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)
USSR Academy of Sciences, Siberian branch
History, Philology and Philosophy Institute
Mountain Altai Scientific Research Institute of Language and Literature History
"Science" Publishing house, Leningrad branch,  Leningrad, 1969
Editor-in-Chief Acad.
<= Title Part Part 1 => Part 2 => Part 3 =>


Instead of Abstract

The history of legendary Tele tribes from the ancient times to the present not only has not been written, but was not even addressed before the seminal work of L.P.Potapov. Any references in any studies have Tele melting away into a netherland. Meanwhile the Tele (Modern Chinese Pinyin Tiele 鐵勒 ) were a powerful and numerous people that could not disappear from the pages of history, they could only vanish from the span of attention of the modern historians. On the pages of history Tele appear as losing contenders for power with the Huns, then in the Syanbi confederation, after the Tele tribe of Uigur "Uanhe"-led Syanbi replaced Huns in the leadership of the confederation. With the rise of the Jujans Tele fell to Jujans as successors to Syanbi, and when the Türks took over from Jujans, they were inherited by the Türks. In no point in history the domination over the Tele tribes was an easy task, every confederation paid a heavy price for its pretense for a hegemony of one nomadic grouping over the other, and was brought to its demise precisely for confronting the Tele confederation. Trice in the history confrontations ended with Tele victory, leading to creation, in the successive order, of the Tele Kaganate, Turgesh (pronounced Tyurgesh) Kaganate, and Uigur Kaganate. The fall of the Uigur Kaganate brought fractionation of the Tele tribes, some joining the Kyrgyz Kaganate,  a part became the subjects of the newly arisen to the leadership Karluk tribe, and some striking on their own.

Up until that time, in the eastern end of the steppe belt the Türkic historical developments were running in the shade of China, which starting from the 2nd c. BC always played an overt or covert role in the events in the Türkic lands. In the 10th and 11th centuries the dominating role shifted to Mongols, introducing a further splintering of the Tele tribes. A part of the Tele tribes fell under a dominance of Karakhanids, another part stayed with the residual Uigur Kaganate, a part stayed with the residual Kyrgyz Kaganate, and the remnants of the nine-tribe Tokuz-Oguz confederation moved west to western Middle Asia and N.Pontic steppes. From that time, each Tele splinter had its own fate, its own history, and its own admixtures. Some of the Tele tribes, like Oguzes, rose to a world-class prominence, becoming leaders of the Moslem world and of huge Ottoman empire. The others became swept by the Mongol empire, were divvied out to Chingizid rulers, and lost most of their shine. Uigurs retained a sliver of their former territories, and led mostly independent existence into the modern times. The Kyrgyz Tele were purged from the Enisei area and reconstituted as Kyrgyzes in the Tian Shan highlands in a sliver of former glory. A major body of Tele remained with Chingizid aftermath, retaining their own confederations within the Siberian and Oirat Khanates. After the conquest of the  Siberian Khanate, that confederation aligned with the Oirat Khanate, aka Dzungaria. Over a few centuries, the Siberian Tele transitioned from a major local player numbering probably a population of a million to a pity diluted minority in their own lands numbering around 50,000 members, devoid of their herds and pasture lands, and scattered among various kindred and unkindred communities.

Studying the modern composition of the Altai people in the Altai test tube, L.P.Potapov discovered that over millenniums, refugees from many surrounding lands gathered in Altai. The most numerous of them turned out to be Tele. Peeling one ethnographic layer after another, L.Potapov in many cases tracked down their origin to the Tele tribes, from their first appearance in the Chinese dynastic chronicles, in the works of antique Greek authors, and other antique sources. On the way among the Tele tribes L.Potapov uncovered theretofore enigmatic tribes of Azes and Tuhs, those perennial siblings known from the ancient times as Ases and Tochars, and found them in an non-envious positions as Tele sidekicks. L.Potapov also uncovered traces of the ancient Kangars and Usuns that complement earlier works and helped to advance other studies. With his background of close familiarity with the details and idiosyncrasies of the Türkic peoples, L.Potapov could not easily fall for the unsubstantiated palliatives suggested by more jaundiced authors. L.Potapov clearly understood that for the Türkic tribes, Altai was a shelter with ongoing historical merging, and not a source from which emanated numerous Türkic tribes and peoples. L.Potapov points to the "Karasuk time" Minusinsk depression in the middle of the 2nd millennium - 7th century BC as a stopover location in the spread of some Türkic tribes, possibly together with the Ket tribes.

L.P.Potapov work is not a historical storyline detailing a history of the Tele people. Instead, it is an adventure story of an ethnographical expedition through time and space doing detailed archeological research in the collections of written monuments created by Tele neighbors. The Tele archeology does not yet exist, their cemeteries and kurgans are not attributed to them, their cities, kishlaks and auls lay unstudied, their inscriptions not identified and not catalogued. Instead, L.Potapov brings up a mass of ethnological descriptions that survived into the last centuries. To preserve details of the L.Potapov's work, most  of the Tele-related materials are retained in this posting, but it is organized in historical order with inverted research sequence, starting with the ancient contents of the Part 3, and concluding with the latest contents narrated in the Part 1. Though this posting dedicated to Tele people is completely self-contained, only an acquaintance with the L.Potapov's full work affords understanding of the panorama of the historical, linguistic, and anthropological background. The ethnologist L.Potapov did not write a history of the investigated peoples, and limited retrospective studies to the ethnological research, but his work gives precisely that panoramic perspective that is notoriously absent in the articles and works devoted to the Türkic peoples.

* * *

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

Little Glossary

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



6 top

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tribes not mentioned by L.Potapov:

Muün (Muyun)
Duan (Liao - Khitan - Kidan Tungusic - future Mongols)
Yuwen (Yuywen, 宇文)
Donghu (Eastern Hu = Eastern Barbarians = Tunguses) - Translator's Note)

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 3 Ancient people in the ethnic composition of Altaians

We have established in previous chapters that the nearest historical ancestors of modern Southern Altaians were mainly Türkic-speaking cattle breeding Tele tribes - Telenguts, Telengits and Teleses, who four centuries ago coached in the territory of Siberia, not only in its southern, especially mountain part in the Sayano-Altai mountains, but also in the forest-steppes and steppes in the interfluvial of Ob and Irtysh, south from the line Omsk - Novosibirsk - Tomsk. It should be noted that in all versions of the ethnonym names, dropping the plural endings leaves as a root the term Tele. That gives reasons to assert that in the foundation of the ethnic composition of overwhelming part of modern Southern Altaians lay a Türkic-speaking component connected with the ancient ethnonym Tele. Now we track down through the available sources the presence of this ethnonym among the nomads of the Central Asia during earlier historical times.

As the Chinese written sources tell, already in the first half of the first millennium of our era, under a name Tele was known a whole group of the nomadic cattlemen tribes that lived primarily in the eastern part of the Central Asia, on the northern side of the Gobi desert. The ancient nomadic Tele tribes in ethnogenetical relation can certainly be compared with the Teleuts-Telengits and Tele. Such comparison would help to bring light on the early ethnic history of modern Southern Altaians, because it will clarify the subject of their early historical ancestors.

The ethnonym Tele appeared in the Chinese annalistic sources of the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties in reference to a large group of tribes who were coaching on the northern side of the Gobi desert in extensive spaces between Great Khingan in the east and Tien Shan in the west. The territories of the modern Mongolia, Tuva and Altai, both Russian and Mongolian (and Chinese), were included into the pasturing rout zone of the Tele tribes. This is a historical fact. 1

1 A known French Orientalist L. Hambis writes: "Telenguts, naturally, are the present Teleuts, whom we call with this expanded form, though the transition from Talangit to Teleut is explained unsatisfactorily, but who continue to call themselves Telengets or Telengits " (L. Hambis. Notes sur trois tribus de superieur: les Us, Qapqanas et Talangiit. Journal Asiatinue, vol. CCXLV, 1957, f. 1, p. 33).the

The term Tele has got into Chinese annals undoubtedly as one of endoethnonym self-names of the Central Asian nomads, and certainly is not a Chinese word, for otherwise it would be impossible to explain its existence among a number of Türkic-speaking tribes and nations until our times, let alone that to borrow this term from the Chinese annals and to spread it to broad masses of nomads is practically impossible. Moreover, can be quite surely asserted that the name Tele that appeared in the annals of the Sui and Tang dynasties was an accurate transmission by the Chinese chroniclers of the self-name of a group of the nomadic cattlemen tribes. The proof of the accuracy consist of not only in that the ethnonym Tele was persevered in the self-names of some modern Türkic-speaking tribes and peoples among the Southern Altaians and Kirgizes. The proof also lay in that the ethnonym Tele is also used in such known medieval sources as the "Secret Legend" (in Mongolian), Rashid-ad-din annals (in Persian ), and at last in the Russian written sources of the 17th-18th centuries. In other words, the ethnonym Tele recorded by the Chinese chroniclers during the period of the Sui dynasty, 2 undoubtedly reflects correctly the self-name of specific tribes. It endured among the Türkic-speaking nomads for a duration of almost 15 centuries, reaching up to present. Therefore the attempts by some researchers who start with an assumption that the ethnonym Tele is only a Chinese transmission of some ethnonym, which in the language of the carrier sounded differently (for example, Terek), from the historical ethnographic point of view appear insufficiently justified. The ethnonym Tele is not such a term that would present difficulties for the Chinese phonetics of that time to distort its real form. As a result of underestimating of the capability to correctly transmit in Chinese the ethnonym Tele may be "restored" ethnonyms which we certainly would not be found in the real ethnic history.

The term Tele was repeatedly discussed in the special literature. The most outstanding modern Orientalists tend to derive it through the earlier spelling forms (for example, Ch'ih-le, Modern Chinese Pinyin 敕勒 Chile) to the name Ting-ling (Dinlins, Modern Chinese Pinyin 丁零 Dinglings), who were (at least in the 1 century AD) Türkic-speaking tribes. 3

2 During that period Chinese chroniclers already better knew the nomads, "living on the northern side of Gobi, because between the nomads and Chinese dynastic court there were fairly regular relations (exchange of embassies, trade, etc.).
3 . Pulleyblank. 1) Some remarks on the Toguzoghuz problem. Uralo-Altaische Jahrbucher, Wiesbaden, 28, H. 1-2, 1956, p. 37-38; 2) The Hsiung-nu Language, 1962, p. 260; L. Hambis, Ibid., p. ox

The Tele tribes became known to the Chinese historians much earlier than their endoethnonym self-name appeared in the Sui and Tang dynastic chronicles. Our Sinologists for long ago noted information about these tribes in earlier Chinese sources, but under other names. 4 Without barging in the discussion on the evolution of the names of the Tele nomads in the Chinese annals prior to the Sui period, when the knowledge of historians about these tribes was fairly superficial and weak, we shall point to a fact of a common knowledge that in the history of the northern dynasties (386-581) instead of the name Gao-gui (Kao-ku, Modern Chinese Pinyin 高車 Gaoche) appeared ethnonym Tele. As was repeatedly emphasized, the name Gao-gui is Chinese, and was given by a household attribute. Its translation from Chinese means "high carts", for for their coaching migrations these nomads used wooden vehicles on two high wheels (with many spokes) pulled by oxes.

From the dynastic sources follows that at least in the 4th century Gaogyuans coached on the northern side of Gobi, in territory of modern Mongolia touching on the Sayano-Altai mountains, where sometimes they are mentioned as subjects of the Syanbian Toba dynasty. The Syanbi main tribe Uanhe, which later began to be called Weiho, and then Huiho or Uigur, lived in the basin of Selenga, in particular in the river system of the Orkhon and Tola. From the Gaogyuan customs of that time is interesting to note public prayer and sacrifice to the Sky (like the Huns), followed by a celebration. Sacrifices to the Sky were practiced by the Sayano-Altai mountains nations up to the 20th century.

Gaogyuans were perennially hostile with Jujan (Modern Chinese Pinyin 柔然 Rouran) tribes, who were then coaching on the southern side of Gobi, but crossed in the summertime to the northern side and conflicted with Gaogyuans. Apparently, Gaogyuans appeared on the northern side of Gobi in the 1st century, with the northern Huns, who then mixed with Syanbinians and a significant part of them even accepted their name. 5 Incidentally, the Syanbinians also used wooden carts for coaching migrations. 6 Does this household feature also reflect a presence among the Syanbi conglomerate of the Gaogui tribes, under a name Tele? There is another curious fact. The history of the early Han dynasty recorded a Syanbi legend about miraculous origin of their well-known leader Tanynihai (middle of the 2nd century) who was conceived by his mother from a little hailstone. Maybe, the passage of that very original legend to the remote descendants of the ancient Tele tribes in the Altai and among the modern Teleuts was not accidental.

4 N.Ya.Bichurin (Iakinf). Collection of information on peoples in Central Asia in ancient times, vol. 1. M.-L., 1950, p. 301; D Pozdaev Historical sketch of Uigurs. SPb., 1899, p. 12-13.
5 N.Bichurin, Ibid., p. 150-151. Ibid., p. 153.

Such surmisal also seems even more probable because it is being proven now that some groups of Syanbians, in particular Toba, were Türkic-speaking. 7 In any case, the Türkic speech undoubtedly was heard in the Syanbian tribal conglomerate. That increases the the possibility of connection between the legend we recorded about the origin of the founder of the Teleut seok Mundus with the Syanbi legend about the origin of Tanynihai.

The animosity of Gaogyuans (Tele) with Jujans become especially aggravated in the second half of the 5th century. Gaogyuans were held as Jujan subjects. However, the Gaoguiy leader Afuchjilo, aiming for independence, took his people numbering 100 thousand. wagon carts (~410,000 people) to the west across Mongolian Altai to the territory of modern Dzungaria with the center near the modern Turfan. That way the Tele Gaogyuans appeared partially in the headwaters of Irtysh (Black Irtysh). Probably, already then among them were the early historical ancestors of the modern Teleuts. In the new places, mainly near Altai mountains, Gaogyuans continued struggling with Jujans for three more decades. 8

The annalistic sources tell about the origin of the Tele tribes and state that they are lineal descendants of the Huns. "Tele ancestors were descendants of the Hunnu (Huns)", says the Sui (Sui-shu, 581618) dynastic chronicle. 9 The Tele language was similar with Hunnish, assert the Wei annals narrating the origin of the Gaogyuan ancestors from the Huns. 10 We can point to a number of ethnographic attributes confirming ethnogenetical relationship of the Tele tribes with the Huns. As is well-known, both groups were nomadic cattlemen. Above was noted sacrifice to the Sky, typical for Hun religion. Tele-Gaogyuans had the same ritual. And another parallel. Huns were able to produce wooden vehicles which they used for coaching migrations. 11 Because the Huns lived in the mountainous terrain, these vehicles were undoubtedly two-wheeled, i.e. the same as how the Chinese describe them in relation to the Tele-Gaogyuans.

7 P. Boodberg. The language of the T'o-pa Wei. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol. 1, 1936, p. 167-185;
L. azin. Recherches sur les paries To-pa. T'oung-Pao, 1950, v. 2019, p. 4-5;
G. Clauson. Turk, Mongol, Tungus. Asia Major, New Series (vol. 8), pt. 1, 1960;
Compare: W.Bartold. Kirgizes. Frunze, 1927, p. 8 (referring to P.Pelliot's lecture given in Leningrad, in which Pelliot stated that Syanbian language is Türkic, basing on the Chinese dictionary of the Syanbi language);
E.Pulleyblank, citing P.Pelliot's remark that some groups of Syanbi spoke Mongolian, recognizes that Toba among Syanbians were certainly Türkic descending, in his opinion, from the Dinlins (Ting-ling). However, Pulleyblank thinks that the question of "To-ba" Türkic-linguality as a whole should be reconsidered (. Pulleyblanc. The Hsiung-nu Language, p. 259-260).
8 Ma Chjan-show. Türks and Türkic Kaganate. Shanghai, 1957, p. 7 (in Chinese).
9 Liu Mau-tsai, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 109. Compare: F. Hirth. Nachworte zur1nschriften des Tonjukuk. Die altturkischen 1nschriften der Mongolei. Zw. Folge. St.-Pet, 1899, p. 134;
N.V. Kuner, Chinese news about peoples of southern Siberia, Central Asia and Far East. ., 1961, p. 36 ("Tiele actually are a separate tribe of the Sünnu").
10 N.Ya.Bichurin, Ibid., p. 214.

