) pre-revolutionary period, and despite the local motley contingent of the seoks, began to identify as a territorially defined group called Altai-kiji, territorially distinguishing themselves from the Chui Telengits, Teleuts and Northern Altaians. The Telengits, who lived in the basin of the river Chui, began to identify as a territorially defined group Chu-kiji consisting only of the Chui Telengits, and in the Ulagan coalesced a territorial group of Ulaan-kiji, after the name of the river Ulaan. We shall add that on a right bank of Katun were formed Maimalars (Maima-kiji), who in spite of the presence of most various complement of seoks (even some people from the Northern Altaians' seoks), also identified as a defined territorial ethnic group, commonly called (irrespective of its complement of seoks) by the geographical term Maima-kiji (river Maima). Thus, at that time was going a process of territorial consolidation of separate groups of Altaians, where the significance of the seoks in self-naming gradually shifted to the second plane. The tribal and administrative names in the daily life began to be replaced with local geographical self-names, though the clan division was completely retained. That is evidenced by a known fact that every Altaian (Northern or Southern) not only knew well their seok, but held as blood relatives all peoples of that seok, wherever they happened to live, and strictly observed the clan exogamy (The conflicting orthodoxy of the above paragraph is much self-evident and typical for the author's analysis of the Soviet period; aside from ethnographically describing inflicted damages it can be ignored; the discourse really describes a hurried objective of the state demographic policy instead of the status in the field, defying the very definition of the ethnicity as opposition between "us" and "them". If I can marry a neghbor on the upper floor, but can't marry a stranger on the other end of the mountains or in a neighboring states of Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, China or Russia, me and those Kazakhs etc. are "us", and my neighbor is "them". In ethnography, except for its certain type flavorings, the fact that an Irish lives in Dublin, Moscow or New-York is irrelevant, though they territorially call themselves Dubliners etc., and it does not expeditiously create my history, my language, or eliminates my St.Patrik's day just because a newspaper generally calls me Muscovite or my Russian-issued passport calls my ethnicity "Altaian". The contradictions of those artificial categories came prominently to the surface after the demise of the Soviet Union, when Muscovites stratified onto "white" and "black", the last also titled "chernojopye" and "litsa Kavkazskoj natsionalnosti" =  "black asses" and "faces of Caucasian nationality", clearly indicating their "them" versus "us" ethnic status, and in the social and political turmoils in all liberated lands - Translator's Note).

Northern Altaians

Let's now address the clan composition of the Northern Altaians, and first of all of the four Tubalar, or "Black Tatars" ("black", or "Mountain Taiga Tatars") volosts covered by the 1897 census. These volosts are: Komlyaj, Yuj (flexive language's derivative of Yus), Kuzen and Kergej (Turgesh). There were registered 22 seoks listed above, except for the clan Tirgesh (Turgesh), which the census had missed.

W.Radloff and after him N.Aristov definitely associated Tubalars with Turkified Eniseans (i.e. Enisei Ostyaks) and Nenetses (L.P.Potapov: "Samoed" and "Samodian") from the basin of the upper Ob. Radloff, coming from the name Tuba, took them as newcomers from the headwaters of Biya, where in his opinion they strongly intermixed with Altaians. 51 He counted five tribes (fiinf Stamme) among Tubalars, which are listed in the following order: Kuzen, Tirgesh (Turgesh), Komnosh, Yus, Torguya totaling 3,464 people. It would be possible to think that Radloff called "tribes" the namesake administrative volosts but because he also lists the composition of the clans (Gesehlecht) inside each tribe, such assumption is certainly incorrect.

51 W. Radlff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1, p. 212-213.

Here is the clan composition of Tubalar "tribes" by Radloff: Kuzen - clans Kuzen and Chedibesh; Tirgesh (Turgesh) - clans Togus, Iobur, Chygal; 52 Komnosh - clans Komnosh, Yalan, Ton, Chygal and Palan; Yus - clans Yus and Shor; Torgul - has no clans.

However it is impossible to agree with this definition. Radloff certainly was told the administrative volosts and seok clans inside of them, thirty six years later they were registered in these same volosts by the 1897 census. Certainly, the Yus "tribe" could not have and did not have a seok Shor. The subject was a Yus volost, where Shors also lived in the 1897 (51 persons). The seok Ton is Kumandy Tong seok, and seok Palan is a division of the seok Kondosh (Palan-Kondosh), because Pedebesh is a division of the seok Kuzen.

Let's review the data of the 1897 census related to the Tubalars. In the Komlyaj volost was noted 9 seoks: Komdosh, or Komnosh (1,037 persons), Yaryk (413 persons), Chagat (158 persons), Yalai (96 persons), Tastar (8 persons), Mundus (6 persons), Bailagas (5 persons), Soen (5 persons), Diety-Sary (3 persons). The numerically main seok in that volost was Komdosh, the second by number - Yaryk and the third - Chagat (or Chygat). In addition, almost a hundred persons has seok Yalan. In the Yus volost were registered 4 seoks, of which the main was the seok Yus (613 persons), the other three seoks were small: Chor or Shor (51 persons), Yaryk (11 persons), Mundus (6 persons). Kuzen volost had seven seoks. Of them seok Kuzen was the most numerous (451 persons), the second in number was seok Tonjarok (Russ. Tenterek) (260 persons), then went very small seoks: Tandy (46 persons), Yoty, or Chooty (31 persons), Tertas (Tört-As) (19 persons), Pedebesh (5 persons). At last, in composition of the Kergej (Turgesh) volost was registered six seoks: Togus (497 persons), Chagat (356 persons), Tiber (228 persons), Kergil (5 persons), Sarylar (3 persons), Komdosh (1 persons). From that can be made the following conclusion. Among Tubalars the majority of the volost population belonged to one, sometimes to two seoks. For example, in the Komlyaj volost were seoks Komdosh and Yaryk; in the Yus volost was seok Yus; in the Kuzen volost was seok Kuzen, for the Tenterek, according to our field records, is a distorted name of Tonjarok (compound Tong + Yaryk/Yarok ?), a name of one of the subdivisions of the seok Kuzen.

In the Kergej (Turgesh) volost the population belonged to three seoks: Togus, Chagat, or Chygat, and Tiber, of which the most numerous was Togus.

52 In these names Radloff has an obvious error (or a typing error): Iobur in the 1897 census and in our field records is Yabyr (which for some reasons in the census is confused with seok Yaryk, which is wrong); Chygal certainly is Chygat.

Based on the field material collected we in the 1920's, approximately 30 years after the 1897 census, and also based on ethnographical literature, we can confidently list the seoks which are real Tubalar. In that respect especially valuable were the testimony of many Tubalar old men, with whom we chanced to work repeatedly during the field seasons in different areas of Tubalar locations. Following the list of the 1897 census, we shall note first of all as obviously not Tubalar the seoks Chor, or Shor (these are the Shors, the natives of the Kuznetsk taiga, who remember well their migration to Tubalars ) and Tandy (a Tuvan seok). The seoks Üuty (Yoty, Chooty) and Ürtas (Tertas) (Tört-As) doubtlessly are the Teleut-Akkeshtim clans, whose main body lived in the former Akkeshtim volost of the Kuznetsk district. The seoks Mundus, Kergil and Bailagas belong to the Southern Altaians (Teleuts and Altaians proper), stated above. The seok Yalan is also a newcomer. The old men told to us that the real name of that seok is Togul, or Torgul. It is known for certain that in the 18th century seok Togul lived along the river Chumysh. Its members recently appeared in taiga among Tubalars. They came there from the steppe because of a famine. Therefore, the local population said about them "yalandan kelgen kijiler", i.e. "from steppe coming people" ("people who came from the steppe"). From the word yalandan (from the steppe, steppe-men) was derived the name Yalan (a reduced form of yalandan). This name gradually took root, and the people from the seok Torgul began to call themselves Yalan. 53 By their origin, the seok Torgul is Teleut. They lived sedentary west from the river Tom in the Torgul volost, where according to V.Verbitsky they totaled in 1860's 364 persons. 54 Seok Chagat, or Chygat, in accordance with the statements the of local population, came from the southern part of Teles lake basin. 55 It is of the Teles origin. We have noted it above, when examined the clan composition of Teleses. The same should be also stated in relation to the seok Yaryk (in the census it is listed under a name Yabyr), the Teles origin of which is also certified by Tubalars. Seok Tastar belongs to Kumandy, and it will be addressed later, and the seok Soion is Tuvian. Seok Utty-Sary, more accurately Diety-Sary, also is not Tubalar. In Black (Taiga) volosts only 3 persons were registered from it. It joined the fifth Altai duchina (295 persons), lived along the left-bank area of Katun, and in its origin was connected, as was already noted, with Enisei Kyrgyzes. Thus, from the 22 seoks, recorded by the census in the Black (Taiga) volosts, 13 listed seoks were not of Tubalar origin (We can imagine that the situation found among the nomads in the 19th c. AD was very similar to the situation that evolved when Volga-Ural tribes moved in the 19th c. BC from the Eastern Europe to the Western Siberia, and established a symbiotic co-existence with the Ket tribes in the taiga-steppe borderlands. The nomads kept their horses, and their yurts, the hunters kept their traps and their stationary villages, and both lived happily thereafter until something forced them to drift eastwards, toward the Minusinsk depression and Sayano-Altai, and eventually into the blessed and unpopulated Gansu area - Translator's Note).

53 According to our field record made among Kumandy, from steppe area to Biya came three brothers from the ( Teleut) Tongul seok. Two of them, Yamyak and Varsogosh, left to the Komdosh volost.
54 V.Verbitsky. The Altai Aliens. ., 1893, p. 7 (The title of this book is very telling. The "Aliens" are the natives and owners of the land, they are called "aliens" in the lingo of the invading colonizers, who in the 1897 displayed the same ignorance and arrogance as when they first migrated from Danube and Carpathians into the Eastern Europe a millennia earlier - Translator's Note).
55 S.P.Shvetsov, Ibid., p. 105.

To the Tubalars belong the following seoks, which names we give with corrections received during the field work: Kondosh (in another pronunciation  Komnosh and Kompot), Kuzen, Yus, Tiber, Togus. We shall note here that Palan, Pedebesh and Tonjarok (Russ. Tenterek), recorded by the census, doubtlessly are Tubalar groups, but they are not seoks, but their branches. In particular, the seok Palan is only a subdivision of the seok Kondosh, which consists of: 1) Koburchi-Kondosh (i.e. coal miners, occupation of a part of Kondoshes, supplying coal for smithies, and later for sale to Russian population); 2) Katugas-Kondosh (silent, reticent); 56 3) Kipe pbrjuk Kondosh (wearing koshma (felt) caps); 4) Palan-Kondosh, i.e. "palan-men" (collectors of Viburnum opulus guelder-rose berries). The subdivision Palan-Kondosh also included a group Kogus-Kondosh i.e. "Loud-voiced", or "Noisy". Tonjarok (Russ. Tenterek), Pedebesh and Sanmai, recorded by the census, were divisions of the seoks Kuzen and Yus. Seok Kuzen had three divisions: the Tonjarak-Kuzen (in the census it was corrupted to Tenterek), Pedebesh-Kuzen, and Kishten-der-Kuzen (sable hunters). Seok Sanmai is a division of the seok Yus.The seokYus had four divisions: 1) Tau-Yustar (Mountain Yuses); 2) Sary-Yus (Yellow Yuses); 3) Shanmai-Yus (in the census Sanmai-Yuz); 4) Sargaichy-Yuz (collectors of sarana (locust, Russ. sarancha )). Hence, the Tubalars had (without subdivisions) five seoks:

1. Kondosh,
2. Kuzen,
3. Tiber,
4. Togus,
5. Yus.

(We can only be amazed how history and geography circle the globe. In Slavic, "kuznets" belongs to the oldest known layer of the 8th-10th c. AD, with derivatives "koval", "kovat" ets., with a semantical meaning "smith", "forger", "to forge", i.e. "metalwork". In 550 AD, Türks lived in Altai and were metalworkers of Jujans. They were Jujan kuzens, "metalworkers". The Middle Asian name for the Türks was Huns (Hūns), as noted by Henning, Klyashtorny and Potapov in this work. The Huns moved to central Europe in the 400 AD, subjugated Slavs, incorporated them in their state and their army, and brought along their metalworking lexicon. By that time their mythological pantheon included an Alp Khursa, the Alp of Fire and Metalwork. Alp means non-mortal, a Saint in today's lingo. 13 centuries later, the Slavic-lingual Russians reached the Altai Kuzen center of metalworking, and renamed it to Kuznetsk, a "center of metalworking", now in Russian language. So, the 4th c. AD Jujan Kuzen became a 17th c. AD Russian Kuznetsk. When the Russians reached it, the center was still Türkic, it was still supplied with charcoal by Kets, and they simply switched from supplying ironwork to Mongolian Oirats to supplying the same ironwork to Russians. The word Khursa lives in its Russian reincarnation as the city Kursk, and its sibling word Kuzen lives in its Russian reincarnation as the city Kuznetsk. What goes around comes around - Translator's Note).


Following the example of the Southern Altaians, we will examine Tubalar seoks in the historical ethnographic plane, starting with Kergej (Turgesh) volost, which in Russian historical documents during the 17th century was called Tirgesh (Turgesh), and only in 1703 for the first time it was called Kergej (Turgesh). In the official Russian sources this new name got stuck, though sometimes it was used together with the old name. However the local population still called the volost Tirgesh (Turgesh). From the words of local residents, W.Radloff gives the old name Tirgesh (Turgesh) instead of Kergej (Turgesh) volost, and identifies it with the tribe Tirgesh (Turgesh). The 1897 census entered the census materials into the official name of volost as Kergej (Turgesh). During the field work at the end of 1920's and during 1930's we repeatedly heard from the some Tubalar people that they belong to Tirgesh (Turgesh), sometimes answering so a question about their seok. Anyway, it is definitely established that the original name of the Kergej (Turgesh) volost sounded as Tirgesh (Turgesh).

56 In respect to the reticence and restraint character of this Kondosh group we recorded some stories, illustrating this feature: L.P.Potapov. Disintegration of clan society among Northern Altai tribes. M.-L., 1935, p. 11-12. See there also about divisions of other Tubalar seoks.

The name Tirgesh (Turgesh) is of a special interest, because it contains an ancient Türkic ethnonym Turgesh. Hence, apparently, the old name of Tubalar volost recorded in the 17th century written sources tells about a presence among Tubalars of the descendants of ancient Türks, nomadic cattlemen in the way of life. And really, among Tubalars of the Kergej (Turgesh) volosts, as noted A.V.Andrianov in his time, in their culture and daily life are present features of cattle breeding life, like those shown among the Southern Altaians. This fact was evident especially brightly on the background of the hunting culture typical for Tubalars, which reflects the life of taiga foot hunters. A.Andrianov writes that men among the Tubalar-Kergeshes (Turgeshes) wore hair plaited in a small braid, and women wore sleeveless outer garment (chegedek) usual for the Southern Altaians. Furthermore, add to this such attributes as preparation of dairy products, the way of preparation and terminology of which are peculiar for the Türkic-speaking nomads, in particular for the Southern Altaians. It should be also noted that the Southern Altaians call a leather vessel for storage of chegen mostly in Mongolian, arhyt, though in places they also use the ancient Türkic term saba. It is peculiar that among Tubalars, the inhabitants of taiga, typical hunters - trappers in the recent past, this Türkic name for a large leather vessel is used until present, but with a reference to a birch bark vessel for preparation of home-made barley beer for sacrifice to patron spirits. With the term saba they also called  the sacrificial home-made beer prepared by fermentation from soaked barley grain, oats and water. This trait can serve as indirect indication that the Türkic-speaking nomads of Altai participated in the ethnogenesis of Tubalars during the pre-Mongolian period, when the Türkic term saba was widely spread, and which preserved its old name used in the rites of the old shaman cult (Shamans are banned not only from performing sacred religious rites, but even from being present during the service of the rites. This little display of ignorance not only does not diminish the value of the observation, but fairly reinforces it, demonstrating that L.Potapov was a kin observer able to detect and interpret telltale traits even without full understanding of the underlying ethnographical background. A valid apologetic excuse for  L.Potapov is that in the 1920-50's the Soviet humanity sciences were directed solely to the discovery and study of pre-class and class societies, everything else only served that hallowed purpose, and the religions were summarily discounted as unnecessary rubbish that only gets in the way of real scientific studies. L.Potapov's field ethnographical studies were done in the brief period in the 1920's when the idea of liberation from the Czarist oppression was a leading impetus for consolidation of the newborn Soviet state. That heresy was brought to an abrupt halt in the early 1930's. Sciences, like the scientists, were only tiny wheels in the wise grand designs - Translator's Note).

We can not fail to also note the seok composition of the Tirgesh (Turgesh) volost. W.Radloff attributed to the Tirgesh (Turgesh) seoks the seoks Togus, Chygat and Iobur (i.e. Yabyr), the 1897 census showed that the main population of the Kergej (Turgesh) volost were the same three seoks, Togus, Chagat, and Tiber. These seoks, at least the first two, in their names present a definite historical interest. The name Togus involuntarily is being associated with the Togus-Oguz name, under which was known a confederation of some Tele tribes in the 7th-8th centuries AD. Turning to the seok Chygat, in addition to its Teles origin that indicates a presence among Tubalars of Türkic-speaking ethnic groups with a culture and daily life of nomadic cattlemen, their name prompts to compare this ethnonym with the name Chik, a name of the tribe that lived in the 7th century AD in the Enisei valley in the territory of the modern Tuva. 57

57 volost in Russian documents name seok Chagat Chigat vos xju JU ' and seok volost Todosh-Tatush which appears together in " 5fv? TTCKOU (O.Dolgih. Clan and tribal composition of peoples of Siberia
61 in ., 1960, p. 107)

We shall return to these names in the final chapter, and only note here that judging by some ethnonyms and ethnographic attributes, among the Tubalars of the Tirgesh (Turgesh) volost remained remote descendants of the nomadic cattlemen of the Türkic Kaganate period.

The overwhelming majority of the population of the Kuzen volost, according to the census, belonged to the seoks Kuzen and Tonjarok (Russ. Tenterek), in essence  the population consisted only of the seok Kuzen, because Tenterek of the 1897 census is a distorted form of the Tonjarak, which is one of the three divisions of the seok Kuzen, as was mentioned above. Tubalars and Chelkandy have similar tales about the origin of the seok Kuzen. Seok Kuzen is considered to be a blood relative seok of the Chalkanyg (or Chalkandu). Therefore, mutual marriages are banned between them. The legend tells that patronymic founders of both seoks were first brothers named Kuzenek and Chalganak, who settled on the right bank of Biya. One of them, Kuzenek, began to live along the river Biya, and his brother Chalganak selected his residence by the river Swan (a right tributary of Biya). Both brothers came to these places from more northern forest-steppe places of the Kuznetsk district. There, they were engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture.

The descendants of Chalganak later remained by the river Swan, and descendants of Kuzenek migrated to the left bank of Biya, where they intended to grow cattle, because the right bank of Biya did not have places suitable for cattle breeding. But there also was difficult to keep the cattle, and their main occupation became hunting and gathering of pine nuts, along with small hoe agriculture. The Chelkan and Tubalar tales about former life of the seok Kuzen on the right bank of Biya are also corroborated by the fact that the clan hunting range was in the headwaters of Biya on its right bank, and near Teles lake. Those were "taigas": Aktygan, Solog, Yashtu, Chorbok. Some Tubalar old men in conversation even attributed the seok Kuzen to Kumandy, certainly because they came to the Tubalar places from the right bank of the river Biya, from above its confluences with the river Swan. So, seok Kuzen can be classed as a newcomer to the Biya basin, apparently from the Teleut people located west from the river Tom. The settlement could take place at the end of the 16th, or in the very beginning of the 17th century, because the Kuzen volost was already recorded in the Russian yasak (tribute, Russ. "dan") books since 1629. 58

In the Kondosh volost (or Komlyaj volost) the seok Kondosh was a predominating and most numerous seok. But there a significant part (in the Altai scales) of the population belonged to newcomer seoks Yaryk and Chagat or Chygat, and to the seok Yalan.

58 Tubalars were annexed to the Russian state at about middle of the 17th century (in the document of 1643). They are registered as a yasak volosts, and the yasak books' records about yasak receipts from them begin in 1629.

Yaryk and Yalan

We already addressed seoks Yaryk and Yalan, and cited arguments in favor of their Tele origin. In respect to the seok Ylan, we also cited materials testifying about its arrival to the Altai mountains from the steppe, and a relatively recent arrival, probably at the end of the 17th or first half of the 18th century. The settlement of Togul group happened at the time of Komdosh (or Komlyaj) zaisan Sazu, who accepted Toguls in his volost, and allocated to it a tract of taiga for main hunting on river Lajy (left tributary of Uimen) and two Kuze small rivers (Kan-Kuze and Koku-Kuze) for local hunts (area of modern settlement Puuchak, in Choi aimak of the (Russian) Mountain Altai Autonomous Region). Zaisan Sazu also introduced to newcomers a sacred mountain for prayers and sacrifices. It was a mountain Ujube-Yalbagan, an ansestral  sacred mountain of Komdoshes in the headwaters of Lajy. Zaisan Sazu was a third governor of Komlyaj volost after its acceptance of Russian suzerainty. 59 In the olden times Komdoshes were famous for their skill in smelting iron and production of various objects from it, with which for a long time they were rendering tribute to the Dzungar collectors. And one of the branches of the seok Kondosh, already mentioned above, Koburchi-Kondosh (coal miners Kondoshes) reflect in their name their engagement in ancient metallurgy. Seok Kondosh is considered to be "native" in their places. Kondoshes were typical foot hunters and sedentary metallurgists. Ancient legends depict them as foot hunters going hunting with wooden staffs (taiak-agash), in boots with linen tops, with buckle waistband belts, etc.

In accordance with their legend, Seok Yus, composing the Yuj (Yus) volost, descended from the seok Kondosh (Komdosh ?). In accordance with their legend. The legend tells about s girl from seok Kondosh who gave birth to a child whose father she could not name. The boy received the name of the mother's seok. From that boy subsequently came descendents. When descendents reached a hundred people, with the consent of seok Kondosh it branched into a separated seok that received a numerical name Yus, i.e. one hundred. As soon as  seok Yus separated, it elected its own zaisans. First of them was called Chokon. Since then to the time of the abolition of (the institute of elected self-governing) zaisans in 1912 10 zaisans ruled in the Yuj (Yus) volost. Hence, zaisan Chokon lived approximately in the middle of the 17th century, allowing average 30 years for every zaisan (with hereditary succession).