During the period of the ancient Türks Kaganate (6-8 centuries) Tele became known to the Chinese chroniclers by individual tribes and by some tribal confederations. Most frequently are mentioned the following Tele tribes that played role in the history of the Central Asia eastern part generally, or in particular in connection with the history of the Türkic Kaganate and China: Seyanto, Beiho (Huiho, or Uigurs), Paegu, Tunlo, Pugu, Apa, Teleer, Sekis, Tolanko (Dolange), Kipi, Atie, Hun, 12 Husie or Husa, Fulo, Fuliku, Tubo (Dubo), Guligan. 13 Of them, some tribes are characterized by the sources as "special generation of Tele". They are Seyanto, Pugu, Tunlo, Kibi, Adie, Husie, Guligan, Baegu, Dubo. 14

Tele were settled over extensive space from the Great Khingan in the east to the Caspian sea in the west. The Sui annals list some Tele groups of tribes that can be presumably "associated" with various geographical areas. In the east can be names a group of tribes that lived in the territory from Baikal (53.5N 108.2E) to the basin of the river Tola (valley of present Ulan Bator, 475N 1065E). It consisted of Uigurs, Pugu, Paegu, Tunlo, Husie, Tolanko, Dubo, and others. In the west, in the area of the Enisei headwaters (51N 90E), Mongolian Altai (50N 96E), and Dzungaria (41N 85.5E) lived Seyanto, Teleer and others. Various Tele tribes lived between Aral and Caspian seas, etc. (What Tele tribes lived between Aral and Caspian seas? - Translator's Note).

Extracting information about location of some Tele tribes can illuminate this question in a better detail. The annals of the Sui dynasty tell that Uigurs lived on the river Selenga (49.2N 100.6E), and Husie (or Husa) lived along the river Tola (475N 1065E). To the north of Tola lived Pugu, Paegu, Tunlo and Fulo. In the Mongolian Altai in Dzungaria (50N 96E) coached Seyanto, Taki, Teleer, in the lake Kosogol (Khövsgöl,50N 100.5E) area coached Dubo. The annals of the Tang dynasty specify the pasturing routs of the Uigurs, Tolanko, Husa, Pugu in the basins of the Selenga headwaters, along Orkhon and Tola, and Dubo pastures are localized north from the Uigurs, east from Kyrgyzes and south from a small lake, apparently Kosogol (Khövsgöl). Guligans were the most northern Tele tribe, they lived on the northern side of Baikal. The tribes Paegu and Atie are localized at the Manchuria border (and where was Manchuria then ?), tribe Fuliku was placed behind Great Khingan (49N 126E) in the Southwest Manchuria, and Kipi was localized in the extreme west, in the valley of Uldus (43N 83E) northwest from Karashar. 15

11 Ibid., p. 99.
12 In the Hun tribe many scientists see remains of the Huns. See: . Pritsak. Xun der Volksname der Hsiung-nu. Central Asiatic Journal, vol. 5, 1959.
13 Liu Mau - Tsai, Ibid., vol. 1 and 2.
14 H. V.Kuner, Ibid., p. 40-51.

Let's briefly trace the fate of the Tele tribes in the sources, their history is closely associated with the state of the ancient Türks-Tukue.

The economic and military growth of the ancient Türks falls on the period at the end of the 520's and the beginnings of 530's. In 546 they attacked the "Dzungarian" Tele tribes, who at that time went on a campaign against their Jujan enemies. Türks crushed Tele and captured 50 thousand of their wagon carts (200,000+ people). That was a start of Tele submission to the ancient Türks.

The Tele tribes that became subjects of the ancient Türks, constituted a strong military force used regularly by the Kaganate leaders in aggressive and retaliatory campaigns. The Tang dynasty annals say that the ancient Türks "were heroes in the northern deserts with their (Tele) forces". 16 In 581 during Kagan Shabolio his brother Anlo ruled Tele tribes, who were coaching in the eastern part of the Central Asia, their pasturing routs were located along the river Tola. Between Khangai mountains and Mongolian Altai A nephew of Kagan was appointed a ruler of the Tele tribe Aba. The "Aba Tatars", remote descendants of the Aba tribe, up to the 17th-19th centuries retained their name, and were coaching in the Teleut neighborhood. In the 1618 in the midst of their pasturing routs was built the Kuznetsk fort.

In the beginning of 580's the Türkic Kaganate as a result of internecine strifes split into two independent parts, eastern and western. From that time normally are distinguished the states of Eastern and Western Türks.

At the end of the 6th century the Western Türks for some time controlled the lands north from the Gobi, and a majority of the Tele tribes fell under their rule. But the Western Türks never stopped having internecine feuds. The Tele tribes (in the Middle Asia "Tele" was pronounced as "Dulo", and in that form it appears in the dynastic and historical records. Modern pronunciation is "Dulat", with apparently Mongolic plural affix, they belong to the Kazakhstan Uly Juz = Senior Juz - Translator's Note) frequently rebelled against their domination. A part of them coached away to the southern side of the (Gobi) desert, under a protection of the Eastern Türkic Kimin (or Symyn) - Kagan, who was under protection of the the Chinese emperor, and another part migrated through Altai to Dzungaria, where they had to fight with Western Türkinc Heli-khan (Aru Khan) and Shehu Kagans, whose forced Tele managed to defeat. A number of the Tele tribes (Seyanto, Kibi, Hoihu or Uigur, Tunlo) at that time began coaching north of Tien Shan (Jeti-su, Ili river basin). Thus, during that period the Tele tribes dispersed. However, after the Western Türkic Kagan Chulo-khan in the 605 first subdued them, and then exterminated almost all their leaders and imposed a heavy tribute, the Tele tribes (Uigurs, Seyanto, Pugu, Tunlo, Paegu, and others) united again, rose in insurrection, freed from the yoke of Chulo-khan, and formed in the west their own short-lived Kaganate (Tele Kaganate).

15 E Grumm-Grjimailo, after studying the mentioned sources, came to a conclusion that Tolanko (Dolange) coached in the basin of the river Dzabhan (49N 95E) southeast from the lake Kyrgyz-nur (Khar Nuur), where Dzabhan discharges; Uigurs coached between Tola (475N 1065E) and Orkhon (47.5N 102.8E), Seyanto coached in the Gobi Altai (445N 975E); Pugu coached in the lower course of the Orkhon (47.5N 102.8E) and Selenga (Selenge, 49N 100E), etc. (Western Mongolia and Uryanhai territory, vol. 1, M-L., 1956, p. 247-251, 275-276).
16 N.Ya.Bichurin, Ibid., p. 301.

The Tele Kaganate was headed by Seyanto leaders, Uigurs also played a large role; temporarily its power also controlled some city-states of the East Turkestan. Tele were sending there officials for tax collection from subordinated inhabitants, described in the annals of the Sui dynasty. Tele also attacked Chinese territory. But when in the 609 Shibi (Sibir, 609-619) became an Eastern Türkic Kaganate (L.Potapov: Eastern  Tukue) Kagan, seven Tele tribes (Uigurs, Paegu, Atie, Hunlo, Pugu, and others), who were coaching in the Otuken mountains (in the Khangai area, 47N 100E), subordinated to him. Seyanto (in the Mongolian Altai) (= Gobi Altai 445N 975E ?) and other Tele tribes, who were coaching in the west, were subjugated by the Western Türkic Kaganate (L.Potapov: Western Tukue) during the 615-619.

After the death of Shibi (Sibir) in 619, his brother Aru (L.Potapov: Heli) became a Kagan. He appointed a son of the deceased Kagan Shibi-Tuli (Sibir-Tuli?) as a khan (yabgu, which is an appointed position, vs. khan, an inherited title. L.Potapov follows indiscriminate Russian terminology) of the tribes in the east. The Tele tribes on the northern side of desert, were ruled by Shad Uiku, a son of Aru (L.Potapov: Heli)-Kagan. Under his authority also happen to fall the Seyanto, who migrated from the Western Türkic Kaganate (L.Potapov: Western Tukue) to Aru (L.Potapov: Heli)-Kagan numbering 70 thousand yurts (290,000 people), headed by Inan. However, the power of the Eastern Türkic Kagan began falling. This weakening was predominantly caused by the revolts of their subject Tele tribes, whom Aru (L.Potapov: Heli) assessed with large taxes.

The Tele tribes, Seyanto and Uigurs, revolted in 627, invaded the Eastern Türkic Kaganate (L.Potapov: Tukue) through the northern border, and defeated detachments of Kagan (Bagatur-Shad Kat Il Khan Kagan 621-630). Uigurs especially distinguished themselves in the action, and after that victory gained strength. Together with Seyanto they became the strongest tribes, their pasturing routs spread to Northern Mongolia and Tuva. Many Aru (L.Potapov: Heli)-Kagan clans and tribes surrendered to Seyanto and Uigurs. The superiority of Inan, a leader of Seyanto, was also recognized by the Uigur leader Pusa, whose court was near the river Tola. The desertion and revolt of the Tele tribes seriously emaciated Aru (L.Potapov: Heli). In the 628. Inan became a Kagan of not only Seyanto, but also a Kagan of the Tele tribes (Uigurs, Paegu, Atie, Tunlo, Pugu, Si). Inan established his court on the northern side of the (Gobi) desert in the Yuidugun mountains (Yui Dügün - Yui Wedding). 17 His possessions reached from Altai to the east.

In 630. Aru (L.Potapov: Heli)-Kagan was defeated by the Chinese army and taken to captivity. The First Türkic Kaganate has finished its existence. The Aru (L.Potapov: Heli)-Kagan tribes partially fled to Seyanto. Inan began to advance eastward and fortified in the mountains south of Tola. East from him lived some Shivei groups (along Kerulen river, per L.Gumilev), to the south lived Türks  (L.Potapov: Tukue. Which Türks ?),  to the west was Altai, and to the north was Baikal. The annals say, it was a former territory of the Huns.

17 These mountains cannot be identified with Otuken mountains.

That way, on the northern side of the (Gobi) desert, in eastern part of the Central Asia, emerged a Kaganate of the Tele tribes (Second Tele Kaganate ?), the far ancestors of the modern Tuvinians and Altaians, led by the Seyanto tribe, in Türkic Tokuz-Oguz, i.e. "nine Oguzes" or "nine tribes". The nucleus of that confederation consisted of nine tribes, whose number also included the ancient ancestors of Telengits (Dolanko or Dolango of the Chinese records) (Modern Chinese Pinyin 多览葛 Duolange).

In the annals of the Tang dynasty Tokuz-Oguzes usually are simply called "nine tribes", which is a translation into the Chinese language of the term Tokuz-Oguz, and this term appears in the Chinese sources at about 630. The name Tokuz-Oguz is also present in the ancient Türkic inscriptions of the 8th century, where it means a confederation of the (9) Tele tribes. A custom to call tribal associations by a numerical name was fairly widely known in the history of the Central Asian (Türkic) nomads. However, the numerical name not always coincided with the actual number of the tribes which were included in the association. The Tang annals still occasionally called Tokuz-Oguzes "nine Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes" or "Tukue of nine tribes", because Tokuz-Oguzes during the (First) Türkic Kaganate, as a rule, were subjects of the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue's), who frequently used them for military campaigns, and the daily life and language of the Tele (Tokuz-Oguzes) were fairly close with the eastern Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue).

The political influence of the (Tele) Kaganate headed by Seyanto extended to the territory of the modern Mongolia, Tuva, Altai, and the Hyagas (Enisei Kyrgyz) state, located in the Minusinsk depression.

The Seyanto Kagan, who re-occupied his former pasturing routs on the northern side of (Gobi) desert, had 200 thousand elite soldiers.

At that time the tribal aristocracy of the eastern Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue), nominally subordinated to China, elected as a leader Kupi, a scion from the Kagan clan Ashina (Chinese called their puppet appointees "Kagan", even if they were not elected - Translator's Note). But Tokuz-Oguzes, led by Seyanto, were so strong that Kupi himself recognized their superiority. It was a period of short-lived sovereignty of the Tele tribes over the eastern Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue). In the 632 and 635 Teles crushed Western Türkic Kagans who tried to destroy them. Kupi so was afraid of Tokuz-Oguz Kagan that soon he defected from the Great Wall (Chinese kept their puppet "Kagans" close to China, or even settled their followers in China- Translator's Note). He established his court to the north of the Mongolian Altai, where he proclaimed himself a Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) Kagan.

In 639 Chinese emperor, scheming to counterpose to Kagan Kupi his own protégé, appointed a relative of the deceased Aru (L.Potapov: Heli) by the name Semo  as a Kagan of the eastern Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) subjugated by Chinese, and ordered him to move the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue), a majority of whom lived in China, to the old territory located south from the (Gobi) desert along the bend of the Huang He river, north from the Great Wall.

In 641 Seyanto (under Inan leadership), together with Uigurs, Tunlo, Pugu and other Tele tribes, crossed (Gobi) desert, attacked Semo-Kagan and partially invaded China. The Chinese army came in time to the aid and defeated Inan.

In 645 Kagan Inan died. His son Bachjo became a Kagan. In 646 the Chinese army, together with the calvary of the eastern Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) trounced Seyanto north of the Otuken ridge, decapitating more than 5 thousand people, and taking prisoner over 30 thousand men and women. Seyanto were completely broken and dispersed.

In that situation against Seyanto rose other Tele tribes. A leader of Uigurs Tumitu inflicted on Seyanto a strong defeat and captured their territory. In 648 Chinese troops crushed Seyanto remains at the Mongolian Altai. Uigurs began playing a dominating role among Tokuz-Oguzes. Yielding to increased power of Tang empire, Tele tribes (Tokuz-Oguzes) were compelled in 648 to temporarily recognize a supremacy of China. To rule over them, in their territory were established 13 prefectures or administrative areas and commanderies. Of them, six were for Uigurs, Pugu, Dolango (Telengits), Baegu, Tunlo and Baisi were set up in the territory of the modern Mongolian People's Republic. In the area of modern Ulan Bator was administrative province Yan-Jan, not far from it were coaching Telengits. All other provinces located on the northern side of the (Gobi) desert was subordinated to this province. The territory of Tuva, Altai and Enisei Kyrgyz (L.Potapov: Hyagas) possessions were also subordinated to the Yan-Jan province, which in 663 was renamed Hanhai. However, these prefectures did not have Chinese administrations. The recast was confined to appointing Tele tribal leaders as military governors and prefects. As a symbol of authority they received an iron image of a fish. In particular, the son of the Uigur leader Tumitu was appointed a "commandant" of Hanhai.

Tele tribes, temporarily subjected to the Tang dynasty, were used for various military campaigns. However, also in these conditions the Tokuz-Oguzes, who were coaching on the northern side of the (Gobi) desert, were incessantly staging insurrections, which usually were severely suppressed.

The revolts of the Tele and Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes demonstrated that the Türkic-speaking nomadic masses subordinated to the Tang dynasty, shattered, but not subjugated, carried the ideas of unification and state independence.

As a result of the revolts of Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes in 682 emerged a Second Türkic Kaganate. The first Kagan of the revived state of the eastern Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) was Gudulu (Ilteres-Kagan in the ancient Türkic inscriptions) (Kutlug 682-694, Modern Chinese Pinyin 阿史那骨篤祿 Ashina Gudulu, with titles Ilterish = nation (il) unifier, refounder (terish), Il-Kagan 伊利可汗 "Kagan of the land" - Translator's Note).

Initially a military-political center of the Kaganate was on the southern side of (Gobi) desert, near a known city Kuku- Hoto.

Kutlug (L.Potapov: Gudulu) started rebuilding the eastern Türks' (L.Potapov: Tukue) state, serving in the interest of the ruling class headed by the Kagan clan (Ashina). Fight for political hegemony among the nomads on the both sides of the (Gobi) desert, oppression of the subordinated tribes, extortionate campaigns and attacks on their neighbors were the essence of of the Kagans' policy in the revived eastern Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) state.

After crushing (Tele) Tokuz-Oguzes, Kagan captured Otuken, 18 populated mostly by Uigurs who were heading Tokuz-Oguz confederation. Kutlug (L.Potapov: Gudulu) Kagan soon relocated his court there, i.e. to the northern side of the (Gobi) desert. In the southern Kara Kum (Black Sand) court ruled his brother Shad (Crown Price) Mocho, who after a death of Kutlug (L.Potapov: Gudulu) (692) proclaimed himself a Kagan (actually not "proclaimed himself", but succeded as being second in line of the lateral succession law, with a consent of the whole ruling clan Ashina - Translator's Note). In the ancient Türkic inscriptions he is called Kapgan ("Conqueror"). His court and has remained in the Kara Kum (L.Potapov: Black Sand).

Tokuz-Oguz tribes, occupying the northern side of (Gobi) desert, frequently revolted against Kagan. In the autumn of 715 Mocho strongly defeated them, destroying many people and cattle. In 716 at the river Tola he attacked and crushed Paegu tribe. But he himself was killed in that raid. Rejection of the Tokuz-Oguz tribes was again a hard blow to the eastern Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue).

The Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes were re-united by the Kutlug (L.Potapov: Gudulu) son by the name Kultegin, who returned the Türkic Kagan throne to his senior brother Mogilyan (in Orhon inscriptions Bilge-Kagan). Kultegin remained a commander of the army at the service of Kagan (with the title Shad, Crown Price).

Kultegin established his court in the Otuken area. The Türkic inscription in honor of Kultegin shows that the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) had to fight with Tokuz-Oguzes, i.e. Tele, many times, as also testify the Chinese annals.

After Mogilyan death, internecine conflicts for the throne flared among the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) (About conflict between matrilineal and patrilineal family see Yu.Zuev - Translator's Note). Their last Kagan in the ancient Türkic inscriptions was called Ozmish-Kagan.

In 744 the Second Türkic Kaganate fell, and political domination in the eastern part of the Central Asia passed to Uigurs. In 743 the leader of Uigurs relocated his court back to the Uigur ancient pasturing routs in the Otuken area, and solidified his control in the territory from the Altai to Baikal. The new Uigur confederation included Tokuz-Oguz tribes. By then Uigurs consisted of 10 tribes (On-Uigur). From that time the history of the tribes populating the territory of the modern Tuva and the adjoining areas of Mongolia becomes closely associated with the history of Uigurs.

Thus, the Tele tribes wielded substantial influence on the fate of the ancient Türks' state. Their secession from the Aru (L.Potapov: Heli) Kagan decided the fate of the Frst Türkic Kaganate. Their revolt in the 715-716 (Tokuz-Oguz confederation) wrecked the Second Türkic Kaganate, and inflicted a death on Mocho-Kagan. Finally, the Uigur-lead Tele tribes later decided the fate of the Kaganate, overthrowing the Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) power and establishing their supremacy for almost 100 years.

18 The Otuken territory covers extensive mountain forest area from the headwaters of Selenga (Selenge, 49N 100E) to the Enisei headwaters (51N 90E), which also included north-eastern Tuva, where the name Otuken survived to this day for one of the forested mountain ranges.

This is an outline of the Tele tribes history during Türkic Kaganates. It is visible that Tele tribes were numerous and coached in the extensive space on the northern side of Gobi from Khangai to the east Tien Shan. The territories of the modern Mongolia, Tuva and Mountain Altai were included into the zone of the Tele tribes coachings.

The location of the Tele tribes is reflected in the ancient and medieval toponymy. One of the written Chinese documents, belonging to the period from the end of the 7th to the end of the 8th century, mentioned Tele mountains - Te-le-shan, located in the Alashan desert, i.e. the Alashan ridge on the modern map. 19 A known Persian anonym Hudud-al-alam of 10th century named mountains (or mountain) . 20 The road from the west to these mountains went through the upper Irtysh and  apparently run to the mountains of the Mongolian Altai. As the term Tulas in some medieval Muslim sources is a synonym of the name Teles, apparently these mountains were called Teles. In the well-known Rashid-ad-din's collection of annals 21 a term Tulas rendered the ethnonym of one of the Türkic forest tribes in the location Bargudjin-Tokum, i.e. in Mongolia, which in the Mongolian "Secret Legend" sounds as Teles. The ethnonym Tele is also preserved in the modern toponymy, especially in the names of several rivers in Mongolia, one of which under a name Teli (or in Mongolian the Telin-gol) runs into Upsa-Nor lake, another runs into in river Shabir (tributary of the river Tesi), etc. A river named Dele is in the Alatau mountains. 22 That hydronym is in the area of the Teles lake (Altyn Gol) in the Altai. We shall also remind about the name of lake Tele-Kol in Kazakhstan {south from the lake Arys).

After demonstrating a wide spread in antiquity of the cattle breeding Tele tribes, who were coaching in the Central Asia on the northern side of the Gobi desert, and after briefly outlining their political history during the period of the Türkic Kaganate states, we have reasons to confidently state about the Tele tribes in the examined period as the most ancient of the authentic historical ancestors of the contemporary Southern Altaians, who preserved this ethnonym in their self-name until present. However, we are able to conduct more detailed comparisons of the Southern Altaian ethnonyms with some specific Tele tribes of the ancient Türkic and subsequent periods.

19 Yu.A.Zuev. Tamgas of horses from vassal princedoms. Works of Inst. History, Archeology and Ethnography Acad. Sciences Kaz. SSR, vol. 8, Alma-Ata, 1960, p. 112 (Further TIIAEANK).
20 V. inrsk. Hudud al-Alam. Regions of the World, a Persian geography. London, 1937, p. 195-196. 1952, 1958, vol. 11.
21 Rashid-ad-din. Collection of annals, vol. 1, book 1. M.-L., p. 121.
22 C.Valihanov. Selected works. Alma-Ata, p. 243-244;
G.N.Potanin. Essays on Northwestern Mongolia, SPb., 1883, p. 15.

But before pausing for this review, we would like to note that the ethnonym Tele in this form is mentioned in one of the documents (14 century), found in Hara-Hoto.It says: "Moving the army forward, Mongolian suan-fu-shi Van - chji crossed sands and, coming in He-si, struck on tribes, Sa-li, Tele, and Chan-myan". 23

From the names of separate Tele tribes found in the Chinese dynastic sources, among the modern Southern Altaians was preserved, as we can see, the ethnonym Telengit (Telengut), which in the Chinese chronicles has a form Dolange and Tolanko, and in the earlier news first belongs to the Gaogui generations, and later to the Tele tribes. L. Hambis considers possible, though with qualifications, to accept the identification of Tolanko with Telengit. 24 The ethnonym Dolange is also mentioned in the confederation of Tokuz-Oguzes, i.e. Tele "nine tribes". The territory of Dolange-Telengut in the 7th century is defined in the Chinese annals in double format: either it tells who were Dolange neighbors, or what district they lived in. From that follows that Dolange lived between Tele tribes Seyanto (in the west), Kibi (in the south), Husie (in the north), Pugu (in the east), 25 in the territory of modern Central Mongolia. But there is also a direct geographical indication: Dolange coached along the river Tunlo which is identified with the river Upper Chika (Selenga basin). 26 Thus, the earliest evidences in the written sources locate the ancient Telenguts in Mongolia. However, the pasturing routs of the Telenguts were unlikely limited to the valley of the river Tunlo, where most likely was a court of their leader, for after the fall of the First Türkic Kaganate (630), when the Tang dynasty tried to solidify its political domination over Tele and other tribes, or more accurately over "nine tribes" (Tokuz-Oguzes), the Telengit pasturing routs were proclaimed to be a Yan-jan commandery. 27 As the name of Yan-jan commandery was derived, by the evidence of the sources, from the name of the Khangai mountains, 28 the Telengit pasturing routs territory in the west extended to Khangai, and probably to the great lakes depression. Probably that was a reason that in the 663-664, when the control of subordinated by the Tang dynasty tribes of Tele and Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) was reformed, Yan-jan commandery was renamed to Hanhai. 29

23 A.Ivanov. Documents from city Hara-Hoto. News of the Acad. Sciences. SPb., 1913, p. 813.
24 L. Hambis, Ibid., p. 33.
25 N.V.Kuner, Ibid., p. 40, 51;
N.Ya.Bichurin, Ibid.gt. 1, 346.
26 Yu.A.Zuev, Ibid., p. 109.
27 N.Ya.Bichurin, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 346;
. Chavannes. Documents sur 1es Tou-kien (Turcs) occidentaux. St.-Pet., 1903, p. 91.
28 N.Ya. Bichurin, Ibid., vol. 3, 1953, p. 78.

In the ancient Türkic runiform inscriptions, in contrast with the Chinese annals, the ethnonym Dolange-Telengit is abscent, like some other ethnonyms of the Tele tribes. Tokuz-Oguzes are mentioned only generally, Dolange-Telengitsbelonged to them, as we saw above. But the sources of the beginning of the 13th and the 14th century mentioned ethnonym Telengut repeatedly, together with the ethnonym Teles, which is very interesting. The Mongolian "Secret Legend" source, among the peoples subjugated by the Mongols right at the beginning of the 13th century, in one simultaneously appear Tooleses and Telenguts, and in another place simultaneously appear Tenlek and Tooles. They all belonged to the category of "forest peoples", 31 who lived in the forested mountain areas extending from the west to the east from the Mongolian Altai (Irtysh headwaters) to the Khangai mountains and further east. The cited testimony of the source is especially valuable because it certifies the fact that in the beginning of the 13th century simultaneously existed people or tribe with the name Tooles (another spelling is Toeles), and people or tribe with the  name Telengut and Tenlek. In other words, like with the modern Southern Altaians, in the beginning of the 13th century the names of Tele and Telengut were not synonymous, and designated different groups of the "forest peoples", linguistically related, whose occupations were nomadic cattle breeding and hunting.

The localization of some forest peoples can be found in the second fragment of the same Mongolian source. It says that in 1207 Djuchi, the son of Chingishan,departing from the headwaters of river Onon (50N 103E), quickly subdued "forest peoples without loosing any people or horses" and received them from his father and ruler in "possession". The names of the subjugated peoples and their geographical sequence is noted: "The forest peoples, starting from there toward us (from the west to the east - L. P.), namely the peoples Shibir, Kesdiin, Bait, Tuhas, Tenlek, Toeles, Tas and Bachjigi". 32 From this is visible that Toeleses lived in relation to the other listed peoples closer to the headwaters of Onon and Kerulen, whence Djuchi set out to a campaign, most likely they were in the area of the Sayano-Altai uplands (Not any less interesting, but not commented here by L.Potapov, is that Tenlek-Telenguts bordered with Tuhas-Tochars, some fractions of which are known to remain in the Central Asia, while the other fraction went west in the 2nd c. BC. The furthest in the west were Shibirs, a fraction of whom were controlling North Pontic in the 5th c. AD, who were in the Bulgarian confederation in the 5th - 10th cc. AD, and who fled to the Itil - Kama interfluvial with the Bulgars at around 859, and establish city Suvar - Translator's Note).

29 Liu Mau-Tsai, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 246; vol. 2, p. 587, 606.
30 Secret Legend. The Mongolian chronicle of 1240 "Yuan chao bi shi". Mongolian ordinary collection, vol. 1. M.-L., 1941, p. 161, 174-175.
31 Rashid-ad-din explains: "Any tribe whose yurts are in forested places, is called a forest tribe" (Ibid., vol. 1, book 1, p. 123).
32 Secret Legend, p. 174-175.

A significant interest also presents the ethnonym Tenlek, which is identified with the term Telek or Teleg, an endoethnonym self-name of a significant group of the modern Tuvinians and which also goes back to an ancient ethnonym Tele. L. Hambis allows a possibility to consider Telek (Talak) a dialectal form of the ethnonym transcribed by the Chinese sources with a term tolo ('o-lo) and its variations, which he thinks ascend to a more ancient form Ting-ling. 33 The author refers to the researchers (Naka and Wang Kouo-wei) who expressed in their comments to the "Secret Legend" an idea that the word tenlek (Tanlak) was one of the forms of the name Telengut, believing that though it seems veritable, it still needs proofs. His line of reasoning is this. If Tenlek is a singular of Telengut, this form is a result of fairly probable mistake of the copyists, who red so the Mongolian original, where apparently the external line was sloppily (badly) drawn above a projection, which produced Tenlek instead of Teleng, a correct singular form of Telengut. The researcher refers to the Ulan-Bator edition Altan Tobchi, where is written Teleng, which confirms the correction of the suspected mistake of the copyist. 34 In that connection we need to recall once again that the modern Tuvinians have a group named Telek or Teleg, and that the modern western Tuvinians also call their Altai Telengit neighbours with the term Teleg.

The Telenguts and Teleses are mentioned in the Persian source, Rashid-ad-din "Collection of annals". It usualy mentions Telenguts next to Urasuts. It also says that Telenguts belonged to the forest tribes, that "they live in the forests within the limits of the Kirgizes and Kem-Kemdjiuts country". 35 Hence, the Telengits at this time lived in the Sayano-Altai highlands, because the country Kem-Kemdjiut is the territory of the Kem and Kemchik (modern Tuva), and the Kyrgyzes occupied, as is known, the Minusinsk depression, spreading theit domination to the Sayan mountains, and over some areas on the southern side of the ridge. The country Kem-Kemdjiut not only adjoined the country of Kyrgyzes, but was also dependent of them. Were the Telengits at that time in the Altai, no information is available. But, considering the proximity of the Kem and Kemchik area to the Altai, hardly can be questioned that Telengits spread (like many other Tuvian tribes) their pasturing routs to the Altai, where later (in the16th-17th centuries) their is confirmed by written sources.

33 L. Hambis, Ibid., p. 33.
34 Ibid., p. 32.
35 Rashid-ad-din, Ibid., vol. 1, book 1, pp. 122-123.

Rashid-ad-din calls Teleses Tualas or Tulas. They lived "on that side of the river Selenga" in the location Bargudjin Tokum (Buryat "barga" = "boonies", "djin" = "inhabitant of"). Rashid-ad-din explains "This district is located above the river Selenga, in the easterm Mongolia". 36 In a word, the location is southern Baikal area. Teleses-Tulases were related with the tribe Tumat. 37 And now, among the Southern Altaians, has preserved a seok Tumat, and among the Tuvinians with this name is known a significant group. During the period from the 6th - 8th till the 13th - 14th centuries the pasturing routs of the Telengits and Teleses were located in the Khangai and Sayano-Altai uplands. The memoirs about living in the areas adjoining the Khangai if not in the Khangai highlands remained among the modern Telengits in the Altai in the spells of shamans who, while calling the spirits and revering the most esteemed mountains, name Khangai among other places. 38

The written historical sources allow to track the further existence of the Telenguts-Telengits and Teleses after the 14th century, down to the appearance of their name in the Russian written documents of the 17th-18th centuries.

The well-known composition of the Mongolian Beg Sanan Setsen (1604-1662) that describes the history of the Mongolian khans up to the middle of the 17th century, compiled from the earlier historical works, mentions Telenguts. 39 Their name is given in the form Teilengud (in the I.Schmidt's edition) which, as has explained L. Hambis, in the Mongolian text is actually given as Taileggiit, where in hisopinion "the hook was certainly incorrectly marked or incorrectly read in the manuscript, similar to the Tanlak in the Secret history ("Secret Legend" - L. P.), and it should be read Talanggut ("v" appeared because of "gg" which suggests "ng" = "n" before the second "g"). 40 L. Hambis justified it with references to the A.Mostaert's works. Mostaert really, basing on German, Chinese and his own translations of Sanan Setsen, confirms the transcription of this ethnonym as Talang-giis (elengiis), and says that the name Telenggus is found as a name of one of the Oirat clans, and also as the name of one of the clans among the modern Ordos Mongols in the banners (hoshun or division - L. P.) Aukhan and Naiman. 41

36 Ibid., Book 2, p. 111.
37 Ibid., Book 1, p. 121.
38 A.V.Anokhin. Materials on shamanism among Altaians L., 1924, p. 79.
39 Geschichte der Ost-Mongolen und ihres Furstenhauses, verfasst von Ssanang-Ssetsen Cungtaidschi der Ordus, aus dem Mongolischen tiberzetzt von I. J. Schmidt. St.-Pet. - Leipzig, 1829. This work was published in full by vCHTA by A.Mostaert: Erdeni-yin Tobci. Mongolian chronicle by Sagan Bechen, with a critical indroduction of A. Mostaert, vol. 1-4, Chambridge, Massachusettes, 1956,
40 L.Hambis, Ibid., str 32-33
41 L.P.Potapov

Thus, Telenguts appeared in Ordos among Oirats and later southern Ordos Mongols. The presence of the Telengits among Oirats at that time is historically quite possible, and their assimilation among the Ordos Mongols people also cannot cause any doubt, because these Mongols came there from the north, which is evidenced by their songs where are mentioned Khangai and Altai, as was noted by G.N.Potanin. 42

Thus, is positively established the origin of the modern Altai Telengits or Telenguts (Teleuts), from one of the ancient Türkic tribes Tele-Dolange, through the Telenguts of the Mongolian period, and their more closer historical ancestors mentioned in the Mongolian sources during the 15th-16th centuries and in the Russian documents of the 17th-18th centuries.


In respect to the the Altai Teleses with full confidence we can assert their most ancient ethnogenetical historical connection, at least from the 13th century, with the Teleses of the Mongolian period. There is no doubt that Teleses and Tulases of the Mongolian and Persian sources are the ancestors of the modern Altai Teleses. However,  to track the ethnogenetical sources of these medieval Teleses, with their earlier historical ancestors, is quite difficult. Nevertheless, such effort should be attempted.