59 Yuj (Yus) volost is mentioned for the first time in yasak books in 1630.

Another legend explains differently the origin of the Yus among Kondoshes. Soions (Soyons) from the left bank Katu and Yuses lead a war. All Yuses were killed, except for a pregnant woman saved by Komdoshes. A boy born from her by father was Yus, and his descendents later separated from Komdoshes. 60 S.P.Shvetsov recorded that Tubalars of the Yuj (Yus) volost held themselves to be remains of special people, a native inhabitant of these places nowadays occupied by Tubalars. 61 It is certainly possible to compare seok Yus with the Beltir seok Chus, or Chis that lives, at least from the end of the 17th century till present, in the headwaters of Abakan. In the materials of the end of the 19th century the Beltir seok had two divisions, called in plural Ak-Chistar and Kara-Chistar. However in the 17th century this seok of Beltirs also was called Chistar, the Russian historical documents mention "Chistar volost" together with Beltir volost. Both volosts were registered in the Kuznetsk district, but did not  pay yasak regularly, and at times coached away "to Sayans" (mountains or tribe ?) or "to Black Kalmyks" (to Dzungars).

Beltirs, close relatives of some modern Tuvinian groups, also were taiga foot hunters. Beltirs' and Tubalars' culture and life (before the (Russian) October revolution) had much in common. Therefore, such comparison is quite allowable. Certainly, we cannot presume that this question had been investigated in particularls, but the comparison of the Tubalar Yustars with Beltir Chistars appears to be correct, promising to throw a light on the origin of Tubalars in the Yus volost.

Less doubts raises the historical connection of the seoks Yuz and Kondosh, suggested by the legend. The connection is also manifested in very material historic facts. We mean that Yuses hunted animals in the ancestral ranges of the Kondosh seok.

So, within the framework of the factual material at our disposal at present time, can be stated quite confidently a mixed origin of the northern Altaian group generally called Tubalars. In that mixture The ancient Turks are distinctly visible from a number of attributes of the ethnicities connected with the nomadic cattle breeding life. In respect to other ethnicities represented by features of foot hunting way of life, in relation to Tubalars to state something definite is difficult, because of insufficient level of scholarship in historical, ethnographical and linguistical material.

60 S.P.Shvetsov, Ibid., page 104.
61 Ibid.,

Concluding our review of Tubalars, we would like to emphasize some features of their ethnic development. Among Tubalars, despite of their more sedentary way of life in comparison with southern Altaians, an outstanding role played clan connections, which, because of their settling down by seoks that almost coincided with administrative volosts, also reflected territorial connections. In other words, territorial connections of Tubalars were often also clan connections, because the process of territorial interlacing of seoks during examined time has not gone too far yet. There also was observed a confluence process of separate small territorial groups (for example, Kok-Shylary, i.e. inhabitants of the rivers Sary and Kara-Koksha). However, in a large degree was typical a consolidation process of Tubalar seoks into a uniform territorial group of Yiysh-kiji, which means "Taiga People", or "Blackish (taiga) People". Because of that, quite often in the literature they were called "Blackish Tatars". Their neighbours, Altaians, gave them the name Tubalar (A general meaning of Tübalar is "provincial people", from "tüba"  = "province", reflecting attitude of "civilized center" toward "backward province" - Translator's Note), which gradually was adopted by Tubalar seoks as a general endoethnonym self-name. It spread among the Tubalars already in the beginning of this century, though it was not recorded by neither research of V.Verbitsky, nor by the 1897 census.

Kumandy and Chelkandy

Passing to typical Kumandy, Chelkandy and their separate seoks, we need to remind that the subject of the origin of both groups was already generally  mentioned in the scientific literature not only for all Northern Altaians (i.e. Tubalars, Kumandy, Chelkandy and Shors) which W.Radloff, and after him N.Aristov generally attributed to Turkified Enisei Ostyaks (Kets) and Nenetses (L.P.Potapov: "Samoed" = "Self-eater" in obsolete Russian derisive terminology) (per V.Bogoraz, Turkified pra-Asians), but also narrower. Aristov, though placed Kumandy and Chelkandy in his classification of Türkic nations under a heading " Turkified Eniseans and Self-eaters of the upper Ob basin", at the same time expressed a hypothesis that in essence contradicts the opinion of W.Radloff, which substance is reduced to the following. Aristov asserted, based on the interpretation of the ancient Türkic genealogic legend recorded in early Chinese annals, 62 that Kumandy and Chelkandy are closely related and belong to the most ancient Türkic-speaking natives of Altai. Their remote ancestors generally gave rise to the ancient Türks-Tukue, who in the 6th-8th centuries AD created in the Central Asia a powerful nomadic state, which received in history a name Türkic Kaganate. This concept about the modern Kumandy and Chelkandy came about because that ancient Türkic legend tells about the origin of the ancient Türk (L.Potapov: Tukue) ancestors from a state or possession So, which name Aristov compared to the ethnonym So among Kumandy, because among them under such a name is known one of the seoks. Here is a summary of that legend in Choushu annals.

62 N.Ya.Bichurin, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 221-222; Liu Mau-tsai, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 5-6; vol. 11, p. 489-490.

The ancestors of the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) came from the state So laying to the north of the Huns (Klyashtorny: a name of one of Syanbi tribes (Liu Mau-tsai, B.Ogel) - Translator's Note). A leader of the tribe of the state So was Abanbu, who had 17 brothers. Of them Ichinishitu (Klyashtorny: Ichzhinishidu) was a shaman and had four sons, one of whom turned into a white swan, two others became rulers of two separate tribal states (Klyashtorny: another son established Kirgiz possession of the Chiks (Chinese Tsigu, by Grumm-Grjimailo and Kyzlasov), located between the rivers Abakans and Kem, i.e. Enisei (Chinese Afu and Gyan); a third son established his possession near the river Chusi (Chinese Chjuchje) - Translator's Note). The fourth  (elder) son was elected a leader of the tribes ruled by the members of the clan Apangiu, and received a title Türk (L.Potapov: Tukue). It was Notulu-Shad (Klyashtorny: Nodulu - Translator's Note). He had 10 wives, whose sons were named after mothers, and a son from a concubine called Ashina (A perennial Türkic naming convention, to add the ethnicity of the mom to the name: Leo the Khazar, Ayar Avar, Asparukh Madjar... - Translator's Note). After a death of Notulu, Ashina was selected a leader of the tribes and clans that descended from the Notulu sons (Klyashtorny: Nodulu-Shad had ten wives whose sons carried the clan names of the mothers. His mother was from the Ashina tribe - Translator's Note). In turn, a grandson of Ashina by the name Tumen (Bumin) made his tribe the strongest, and became a founder of the ancient Türks-Tukue state. 63 On the basis of this legend, N.Aristov asserted: "Possession So, laying in the north from the  Hun country, i.e. from present Mongolia, should be on the northern side of Altai, for its southern slopes were part of the Hun lands. Now one of the two clans, of which consists the Upper Kumandy volost, on the river Biya, near its confluence with the river Swan, carries a name o, and another is called Kubandy or Kumandy. From that, with sufficient reliability can be concluded that the legendary forefather of Turks descended from the tribe So that lived in the northern Altai, and that the clan So is a small remainder of that, probably not too small a tribe during the prehistoric times". 64  In the transformation of one of Ichinishitu (Bichurin - Nishydu) sons into a swan, Aristov saw a reflection of the fact that that son settled on the river Swan, where he became an ancestor of tribe Ku, the remains of which as Chelkandy live until now on the river Swan and call themselves Kuu-kiji ("Swan People", Russ. "Lebedintsy", people from the river Swan). From that, the modern Chelkandy according to Aristov are remote descendants of the ancient Türks-Tukue, and hence are in close relationship with Kumandy. This conclusion looks even more acceptable because the modern Kumandy and Chelkandy languages are very close and almost do not differ. The N.Aristov's interpretation of the Türkic genealogical legend was also accepted in the Soviet historical ethnographical literature, 65 though it can hardly be asserted that all that matches the historical reality, because the question of the origin of the ancient Türks-Tugue received after publication of some new materials 66 more justified illumination.

63 Tumen is a historical person, the founder of the Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) state, his name is found both in the Chinese annals, and in the Orhon Runiform inscriptions. The contents of a legend is given here by the translation of Liu Mau-tsai: Liu Mau-tsai, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 5-6; vol. 2, p. 489-490.
64 I N.Bichurin, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 221-222.
65 N.Aristov, Ibid., p. 279.
66 A.N.Bernshtam. Social and economic system of Orhono-Enisei Türks in the 6th-8th centuries. M.-L., 1956; S.V.Kiselev. Ancient history of Southern Siberia. ., 1949; History of Tuva, vol. 1, etc.

However, the scientific value of Aristov's ethnogenetical comparisons to a certain extent keeps its standing till this moment, for the researcher saw correctly in the ancient Türkic genealogic legend a reflection of some ethnogenetical connections from the remote past, that really existed and deserved attention of the modern historian. Notwithstanding what will demonstrate the incorrectness of Aristov statements about the origin of the modern Kumandy and Chelkandy, that does not mean denying a role of the tribes that lived during ancient Türkic time and prior to it in the Southern Siberia (particularly, in the Altai and Tuva) and Mongolia in the early ethnogenesis of the ancient Türks. Insisting on the validity of the Aristov comparisons in that form as he stated them at the modern level of scientific knowledge would be careless, and even more so is inadmissible to establish new ethnogenetical constructions based on them. A telling example of negative result in application of such methods can serve the attempt to define ethnic composition of the so-called "Enisei-Irtysh interfluvial" population in the 13th century, undertaken in connection with studies of the Kirgiz people ethnogenesis in the "History of Kirgizia". 67 In that case the author of the ethnogenesis section, not without N.Aristov influence, delineates on the modern geographical map two areas: Kyrkyr and Kumans, from which ostensibly came the "main nucleus of Kirgiz people to the Tien Shan".

He places Kyrkyr "in the headwaters of Ob, where Ob is formed at confluence of Biya and Katun", and places the Kuman area in its neighborhood "in the basin of the river Kumandy" (?), under which the author, apparently, means the river Kuu-Swan, because the river with the name Kumandy does not exist at all. Already the localization of the Kyrkyr area in a small forest-steppe area at the confluence of Biya and Katun makes completely useless a discussion of a question on coming from there of the "main nucleus" of Kirgizes to the Tien Shan. Even more brightly is seen the author's fantastical ethnogenetical reconstructions in the example of the description of "Kumans" area, which he etymologizes as a "yellow country".

66 Liu Mau-tsai, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 40; History of Tuva, vol. 1.. 59-60; S.G.Klyashtorny. Ancient Türkic runiform monuments as sources on the history of Central Asia. ., 1964, p. 102-114.
67 History of Kirgizia, vol. 1. Frunze, 1963, p. 235-242.

Locating the valley of the taiga river Swan as an ethnogenesis area of the cattle breeding tribes who migrated from there and made a "nucleus of Kirgiz people in Tien Shan", the author does not realise that this small valley, where deep snow winter lasts up to 8 months, is completely unsuitable for pasturage cattle breeding. "Yellow color" of that "country" appears only in the autumn during withering vegetation. And though the author assures a reader that the living there Kumandy (? - L. .) call themselves Kuu-kiji, 68 i.e. by a name that ostensibly is etymologized as "yellow people", all this does bring a fantasy to the reality. It is only surprising that a large volume of the scientific literature about the Northern Altaians, their settling and their self-names, about Altai geography, remained unknown to the author, and his unsupported hypothesis received access to a such serious edition as the "History of Kirgizia".