The difficulty primarily consists in the absence in the Chinese written and ancient Türkic runiform sources of the ethnonym Tele, while the ethnonym Telengit (Dolange), though absent in the runiform inscriptions, is present in the annalistic chronicles. In respect to the ancient Türkic inscriptions the silence about these two ethnonyms, and likewise of the ethnonym Tele, is apparently easier to explain, because in these inscriptions the Tele tribes belong to the political association or confederation of the "nine tribes", and are called Tokuz-Oguzes in general. 43 Because the ancient Türkic Kaganates dealt not with the Tele tribes, but with their confederation, whish was known as a political opponent of the Türks-Tukue, despite the affinity of languages and ethnic origins; naturally that the slab monument inscriptions that were articulating the political history of the Kaganates, did not mention the ethnonym Tele, but a political name of the Tokuz-Oguz confederation, which replaces the ethnonym Tele.

41 Antoine Mostaert. Ordosica. Bulletin of the Catholic Universityof Peking, 1934, No 9, p. 45-46. The author found in Ordos version of the manuscript of this chronicle, which he designates M.. (Manuscrit Ordos). In the Shara-Tudji the term Telengut is transmitted as telengis (N.P.Shastina. Shara-Tudji. Mongolian annals of the 17th century M.-L., 1957, p. 80).
42 G.N.Potanin. The Tangut-Tibetan fringe of China and Central Mongolia. ., 1950, p. 123.,
43 See about it: . Pulleyblank. Some remarks on the Toguzognuz problem.

Relying on the Chinese written sources that contain the name Telengit in the listing of the Tokuz-Oguzes allows to confidently believe that the ancient Türkic runiform inscriptions did not mentioned Telengits because they were a part of the Tokuz-Oguzes. But in the runiform monuments of the ancient Türkic writing was found a term Tolis, which initially W.Radloff read Teles, and which began to be usually identified with the Tele of the Chinese historical sources. 44 Because of that, N.A.Aristov accepted Teleses as one of the Türks - Tugue main tribes, for the Orhon inscriptions clearly divide the ancient Türks into Teles and Tardush, with the Teleses being in the east, and Tardushes in the west. The problem of reading the ethnonym of interest to us in the ancient Türkic inscriptions seems not to have received a clear answer till this moment. We shall remind that W.Radloff and P.Melioransky read this term as toles. In particular, they read so an inscription on the first stone from a chain of balbals installed at the remains of a temple erected for the funerals in honor of the diseased Bilge-Kagan (Mogilyan-khan). The inscription says: "This is a stone balbal [in memory] of Shad of Toleses". 45 S.E.Malov in different monuments read this term differently. We shall cite examples. In the Kul-Tegin monument he names the language of the people to whom the diseased "gave placement", in the transcription olic, in the translation Tlis. 46 But in the monument in honor of Mogilyan-khan in transcription stands olac, in translation stands Toles. 47 However, in the Moyun-chur monument in the transcription is already given a term olic (in the translation Tlis). 48 L. Hambis is giving an Orhon name to this term Tolas (Tolos), 49 and E.Pulleyblank is giving Tolis. 50 The reading Tolis (in Russia) apparently introduced I.A.Klukin, who for some reasons did not consider it necessary to give reason for that, though he could not know how W.Radloff and P.Melioransky read this term, or F.Hirt and E.Shavannes, who were identifying the ethnonym Teles with the Tele of the Chinese annals. 51 Because the reading in the ancient Türkic inscriptions of the examined here term Tls, homophonic with the modern Altai ethnonym, is impossible to deem accepted by the modern Orientalists, we certainly should also consider the term Tolis.

44 W. Radloff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1. Leipzig, 1884, p. 26;
Fr. Hirth. Nachwort zur 1nschriften des Tonjukuk. 1n: Die Alttiirkischen 1nschriftender Mongolei. Zweite Folge. St.-Pet, 1899, p. 133;
E. Chavannes, Ibid., p. 14-15, 21;
. Franke. Geschichte des chinesischen Reiche. Bd. 3. Berlin, 1937, p. 248.
45 Ancient Türkic monuments in Kosho-Tsaidam. Coll. of works of Orhon expedition, 4, SPb., 1897, p. 45.
46 S.E.Malov, Monuments of ancient Türkic writing of Mongolia and Kirgizia. M.-L., 1959, p. 30, 38.
47 Ibid., p. 18, 23.
48 Ibid., p. 36, 40.
49 L. Hambis, Ibid., p. 32.
50 . Pulleyblank. The Hsiung-nu Language, p. 258.
51 E. Chavannes. Documents sur les Tou-kien (turcs) occidenteaux. p. 14;
F. Hirth. Nachworte zur 1nschrift des Tonjukuk, p. 133.
11 L.P.Potapov

However in that connection we should note something else. Now is considered to be proven that neither Tele, nor Tolis can be identified with the ethnonym Tele (with a plural affix "s"). Tolis at that time was only a name of a geographical military-administrative division (among Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue), Tokuz-Oguzes, and then Uigurs) with a meaning "eastern half" or "eastern (left) wing". This opinion belongs to prof. I.A.Klukin and is accepted by modern Turkologists and Sinologists. 52 Investigating the terms Tolis and Tardush, Klukin allows that both of them as the names of the left and right the half (or a wing) could originally be ethnonyms taken from the Türkic-speaking tribal people where this division originated, but he allows as well their origin from the names of the geographical environment. So, starting with such facts, as the absence of the ethnonym Tele in the ancient Türkic inscriptions, and as the semantics of the term Tolis, comes a question whether the name Tls of the group of the modern Altaians can be considered to be an ethnonym ascending to the ancient Türkic period. Could there be during ancient Türkic time such an ethnonym?

We answer this as follows. Both cited facts cannot serve as a proof of total absence among the Türkic-speaking tribes of the ethnonym Tels during the examined time. The ethnonym Tele in the above inscriptions is also not present, but its existence for that time is evidenced by other written sources, and then by its preservation among a number of the modern nations. Are not also present in the same ancient Türks inscriptions such ethnonyms belonging to the individual Tele tribes as Bugu, Telengit, and Tuba, which are well-known from the annalistic sources and also remained up until now among some Türkic-speaking peoples. Therefore, sharing the I.A.Klukin opinion on the meaning of the term Tolis in the Orhon inscriptions, at the same time we do not see an obstacle for the hypothesis of existence of the ethnonym Teles with a root of the term Tele and a plural formant "s". 53 Certainly, there is no need to connect the origin of the ethnonym Tels with Tolis, recognizing that the carriers of the ethnonym Tels belonged to the eastern half of some Türkic-speaking tribes, which caused them to begin to be called Teles.

52 I.A.Klukin. New data on the tribes of Tardushes and Tolises. News of Far East branch of USSR Acad. of Sciences, 1932, No 1-2, p. 96-98;
E. u1leblank. 1) Some remarks on the Toguzoghuz problem, p. 38; 2) The Hsiung-nu Language. Pulleyblank, like the some other scientists, categorically asserts that T'ieh-le and its early forms, Ch'in-le, etc. have nothing common with Tolis.
53 R.Boodberg. Three notes on the T'u-chiieh Turks. Semitic anaOriental Studies University of California, 1951, vol. 11, p. 5.

The existence of the term Tolis with a meaning "eastern half" does not exclude a simultaneous existence of the ethnonym Teles. Many Tele tribes belonged to the eastern half, in particular Tokuz-Oguz tribes (including Telengit-Dolange, Dubo-Tuba, Bugu, and others), but that did not prevent them from keeping their own names, which did not reflect in any way their belonging to the right wing of tribes. To that category may also belong the term Teles, which as an ethnonym is documentarily known only from the beginning of the 13th century.

In connection with the stated above should be mentioned the W.W.Bartold's opinion that Teles (Tolis) of the Orhon inscriptions should be connected not with the name Tele, as was done by V.Tomsen and others, but with the ethnonym transmitted by the Chinese annals in the form Tu-li, as a name of one of the tribal divisions that were coaching in Mongolia. 54 The W.Bartold's opinion supported P.Melioransky and G.E.Grumm-Grjimailo. G.E.Grumm-Grjimailo identified Tols with To-li or Tu-li of the Chinese annals, and held it as aboriginal Türkic tribe which after the fall of the First Türkic Kaganate rose against Tele and coached away to Altai (probably, to the Kobdo river basin) headed by Chebi, a son of the deceased Aru (L.Potapov: Heli)-Kagan. 55 Chebi, having fled from the Tokuz-Oguzes to the Altai mountains, proclaimed himself a Türkic Kagan, and subordinated Karluks and Enisei Kyrgyzes in the north. Anyway, the tribe Tu-li really existed, and possibly that name sounded among its carriers as Tls.

However, all that remains though plausible, but nevertheless a supposition. And only in the beginning of the 13th century, as was stated above, appeared authentic information about Tele as forest people, or a tribe mentioned simultaneously with Telenguts.  The same documentary news we also cited about them for the 14 century. It is obvious that by the 13th century, when Teleses started to appear in the historical sources, they already had, like the Telenguts, a long history undoubtedly connected with the Türkic-speaking Tele and ancient Türkic Kaganates. To find the ancestors of Teleses of the Mongolian period in earlier written sources is a task for the future. For now we should be content with the hypotheses.

But after the 13th-14th century about the Teles ethnonym testify the written sources belonging to most "dark" period, preceding the detailed information on Tele and Telenguts in the Russian historical acts of the 17th century. Such information give us some Muslim sources of the 16th century

54 Die historische Bedeutung der alttiirkischen 1nschriften. In: W. Radloff. Die alttiirkischen 1nschriften der Mongolei. Neue Folge. SPb., 1897, p. 8.
55 G.E.Grumm-Grjimailo. The western Mongolia and Uryanhai Territory, vol. 2. L., 1926, p. 283-284.

In the composition "Madjmut at-tavarih" is mentioned a tribe Tels among the Kirgiz tribal groups west from the Altai. 56 At that time a part of Teleses was one of the historical ancestors of the modern Kirgizes, they still have this group up until present. About Teleses also tell the Muslim compositions of the 18th century as participants in the army of Arzu Muhhamed-bek campaigns against Yarkand. 57 Nothing needs to be said that with the arrival of the information about Tele in the Russian historical documents of the 17th century, the Teleses ethnic and political history is well traced down to the present, at the same time it is well connected with their history of the earlier period, at least to the beginning of the 13th century.

Having examined the most common and widely spread ethnonyms of the Southern Altaians with the root of the term Tele, formed by the plural affix of either the ancient Türkic ("s") or of the Mongolian ("ut" or "t"), we could determine and define where possible the ancient ethnic elements of the modern Southern Altaians, and ascertain that they ascend to the people of the nomadic cattle breeding tribes, called Tele.

Ases and Azes

But among the Southern Altaians we should also note a number of seok names which also signal about ancient ethnic connections. To them belong the names of the Telengit seoks Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) and Chygat (Chigat), which were shown above as connected by their origin with Teleses, and also name of the Teleut seok Tert-As. The (Russian) term Titas represents a reduction of the name Dieti-As (Teti-As), which means "Seven Ases", just as the name of the Teleut seok Tertas is translated as "Four Ases". Dropping the numerical designation in both names (Seven As and Four As), incidentally typical for the tribes of the ancient Türkic period (compare Nine Oguzes, Ten Uigurs, Three Karluks, Three Kurykans, and others), leaves the ethnonym As or Az, which is of interest because it is mentioned in the ancient Türkic runiform inscriptions. They say that a tribe or people As lived in the western part of the modern Tuva, near the lake Kara-Hol (With all its inventive spelling reincarnations, the kul/gol/hol/kal/kül ets. is a Türkic "lake", "Kara-Hol" = "Black Lake", "Baikal" = "Lord Lake", etc. - Translator's Note). The Ases lived in the territory which was included in the pasturing routs of the Tele tribes.

56 Manuscript B-667, stored in Leningrad branch of Institute of Asian Peoples, USSR Academy of Sciences (LOINA), ll. 86-a, 88-a, 133-b. With this information ee are obliged to the courtesy of V.A.Romadin, who took the trouble of locating and translating resspective places in the manuscript, to which we express a sincere gratitude.
57 From the manuscript Tarih and Kashgar, M.N.PokrovSky translation. It was pointed to us also by V.A.Romadin.

The Türkic Kagan Mogilyan defeated them in 709, and the famous Kul-Tegin inflicted on them a final defeat in 716, after which Ases lost their independence, migrated from the Enisei southwest, and apparently merged with the Western Türks - Tyurgeshes. 58 W.Bartold found it possible to compare Azes with the generation of the Jeti-su Tyurgeshes - Azians. 59 About Ases tells the Persian anonym "Hudul al-Alam" (10th century), and Persian geographer Gardizi (middle of the 11th century) already describes As as a branch of Tyurgeshes. From the Orhon inscriptions follows that Ases lived in the neighborhood of Altai, only several dozens kilometers from the East Altai areas, adjoining the Teles lake (Altyn Gol), where nowadays live Teleses. Hence, the tribe As, which in the 8th century was hostile toward the ancient Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue), belonged to the Tele tribes, judging by the occupied territory, and coached near the modern habitat of the Altai Teleses. In that connection presents a significant interest a field record of G.N.Potanin, who informed that Djity-As (Titas) represent "a real name of Teleses". 60 The cited materials point to a close connection of the 8th century Azes, and the Azes joined with Teleses in the 19th century, with the Tele tribes. As reflection of such connection descending from deep antiquity should be viewed the ban on marriages between the seok Dieti-As (Russ. Titas) and Tele we noted above. Probably some groups of the Ases-Tele joined the Altaians proper (Altai-kiji), the evidence of which can serve the Altai seok by the name Bailagas. This name can also reflect a numerical meaning of the ethnonym As, if to suggest that its real pronunciation was Bailangas. In that case it could mean in the Southern Altaian (Teleut) language "Numerous Ases".

Citation from W.W.Bartold, "Essay on history of Jeti-su", p. 21

Chinese, Arabian and Persian sources enable us to receive a pretty good idea about the grouping of the Türkic tribes after the fall of the Western Türkic Empire....

In the Jeti-su remained only the Turgeshes, divided into two generations, on Tahsians (Tochars) and Azians (Ases) (reading of these names is doubtful, probably, the Azians are identical with the mentioned in the Orhon inscriptions Az people). The domination in the Jeti-su in the second half of the 8th century passed to the Karluk people....

(Turgeshes, maybe slightly distorted or reduced form of Türk-kiji, were called in the Chinese annals 月支, in Modern Chinese Pinyin "Yuezhi", they consist of 2 tribes, Tahsi and Az, as much inseparable as the Tochars and Ases in the conquest of Bactria ca 150 BC, and Dügers/Digors and Ases in the Alanian confederation, and in today's Altai by encountered by L.Potapov as Dieti-As and Tert-As, and Bailagas, and again with Tahsi. More on Ases and Tochars see Yu. Zuev - Translator's Note)


The name of the seok Chygat, nowadays living among Tubalars, but as we have established above, of the Teles origins, also comprises ancient ethnonym Chik with a Mongolian plural formant "(a)t". The Chiks are mentioned in the same ancient Türkic inscriptions together with Ases and in their close neighborhood. At that time they lived in the territory of the modern Tuva, mainly in the Ulug-Hem valley and probably also Hemchik valley, because the inscription tells about a defeat of the Chiks by the Türkic Bilge-Kagan (Mogilyan) in 709 at the river Hem, which he had to cross. Chiks remained living there after the defeat, for an another ancient inscription tells about their defeat at the river Hem in the 750 by the Kagan of Uigurs. 61 Yu.A.Zuev reminded recently that Markwart located Chiks along the river Hemchik, believing that their name was preserved in the name of area Kemchigut which he deciphered "Chiks tribe from the river Kem". 62

58 History of Tuva, vol. 1, M., 1964, p. 81.1.
59 W.W.Bartold. Essay on history of Jeti-su. Issue 2. Frunze, 1943, p. 21.
60. G.N.Potanin. Essays on Northwestern Mongolia, vol. 4. SPb., 1883, p. 9.
61 History of Tuva, vol. 1, p. 81.
62 Yu.A.Zuev, Ibid., p. 113.

In the 8th century, the Chiks' territorial proximity to the eastern Altai is as doubtless as the proximity of the Azes. Chiks and Azes could very well reach Altai at that time. Later, as it was shown, the Chiks pasturing routs were on the northern slope of the Altai mountains, in the Ob steppes, where in the16th-17th centuries were coaching Chagats (or Chats). Ethnonym Chik was preserved in the name Chik of the left tributary of the Ob river (near Novosibirsk). The same argument which we cited in examination of the ethnonym As also testifies to the Chiks' belonging in antiquity to the Tele tribes. And their belonging to Teleses, at least in the16th-17th centuries, probably reflects Chiks' connections with Tele during the earlier period (8th century).


Thus, the specific historical material shows preservation in the tribal names of the Southern Altaians not only of the generalized ancient ethnonym Tele, but also of a number of other separate tribes that reflect specific names of the Tele tribes. The last statement can be supported by one more fact. For that, should be noted the name of the seok Aba, which in our literature is attributed to northern Shors, because they are the same those Abans in which land in 1618 was erected Kuznetsk. We already noted above the name of Aba in the Russian historical documents of the beginning of the 17th century, as the name of the "Kuznetsk Tatars" volost, which then meant the local Türkic-speaking population living in the area where the Kuznetsk fort was built. The participants of the18th century Russian academic expeditions I.Gmelin and I. Georgi, describing culture and daily life of the Abans, emphasized a full similarity, as expressed Georgi "in respect to the appearance, spiritual character, daily life, personality, language, notation of time, and ceremonies", with the Teleuts. 63 Hence, in the 16th-17th centuries the Abans were ethnographically close to their  Teleut neighbors. Though in the beginning of the 18th century the Abans are described from the angle of economic occupations emphasizing the importance for them of the animal hunting and metallurgy (extraction and smelting iron), all of them were cattlemen, and specifically nomadic cattlemen, for Georges notes that among the Abans "the cattle breeding in every detail is similar with that of the Teleuts". The Abans of the 17-18th centuries knew precisely the nomadic cattle breeding, typical for the nomads Central Asia. That sharply differentiated Abans from the ancestors of the southern mountain Shors, these typical taiga hunters, fishermen and gatherers of wild plant roots and stalks.

In the 19th and 20th centuries the Abans (after W.Radloff's travel across Southern Siberia) were already noted by the researchers only as a seok of the northern "Shors", sometimes called "steppe" Shors.

63 J. Gmelin. Reise durch Sibirien von dem Jahre 1733 bis 1743, Bd. 1. Gottingen, 1751; I.Georgi. The description of all peoples living in the Russian state, ch. 2. SPb., 1779, p. 162.

We find it possible to juxtapose Abans the 17th century, then in all respects identical to Teleuts, with one of the tribes of the ancient Tele, called Aba. The Aba tribe is mentioned in the history of the Sui dynasty. In 603 it was among the Tele tribes revolting against Tatu-Kagan of the Western Türks. 64 At the end of the 6th century Aba coached between the Khangai and Altai mountains, and were subjects of Dalobyan, a son of the late Eastern Türkic Kagan Muhan. In the translation of the annals published by N.Ya.Bichurin, the Tele tribe Aba was wrongly identified with the name of the Abo khan and his aimak (Abo aimak). 65 The remote descendants of the ancient Aba, the Abans were coaching in the Kuznetsk steppe and in the 16th-17th centuries belonged to the Teleut confederation, like in the 6th-7th centuries their early ethnic ancestors were part of the Tele tribes.

Ases and them kishtyms. Tuhas (Tocharians)

W. Radloff has registered Ak-kishtyms as a tribe among the Teleuts, mentioned above. Information on them starts from the first quarter of the 17th century. In the yasak books of the Kuznetsk district they are registered from the 1629, but their volost is called Azkyshtym. Apparently, this name is correct, because is correctly translated as "tribute payers" (kishtyms) of the Azes. In documents of the 17th and the beginnings of the 18th century kishtyms are mentioned frequently, but not in ethnic sence, but as tribute payers. For example, it is said: "In 1703 Tele's kyshtyms paid 40 sables" and "Teleut's kyshtyms - 25 sables", etc. 66 In the 16 century the As-kyshtyms lived intermixed with Teleuts, between Tom and Ob in the "steppe volosts" to which also belonged the volosts Togul, Keret, and Tagap. In the second half of the 19th century V.Verbitsky lists the Ashkyshtym volost among the nomadic volosts of the Kuznetsk district. The correct name of it was, as was already noted, As - or philologically identical Ash- or Ach-kishtym. The name of a part of the Teleuts As-kishtyms or Ach-kishtyms ties well with fairly early ethnic materials reflected in the written sources, in which appears the term kesdiin with a function of quasi-ethnonym. The Chinese sources, however, do not have such ethnonym. Still, the name kesdiin in the form geshdum was found in a Tibetan document of the middle of the 9th century, in the report of five Uigur ambassadors about the northern part of the Central Asia, composed in the middle of the 8th century, 67 and then, in the form keshdim it was found in a runiform inscription Haya-bayat (on river Hemchik). 68

64 Liu Mau-tsai, Ibid., vol. 11, p. 527.
65 N.V.Kuner attracted my attention to it.  G.E.Grumm-Grjimailo found that discrepancy in the translation of Iakinf (Bichurin). See his "Western Mongolia and Uryanhai territory", vol. 2, p. 232, note 3, with more accurate translation and with a reference to the known French Sinologist  S.Julien.
66 B.O.Dolgih. Clan and tribal structure of Siberian peoples of the 18th century, ., 1960, p. 108.

In the last case the dating of the term is not earlier than the 9th century, and the term is used in respect of the whole area Keshdim, where lived dependent from the Enisei Kyrgyzes population subdivided into six "bags" (Beg, Bey, Bek, Bag, Bai etc. are equivalent dialectal variations meaning "Lord" or "Prince", like in "Baikal" etc. - Translator's Note), probably administrative or tribute units. 69 The name kesdiin is present in the list of forest peoples of the Mongolian "Secret Legend", together with ethnonyms Toeles, Tuhas, Tenlek, and others. We find it at Rashid-ad-din together with Telenguts in the list of the forest peoples who live "on that side of Kirgizes" in the form kushtemi. 70 As was stated above, the term kishtym is also in the Russian written sources of the 17th-18th century, where sometimes it obviously serves as an ethnonym (Teleuts' As-kishtyms). It seems to us that when the word kishtym has a determinant, as for example As-kishtym,  it does not have a meaning of an ethnonym. But the scientific historical value of it is conserved, for such a name points to the specific ethnic possessors. It is quite probable that in the Teleut As-kishtyms we have descendants of some small tribal groups held in kishtym dependence from the Azes, who lived in the Sayano-Altai uplands and then in the Ob steppes, where they also could have kishtyms from the nomadic cattlemen people.

Now should be mentioned the question about ethnonyms Kypchak, Todosh and Naiman, serving among the Southern Altaians as the names of the seoks, but well-known in the history of the Central Asia (especially Kypchak and Naiman) as the name of large peoples or tribal societies. Ethnonym Kypchak should certainly be attributed to the ancient tribal names. Even without a recognition of its mentioning in one of the texts of the Chinese annalistic news dated by the 3rd century BC, connected with the description of the Hun leader Mode conquests, 71 it is indisputable that it is mentioned in an ancient Uigur runiform inscription. A known monument of Uigur Kagan Moyun-Chur definitely says: "...Kipchak Türks dominated [over us] for fifty years..." .72

67 J. t. Reconnaissance en Haute Asie septentrionale par cinqenvoyes ouighours au 8-e siecle. Journal Asiatique, Paris, 1956;
G. 1ausn, A propos du Manuscrit Pelliot Tibetain 1283. Journal Asiatique, 1957;
L. Hambis. Kastim et Gesdum. Asiatique, 1958, No 3.
68 S.E.Malov. Enisei Türkic writing. M.-L., 1952.. 44.
69 History of Tuva, vol. 1, p. 179.
70 Rashid-ad-din, Ibid., p. 123.
71 A.N.Bernshtam. Most ancient Türks elements in ethnogenesis of Central Asia. Soviet ethnography, 1947, No 6-7, p. 154 (ethnonym "tsuyshe", mentioned by Syma Qian, the author of the 2nd century BC, in the section "Shitszy" as "Kypchak");
V.Kargren. Analytic dictionary of Chinese and Sinno-Japanese. Paris, 1923 (reference in Bernshtam).
72 S.E.Malov. Monuments of ancient Türkic writing of Mongolia and Kirgizia, p. 38.
172 top

There, Kypchaks are ascribed to the Türks-Tukue, but not to the Tele tribes, and apparently to the ruling elite of the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue). Thus, the written sources testify to the presence of the Kypchaks in the 7th-8th centuries in the Sayano-Altai mountains. However, we do not have sufficient evidence to state a direct ethnogenetical connection of the seok Kypchak among the Southern Altaians with the Kypchaks of the eastern Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) (7th-8th centuries), for the available ethnographical materials only confirm closer to the present Kypchak connections with the tribes of the Middle Ages. We mean those Kypchak tribes a part of which was known by the eastern authors under a name of Kimaks, and which are already mentioned by the Arabian geographer of the first half of the 9th century Ibn-Hordodbeh. The manuscript of the Persian geographer Gardizi (first half of the 11th century) says that Kimaks "live in forests, gorges and steppes, all of them own herds of cows and rams; they do not have camels. In the summer they eat mare milk, which among them is called koumiss; for the winter they prepare dried meat of mutton, horse, cow, everyone according to his means. Kimaks hunt sable and ermines". 73

The Altai (southern) tribes, including Teleuts, belonged to the eastern part of the Kypchak Khanate (L.Potapov: Djuchi ulus)  (White Horde), and lived with a common cultural and community life with the neighboring Kypchak tribes of the White Horde (A horde is a name for an administrative subdivision of the state, with its supreme governor responsible for administration of its uluses. tax collection, and assembly and delivery of his fully equipped horde army on the order of the Khan - Translator's Note).

The ethnogenetical connection of the modern Teleuts and Southern Altaians in general, who include the Kypchak seok, with medieval Kypchaks is fairly convincingly disclosed by the ethnographical material. The sources allow to form interesting comparisons of the Southern Altaians modern ethnographical features with some specific features of culture and daily life typical for the medieval Kypchaks. They are known to us from the descriptions of the West-European travellers who visited Kypchak steppes in the 13 century. For example, Marko Polo described Natigai deity: "Everyone has it in the house. It is made from felt and cloth and is held in the houses; they also make the wife of that God and his Sons... During the meal they take and butter a fatty chunk on the mouth of the God, his wife, and sons". 76 Similar images of deities as dolls of felt and cloth were widely spread among Altai Telengits and Teleuts up to the revolution. They were held in yurts and "fed" precisely as described Marko Polo. Moreover, the modern Telengits even called this deity the same. G.N.Potanin during his travel in the valley of the Chui river recorded his name, it also sounded "Natigai". 77 Incidentally, the Teleuts sewed the images of the deity from a canvas as dolls, filled with rugs, felt or sheep wool, and called him with a common term emegender (old ancestor women). These dolls also were periodically "fed". The domestic penates as felt dolls, representing the whole families of deities, the modern Tuvinians were making and revering very recently 78 (indicating that 25 years of cultural genocide can kill millennia of cultural heritage. In 1969 it was only 25 years since Russia (Soviets) seizing of Tuva, a blink of an eye in their long history. It also shows that the Russian post-war historians and archeologists, who wrote a lot of scholastic nonsense about Kipchaks, needed only a train ticket to get acquainted a little with the subject of their speculations - Translator's Note).

76 Marko Polo. Travel. L., 1940, p. 63, 117.
77 G.N.Potanin. Essays on Northwestern Mongolia, vol. 4, p. 97.
78 L.P.Potapov. Materials on ethnography of Tuvinians of the Mongun-taiga and Kara-Hol regions. Works of the Tuva complex expedition of the USSR Academy of Sciences Ethnography Institute, vol. 1, M.-L., 1960, p. 220.

Altaians also buried diseased under kurgans, but the modern Southern Altaians did not install stone sculptures. However, in the Altai are such stone sculptures which Rubruk saw and described among Kypchaks. Probably, some of these stone sculptures were erected by the Kypchaks living in the Altai mountains. There is another fairly curious detail which can be considered an evidence of ethnogenetical connection of the modern Southern Altaians with the medieval Kypchaks. Rubruk recorded that Kypchaks were carrying bags in which they kept their trifle, and called them kaptargak (modern Russian "kapterka" = "closet" - Translator's Note). Similar bags are carved as suspended on the belt on some, apparently Kypchak stone sculptures (Russian "Stone Babas", i.e. Stone Grandmas, "baba" is a Türkic for grandma and grandpa, and it retained its semantics in Russian - Translator's Note). The same semicircular leather bags until recently carried the Altai hunters. In Altaian they were called kaptarga, i.e. the same as the medieval Kypchaks. We managed to buy an Altaian kaptarga for the Ethnography Museum of the USSR peoples (Leningrad).

We also find parallels between the cultures of Teleuts and Southern Altaians and the medieval Kypchaks in the field of folklore. The epic creativity of the Türkic-speaking tribes and nations from the time of the Kypchak Khanate (L.Potapov: Djuchi ulus) state which arose on the Kypchak ethnic basis, for example the legends about Chara-Batyi, Edige, Toktamysh, not only were preserved in Crimea, among Northern Caucasus Nogays, among Kazakhs and various groups of the Siberian Tatars, but were also noted among the Southern Altaians. 81

The name of the seok Todosh also should be attracted to the comparative historical analysis. In the consciousness of the modern Southern Altaians seok Todosh is considered to be "kinfolk" of the seok Kypchak, being with it in in-law relations (badjan/bechen, Russ./Greek "patcin/pechen") They are, as was already stated, "parents-in-law" seoks. However, the ethnonym Todosh apparently testifies about the presence among the Altai-kiji and Teleuts of the ancient ethnic elements ascending to the western Türks (L.Potapov: Western Tukue) of the Türkic Kaganates period, because it matches te name Tardush. This is how the acknowledged Soviet Türkologist linguist N.A.Baskakov motivates this equivalence: "Tardush > Alt. Todosh - can be explained by the loss of the sound "r" in a position before a consonant, the phenomenon widely spread in Türkic languages, especially in the modern new-Uigurian language, and the later folk etymologization of the word". 82

80 Compare Mongolian hoilga as the name of custom burial of the horse with the diseased  (J. Schmidt. Geschichte der Ost-Mongolen. St.-Pet., 1829, p. 235); among Sakha (L.Potapov: Yakuts) - hoiluga is an animal slaughtered at commemoration; among Tuvinians hoilege-at; among Khakases (Kachins, Sagaians, Beltirs) - koilaga.
81 L.P.Potapov. Heroic epos of Altaians. Soviet ethnography, 1949, No 1.
82 N.A.Baskakov. Altai language. (Introduction to study the Altai language and its dialects). ., 1958, p. 29.

Bearing in mind the described above research of I.Klukin, can be asserted that though the Tardush of the ancient Türkic runiform inscriptions is not an ethnonym, and represents only a term meaning the western half or the western wing of the ancient Türks, nevertheless it is connected with the western Türks-Tukue, whose many tribes at that time lived near Altai, especially the western Altai. Also deserves attention the fact that at the ancient Türks-Tukue the western wing was called Tardush, and at the Tele tribes in their short-lived Kaganate headed by the Seyanto tribe, the western part of their possessions was called Tadush, and the eastern part was called Tulish (compare Tolis). 83 Thus, already during the ancient Türkic time the term Tardush with loss of the "r" sound existed among the Tele tribes.

The presence of the ancient Türks in the territory of the Mountain Altai is well-known from the archeological monuments. Turning to the group of recently discovered ancient Türkic runiform inscriptions, which is already in itself a documentary proof of the presence in the Mountain Altai of the ancient Türks-Tukue, we obtain the evidence that there were specifically the western Türks. It is evidenced by the character of the runiform inscriptions which are resembling the form of the inscriptions from Talas. 84 Also, among the modern Altaians exist shining ethnographical material that does not leave any doubts that in addition to the Tele tribes in the ethnogenesis of not only the Southern, but also of the Northern Altaians took part the ancient Türks-Tukue, and not only the western, but also the eastern Türks. However, that subject would be more expedient to address a little further down.

Teleut ethnography

Now we would like to note the existence among Teleuts of some ethnographic traits that compel to expect in the ethnic composition of the Teleuts ancient Türks-speaking people, even if they were not reflected in the modern Altai ethnonyms. For that, we would turn to the materials of the Teleut shamanism that preserved traces of the ancient ethnogenetical connections. The subject is one name of the shaman tambourine, used by the Teleut shamans only during kamlation. As was already mentioned above, during the shamanistic prayers the tambourine among the Sayano-Altai mountains' nations symbolized a shaman's riding animal and was called by the name of that animal. Among the Teleuts and Kumandy people, the tambourine in such cases was called with the term an adan meaning "sacred camel", and not a camel generally, but a riding neutered camel.

85 L.L.Viktorova. Question about Naiman theory of the origin of the Mongolian literary language and writing (12th-13th centuries), Scientific Notes of LGU, No 305, series Orientalistic Sciences, vol 12, 1961.
86 S. Murayama. Sind die Naiman Tiirken oder der Mongolen? Central Asiatic Journal, 1959, vol. 4, No 3. Compare: . Poucha. Die GeheimeGeschichte der Mongolen. Archiv orientalny, suppl. 4, Praha, 1956, p. 59.