W.Radloff separated Kumandy into a special independent group of Northern Altaians. V.Verbitsky simply included them in the composition of the nomadic "Black Tatars" (mountain taiga Tatars) of the Biya district. Their administrative volosts Upper Kumandy and Lower Kumandy are listed together with Tubalar volosts (Kuzen, Yus, and others). Radloff attributed to Kumandy 6 seoks:

1. o,
2. Kubandy,
3. Tastar,
4. Diuty (Chooty),
5. Chabash (Chabat) and
6. Ton (or Ton-Kubandy). 69

Of them, the first two seoks, by his data, belonged to the Upper Kumandy volost, and other four comprised the Lower Kumandy volost. Such division of Kumandy on Lower and Upper volosts probably belongs to the the end of 18th or to the beginning of the 19th century, because in the official Russian documents of the 17th century (at least in the yasak books, from the 1629 to the 1715) The Kumandy volost is mentioned without a division into Upper and Lower. The names Upper and Lower volosts were given by Czar administration, and with time also received reflection in the Kumandy language. 70 The Kumandy names Ore-Kumandy and a Altyna-Kumandy, firmly engrained into the daily use, in effect are the Kumandy translation of the Russian names for the volosts. The Kumandys assert that in the olden time they had no such names, and were not subdivided onto the Upper and Lower. We found a confirmation of this in one legend we recorded at Upper Kumandy in the 1936. 71 It says that in the "Oirat time" (i.e. during domination of the western Mongolian, or Oirat, khans in the 17th century) Kumandy lived along the river Charysh, near its confluences with Ob (52N, 83E). They did not have divisions on Upper and the Lower at that time. From the mouth of Charysh, Kumandy migrated to the headwaters of Ob, and settled along the river Katun (from to mouth up to the confluence with the river Maima), and also along the river Biya. The Kumandy settlement in those places is corroborated by one of Russian historical documents of 1653, discussed later.

68 The author remained unaware that Kumandy do not live along the river Swan, there live Chelkandy, and the name Kuu-kiji means "Swan people", Kumandy do not call themselves Kuu-kiji.
69 W. Radlff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1, p. 212.
70 These volosts received the names Upper and Lower because Kumandy lived in the upper and the lower course of the river Biya.
71 In the Shangrak ulus Lake-Kureev village council in the Turochak aimak of the Mountain Altai Autonomous Region.

The relocation was caused by their unwillingness to pay yasak to the Russian sovereign. Thus some Upper Kumandy believe that they are newcomer population in the mountain taiga areas of the Biya headwaters.

Division Kumandy onto the Upper and Lower for long time did not displace their division on exogamic seok clans. In the days of W.Radloff, when he visited Kumandy a hundred years ago, within the framework of each administrative volost of Upper and the Lower Kumandy was a clear division on seoks, and each volost mainly consisted of different seoks as a rule living within the limits of the volost. During our trips to the Northern Altaians (especially in the 1936) only the four following seok could be named: Ore-Kumandy, Tastar, Chooty and Altyna-Kumandy. Neither seok So, nor seok Chabat, seok Ton-Kubandy were named any more. And only after extensive questioning we found out that seok Chabat is present in both Lower and Upper Kumandy, but in those seoks they were not called this any more, and people belonging to them were calling themselves Ore-Kumandy or Altyna-Kumandy. Seok Ton was also named, but only after we specially asked about it. It looked that it was forgotten and was recollected not without an effort. However, in a file "On settling nomadic aliens of the Kumandy volost" we found an application of the "Upper Kumandy" dated September, 15, 1906, which stated that Upper Kumandy consists of four seoks: Kerzal, Solu, Alton, (i.e. Altyna, Russ. "Lower" - L. P.) and Ere (i.e. Ore, Russ. "Upper" - L. P.) . 72 Hence, the fall in the role of seoks in the Kumandy life, and the loss of their names have occurred fairly quickly, for already at the beginning of our 20th century in some places the names of the seoks were actually replaced with the administrative divisions onto the Lower Kumandy and Upper Kumandy volosts, called in the Kumandy language Altyna-Kumandy and Ore-Kumandy. On a question about Kumandy belonging to what seok, the answer usually was: Ore-Kumandy or Altyna-Kumandy. We encountered that personally, and only after subsequent inquiries it was sometimes possible to find out the affiliation of the person to a certain seok. It frequently appeared that a person who called himself Ore-Kumandy or Altyna-Kumandy did not know that he identified himself by the old administrative division, and believed that that was the name of his seok. But it was manifestly prominent that if an Upper Kumandy, for example, moved to the Lower Kumandy area, he continued to see himself as Ore-Kumandy, i.e. the Upper Kumandy. Both of these names, Ore-Kumandy and Altyna-Kumandy, at the beginning of the 19th century began to be identified with the names of the seoks to a such degree that they were even treated as exogamic units.

72 Barnaul archive, business 142, a sheaf 18.

The Altyna-Kumandy did not marry people belonging to the Tong seok, and Ore-Kumandy did not marry people belonging to the seoks Tastar and Chooty. However, in theis exogamic ban can be seen an indirect indication of the former belonging of the modern Ore-Kumandy or Altyna-Kumandy members to one of those seoks.

The majority of the seok names listed by W.Radloff for Kumandy are found in the Russian historical documents of the first half of the 17th century as the names of the yasak volosts.

So, Sola, Soky Kumandy seoks

We begin the analysis of the ethnic components in the composition of Kumandy from W.W.Radloff's  records, who was the first who documented the Kumandy seoks. Comparing with them, the So and Kuban now are not present at any tribal group, either northern or southern, and could be taken as aborigional for the Upper Kumandy. Actually, it is not so. These both seoks are not present among Altaians, but the ethnonym So (in the transcription Sogo, Soko, Soo, Soky) is found among the tribal names among  Khakases and even Yakuts. 73 Kachin Khakases have an interesting legend that says that Soko or Soky earlier lived along Irtysh, and consequently, in the Enisei valley they are newcomers. 74 The stated above similar geographical reference in the legends of Kumandy and Kachins appears to be quite real, reflecting the memory of the former Kumandy presence, particularly the tribal groups Soo (Sogo, Soky) and parts of Kachins along the Irtysh and Charysh, which territory from time to time (especially in the 17th century) was included into the Oirat (western-Mongolian) khans' sphere of domination. About the ethnogenetical connection of the Kachin seok Soky with the Kumandy, particularly with the seok So, also suggests that fact that among the Kachins this seok was a part of the Kuban administrative clan, whose name fullly coincides with the Kumandy (Kuban) name. Most likely, seok Soky among Kumandy and Kachins had common ancestors called Kumans (Kuban). These ancestors are historically well-known.

73 About identification of Soo with Saha, a self-name of Yakuts, and with the ethnonym Sagai, Sakai, see: . Pritsak. Philologiae Turcicae Fundamenta. page 600 (Pritsak, O. (1959): Das Abakan- und Čulymtürkische und das Schorische. In: Jean Deny et al. (Hrsg.): Philologiae Turcicae Fundamenta. Wiesbaden, S. 598640.). K.Menges objections against such identification are totally unconvincing. Even less convincing was the Menges attempt to define the ethnonym Sagai as an indicator of the Enisei Ket origin of Sagais, ostensibly testifying that their totem animal was a squirrel. And that is ascribed to the ancient nomadic cattlemen, which were the present Sagais (Yus-Sagai and Tom-Sagai). See: K.Menges. Zum Stammesnamen " eg Sagai. Central Asiatic Journal, vol. 6, N 2, 1961. Compare: L.P.Potapov. An origin and formation of the Khakass nation. Abakan, 1957, Ch. m_v.
74 G.V.Ksenofontov. Uraanhai-sahalar. Irkutsk, 1937, p. 31. A part of Kachins during khan Kuchum time lived along the river Tobol and came to the vicinity of Krasnoyarsk after a fall of the Siberian Khanate. See: L.P.Potapov. An origin and formation of the Khakass nation, p. 86-87 and 179.

Kumans (Kuban) belonged to the confederation of the Türkic-speaking nomadic tribes called Kypchak. As was noted above, the medieval Kypchaks (Polevetses of the Rus annals or Comans of the Byzantian sources) during the period from the end of the 800's to 1230's AD spread their political influence in the broad steppes from Altai to Crimea and Danube. Irtysh with its adjoining steppes (at least below lake Zaisan) was in the sphere of that confederation. Members of the confederation undoubtedly also were the ancestors of the present Kumandy and Teleuts, which is evidenced by their language that like the language of the Tobol and Barabask Tatars belongs to the Kypchak group. 75 The same historical past also explains the presence of the seok Kypchak among the Southern Altaians, considered to be blood relative of the Teleut seok Mundus. In the 17th century those Teleuts were coaching not only in the Ob area, but also in the the Irtysh area steppes, though a significant part of them in the beginning of the 18th century were driven to Dzungaria, where they were reconstituted as a separate seok, like Enisei Kyrgyzes who were driven there by force. Therefore, it is reasonable to accept that the Kumandy legend about their former pasturing routs along the lower course of Charysh reflects a real fact that the historical ancestors of the "Upper Kumandy" four centuries ago belonged to the Kypchak and Teleut groups and tribes.

Because of above, the opinion of the prof. O.Pritsak seems to be entirely justified, he believes that the term "Kuman" in the Kumandy name is identical to the (Russian) name Polovets and Kypchak. 76

Kumandy seoks Chooty (also Choty, Yoty) (Altyna = Lower)

In the Lower Kumandy volost were registered seoks Tastar, Chooty (also Choty, Yoty), Ton and Chabat. Of them, two seoks, Tastar and Choty, in our field records the modern Kumandy held to be their blood relatives, and marriages between them were banned. However, these seoks can hardly be accepted as only Kumandy, because they are also present in other associations, first of all among Teleuts. As we know, seok Chooty or Yoty was also present among Koibals, Tofalars-Karagases, and eastern and southern Tuvinians (beyond Tannu-Ola). Tuvinians call this name Choodu. A tale connects the arrival of the seok Chooty or Choty among Kumandy with the arrival of the brothers from the north to Biya, from Akkyshtym volost in the the Kuznetsk district or region, they became ancestors of a clan among the Kumandy and Tubalars of the Kuzen volost (Diuts, 31 persons) (i.e Ases, from Seven Ases Dieti-As seok). Because the Akkyshtym volost is a Teleut volost (Kuznetsk district), the immigrants to the Biya certainly were Teleuts.

75 A.Samoilov Some additions to classification of Turkish languages, p. 10-11.
76 O.Pritsak. Stammesnamen und Titulaturen der altaischen Volker. Ural-Altaische JahrMcher, Bd. 24, 1952, H. 1-2, S. 49-104.

  Kumandy seok Tastar (Altyna = Lower)

Seok Tastar also cannot be considered as purely Kumandy, for in the 17th century existed a Tastar volost that belonged to the border mountain volosts located much to the north, in the Tomsk district (in the headwaters of the river Kia). Its natives, who came to the Kumandy following the river Biya, brought their name Tastar. The seok Tastar origin legend says that in the olden times Tastars were fishermen (palykchylar) and made boats from birch bark (tos kebe). They gradually united with Tuvinians (Soiots) and Upper Kumandy. With the last they held themselves to be consanguineous, and marriages between Tastars and Ore-Kumandy were not allowed.

 Kumandy seok Tong (Altyna = Lower)

Finally, remain the Lower Kumandy seoks Tong and Chabat. It would seem that the seok Tong can be classed as a Kumandy seok, for this clan name is absent in other Altaian groups. But before settling on such assertion, the transcription of the name needs to be confirmed. W.Radloff publication gives the spelling Ton. 77 Certainly, should be remembered a known fact that that edition has frequent mistakes and discrepancies in the transcription of the clan names, supposedly made during printing of the book. The same spelling is given in the last release of the Altai language dictionary. 78 In the same form we recorded this name among the Shors. Nevertheless, the transcriptional accuracy of the Kumandy form of this seok name is suspicious. Among Kumandy we recorded it in form "Tong". The same transcription give A.V.Anokhin and A.I.Novikov. Finally, and specially important, the records of such great expert on Altai dialects as was missionary V.Verbitsky, the examined name also spelled in the form Tong. 79

We need to provide some explanations to that, because we already wrote about this seok, using the spelling Tong. Because we personally verified that the (northern) Shors generally call Kumandy Ton-kiji, and that the Shors call this seok Ton, in one of our works we tried to explain the name Ton as an ethnonym reflecting economic specialization of its carriers, as a word meaning "deer" and "reindeer breeder". 80 Such comparison allows to assume that the remote ancestors of this Kumandy seok could have been reindeer breeders, which matches with some Kumandy hunting legends and fairy tales, for example about milking deers (which is attributed to the Kumandy's mountain spirits).