The usual formula of the Teleut shaman appealing to the tambourine said: "Alty brkbshtu ak adan", i.e. "six-humped sacred camel". 87 But, visiting northern Shors in 1927, we found out among the seok Chelei (Chelei), which hold themselves to be Teleuts, that there shamans call tambourine "alty orkoshtu an chagal", i.e. "six-humped sacred chagal". 88 Our field records concerning the term chagal are corroborated by the G.N.Potanin's message who, relying on the information of the Teleut missionary and a known translator M.Chevalkov, writes that among Teleuts "during kamlation is said about the tambourine: "alg() orkoshtu ah yagalym" which is "six-knobbed my white (sacred?) tambourine" ". 89 Potanin's translation needs an explanation. The tambourine among Teleuts is called with the name yagal (Yagal) and is called "six-knobbed" with the epithet "white", or "sacred". The word ah (ak), certainly, is better to translate "sacred", and six-knobbed is better to translate "six-humped" for, from the M.Chevalkov's explanation recorded by Potanin, the word "orkosh" is a name foe a camel hump. 90

However, the term Yagal, being only a phonetic variation of the word "chagal", remained there without an appropriate literal translation. It turned out that even such an expert on Teleut and Altai languages as was M.Chevalkov translated the term chagal as simply "tambourine", without disclosing the literal translation that symbolized an image of the tambourine as a riding animal of the shaman. Likewise the V.Verbitsky, who knew the word Yagal, could not explain the meaning of the examined term, in spite of being a well-known Altai missionary and an expert on the Altai vernaculars and ethnography, he placed the word in the dictionary with a generalized translation "shaman's tambourine". 91 (How could adult and educated man be a missionary advocating his cosmogenic doctrine without familiarity with the cosmogenic doctrine he purpose to replace, is beyond me. Use incenser instead of tambourine, change the spelling of the God's name from Tangri to Jesus, sprinkle water on yourself instead of a sacred tree - and voila, another soul saved? Like the illiterate priests a millennia before, who drove peasants into Christianity with cudgel rods  - Translator's Note) Our own attempts to obtain a literal translation of the term, after we found out that Teleut shamans call tambourine with the term chagal only during kamlation, also were not crowned with success, though we were tried to find it out directly from the shamans from whom we have heard the name "chagal". There is no doubt that the initial literal meaning of the word "chagal" was also completely forgotten by the shamans. These shaman clearly visualized the tambourine as a riding wild animal, with which skin it was covered (deer or maral), but they called it in ancient way "six-humped" some kind of "chagal", instead of the words which in Teleut language designate deer or maral.

87 L.P.Potapov. 1) Tambourine of Teleut shaman lady and its drawings, Coll. USSR Academy of Sciences Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, vol. 10, L., 1949;
2) Die Schamanentrommel bei den altaisclien Volkerschaften. Budapest, 1963.
88 L. Potapov. Die Herstelhmg der Schamanentrommel bei den Sor. Mitteilungen des Seminars fur Orientalische Sprachen zu Berlin, 27, Ostasiatische Studien, 1934.
89 G.N.Potanin. Essays on Northwestern Mongolia, vol. 4, p. 42.
90 Ibid..
91 Dictionary of Altai and Aladag vernaculars of Türkic language. Kazan, 1884, p. 65.

Nowdays the term chagal is not a mystery any more. It was found in a literal translation in a five-language dictionary (Manchjuro-Tibeto-Mongolian-Uiguro-Chinese) compiled in the 18th century and published in Peking in 1957 under a name "Mirror of Manchurian language in five languages". 92 The dictionary contains rich and at times rare for our time lexical material recorded during 18th century. Among them was the Uigur word of interest to us, with the meaning of a horse with multi-colored black or red strips or spots on the neck and breast. 93 In other words, chagal is a skewbald horse. Hence, the shaman tambourine once symbolized among the Teleuts a skewbald riding horse. The shaman's sacred symbolical horse - tambourine - was called by its color, which is generally also typical for ordinary life of the Türkic-speaking nomads (follow 2 Turko-Russian examples). And that fact that for the shaman tambourine was developed a vision about skewbald, instead of a horse in general (of any color), presents for us a special ethnogenetical interest, for it forces to recollect the ancient Türks-speaking tribe of  "motley horses" (Ala-at), 94 the news about whom appeared in the Chinese annals under the name Bo-ma, which is "skewbald horse" in the Chinese translation (That is supposedly a branch of Enisei Kyrgyzes, which was known only under a Chinese utilitarian moniker - Translator's Note).

Boma and Alats

Notaspiring to the task of laying out the ethnic history of the motley horses tribe, we shall only list some moments, at a modern state of the knowledge, to address this ethnic component among the Teleuts. The early information on the tribe of Skewbald horses in the written sources belong to the 4th century, when they lived on the northern slopes of the ancient ridge Inshan and south of it, in the Ordos (39.5N 110E). This tribe was included at some time into the Syanbi and Jujan confederations, and traced its origin from some groups of the Huns who migrated from northern part of (Gobi) desert to Ordos. During the ancient Türkic period, in the 7th century, the -Alats tribe already lived north of Altai and west from Baikal, where they adjoined the territory of Kyrgyzes, with whom they were frequently hostile. A little later they submitted to the Kaganate of Uigurs, and then migrated to the basin of Ob, north of Tomsk (56.5N 85E). In the 17th century they were known under the name of Skewbald Horde recorded in the Russian Siberian annals, and lived in the Narym area (59N 81.5E). At the same time is known that a part of Alats "motley horses" was s part of Kypchaks, and later joined the Kazakhs Kyshe (Junior) Juz (Juz) (L.Potapov: Junior Horde), some part of nomadic Uzbeks, and Siberian Tatars (L.Potapov is using here the deficient and misleading Russian terminology, though in parenthesis he corrects it. "Juz" is a union, confederation, and it was borrowed into Slavic before the Rus ever evolved, and by now it grew into a huge cluster of Russian words, one of them, "Souz", became a name of the USSR and a name for a space sputnik known around the world, semantically it retained the same meaning as the original Türkic "Juz". Replacing the word "Juz"  = union with a word "Horde" with negative connotations, as was done for centuries in the Russian propaganda-saturated scientific literature, is expedient politically, but misleading otherwise, misrepresenting the main aspect of the political entity, equally unpalatable during the Imperial period, and in the Soviet times.

Another unspoken, but ethnologically important point is connected with the terms Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Siberian Tatars etc. L.Potapov is careful qualifying the "Uzbeks" as "nomadic Uzbeks", and should be given a credit for it. The reason is that "nomadic Uzbeks" is a conglomerate of the Türkic tribes undistinguishable from the "Kazakhs", but under the auspices of the Kipchak Khanate's Khan Uzbek. The same pertains to the "Nogais", who are Kazakhs under the auspices of the Khan Nogai and his descendents. Ethnically, all these entities are Tele tribes, with a common language, culture, societal organization, mentality, and economy. - Translator's Note)

92 About this dictionary see E.V.Maltseva's publication (Works of Buryat Complex Scientific Research Inst. USSR Academy of Sciences, 1960, p. 261-264).
93 The word chagal was found in this dictionary by the Hungarian researcher . Kohalmi, who at my request searched for it in different dictionaries. I use this opportunity to thank E. Kogalmi for this courtesy.
94 About Boma see Yu.A.Zuev's work "Ancient Türkic ethnonymy by Chinese sources " (Works Inst. Histories, Arheol. and Ethnogr. Academy of Sciences Kaz. SSR, vol. 15, Alma-Ata, 1962).

Thus, Teleuts at some stage of their ethnic history probably included some groups of Skewbald horses Alat tribe, which early history is connected with the Syanbi-Tele (Gaogui) antiquity, because that is evidenced by nowadays already forgotten vision of the shaman tambourine as a skewbald saddle horse of the shaman. That now that skewbald horse is called "six-humped" (meaning camel humps) only tells about contamination of the image of the shaman riding animal as a result of apparent overlaying of the skewbald horse image by the image of a riding camel. The stated material clearly shows how far complex and mixed was the origin of the Teleuts, like the other groups of the Southern Altaians, and how far in the depths of history are traced some of their ethnic elements.


Now we should turn to the definition of ancient ethnic elements among the Northern Altaians. Following the chosen method, we shall start with ethnonym Dubo which was preserved first of all in the generalized name of the Northern Altaian group "Tuba kiji", or Tubalars. The early annalistic sources under a name Dubo describe one of the Tele tribes that in the 6th-8th centuries lived in the area adjoining the lake Kosogol (Khövsgöl) or Hubsugul (51N, 101E) and west from Kosogol (Khövsgöl) down to the Enisei headwaters (51N 90E). From the ethnographic description of Dubo in the dynastic sources is seen that in the way of life, culture and daily life Dubo sharply differed from nomadic cattle breeding Tele tribes and Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue), with whom they were associated. They are described: "Dubo is a special tribe of Tele (L.Potapov: Tiele)". 95 They were divided into three aimaks, ruled by their own leaders. The aimaks were called Dubo, Milige, and Echji. Their typical means of transportation were ski. They covered their dwellings with the birch bark (L.Potapov is addressing one of two ethnonymic possibilities. In addition to the term "Dubo, Tuba, Tuva" possibly and very likely being an endoethnonym of an ancient Türkified Nenets or Ugraian or Ket tribe, of which no ethnonymic traces were detected among the Nenetses or Ugrs or Kets; the other possibility is that the term "Dubo, Tuba, Tuva" is a social exoethnonym denominating ethnically different people, which survived in a generalized form "tüba" meaning "ulus" but with a connotation "alien ulus, dependent ulus, kyshtym ulus". "Tüba" ethnonymically parallels the Scythian "Budini", which meant just "people, a people, tribe" with the same connotation "alien, non-Scythian, dependent people, forest  people, pedestrians" (Herodotus 4.21), that with time expanded to include a meaning of "territory" among the Türkic people, and to become generic endoethnonym among the people living in the tüba. Division between the "uluses" as a heartland and "tüba" as provinces was recorded among the Middle Age Eastern Bulgars of the Middle Ages - Translator's Note).

Another source described them in more detail:

"They did not know annual periods (had no calendar); lived in grass tents;  had no cattle breeding or tilling the soil. They had a lot of sarana (grain; plant like Campanula with root like a rice grain), they collect its roots and cook porridge. They fished, caught birds and animals, and fed on them. They dressed in sable and deer dress, and poor people made clothes of bird feathers. At the weddings the rich gave horses, and the poor brought deer hides and sarana roots. Their diseased were laid in coffins and position on trees. Seeing off the diseased, they made wail the same as the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue)". 96

65 N.V.Kuner, Chinese news about peoples of the Southern Siberia and the Far East. ., 1961, p. 292.
96 N.Ya.Bichurin, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 348 No

Despite that by the time of compiling the annals which we cited the Dubo already were in a long association with the Tele and also Türkic tribes (L.Potapov: Tukue) and that resulted that  rich Dubo for example had horses and apparently were adopted some (Türkic) customs ("made wail the same as the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue)"), the culture and daily life of Dubo preserved all the features typical for the life of the mountain taiga hunters. 97 The geographical conditions in the life of Dubo strongly assisted to the preservation among them of the way of life described above. As a rule, the nomadic cattle breeding or any significant agriculture were impossible in the places of Dubo location. The noted perpetual ethnographical features can serve as evidence in surveying the question on the Dubo origin and their ancestral home. If in respect to the Tele tribes we have testimony of the written sources about their migration to the northern side of the Gobi desert from the south, in relation to the Dubo there are no such messages. And it is difficult to suggest that the "foot" hunting tribes of the mountain taiga appeared there (in the taiga) from the south, crossing the (Gobi) desert.

They certainly were aborigines of the mountain taiga places. But with the penetration of the territories on the northern side of Gobi by the nomadic cattle breeding tribes of Tele, Jujans, and Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue), these mountain taiga hunter tribes fell in submission to them, and probably sometimes joined in as a part of nomadic confederations. Therefore in some sources they are described as belonging to the Tele, or to the Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes.

As to their origin and language, the available scarce materials indicate that perhaps at that time Dubo were not Türkic-speaking. Proving it is certainly difficult, but some indications in favor of such conclusion do exist. Turning to modern location, language, culture, and daily life of the tribes and nations which preserved in their name, or rather in their self-name endoethnonym,  the ethnonym Dubo, we see the following picture. The ethnic term Dubo is known to the modern population within the ancient borders of its distribution, from the Kosogol (Khövsgöl) to the Enisei headwaters, and to the west, in the Sayano-Altai mountains area, with different phonetic variations: Tubo, Tufa, Tuha, Tuma. G.N.Potanin found in the 1870's in the Kosogol (Khövsgöl) area (east and northeast from the lake) so-called Uryanhaians (Tuvinians), who called themselves Tufa or Tuha and Edjen-Uryanha. 98 In the basin of the river Shikshita, from which in 1207 Djuchi, the son of Chingishan, began a conquest of the "forest peoples", listed in the Mongolian "Secret Legend", the Uryanhais (or Tuvinians), according to the information of G.N.Potanin, were called by a generalized name Tuha. They lived along the river Huku and belonged to the Hotogoi Van (Prince). Researcher recorded among them the clans (or "bones"): Dzoktu (i.e. Chogdu), Zot (Chot) and Eldjigen. "From that follows that near Kosogol (Khövsgöl) in the 19th century lived the descendants of the 6th-7th centuries Dubo and Echji under the same self-names, Tuha and Echjen. This fact is exceedingly remarkable, for it shows how enduring are the ancient ethnonyms, and in addition it demonstrate the low mobility of the mountain taiga pedestrian inhabitants, and the preservation among them of the the same patterns in economy.

97 As a result of the Dubo association with the Tele and Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes, their rulers began to occasionally participate in joined trips to the Tang dynasty court (N.Ya.Bichurin, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 348).
98 G.N.Potanin. Essays on Northwestern Mongolia, vol. 4, p. 12-13; vol. 2, p. 9.
99 Ibid., vol. 4, p. 12.

Our conclusion about ethnogenetical continuity of the Kosogol (Khövsgöl) and Huku Tuvinians (Dubo of the Chinese sources) can be also supported  by the factual material belonging to the intermediate period, or more accurately to the Mongolian time. The "Secret Legend" of Mongols and the Rashid-ad-din "Collection of annals" mentioned the tribe Tuha (Tuhas) and the tribe Eldjigin. The "Secret Legend" mentioned Tuhas in the list of forest peoples. The Rashid-ad-din "Collection of annals" gives the name Eldjigin in the list of names of the Türkic nomadic peoples, together with such peoples, as for example Telengits (at Rashid-ad-din Telenguts or Tulangits), Teleses (at Rashid-ad-din Tualases or Tulases), Tumats, Uryanka, and many others, and also in the list of peoples "similar to Mongols". 100 All these peoples or tribes, both forest, and not forest, in the beginning of the 13th century were subjugated by Chingiskhan. The tribe Tuha and tribe Eldjigin are mentioned next to each other during the same epoch. The presence of these both ethnonyms simultaneously among the population of the Huku valley in the 19th century is also fairly indicative and only confirms the ethnogenetical continuity noted above. Further, in the form Tofa the ethnonym Dubo is a self-name of the Tofalars in the Irkutsk area, they are a small nation called in the old ethnographical literature Karagases, among whose bones (or clans) were registered: Chogdu (compare the bone Chogdu among the Huku Tufa, and Choodu among the modern Tuvinians); Cheptei (compare the Altai seok Chapty), and others. In the phonetic version Tuva this ethnonym is known among the Tuvinians as a self-name of the modern nation as a whole (within the limits of the Tuva ASSR), and as the self-name (Tuba) of the Tuva groups located in the headwaters of the river Kobdo in the Mongolian People's Republic.

From the above review follows that nowadays the ethnonym Dubo in its various phonetic variations expresses the self-name of some Türkic-speaking tribes and nations. But nevertheless it is difficult to align with the enduring ancient ethnographic attributes of the majority of the mentioned groups, conflicting with their belonging to the Türkic-lingual tribal groups, a typical feature of whose way of life from the extreme antiquity was a nomadic cattle breeding, certainly in a combination with animal hunting and some other subsidiary types of production (small primitive agriculture, etc.) To what ethnic and linguistic group in the past belonged the Dubo, if their modern descendants that preserved this ethnonym are all nowadays Türkic-speaking?

100 Rashid-ad-din, Ibid., vol. 1, Book 1, p. 75, 78, 117, etc.

Most likely, they were Nenetses (L.Potapov: Samodians. The historical Russian name was a derisive "Samoed" = "Self-Eater" going as far back as the Slavic-Rus annals go. In the mid of the 20th century, after expressed protests of the natives, that insulting term was officially and high-handedly mollified to a similarly sounding "Samodiy" = "Self-Dealing", but that did not improve much the situation, because by that time the Russian insulting terminology infiltrated the world science and became fossilized in various linguistic and ethnological classifications. Under continued protests, both derisive terms are being replaced by the endoethnonym of the largest group, the Nenetses, which first started to be used in the post-Soviet Russia, in the Nenets native Russian-lingual publications, and slowly becomes reflected in the Russian and non-Russian publications. It goes without saying that in the Nenets-lingual publications these old degrading terms were never used. And knowing the deference, courtesy, and honor demonstrated by L.Potapov in his work, it is unlikely that given a proper alternative L.Potapov would have used the self-deprecating disrespectful terminology - Translator's Note). In favor of such opinion indicates a very essential fact. The matter is that a number of the modern tribes and nations of the Sayano-Altai who retained the culture and daily life of the mountain taiga hunting tribes, similar with Dubo in the descriptions of annalistic sources (for example, Tofalars, some Tuvinian groups of Todjins, Koibals, Motors, and others), up until the 18th and even to the beginning of the 19th century also retained the remains of the Nenets (L.Potapov: Samodian) language. Their relationship with the Nenetses (L.Potapov: Samoeds) or Nenetses (L.Potapov: Samodians) some time ago pointed out I.Georgi. 101 Later, this view were substantiating M.A.Kastren and W.W.Radloff. 102 In our time the belonging of the ethnonym Tubo-Dubo to the southern tribes was confirmed by the linguist ethnographer G.N.Prokofiev. 103 Finally, the same opinion holds a well-known expert on Nenets (L.Potapov: Samodian) languages A.Ioki. 104

The modern Türkic-linguality of such past Nenets-lingual (L.Potapov: Samodian-lingual) tribes and nations came about as a result of the close Türkic-lingual surroundings and long contacts with the Türkic states, linguistic assimilation, etc. In particular, judging by the historical data stated above, the Dubo underwent a language assimilation by the Tele tribes, especially by the Uigurs, even before the emergence of the Türkic Kaganate, but they retained their self-name. The fact of preservation of the Nenets (L.Potapov: Samodian) language by some tribal taiga groups in the Sayano-Altai mountains, hunting tribes in their way of life, is a weighty proof of the stated hypothesis about the Nenets (L.Potapov: Samodian) origin of the Dubo tribes. It also explains the presence among some northern groups of Altaians of the common traits in the culture and daily life with, for example, the Nenets-lingual (L.Potapov: Samodian-lingual) Selkups etc.

In direct connection with the ethnonym Dubo-Tuba is also the tribal name Tumat. Nowadays as a tribal name the Tumat exists not only among Altaians and Tuvinians, but also among Sakha (L.Potapov: Yakuts), Mongols, and Uzbeks (By not using the qualifier "nomadic", L.Potapov implies that Tumats lived in the Middle Asia, in the Seyhun-Chayhun/Syrdarya-Amudarua interfluvial before the arrival of the ethnically Kazakh "nomadic Uzbeks" in the 15th century, apparently as rural cattlemen dwellers in the steppes - Translator's Note). The Soviet scientists formulated a hypothesis about identification of the terms Tuhas, Tubas, and Tumat, which from the linguistic angle is quite justified (Who are these "Soviet scientists" L.Potapov prudently does not provide with a needed reference, but combining this muted statement with the works of Yu.Zuev, a picture develops that at about 300 BC the Tele tribe As had their Tuhses and Hunnish kyshtyms, at about 200 BC the Huns revolted, and sent the Tele Ases with their Dubo-derived Tuhs kyshtyms packing. Ases and Tuhses fled to the Jeti-su, acquired another kyshtym from the remnants of the local Sakauraka tribe, but after two generations they were booted from it by the Usun branch of the Huns. They moved to Fergana, stayed there for a generation with an apparent consent of the Kangar ruler, and moved westward again along the interfluvial, probably prodded by the Kangar ruler who found a common language with the newly elevated Huns. They consisted of five sub-tribes, likely a ruling As tribe, three kyshtym Tuhs tribes, and one kyshtym Sakauraka tribe, each ruled by their native chieftain. At around 160 BC an enterprising As ruler replaced the Tuhs and Sakauraka chieftains with his yabgus (viceroys), and went south to conquer Bactria and parts of India, now corresponding with the parts of Afganistan, Pakistan, and India. Thus, they became known to the Greeks as Ases, Tochars, and Sakauraka who conquered Bactria. A part of the Tuhses fled east and west, probably retaining a dual As-Tochar confederation within each splinter, and became known as Dügers/Digors in the west, between Uzboi and Mangtshlak, and the Turgeshes in the east. At any point of their further history, they retained a perennial animosity toward the Huns and the Türks, and the only occasions when the royal clan of Dubo/Dulo submitted to the royal clans of the Huns and the Türks were submittal of the Alanian Ases to the Hun's Bulumar in the 370's AD, and of the Bulgarian Bat Boyan to the Khazarian Ashina in the 680's . Perennial animosity of As-Tuhsi dynastic elite with Türkic Ashina dynasty corroborates the suggestion - Translator's Note) - Translator's Note)

101 I.Georgi. The description of all peoples in Russian state, ch. 3. SPb., 1779, p. 17.
102 Castren. Reiseberichte und Briefe aus Jahren 1845-1849. Nordische Reisen und Forschungen, Bd. 2. St.-Pet., 1856, p. 351;
W. Radloff. Aus Sibirien, Bd., 1, p. 191, 207, 212-213.
103 G.N.Prokofiev. Ethnogenesis of the Ob-Enisei basin nations. Soviet ethnography, No 3, 1940, p. 69-70.
104 A.Ioki considers the words uba, ufa a common name of the southern Nenetses (L.Potapov: Samoeds) and after W.Radloff believes that Tu-po (upa, uba) mentioned in the Chinese sources represent southern Nenetses (L.Potapov: Samoeds). Moreover, the author sees pra-Nenetses (L.Potapov: pra-Samoeds) during the Scythian time as the northern mountain taiga neighbours of the carriers of the Pazyryk archeological culture in the Altai, and objects to Jettmar who attributes them to the ancestors of the modern Ob Ugrs (Aulis Jki. Die Lenhwortes des Sayansamojedischen. Memoires dela Societe Pinno-Ougrienne, 103, Helsinki, 1952, p. 29).

Excluding from these terms the plural affixes ("sig") we receive the root of the word in form the Tuma, Tuba, and Tuha. The alternation of "m", "b"and "h" between vowel sounds for Türkic and Mongolian languages is typical (M.Zakiev used this phenomenon to argue that the Sogdian language of Horasmians, of which we have written records, is an "h" dialect of the same old Türkic language, where "su" = water becomes "hu" = water, and "Su-Asses/Su-Ars" = "Water Ases/Water Ars" become "Hu-Asses/Hu-Ars", which is reflected in the spelling of the Horasmian name as "Choaras" = "Hu-Ars". See M.Zakiev study and here - Translator's Note) It is possible to advocate this hypothesis with the written sources. About Tumats as forest people we learn from the Mongolian "Secret Legend" and Rashid-ad-din "Collection of annals", they talk about this tribe as a branch of the tribes Bargut, Kori and Tulas (Tele). 105 An ambassador of the Chinese emperor on the road to the Chingis-khan court among various tribes which he met on the way names a tribe "Tu-ma", i.e. Tumats. 106 The ethnonym Tuma corresponds quite naturally with Dubo, the self-name of the mountain taiga tribes in the Sayano-Altai mountains described above.

Thus, the history of the Dubo tribes is briefly summarized as follows. In the 5th century in the Northern Wei dynasty annals (386-534) Dubo are one of the generations of the Gaogyuans, who were living south from Baikal. 107 In the Sui time (581-617) they appear with the Tele tribes, and are also shown south of Baikal. 108 In the Tang time (618-907) Dubo are already listed as "Ski Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue)", the eastern neighbors of the Kyrgyzes. 109 The attribution of the Dubo in the Tang annals to the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue), like in the previous annals to the Tele, only reflects their political dependence on the Tele and the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue).
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 (For long time Syanbi were depicted as most enigmatic people, presumably Türkic, but every effort was made to find an alternative. The ever-present Iranian paradigm lingered until dispatched by P.Pelliot; Iranians did not want any Mongolian pedigree. L.Potapov demonstrated that there should not have been much enigmatic about Syanbi, their affiliation and origin are fairly straightforward. Summary of L.Potapov account on Syanbi constituents in this work:

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

Syanbinians appeared there after a defeat of the northern Huns by the Tanguts in 93 AD. They occupied the territory of the escaped Hunnish Shanyu, and the remaining in the same places Huns numbered up to 100 thousand wagon carts "accepted the national name Syanbi". 114 The supreme leader of the Syanbians had a title Kagan, which later became typical for the ancient Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) and Tele. In the written sources this word for the first time appears at Syanbians. 115

Having mentioned the Syanbians, who in the ethnic relation were a conglomerate, some of their ethnographical features noted by the annals should not be missed. Before marriage, Syanbinians shaved heads. In the last spring month (on April moon) they were gathering at a river and organized a feast, after which they were joining in marriage. 116 During coaching migrations Syanbinians transported their property on the carts, which brings them closer with the Tele-Gaogui tribes. 117 They had a legend about the origin of their main leader Tanynihai, that he was conceived by his mother from a little hailstone, which she swallowed during a rainstorm.118

114 N.Ya.Bichurin, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 150-151.
115 G. Clauson. Turk, Mongol, Tungus. Asia Major, New .Series (vol. VIII)  pt. 1, London, 1960, p. 115.
116 Ibid., p. 149.
117 Ibid., str 153.
118 Ibid., p. 154.

As a political association the Syanbinians fractured at the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd century, because of internecine conflicts and clashes.


From the mixed Hunno-Syanbi ethnic people arose two tribal confederations, one of which was called Topa (To-pa) or Toba, and in the Chinese annals received a nickname "braiders", because their men plaited their hair into a braid. 119 Toba were nomadic cattlemen and lived north from the other Syanbi tribes. For three centuries they lived around the river Onon (50N 103E), and then gradually began advancing south, crossed Gobi, and conquered a number of provinces in the shattered and clashing China, where they established a well-known dynasty Northern Wei (386-535).

Toba spoke Türkic, judging by the 5th century information that reached us. 120 They partially were the ancestors of the ancient Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) and possibly also Tele, because Tele descended from the Hunnish people. The sources say that when the founder of the Northern Wei dynasty Toba-chui ascended the throne, some Gaogui generations submitted to him, i.e. some Tele tribes. 121 Following the ancient Syanbian tradition, Toba in the summer brought sacrifice to the Sky. Because the Toba descended from the country So, they were called So-lu, which ostensibly meant "barbarians So". 122 Thus, according to the modern concept, the Kumandy ethnonym So or Solu takes us back into the Hunno-Syanbi antiquity, where the ethnogenetical roots of the ancient Türkic-speaking Tele and Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes originate. The Tele tribes were adjoining Syanbinians and intermixed with them, quite possibly they could accept the ethnonym So or Solu and preserve it until now. And probably not by accident the origin of the Kumandy seok So descends from Teleuts, as was stated above. We already noted the Teleuts as keepers of some very ancient household traditions of the Central Asian nomads. We shall add to that another ethnographical feature, wearing braids by the Teleut men, that survived (in Russia) to the beginning of the 1930's. This custom connects the modern Teleuts, and likewise some other groups of the Southern Altaians, with Syanbian-Toba tradition. Hence, can already be stated an accumulation of ethnographical material from the sphere of material and spiritual culture, in addition to the ethnonyms, to stipulate ethnogenetical connection of some tribal groups of the modern Altaians with the Hunno-Tele ethnic environment.

119 Ibid., p. 167.
120 L. Bazin. Recherches sur les paries T'o-pa. T'oung Pao, vol. 39, livr. 4-5, 1950;
G.Clauson, Ibid., p. 115-117.
121 H. J.Bichurin, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 173... vs
122 Liu Mau-tsai, Ibid., vol. II, p. 489.


Among the modern Kumandy is one more name of a seok which draws attention at juxtaposition with ancient and medieval ethnonyms, it is the name Tas. In 1660's this seok constituted a yasak "Tastar volost" then attached to the "mountain border volosts" of the Tomsk district, located in the northern spurs of the Kuznetsk Ala Tau. In the beginning of the 13th century Tastars are mentioned in the "Secret Legend" near Tele, in the list of "forest peoples" subject to Mongols. No other data, except the ethnonymic comparisons, is available on Tastars. Our reasons for probable affinity of the Tastars with the Teleuts, and for late affiliation of the Tastars with the Kumandy people were stated above.

Tirgesh (Turgesh)es and Dulu

Of the Northern Altaians ethnonyms a large historical interest presents the name of the seok or volosts Tirgesh (Turgesh). The Tirgesh (Turgesh) volost of the 17th century, already noted above, in the 18th century in the (Russian) official documents began to be called Kergesh (Turgesh). But the name Tirgesh (Turgesh) among the Tubalar people was stable and was preserved till this moment. The ethnonym Tirgesh (Turgesh) among the Tubalars is certainly comparable with the ethnonym of the western ancient Türks, the Tyurgesh. In the 7th-8th centuries Tyurgeshes lived next to the Western Altai, and were associated with the Dulu union of the Western Türkic tribes, they were coaching in the territory of the Jeti-su. Like with the ethnonym Tardush/Todosh, the name Tirgesh (Turgesh) serves as a solid confirmation of the participation of the Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes in the ethnic composition of the ancestors of the modern Altaians. The modern Altai Tubalars in that relation are especially indicative. Among them, the whole complex of ethnonyms of the ancient Türkic time comes to light. The composition of the seoks in the same Tirgesh (Turgesh) volost produces in their names three such ancient ethnonyms at once: Tirgesh (Turgesh), Togus and Chygat. The first of them is identical to the term Turgesh, as was called a part of the ancient Türks-Tukue, and the second and the third terms are connected with the tribal names of Tokuz-Oguzes and Chiks, i.e. the ancient Tele.

The linguistic arguments for identification of the seok Togus name with the Toguz-Oguzes of the Orhon inscriptions were provided by N.A.Baskakov. 123 The ethnonyms Chygat and Chik we discussed above. Such a complex of ethnonyms certainly excludes any elements of chance and should be considered as one of weighty proofs of the presence in the ethnic environment of the modern Altai Tubalars of the ancient Türkic components. This argument gains a greater weight in comparison with it of the ethnographical materials stated above, which reflect in the culture and daily life of the Tubalars-Tirgesh (Turgesh)es the ancient cattle breeding traditions, which in turn receive an explanation in the origin of some Altai Tubalars tribal groups from the ancient Türkic-speaking Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) and Tele tribes, who later intermixed.

123 N.A.Baskakov. Altai language, p. 28.

Having analyzed fairly large volume of material on the ethnonyms of the modern Altaians, both the southern, and the northern, we could establish by comparison the antiquity of many ethnonyms. From that follows that ethnonyms of the Sayano-Altai mountains population display a great stability in time, and can be a valuable ethnogenetical source reflecting a belonging of modern carriers of the ethnonyms with the matching ancient tribal groups, associations or nations. As is known, mountain ranges usually serve as a type of a preserve-refuge for splinters of sometimes long gone disappearing nations. That applies, as is known, to the Caucasus and the Alps, to the Tien Shan and Hindu Kush, to the Himalayas and other mountain areas. The Sayano-Altai highlands provide such an example in respect to the (Middle and) Central Asia. Leaving the framework of our research easily expands the circle of ancient nations whose remains ended up as in the Sayano-Altai mountains as a result of various relocations and migrations.
189 top

However especially brightly and completely is preserved the successive historical connection of the Altaians with the Türks of the 6th-8th centuries AD in the religious beliefs and ceremonies, i.e. along the line of the most conservative elements of the culture. In the Altai up to the beginning of the 20th century was preserved the ancient Türkic ceremony of a burial of a diseased, with his harnessed riding horse and various objects of life, under kurgans with stone embankments or within the stone embankments of the ancient kurgans. The shaman beliefs among the Altaians contain the ancient features noted by the Chinese annals among the Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) and Tele tribes. Altaians sacrificed to the deities bulls, horses and sheep in a way as it is described in the Chinese sources about the ancient Türks, putting up on poles the hides of the sacrificed animals.