77 W. Radloff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1, p. 212.
78 Oirat-Russian dictionary. N.A.Baskakov and T.M.Toshchakova. ., 1947, p. 217.
79 Dictionary of Altai and Aladag vernakulars of the Türkic language. Kazan.1884, p. 362.
80 L.P.Potapov. Essays on history of Altaians, p. 158, with reference to the prof. N.A.Kozmin notes to the translation of of W.Radloff work "Ethnographical review of Türkic tribes of Siberia and Mongolia " (Irkutsk, 1929, p. 25).

The signals about breeding reindeer (with milking deers) belong to some remote historical ancestors of a part of Kumandy, they can be explained by participation in the Kumandy ethnogenesis of the southern Nenets tribes, who cultivated riding deers, typically used not only for transport, but also for . Fairly recently Tofalars (Karagases, Tuvinian Todjins) and other modern nations milked deers, their ethnogenetical links with southern Nenets tribes does not raise any doubts. Consequently, accepting the self-name of the members of this seok among Kumandy as the most authentic name, we should accept the form Tong. Hence, the term Tong should be used in comparisons with other ethnonyms, flagging the final diphthong ng. In that case we have to collate the name of the Southern Altaian, or more specifically of the Altaians proper (Altai-kiji), seok Tongjoan, and the name of the Tuvinian group Tongak. All three ethnonyms contain a common term tong. A kindred group, apparently descendants of the Tunkaits from the "Secret Legend" and Rashid-ad-din annals, scattered over the territory of the Sayano-Altai mountains, and did it fairly long ago. Long ago because being detached from each other, the term that expresses a common self-name obtained various suffixes (Tongjoan, Tongak) with origins that we can not explicate so far. Most likely, among the Southern Altaians, Tuvinians and Kumandy the groups with the name Tong have a common origin. Unfortunately, presently we do not have a detailed ethnographical data about these groups that could be crosschecked to corroborate the above hypothesis about a presence of common ethnic components between Kumandy on one side, and Tuvinians and Southern Altaians on the other.

Significantly, the Lower Kumandy who did not remember their seok and called themselves simply Altyna-Kumandy, nevertheless held the Tong seok to be their blood relatives, and did not marry its members, just like the Kumandy who were called Oro-Kumandy, held themselves consanguineous with the seok Tastar, and marriages between them were also banned. Quite probabl, those Lower Kumandys who have lost the name of their seok but recognized Tong seok as their blood relatives, were descendants of that seok. As to the Upper Kumandy who held themselves consanguineous with the seok Tastar, it can be deduced that they were descendants of either the seok Tastar, or the seok Yoty or Choty,  for the both named seoks were held as blood relatives and marriages between them were not allowed. The kinship of the named seoks is sometimes also corroborated by their common clan deities. For example, seoks Oro-Kumanda and Tastar shared Soltygan "sharp-eyed" (kajyr kbstug) as a clan's patron (for local and clan patrons see Spirit hosts of localities - Translator's Note).

 Kumandy seok Chabat (Altyna = Lower)

Even less can be stated about seok Chabat. It is known During the examined period it is known only among Kumandy, though the Chabat volost, as we shall see below, is mentioned in the 17th century Russian documents of. At present, due to the absence of material, we cannot make any comparisons of this seok with others.

* * *

The analysis of names brought us to a conclusion that the six seoks that were administered through the Lower and Upper Kumandy volosts, called in general (since the W.Radloff's time) Kumandy, first, cannot be considered as being exclusively Kumandy, because a majority of them is also present among other nations, and secondly, they have different origins. For a number of centuries staying in Kumandy volosts of the Kuznetsk district, they undoubtedly consolidated not only territorially, but also linguistically, culturally and in daily life. Between them developed a commonality of culture and daily life, induced by the complex sedentary economy described above, in which animal hunting and gathering of pine nuts played leading parts as most profitable and marketable occupations. Therefore, the culture and daily life of Kumandy acquired an ancient hunting flavor, but that is not specific for Kumandy only, but is also typical for the Shors, especially the northern Shors, Chelkandy, and other small tribal groups in the Kuznetsk district, and in particular for the settled Teleuts and Akkyshtyms. Therefore, we should concentrate on the distinctive ethnographic material that would help to throw light on the origin of Kumandy and their separate seoks.

Examining separate elements of Kumandy culture and daily life, it is hard to overlook their similarity with matching elements of the culture and daily life, for example, of the Ugrian peoples that live across the Ob, and some other nations in the north of the middle Siberia. In the material culture field it is clearly manifested in clothing. Lapeled outer clothing of the Kumandy (and Chelkandy, and Shors) is totally identical in cut and material (home-made hemp canvas (Apocunum cannabinum) or nettles fiber) with the Surgut Hantys' (middle and the lower course of Ob) and Narym Selkups' outer clothing. Similar with Hanty and Mansi are also the details of homes and household structures. That pertains to the clay hearth "chuval" with a high stack of spars covered with clay. Household barns on high poles for storage of meat and other products, installed in taiga in the hunting areas, and near homes by Kumandy, were identical with Hanty's  in form and design. Kumandy (and Shors) have a common with Hanty and Mansi type of manual narta (sled) used during hunting. Going on ski, hunters pull behind such a narta.

The same analogy of Kumandy folk culture with Hanty and Mansi gives a comparison of their ornaments. S.V.Ivanov investigated this question and came to a conclusion that rectilinear geometrical ornament, typical for home-weaved and knitted products of the Kumandy and Shors, is also spread among the southern group of Hanty along the rivers Irtysh, Salym, Konda, and then among the southern Mansi and Narym Selkups. Therefore, in the classification of ornament types among the peoples of Siberia, S.V.Ivanov joined as a common type the ornaments of southern Hanty and Mansi with the ornaments of Kumandy and Shors. 81

In respect to the commonality of the Kumandy ancient culture and daily life with the culture and daily life of Hanty and Mansi, many interesting correspondences gives ethnographic material on shamanistic cult. It is quite natural, because in the shamanism, preserved by the conservatism of religious tenets, the ancient features are retained for particularly long time. As an example of such long continuity can serve some religious beliefs, cults and ceremonies of the Southern Altaians analogous to the documented in the Chinese annalistic sources ancient Türkic traditions. Returning to our subject, we shall first of all note a similarity of the wooden idols. Typical among Hanty hooded idols are also recorded among Kumandy. 82 , In contrast with Southern Altaians, during some shamanistic public prayers with horse sacrifice Kumandy used a mask of birch bark worn by one participant of the prayer standing for so-called "Kochogan", who was also supplied with a wooden phallus. This character participated in the prayer conducted by shaman, and was connected to an erotic ceremony. 83 However, it is known that exactly among the Hanty and Mansi a birch bark mask played an outstanding role in their religious cult, and these nations traditionally made a wooden phallus during ceremonial celebration in honor of a killed bear. 84 Characteristic for Hanty and Mansi concepts and images of ancestor people as winged spirits find full analogy in the images of some shaman spirits painted on the Kumandy shaman tambourines, and likewise among some groups of the Shors. Such figures are not depicted on tambourines among other Sayano-Altai upland nations, including Southern Altaians. At the same time the culture and daily life of Kumandy has some features that indicate a commonality on a part of the Kumandy remote historical ancestors with the Nenets-lingual nations, in particular with Selkups, which was already noted above.

81 Historical ethnographical atlas of Siberia. M.-L., 1960, p. 373-375.
82 W. Radlff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1, S. 332.
83 D. Ze1enin. Em erotischer Ritus in der Opferungen der altaischenTiirken. 1ntern. Archiv f. Ethnographie, Bd. 29, Leiden, 1928, 4/6.
84 K. Patkanov. Die 1rtisch-Ostjaken und ihre Volkspoesie, Bd. 1-St.-Pet, 1897, p. 130.

We also noted that in our earlier work. 85 Thus, can be drawn a conclusion that a part of Kumandy remote historical ancestors who in their way of life were combining animal foot hunting with fishing in the taiga rivulets, apparently also were ethnically diverse. Along this line, the ethnogenetical connections reach both the Ugric and the Nenets-lingual (Selkups) peoples.

But the hunting in appearance Kumandy culture has features peculiar to another type of cultures, that of nomadic cattle breeding. We were led to study these features of Kumandy culture and daily life after analyzing their ethnonyms and some historical events and tales that induced us to formulate a hypothesis about the origin of a part of Kumandy, particularly the Upper Kumandy, from the Kypchak and Teleut nomadic cattlemen. We certainly can rightly expect that the ethnographic material would indicate the same. The above named seoks of the "Upper Kumandy" in the past  were connected with the culture of nomadic cattlemen, which the ethnographic material we collected in 1930's are convincingly proving.

We shall point, for example, to the significance of the horse in the life of the Upper Kumandy. In their language of apparently mountain taiga foot hunters remained a well developed Türkic terminology for the horse hues, identical with that of the Southern Altai, Tuva, and Kirgiz; and the terms for the horses of various age and sex. In their folklore and shamanistic beliefs, a horse holds an outstanding place.

Generally, for Kumandy were typical hunting cults that reflect a reverence for various hunting patron deities on whom they believed depended success of a hunt and well-being of hunters. The Kumandy hunting spirits sometimes had anthropomorphic images (wooden, birch bark, etc.). Such were, for example, the deities called Taigam (Taigym), Kanym, Shalyg, Sary-Gan, etc., totally identical in appearance, functions and at times even in names to the hunting spirits of the Shors, Chelkandy, Tubalars and the northern, so-called "Kuznetsk" Teleuts. 86 The Kumandy also retained cult traces of a bear killed during hunt, with the common features with the cult of this animal among other Northern Altaians. 87 Such religious beliefs certainly reflect the ancient hunting life of the Kumandy historical ancestors.

85 Essays on history of Altaians, p. 158-159.
86 L.P.Potapov. Decomposition of clan society among tribes of  Northern Altai. ., 1935, p. 25-32.
87 L.P.Potapov. Vestiges of bear cult among Altai Turks, Ethnographer Researcher, 1928, No 2-3 (publ. LGU).

But together with these religious beliefs among Kumandy also coexisted other beliefs, born by the nomadic cattle breeding life, undoubtedly testifying about a presence in their historical ancestors of the nomadic cattlemen. The Kumandy, like the Southern Altaians and Teleuts, worshipped mountains, and sacrificed horses to the Supreme deities, exposing their hides on special structures. For that purpose they used only their own horse, never a purchased horse. In the absence of their own horse they were allowed to take a horse from a relative within the seok. Thus, in the past the horse sacrifice undoubtedly had a clan character. That is also corroborated by a fact that the adjyk horse (compare. Alt. yaybi, Tuv. ydyk) intended for sacrifice was considered inviolable for any agricultural work or a harness. It could not be touched by a woman, for in any seok with exogamic marriages a woman is always an alien. The men from another seok could not touch this horse either.

However, in the horse sacrifice ritual were elements which, as was shown above, in some moments are similar to that ceremony among the Hanty and Mansi. But even with the presence in the Kumandy ethnic composition of some ancient Ugric ethnic ancestors, the historical connection of the Kumandy with the culture of nomadic cattlemen does not raise any doubts.

In this respect even more convincing is an echo of a cattle breeding culture in the Kumandy past, reflected in the name of the shaman tambourine how a Kumandy shaman called his bubei during kamlation. Before addressing the significance of this term, it should be recalled that by the shamans of all  nations a tambourine was seen as a riding beast on which a shaman "travels" to the different (lower) worlds during kamlation. When a new tambourine was made for (Sayano-Altai) shaman, the tambourine was "revived" with a ritual performed as a ritual of "reviving" a riding animal. This ceremony was also known among Kumandy. 88 Across Altai, including Kumandy, the shaman tambourine is called with a term tu'ur. However, during kamlation, when the tambourine was seen as a shaman's riding animal, the Kumandy (and Teleuts) called it by a term ak-adan, i.e. "white" (pure, or sacred) adan. The word adan means an adult neutered riding camel.

Hence, the Kumandy shaman's riding animal tambourine was seen as a riding (neutered) camel. And during kamlation, Kumandy called shaman by not with the usual term kom, but adanyg, which means "rider on an adan", i.e. riding on a camel. Such concept of tambourine could certainly only arise in a cattle breeding society, and specifically in a nomadic society breeding camels.

88 See our works: Ceremony of revival shaman tambourine among Türkic-speaking tribes of Altai. Works Inst. ethnogr. USSR Academy of Sciences, new series, vol. 1, M.-L., 1947; Die Schamanentrommel bei den altaisehen Volkerschaften. GJaubenswelt unti Folklor der sibirischen Volker. Budapest, 1963.

This curious vestige ("vestige" is a typical Soviet lingo that describes its users as much as the term "aliens" described their Russian predecessors. "Vestiges" referred to religions and societies, and had to be stomped out. "Our" religion could be exploited to motivate and control the masses, but "their" religion had no utility and had to be wiped out - Translator's Note) corroborates quite well the mentioned above legend among a part of the Kumandy about their arrival to the present places from the Charysh steppes, and possibly the steppes of Irtysh, where the camels were bred very recently and they played a certain role part in the nomadic economy.

Along with the above fact, we also have other materials from the history of the Kumandy shamanism, pointing to its connection with the shamanism of the Sayano-Altai cattle breeding peoples. Some Upper Kumandy shamans, for example, had a tambourine called "tezim", a name typical for Southern Altaians. 89 When the Kumandy shamans appealed to their spirits, in particular in appeals to a "pair of geese" depicted on tambourine, they invoked the lake Sut-hol (Milk lake), where these these assistants of the Kumandy shamans bathe and  rest. 90 In this case the subject is not an artistic image of a "milk lake", but about a really located in Tuva lake with this Sut-Hol name (Dzun-Hemchik district in the Tuva ASSR), which is frequently mentioned in prayer appeals of the the Tuva and Southern Altai shamans (Because the Tuva was captured late, in the 1944 at the end of the WWII, it escaped the 19th c. influx of colonist settlers and  WWII war-time relocation of industry and population, and preserved the best among all Russian colonies its genuine native toponymy - Translator's Note).

The Kumandy shamanistic beliefs have one more analogy with the Altai Teleuts, the inheritors of the ancient nomadic cattle breeding culture, related to the ancestor cult. The Teleut penate dolls sewed from canvas and filled with felt or sheep wool, known as emegen-der (old women), are similar in form, material and attributed to them function with the Kumandy penates drdkonddr which means "old men" (Penates are sacred supernatural protectors of the house and its hearth. This Türkic lore, appropriately modified to conform with the chaged times and religions, is also ingrained in the Russian traditions, literature and culture - Translator's Note). Some Kumandy people also called them  tdrdyo (i.e. located "in the best corner") and "fed" them, like the Teleuts (with food, not the candles - Translator's Note). 91 The nomadic Kypchaks of the 13th century and Telengits also had these images of ancestor spirits, as we shall see further, with the same names.

The Upper Kumandy's elements of ancient cattle breeding nomadic culture are also traced in other ethnographical features, for example in the type and names of the food. Such Kumandy's meat dishes as kan and shurgem, which are guts filled with blood (cooked blood sausage), and cooked small intestines plaited in braids and wrapped into belly fat, or kyima (Russian borrowing forms "kaima" and "kaimak" - Translator's Note), a horse large intestine stuffed with pieces of meat and fat, are typical nomadic meat dishes, including Altaians and Tuvinians.

89 See our work "Die Schamanentrommel bei den altaisohen Volker-schaften", p. 237-238.
90 Appeal to "motley geese" we wrote down from the words of shaman Sagan in Surbashkino village (at that time of the Dimitriev Village Counsel) It was not published yet.
91 L.E.Karunovskaya. From the Altaian beliefs and ceremonies connected with children. Coll. of the Antropol. and Ethnogr. museum, vol. 6, L., 1927; A.Efimova. Teleut wedding.

To the food of the Southern Altai cattlemen belongs a barley soup kocho, a broth mun, etc., also widespread among Kumandy. The Kumandy heroic epos also testifies about the ancient layer of nomadic cattlemen culture, reflecting their nomadic life. It coexists with short fairy tales, hunting stories, and legends about the life of aboriginal mountain taiga foot hunters. The heroic epos was brought there by the tribal groups of Türkic-speaking nomads, in particular Teleuts, who joined the ethnic composition of Northern Altaians, and not only the Kumandys, but also Shors and Chelkandys.

But, perhaps, the brightest relict of the culture of a part of the modern Kumandy ancestors, testifying to their Central Asian ethnic connections, should be recognized in the name of a ritual drink which Kumandy made of barley, called puza or  posa (This low-key note of L.Potapov is a most fascinating observation. "Puza/posa" (voiceless) and "Buza/bosa" (voiced) belong to the oldest documented layer of the Türkic language, noted as a nomadic word by Xenophon, ca. 430 - 354 BC and as Hunnish word by a Chinese source in beginning of the 1st century BC as a reconstructed "fu-ni". With the transition "s/r" between Oguz and Ogur languages, its western version would be "Bura/bora", reincarnated in Germanic languages as "beer" and "bier", and in Russian as a semantical nest with a root "buz" alluding to drinking and its consequences. Not being a pan-Slavic word indicates its non-Hunnic provenance among the Slavic peoples. Whoever invented the drink and its name, it was not Ossetians, Pashto, or Yaghnobi that spread it from Dublin to Peking, and made it a second nature of Germanic and Türkic peoples. Check also here and here and here - Translator's Note). This intoxicating drink resembling home-made beer was prepared for horse sacrifice or for prayers after autumn harvest, i.e. at shamanistic prayers which distinctive feature was an erotic ceremony connected with a special deity Kochogan, who was personified not by  shaman, but by one of the prayer participants, wearing for this occasion a birch bark mask. The name of the Kumandy ritual drink puza is impossible not to juxtapose with very real "dispelling grief" Kirgiz and nomadic Uzbek drink buza made of millet after harvest and drank following a specific ceremony, like for drinking koumiss or arak. 92

The retention by Kumandy of the term puza alongside with the name for sacrificial home-made beer ortka or ortky (also from barley), widespread among Chelkandy, Tubalars, northern Shors, and Teleuts, and then a presence of a special ancient prayer connected with harvest certainly do not in any way jibe with the life of the taiga foot hunters. We are dealing with ethnographic testimony of ancient ethnic admixture at Kumandy with historical genetical roots in the Central Asian culture, where agriculture played a prominent role (Without objecting to the Central Asian culture attribution, L.Potapov also clearly alluded previously to the former mixed agriculturists/pastoralists from the Volga-Ural zone who, already as pastoralists,  migrated eastward to the Minusinsk depression and eventually reached Altai and Gansu, and who could as well bring their traditions from the Eastern Europe without resorting to the borrowings from the  Central Asian agriculturists. Central Asian hypothesis is not a most economical explanation - Translator's Note).

Coming to the examination of some work tools, some of them, like scrapers for sheepskin tanning, lassos made of hair, and some others, bring again a circle of objects of the cattle breeding life among the Tuvinians, Southern Altaians, Kazakhs, Kirgizes, etc.

92 M.F.Gavrilov. Remains of Yases and Usuns among Uzbeks. Tashkent, 1929; V.V.Bartold. Ceremonial at the court of Uzbek khans in the 17th century. In Coll.: Collection in honor of 70-year anniversary of. N.Potanin, SPb., 1909; L.P.Potapov. Ancient custom reflecting primitive-communal life of nomads. Türkological collection, vol. 1, L., 1951.

Though Kumandy received the cart from the Russian peasants (the Rissian word "telega" = "carriage" is a Türkic borrowing, "teleg/telig" = "carriage", and comes from "tele" = "wheel", which is a name for the Tele (Ch. Tiele鐵勒) tribes, of which the Kumandy descend, and they surely knew both the "tele" = "wheel" and "teleg/telig" = "carriage" a millennia before Kyiv Rus sprung into being - Translator's Note) but they call it with a term abra, widespread in the Central Asia, meaning two-wheeled arba and certainly alien to the foot hunters of the mountain taiga. The ability of Kumandy to make felt also cannot be attributed to the ancient hunting culture. In this respect we could to name a number of various elements in the culture and daily life of Upper Kumandy, and in particular such typical attribute as relationship terminology (blood and marriage), similar to the neighboring Türkic-speaking cattle breeding nations, but the cited material is sufficient to ascertain the evidence testifying in favor of participation in the Kumandy ethnic history of some ethnic components connected with ancient cattle breeding culture and daily life of nomads, in particular of the Teleuts.

* * *

Thus, the modern Kumandy, despite of their small number, undoubtedly are of mixed ethnic origin that becomes obvious as a result of historical ethnographic studies of their individual seoks. In the subsequent chapters we will have an opportunity to try to determine some of the Kumandy ancient ethnic elements based on some historical written sources. Here, based on ethnographical material, we have a right to come to a conclusion that remote historical ancestors of Kumandy were not homogenous both in ethnic sense, and in respect to their culture and daily life. Among the ancestors, of which during a long historical period were gradually formed the modern Kumandy, were mountain taiga foot hunters, with a complex of a primitive economy inherent to them, and groups of ancient nomadic cattlemen who for whatever reasons migrated to taiga, and with time changed their economic and cultural profile.


We have left to examine the clan composition and origin of Chelkandy. For that, we resort to our field ethnographic materials. In all likelihood, the results of the field studies may also help with the ethnogenetical aspect of the ancient Türkic genealogical legend discussed above in relation to the Kumandy origin in examining the N.A.Aristov's hypothesis.

We shall note in the beginning that in the ethnographical literature W.W.Radloff, who visited them in 1861, also separated Chelkandy into a special group. In his list of the "Black Tatars" (mountain taiga Tatars) V.Verbitsky did not separate Chelkandy, but mentioned a volost Shelkal among the volosts of the "nomadic aliens of the Kuznetsk district".

W.Radloff was the first to inform that linguistically Chelkandy almost do not differ from Kumandy, and generally call themselves Kuu-kiji, i.e. "People of the river Swan", after a residence in the Swan basin.

In the Radloff records they consist of two seoks: Yakshy and Chalgan. 93 In the materials of the 1897 census the Chelkandy volost is called Chelkandin.

We also visited (in the middle of 1930's) Chelkandy, to verify their location, composition of seoks, and to carry out ethnographic studies. It was confirmed that Chelkandy in fact are divided into two seoks, but in Chelkandy these seoks are called Chalkanyg and Shakshylyg (or Shakshy). The seoks were exogamic. Inside each of them the marriages were not allowed. But in addition, both Chelkandy seoks observed exogamic bans in relation to the whole seoks of the neighboring nations, for example with Tubalar seok Kuzen and with Chulyshman Teleses.

Trying to find out the Chelkandy origin separately for each seok, we uncovered a number of interesting historical tales that are throwing light on their origin. One of them, dated by Chelkandy by the "Oirat time" (Oirot-khan tujynda), i.e. time of Oirat (Dzungar) khans' domination, before annexation of Chelkandy by the Russian state (first decades of the 17th century), says the following. Oirot-khan was collecting alman (tribute) along the river Irtysh, then reached the headwaters of Katun. he went down the river to its mouth, and then began going up the river Biya. Having learned about his approach, Chelkandy as a token of humility have hung on a pole a sable pelt, staking the pole on the bank of Swan, at a confluence with Biya. Oirot-khan, noticing the pelt, took it and began to loudly call Chelkandy, who were hiding in a shelter. When Chelkandy appeared, Oirot-khan promised them to not touch them, but warned that from now on they should pay him alman in furs and iron. From this tale follows that Chelkandy lived along the river Swan (down to its mouth) even before the arrival there of Kumandy, and were levied with alman by the Dzungars before coming of Russians. All this also agrees with the Russian historical documents, one of which says: "And which Kuznetsk people live far from Kuznetsk fort, and those Kuznetsk People are owned by Kolmak People and the yasak from them take in sables and iron and every product". 94

The ancient legend about Shakshylyg seok tells about their ancestors location by the Teles lake. The seok population then was only kyrk tunuk, i.e. "40 smokes" (40 yurts). 95 The Shakshylygs began stealing horses from Enisei Kyrgyzes (in the story "Kara-Kyrgyzes") who lived in the basin of the river Abakan. Kyrgyzes repeatedly punished Shakshalygs and finally completely crushed them and destroyed almost all of them.

93 W. Rad1ff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1, p. 212.
94 Collection Book. Hilkova. SPb., 1879, p. 193.
95 Possibly, from the number of "smokes", it was a small military administrative division, like duchina at western Mongols.

However, during such retaliatory raid one of Shakshylyg seok guys was in the headwaters of the river Swan, where he was seeking for a bride. Thus he was saved from destruction, and from him ostensibly originated the descendants of the Shakshylyg seok, who settled along the river Kylyk (left tributary of Baigol). Then another guy was also saved, having hidden at home under a board. From him also came the descendants of Shakshylygs, who settled along the river Sadra (left tributary of Swan). The legend is well dated by the 17th century, because it is known that Enisei Kyrgyzes left the basin of Enisei in the 1703, when they were forcefully moved to Dzungaria. 96 By the way, the modern Chelkandy from the clan Shakshylyg explained to us that their number is small because they frequently suffered from Kyrgyz raids. The raids of Enisei Kyrgyzes againt Northern Altaians were recorded by many Russian written sources of the 17th century. The sources testify that Kyrgyzes did not stop with the robberies and plundering of the population, but also were seizing them into captivity, where they forced them to work. Then, apparently the same fate suffered Chelkandy also, as testify the field ethnographic materials we collected. For example, from conversations with old men we  learned that fairly recently, already after the Great October Revolution, when Chelkandy still had shamans, existed a ritual of sending off the souls of the diseased (Seems that the Great October Revolution expeditiously freed the diseased from their souls, and shamans from their bodies - Translator's Note). An old Takan Pustagachev told us that after a funeral of an old person (especially a respectable and authoritative one), after five or six years, the soul of the diseased began to bother shaman, come to him at night with a request to send it "to the land of Kyrgyzes", to the district Uiytu-Tash (Oo-y-too), from where according to the legend Chelkandy came to the river Swan. In such cases shaman was performing a send-off ceremony for the souls of the diseased people (kut) to the Kirgiz land, to the Uiytu-Tash district.

He staged a special kamlation, considered among Chelkandy shamans very difficult and "responsible", because the soul had to be accompanied on a tiresome long and dangerous way. Takan Pustagachev explained that the send-off  of such souls to the land of Kyrgyzes not only had to guard them on the way, but also to watch out that the souls of the living people have not joined this "travel", for example when wandering about during their sleep, etc. Therefore some shamans, performing the ceremony with tambourine, during kamlation kept handy an axe for protection. In these shamanistic concepts should be seen reflections of the real facts of the Chelkandy history, namely the fact of Chelkandy residing in the Minusinsk depression during the domination of the Enisei Kyrgyzes. We know how conservative is the funeral tradition and for how long it can retain its features, born at some time under uniquely particular conditions.

96 L.P.Potapov. An origin and formation of the Khakass nation, p. 161-168.

In the described shamanic ceremony should be visualized remote memories about the Chelkandy clan cemeteries in the Uiytu-Tash district, where they buried their diseased while living in the Kyrgyz lands, and where the souls of the diseased wanted to join their relatives. At present we cannot suggest a localization of the Uiytu-Tash district on the modern map, though with time we hope to locate it. Most likely, it was in the basin of Abakan, because the shortest and the only direct way to the Minusinsk depression, where lived and ruled Enisei Kyrgyzes, from the Teles lake area, i.e. from the Teleses' areas (ancestors of Shakshylygs), run thru the Abakan headwaters.

The tales relayed above and ethnographical facts have suggested an idea about different origin of the modern Chelkandy's seoks. A further study of this question not only allowed us to confirm this surmisal, but to find out the particular ethnic origin of each of the Chelkandy seoks. It became especially clear in relation to the Shakshylyg seok. It is doubtlessly of Teles origin, in reality it is a group that split from Teleses at some time in the 17th century. Probably therefore they did not have their "ancestral" pashtyk, and were assigned to the pashtyk of the Chalkanyg seok, which was heading the Chelkan volost.

As evidence of the Teles origin of Shakshylygs can serve a series of ethnographical facts.

To begin with, Shakshylyg seok held itself consanguineous with the seok Teles, and generally with the Teleses, to a such degree that marriages between the members of Shakshylyg seok and the members of the Teles seok were banned. People of the Shakshylyg seok could marry the members of the Chalkanyg seok, though both seoks lived in the same volost, they lived intermixed and lead a common life, but it was known that they were not consanguineous. In contrast, marriages with the Teles seok were unacceptable (alyshpas). Seok Shakshylyg called the Chulyshman Teleses, who lived from them at a faraway distance (beyond the Teles lake), brothers karyndash (letterally, "uterine") and relatives.

The  comprehension of blood relation between presently so removed from each other groups of Chelkandy-Shakshylygs and Teleses is a really serious argument in favor of the conclusion that follows from various specific material, that the Chelkandy of the Shakshylyg seok by origin are Teleses.

As a result of some reasons (probably, those Kyrgyz military raids described in their tales) they appeared in the basin of the river Swan, or more accurately, its Baigol tributary. This group received a name Shakshylyg, as we were informed, from the river Shakshy (left tributary of river Baigol), where initially staged the members of this seok.

In the Altai, naming of territorial or clan groups after a river is not a rarity. We shall cite the Chui (Chu-kiji) among Telengits along the river Chui, Maimalars along the river Maima (right tributary of Katun) that consisted of various seoks, and Chelkandy, who, under W.Radloff's testimony, called themselves Swans (Kuu-kiji = Swan People) after a residence along the river Swan (Kuu = Swan). Another fact indirectly testifies that Shakshylygs were in the basin Baigol not natives, but newcomers. As Chelkandys told us, in the Swan basin the Shakshylyg seok had not enough "taiga" for hunting. Therefore they wandered everywhere in search for animals, for example, in the vicinity of the Teles lake (Miner and Torot taigas). On that occasion Chalkanyg seok laughed at Shakshylygs, and composed a saying about them: Yer yok teeken - without the lands (wander) like gluttons; Turgun yok ak kiik - without  permanent place (wander) like deers.

Shakshylygs certainly appeared in present places later, when their predecessors already occupied and exploited taiga hunting ranges. Although  Shakshylygs had their hunting "taiga", it was in the headwaters of Abakan (along the river Kair). However to reach that plot from the Swan basin was very far, and Tuvinians were frequently hunting in that territory, with whom they sometimes run into conflicts. Apparently, the Shakshylygs hunting territories in the Abakan headwaters were their ancestral ranges in those days when they lived with Teleses on the southern side of the Teles lake. The scarce Shakshylygs' "ancestral taigas" or mountains (tds tag) were located in the vicinity of the Teles lake, among which can be named, for example, a Torot mountain. As to those Shakshylygs' sacred mountains on which depended their and their shamans luck, they were Uch-Syuyuri (in the headwaters of Baigol), also revered by the Chalkanyg seok, and Solu mountain near Turochak, which was a hunting territory of the Upper Kumandy and Tubalar seok Kuzen. Thus, in their present area Shakshylygs had neither the clan's sacred mountains, nor the hunting territories.

Consistent with the above, probably finds an explanation the following Chelkandy (Chalkanyg) saying, addressed to Shakshalygs: "You fell in our captivity". 97 These words apparently emphasize that Shakshalygs are an alien newcomer.

97 G.N.Potanin, Ibid., p. 939.

Because the Chelkandys of the seok Shakshylyg are Teles descendants from the Teles lake originating in the 17th century, we should expect in their culture and daily life the features typical for Teleses. The last are known to belonged to a cattle breeding group of tribes and nations of the Sayano-Altai mountains, whose culture and life was rooted in pastoral cattle breeding combined with hunting, and a primitive agriculture. To confirm our hypothesis about Teles origin of Shakshylygs would require to detect traces of that culture among Chelkandy Shakshylygs. We will turn to some facts. During recent times Chelkandy, like the other taiga Northern Altaians, wore a composite footwear with a sewn leather head, and a rough home-made canvas top. For the Altai northern hunting tribes, such composite footwear was a typical ethnographic attribute. But among Chelkandy, and in particular among Shakshylygs, we found reminiscences that in the olden days their footwear was different, absolutely incompatible with the composite footwear. It was sewn entirely out of dressed leather, with a thick felt sole, with a double seam on the top, with a small heel, with sewn external back, and with bent pointed toe. On the back, above the heel, was sewn a leather button for fastening a ski belt. Thus, this footwear was also adapted for walking on a ski. The old Shakshylygs, who told me about old footwear, have drawn for us such a boot, and named the terms for each detail: a back (chochak), a heel (takyg), toe (eki-bash), a seam (ystyk) (Russian borrowing from Türkic "styk, vstyk" = "butt, seam" - Translator's Note), a top (koch), etc. Surely, the described footwear can't be accepted as typical for the foot hunters. On the contrary, it is typical for cattle breeding and is adapted to riding. We also meet such footwear among the Southern Altaians, Tuvinians, and Mongols, which is quite natural, as these nations are typical equestrians. And also, in contrast with other foot hunting peoples of the Sayano-Altai mountains, like the Shors, a part of Kumandy, Tubalars, etc., the Chelkandy had no drag narta to transport cargo during winter hunt, and carried their hunting bale on the back. Possibly, that points to a fairly recent transformation of former nomadic cattlemen into the foot hunters.

Let's cite examples of another type, particularly about the wedding traditions. Chelkandy-Shakshylygs construct for a groom and a bride a wedding tent dwelling called seolti, i.e. the same as among the Teleses of Ulagan district, and nowhere else in Altai.

That fact is very remarkable. And at weddings Chelkandy paid a kalym for the bride, consisting of various taiga products, but estimated in terms of podo, which is a counting unit for domestic cattle used by Mongols. So, that too remains an echo of a cattle breeding life of the Sayano-Altai mountain tribes.

Perhaps most of all the traces of a cattle breeding life among Shakshylygs remained in the shamanism. In that respect the following fact should be mentioned. The shaman tambourine among Chelkandy (tu'ur) during kamlation is called ak-adan. The term ak-adan is of a great interest, as partially was shown on the Kumandy material. Among many Siberian nations, in particular in the Sayano-Altai mountains, during kamlation the tambourine symbolizes riding animal used by shaman for his travel to the heavenly ("heavenly" is a miscue, instead, it is an invisible, but real, side of this world; kam is not addmitted to the heavens or heaven-related real or supernatural matters - Translator's Note) or underground worlds. Sometimes tambourine symbolizes a horse, as for example among Tuvinians 98 or Yakuts. Among other groups of Tuvinians tambourine is a "horse - maral", i.e. "riding maral" (red deer), among Tofalars (Karagases) - riding izubr (wapiti), among Khakases either horse or a maral, etc. But among Chelkandy (and Kumandy), who like all Northern Altaians fitted shaman tambourine with only the leather of a male roe deer or  maral, and "vivifying" a new tambourine symbolized a revival of a male roe deer or a maral, the skin of which was used for the tambourine, 99 during kamlation that was ignored, and tambourine was called ak-adan. The term ak-adan indicates that Chelkan shaman saw the tambourine as riding camel (mandatorily neutered), for the word adan in many Türkic languages (including the Tuvian, Kirgiz, Kazakh) means a riding camel. A reverence for a camel, especially white, its sacrifice, etc. in the past was known to the nomadic cattlemen who among other animals were breeding camels. 100 Therefore, there is nothing surprising that a shaman tambourine can symbolize a riding camel during kamlation. Surprising is another fact: how come that a shaman of a mountain taiga hunting tribe had such an idea about his tambourine? The answer can probably be only one. In this interpretation of the shaman tambourine is reflected a clear evidence about nomadic cattle breeding way of life by the Chelkandy ancestors, who undoubtedly were familiar with camel breeding. Those first of all could be Teleses, these ancient nomadic cattlemen who knew  camel breeding both in antiquity and during recent times, who in turn are connected by ethnogenetical, historical, and cultural relationship with Telengits and Teleuts. And among the Teleses (and among Teleuts) shaman called tambourine (and only during kamlation) ak-adan. 101

98 L.P.Potapov. Essays of ethnography of Tuvinians in the basin of Hemchik left bank. Works of Tuva complex archeological ethnographical expedition (abbr. Works TKEAN), vol. 2, M.-L., 1966, p. 51.
99 See our work "Revival ceremony of shaman tambourine among Türkic-speaking tribes of Altai".
100 In respect to the Kazakhs see: Ch.Valihanov. Selected works. Alma-Ata, 1958, p. 153-154.
101 Among Teleuts shaman, addressing the tambourine, said alty brkbshtu ak-adan, i.e. "sacred camel with six humps". The word orkdsh means a camel hump, because on tambourine were six knobs-drkosh (i.e. humps) on the throat (under the leather).

The records of the shaman texts collected by A.V.Anokhin contain a reference to the appeal by shaman Kapshagai from the Teles seok to his tambourine, where tambourine is called ak-adan. 102 Unfortunately, in the Russian version the word ak-adan was translated as "white father". Even more clearly the translation fault is visible in the following text, where shaman is addressing to his assistant spirits, inviting them to come into the tambourine:

Ak mashchakka orol
Ak kuzupe tolgol

Ak kulerge atsdan
Ak adana tokuna

Ach kirishke atsdan
Ach kouura ekchel

Wrap around white mashchak; 103
Wound around white bells;

Roll around white bronze;
Stop at the White father;

Roll over hungry bowstring;
Moor at hungry kongura.

The phrase Ak adana tokuna is translated "Stop at the White father" instead of "Stop at sacred camel" (i.e. at tambourine). Doubts that here ak-adan is a tambourine cannot be raised because both the previous and the subsequent phrases refer to separate parts of the shaman tambourine: bells, bowstring (the term for iron cross-beam inserted into the tambourine handle), kongura (the iron chimes suspended from the tambourine cross-beam), etc.

Talking about Chelkandy shaman tambourine, another fact should be mentioned. A "Natural" Chelkandy tambourine is similar with the Tubalar and Kumandy tambourine in the form of the wooden handle (double-headed anthropomorphic handle). But when the shaman had received tambourine from the Sky (Tengri) (Almighty God) and not from the clan's mountain, that type of the tambourine in appearance was like the tambourines among the Southern Altaians, and it was called not ochyn (as when it was received from the mountain), but tezim, i.e. the same term for the tambourine as the term used by the Southern Altaians, Teleses and Telengits. The presence among Chelkandy, in addition to the usual tambourine, of the tezim tambourine is also very indicative in view of the cited facts.

Next we shall note the Chelkandy-Shakshalygs' reverence for the patron of hunters Kan-Sarai, whose "lame" (one leg is shorter) wooden image was made in each family. The reverence for the spirit of the patron of hunters (St. Hubert in the Catholic pantheon, St. Triphon in the Russian Orthodox pantheon, St.Eustace in the Eastern Orthodox Church pantheon. "Sarai" = "palace" in English is spelled "serai" or "sary", like in "caravan-serai" or "caravansary" - Translator's Note) with the same name was also typical among the Teleses and Telengits, which we already acknowledged at some time. 104 Actually, the Chelkan hunters, like Tubalars and Kumandy, in addition to Kan-Sarai revered also even a more popular in the northern Altai patron of hunters Kansha. His wooden image was double-headed, with antipod-type placing of the heads, and in that form it was even depicted in the shaman tambourine,  as its handle. 105

102 A.V.Anokhin. Materials on shamanism among Altaians. L., 1924, p. 133.
103 Mashchak is a shaman's raincoat.
104 L.P.Potapov. The hunting images and beliefs among the Altai Türks. In Coll.: Culture and Writing of the East, Book 5, Baku, 1929.

The Chelkandy have two patron spirits, Obn Zvanym and Temir kuyaktyg Kanym, and the Teles lake, i.e. the Teleses area ( i.e. lake Altyn Gol, Türkic "Golgen Lake") was held as a home for both of them. It is noteworthy that one of the characters of the Chelkandy kanyms, Temir kuyaktyg Kanym is attared, as his name states, "in iron chain armor". The image of a patron spirit  in chain amour can hardly be attributed to the imagination of the mountain foot hunters. In that connection may be also interesting the following detail. As were saying Chelkandy, before coming about of the guns they used bows and arrows. The arrows were held in a birch bark quiver, which name survived in the memory of old men until present. The quiver was called kaptyra, i.e. by a term that connect Chelkandy with medieval Kypchaks described by W.Rubruk. Kypchaks called the small purse bags hung from a belt. And among the Southern Altaians that was a name for the leather bag (kaptarga) worn by the hunters, where they kept the gun supplies (In Russian, it is a popular "kapterka", a small cozy place. And like the English "cozy", the "kaptargyk" also derived from "cloth cover"  - Translator's Note).

The examined ethnographic material has shown that the small group of Northern Altaians, for which after W.Radloff a name Chelkandy became a common name (Russian name, i.e. exoethnonym), also cannot be considered to be homogeneous. In spite of the fact that it consists of only two seoks, it is commixed by origin, like all other groups of the Northern (and Southern) Altaians. If for the seok Shakshy, or Shakshylyg (Radloff called its name Yakshy) is established their Teles origin, in respect to the  seok to delineate an exact definition is difficult. The data for Chalkanyg that we have can be summarized as the follows.

First, exists a legend, like that among the Tubalars, about the origin of Chalkanyg seok and Tubalar seok Kuzen from two first brothers who settled in different places. Secondly, exists a recognition of consanguinity between the seoks Chalkanyg and Kuzen, expressed in a ban on marriages between both seoks, while marriages between seoks the Chalkanyg and Shakshalyg are being practiced. Chelkandy and Kuzens call each other "uterine" (karyndash).

In the Russian written sources the names of the both seoks, Chalkanyg and Kuzen, appear as the names of yasak (tribute) volosts in 1620's. Were they at that time the names of yasak volosts after the names of the seoks, or, as the above tale stated was a quite often occurrence, after the names of the seok leaders (or large patriarchal family), is not known. However, it is beyond doubts that the marriage ban between Chelkandy and Kuzens should be accepted as a reliable evidence of their consanguinity.

105 L. otapov. Die Schamanentrommel bei den altaischen Volker-schaften.

The presented material generally exhausts everything that can be stated in respect to the origin of the Chalkanyg seok (or following Radloff, Chalkandu). The ethnographic data about Chelkandy-Chalkanygs characterize them as the natives in their places, who for centuries kept close cultural connections, first with Tubalars, then with neighboring (Kondoma) Shors,  and then with various seoks or territorial groups living near Chumysh headwaters and further north, in particular along the right bank of Tom in the area of western and northern spurs of the Kuznetsk Ala Tau (L. otapov leaves completely out of his attention the population on the left bank of Tom, mentioning only once that a Russian fort was built there in the 18th c., which is strange, because the rivers were not obstacles for cooperation and intermixing between the native neighbors - Translator's Note).

* * *

The study of ethnic composition of the modern Northern Altaians leads at least to one essential conclusion. As becomes obvious from the previous discourse, despite the small numbers, all groups of Northern Altaians without exception are of mixed and fairly complex in ethnic relation origin, complex to such degree that almost each of them includes its own combination of various ethnic components.

Notwithstanding that all groups of Northern Altaians have consolidated in respect to the language, culture, daily life, and territory, they still have not lost traces testifying to their complex ethnogenesis. Notably, their consolidation from different, linguistically and in their origin, ancient ethnical components, addressed in detail in the final chapter, went on by a typical model for the ancient primitive tribal societies. In fact, the Kumandy, Chelkandy and Tubalar consisted of  blood-related seok clans, exogamic and patrilineal, in possession of their clan territory, with their clan's cults, etc., though the ancient generations of their ancestors were different. 106 This demonstrates that from the example of the Northern Altaians can be defined completely new to the science unknown to us and certainly not investigated till this moment type of ethnic consolidation that revives a model of a primitive society. Hardly needs a proof the necessity of research on this question, and certainly not only on the Altaian material.

We are positive that every Siberolog (Siberialog ?) ethnographer would agree with us, that the peculiar type of ethnic consolidation found by us has a practical research significance for many Siberia nations.

106 The same can be stated in relation to the Shors.

In conclusion of this chapter we want to offer a few words about a methodical side of our research. The material stated above, and some of our conclusions deduced from it bring us to a conviction not only about its usefulness, but simply a necessity of studying the ethnic composition, the origin, and ethnic history of Altaians separately for each seok clan to a maximum possible degree, because the ancient elements of culture and daily life are disappearing quickly in front of our eyes, and the tribal divisions of the Altaians are being forgotten. This methodical vision should be also applied to the modern anthropological research. For that justifyably called forth E.Lutsenko, who visited Telengits. 107 To the same idea also came our well known Soviet anthropologist, late A.I.Yarho, who not only held to it theoretically, but already noticeably reflected it practically in his book on the anthropology of the Sayano-Altai highland population (and should be applied to the modern genetical studies that so far were commingling their samples along the political borders and political terms, creating such artificial reality as "genetical composition of Kumandy or Chelkandy", blending together people of totally unrelated genetical origin and then using that irrational portrayal for historical reconstructions - Translator's Note). 108

107 E.Lutsenko. Trip to Altai Telengits. Olden Times Alive, vol. 6, 1896, vol. 3-4.
108 A.I.Yarho. Altai-Sayan Türks.

<= Title Partt Part 1 => Part 2 => Part 3 =>
In Russian
Contents Alataians
Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Alans and Ases
  Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
6/20/09 TürkicWorld