129 N.A.Baskakov. Altai language, p. 29.

Even the names of the deities mentioned in the ancient Türkic inscriptions endured among Altaians: Tengri, Yer-Sug, Umai. The modern Altaians saw them in the same images, with the same functions, as the ancient Türks (for example, the patroness saint of children Umai). The prayers to the Sky known in the written sources since Hunnish time, with the same purposes, were conducted by some Sayano-Altai mountains tribes and nations up to the present. The fathers and grandfathers of the modern generation of Altaians and Tuvinians dedicated to mountains the horses, bulls, sheep (ydyk and yiyk). The mountains where such prayers were held were called ydyk, i.e. by the same name for the sacred mountains in the ancient Türkic inscriptions. Ancient Türks believed that a person should not say his name, to not attract to himself attention of malicious spirits. Same belief also existed among the modern Altaians and Tuvinians. The Chinese annals recite that when a yurt of the Türkic Kagan Shabolio burned down during a hunt, he was so depressed by a bad omen that he soon died. Exactly the same, only few decades ago Altaians and Tuvinians knew that if during a hunt their abode would burn down, it foretells misfortune, etc.

With the ethnographical material we could illuminate the case in point in much more detail. However, accounting for everything that we already published on that subject, 130 we shall limit with the above, and on the strength of the sources venture to stipulate the following. The Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes, constituting a military-political nucleus of the Türkic Kaganate, spread their hegemony and their pasturing routs to Altai, Tuva, and Mongolia, i.e. on the area of Altaian ethnogenesis, undoubtedly intermixed with the ancient ancestors of Altaians, and influenced their ethnic composition. Thus, as a result of the analysis of the ethnonyms, review of the ethnographical materials and other historical sources, the participation of the ancient Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes at an early stage of the Altaian ethnogenesis can be held as proven. As it turned out, that pertains both to the Southern, and to the Northern Altaians. If in respect to the Southern Altaians such considerations were already expressed earlier, concerning the Northern Altaians that was not brought up. The Northern Altaians, as we saw, were considered to be linguistically Turkified ethnic mix of the southern Nenetses and Eniseans (Kets).

Our analysis also confirms the presence of the Nenets and Ugrian components in the ethnic substratum of the Northern Altaians, though the Enisei component has not been detected with a sufficiently confidence, though its presence, generally speaking, is possible. A new and as we assert, established by us fact should be recognized the ancient Türkic element in the ethnic base of the Northern Altaians, connected with Tele and Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes.

130 L. P.Potapov. 1) Basic problems in study of Altaian peoples in the Soviet historical science. ., 1954 (Reports of the Soviet delegation at 23rd International congress of Orientalists); 2) Application of a historical ethnographic method to study of monuments of ancient Türkic culture. ., 1956 (Reports of the Soviet delegation at 5th International Congress of anthropologists and ethnographers).

The Tele tribes, who were the earliest historical ancestors of the Southern Altaians, retaining their ethnic base, partially intermixed with the tribes of the ancient Türks-Tukue, and not only during the Türkic Kaganate period, but also during the Uigur Kaganate (744-840), when the Uigurs (also scions of the Tele tribes) destroyed the state of the ancient Türks and established their political domination in the eastern part of the Central Asia (The Russian definition of the Central Asia includes the Middle Asia, so the "eastern part of the Central Asia" includes the eastern part of the Middle Asia - Translator's Note).

A little later (9th-10th centuries), during the so-called "Kirgiz Great Power" (Bartold), the ancestors of Altaians fell into submission to the Enisei Kyrgyzes. The Kirgiz tribes spread their pasturing routs both to territory of modern Tuva, and to the territory of the Mountain Altai and its foothills, about which convincingly testify archeological monuments. 132 In that situation certainly were conditions for ethnic mixture of the ancestors of Altaians with the Enisei Kyrgyzes. About the admixture with Enisei Kyrgyzes testify the materials of the modern Altai language, 133 folklore, and also some ethnonyms (Burut, Detisar). 131

131 L.P.Potapov. Essays on history of Altaians, p. 150, 153.
132 S.V.Kiselyov. Ancient history of the Southern Siberia.

During the same Kirgiz period and a little later (9th-12th centuries) the Türkic-speaking ancestors of the Southern Altaians intermixed with the Kypchak tribes, who were coaching in the basin of Irtysh. It is clearly indicated, as we noted above, not only by the ethnonym Kypchak and ethnographical materials, but especially the linguistic properties. The linguistic data are so expressive that they gave a reason to classify the modern Altaians' language as belonging to the Kypchak group. 134

The last circumstance, being a very important proof of a large role of the Kypchak tribes in the late medieval ethnic history of the Altaians, perhaps created the only difficulty for the actual substantiation of our concept about the origin of the Altaian ancestors from the ancient Tele tribes, whose language belongs to another linguistic group usually called in the classifications of the Türkic languages a Uigur group. The attribution of the Tele language to the Uigur group of languages is quite natural, for the Uigurs since ancient times belonged to the Tele tribes, and in the 7th century took a predominating place among them. In the Tokuz-Oguz confederation, Uigurs played a leading part. With such combination of the facts, it was difficult to explain why Altaians, whose origin from the ancient Tele tribes is documentarily traced, at the same time speak in the language of the Kypchak group. Attaching to the linguistic facts a paramount value, at some time we formulated our conclusions as follows: "The historical ancestors of the modern Southern Altaians were Kypchak Türkic-speaking tribes. In the Altai, these late Kypchak people intermixed not only with the descendants of other ancient Altai Türkic-speaking tribes of the time of the Türkic Kaganate (Teleses, Turgeshes, and others), but also with the western-Mongolian ethnic elements". 135

At present, the properties of the modern Altaian language do not any more present difficulty for explanation of ethnic parameters in the ethnogenesis of Altaians. That happened due to the fact that lately the Altaian language became a subject of special studies of dialects. Mainly we are obligated to the prof. N.A.Baskakov, who came to a number of interesting conclusions based on the study of the Altaians' language by separate dialects. One of them says: "The ethnic substratum of Altaians are Uigur clans and tribes who later intermixed with Oguzes and Kypchaks". 136

133 2. A.Baskakov. Altai language, p. 29, 34.
134 A.N.Samoilovich. Some additions to  the classification of Turkish  languages. Pgr., 1922.
135 L.P.Potapov. 1) Essays on history of Altaians, p. 149-153; compare: Heroic epos of Altaians, p. 124-130.
136 N.A.Baskakov. Altai language, p. 28.

Certainly, from the point of view of the historical facts reflected mainly in the written sources, speaking about the ancient ethnic substratum of Altaians, it is more correctly to state that they were Tele tribes, from which during the ancient Türkic period descended Uigurs, who headed the first confederation of the Tele tribes, called Tokuz-Oguzes. Within the framework of that confederation doubtlessly occur a mixing of the Tele tribes. Certainly, they also intermixed with the Türks-Tukue, in particular with the Kypchak Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) of the early Middle Ages, who ruled Uigurs for 50 years, as states the Moyun-chur monument. 137

Recognizing the validity and necessity of the division of the modern Altaians onto two "in essence completely different ethnic groups" of the Southern and Northern Altaians, N.Baskakov summarizes results of their linguistic research as follows: "These two groups, complex in their ethnic composition, differ on a degree of the genetic connection with the ancient Uigur tribes, and on the linguistical relations with the ancient Türkic languages. So, the language of the Northern Altaian tribes preserved much more features of the ancient Türkic languages than the Southern Altaian dialects. At the same time, the language of the Southern Altaians, whose ancestors were in a long bonding coexistence with the Kypchaks, received the Kypchak veneer, while preserving its ancient base common with the ancient Türkic language". 138 Thus, the language of the modern Southern Altaians has ancient Uigur (Tele tribes) base, and its Kypchak features appeared as a result of a long coexistence of the ancestors of the Southern Altaians with the Kypchaks. The written sources in fact establish such coexistence of the ancestors of the Southern Altaians with the Kypchak Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) in the 6th-8th centuries and later.

So, our research is completed. Coming from the modern ethnic composition of Altaians, we were gradually going down into the depth of the historical past, trying to learn the ancient ethnic components from which grew the Southern and Northern Altaians, to track the main events of their ethnic history. For that, we used a combination of various types of historical sources, and their concurring indications we prize as the most reliable results.

137 S.E.Malov. S.E.Malov, Monuments of ancient Türkic writing of Mongolia and Kirgizia, p. 38.
138 N.A.Baskakov. Altai language, p. 29. Emphasized by us. See also page 34: "South Altai dialects, which ascend to the Oguz, Uigur and ancient Kirgiz languages, under an influence of the Kypchak and Kimak  language had substantially levelled out, and after transformation obtained common features with the modern Kirgiz language, with which they form a single Kirgizo-Kypchak group of languages".

Tele, Teles, and Türks

In respect to our results and conclusions we again need to turn to the N.A. Aristov's well-known work where he declared about the Southern Altaians, "that Teleuts and Telenguts or Telengits, as Chui people call themselves, are the same people, and moreover the true name of these people is apparently Tele, and the prefix of the Mongolian plural "ut" (or "gut") was attached to the name Tele only during the reign of the western Mongols over Altaians". 139 And further: "Teles is a name of a tribe, separate from Tele, because from the Mongolian from it would come Telesut and Telesgut, instead of Teleut and Telengut. Probably they are the remains of the Turks-Tukue". 140 Hence, the conclusion with which we arrived from the analysis of various sources about the Tele tribes as the earliest historical ancestors of the Southern Altaians, has already been stipulated more than half a century ago by N.A.Aristov, and it is not new. That is certainly so. However, not pretending to the novelty of our conclusion, we have reasons to believe that we came to such views not by  a witty guess, but as a result of a long, hard work, due to which the N.Aristov's hypothesis is now scientifically totally justified.

Altai kiji

It is obvious that during research we uncovered a number of new answers for the origin of both groups of Altaians separately, and as a whole. For example, we determined the ethnic composition of the Altai-kiji group, which coalesced in the Altai of various Teleut, Telengit, Teles and Tuva seoks after the fall of the Dzungaria in the second half of the 18th century. The historical analysis demonstrated that by the ethnic origin a part of these seoks (Tele, Mundus, Bailagas, and others) comprising 29.6% descended from ancient Türkic Tele tribes, another part (Todosh, Chapty, Ochy) comprising 22.2% descended from the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes, and the third (Irkit, Purut, Kyrgyz) descended from the medieval Enisei Kyrgyzes (12%), with Naimans (10.4%), Keraits, and others.

Northern Altaians

Among the Northern Altaians also was uncovered the role played in their ethnic history by the ancient Türkic people of the Tele and  Türkic (L.Potapov: Tukue) tribes. The ethnographical facts attest that in the ethnogenesis of the Northern Altaians participated ethnic people related by their culture and daily life with the modern Ob Ugrs, mainly Hanty. 141 This conclusion is corroborated by the anthropological studies, and also by some materials from the Altaian linguistics. 142

139 N.A.Aristov is obviously mistaken, attributing the name Telengut to the western Mongols (Choros, Oirats). We saw above that the ethnonym Telengut, like Tele, appears in the "Secret Legend" at the beginning of the 13th century (i.e. before the advance of the western Mongols into Dzungaria and sayano-Altai)
140 Here, the author is also mistaken, believing that Teleses come from the Türks (L.Potapov: Tukue), and does not realize that in Türkic languages the affix "s" is an (ancient, probably before the Eastern-European pra-Germanics and pra-Türks split) plural formant.
141 These details were published in 1953 in the book "Essays on history of Altaians", p. 153-155.
142 A.I.Yarho. Altai-Sayan Türks. Abakan, 1947, p. 124-125;
G.F.Debets. Paleoanthropology of the USSR. M.-L., 1948, p. 129-130;
N.A.Baskakov. Altai language. ., 1958, p. 34.

Also note that for the first time was given attention to the ethnic elements during the period of the medieval Mongolian states, known from the famous written sources ("Secret Legend", Rashid-ad-din annals). These people are Naimans, Merkits, Keraits, Gunkaits, Kypchaks, and others. These large tribal groups and nations lived in the mountain ranges of Altai, Sayan, Khangai, and adjoining areas located, for example, on the northern side of the Gobi, or in the steppes of the Irtysh basin, which belong to the zone of the Desht-i-Kypchak steppes. Under impacts of the turbulent political events, typical for the Mongolian period, these groups of tribes and nations frequently changed their locations, sometimes appearing far outside of the territory of these ranges. In the process, they not only splintered and diverged, but also intermixed and interbred among themselves and with other ethnic groups. All of them to some extent were involved in the formation of the new Türkic-speaking nations (Kazakhs, Kirgizes, nomadic Uzbeks, Bashkirs, Turks, and others), going in the huge territory during the emergence and disintegration of such states as Djuchi Ulus (Golden Horde, Kipchak Khanate), Nogai, Uzbek, Sheibanid and Siberian Khanates, and others. That is why the same ethnic elements, retaining their ethnonyms as the names of separate tribal subdivisions, appeared in the ethnic compositions of the modern Kazakhs and Kirgizes, nomadic Uzbeks and Bashkirs, and others. Altaians also participated in that process, especially the southern Altaians (Teleuts, Teleses, Telengits). That is indicated by their respective ethnonyms enduring among them, now appearing as the names of the seok clans. In addition to the Naiman and Kypchak seoks, which were already repeatedly discussed above, these are the Altai descendants of the medieval Keraits represented by the members of the Tongjoan seok among the Southern Altaians and by the members of the Tong seok among the Northern Altaians, in particular among the Kumandy. In the name of these seoks endured the ethnonym of Tunkaits, who were a branch of the Keraits. 143 The same can be stated about the seok Almat among the Telengits, because the medieval Almats (Albats) belonged to the Keraits. 144 And is pertinent to recall that at the end of the 17th century a group of Keraits lived along the lower course of the river Abakan, and belonged to the Altyr ulus of the Enisei Kyrgyzes, with a center located near Uibat river. 145 This group of the Keraits, hence, was a part of the nearest historical ancestors of the modern Khakases, and one of the yasak-paying volosts in the Kuznetsk province had a name Keret. 146

143 Rashid-ad-din, Ibid., vol. 1, Book 1, p. 94, 125.
144 Ibid., p. 129.
145 Manuscript from G.Miller portofolio named "Description of Krasnoyarsk district of the Enisei province in its present state in the beginning of the 1735". Stored in TSGADA, portofolio 526, part  2, leaf. 12 reverse.
146 Also compare USSR Acad. of Sciences archive, f. 21, list 5, No 152. Manuscript "Kuznetsk cities suplement, composed in the Kuznetsk office... ".

The Merkit descendants in the ethnic composition of Altaians can be seen in the presence of the seoks under the same name among the Southern Altaians and Teleuts. 147

Thus, the Southern and Northern Altaians in the ethnic relation are fairly amalgamated. However the Southern and Northern Altaians have different admixtures. The ancient Türkic people is a substratum of the ethnic composition of the Southern Altaians. Some of them belong to even more ancient period and are connected with Hunno-Syanbi ethnic people. In this Türkic ethnic complex the leading part was played by the tribes belonging to the Tele group, among whom especially accurately are traced Telengits-Telenguts-Teleuts.

But the ancient Türkic components were also included in part among the Northern Altaians, whose ethnic substratum is marked by a large variety (ancient Türkic, Ugric, Nenets and apparently Ket elements) (The Ket inheritance remains apparent, or rather transparent, because L.Potapov did not detect any traces of it - Translator's Note). The historical ancestors of the Northern Altaians were strongly influenced and intermixed with the ancient Türkic peoples. It is reflected in the language of of the modern Northern Altaians where, by the N.A.Baskakov's research, were preserved more features of the ancient Türkic languages (ancient Türkic, Uigur) than among the Southern Altaians.

The presence of the ancient Türkic components testifies to a great antiquity of the ethnic history of Altaians, when their ethnic composition was formed. This process continued during periods observed in the historical sources in the territory on the northern side of the Gobi, in the Khangai and Sayano-Altai (including Mongolian Altai) uplands and adjoining areas. The territories of the modern Mongolian People's Republic, Tuva and Mountain Altai were certainly included in this ethnogenetic area of the Altaians and Mongols.

A very essential stage of the Altai (mainly Southern Altai) ethnogenesis in a Middle Ages was connected with Kypchak, and then also with Mongolian ethnic elements. Later, some Altaian tribes, especially Teleuts, wer involved in wide-ranging ethnogenesis process in the 15th-16th centuries in a number of uluses formed at splintering of the Kypchak Khanate (L.Potapov: Djuchi ulus) that eventually ended up with such modern nations as Kazakhs, Kirgizes, partially Uzbeks, etc. The studying of this process in respect to Altaians remains utterly inadequate. A detailed research of it undoubtedly is one of the serious tasks in the history of Altaians.

147 Descendants of Keraits and Merkits also joined the groups of the southern Kirgiz (Osh) Teleses (S.M.Abramson. Ethnogenesis of Kirgizes according to ethnography, p. 37).

Part 2 Closest ethnic ancestors of Altaians

The ethnic composition of the Southern Siberia population during the examined period was stable only in the most general outline. Under influence of various specific, mainly political reasons it changed quite often. Processes of fractioning and mixture of the various population groups, change in their political situation, administrative form, and ethnic nomenclature, at times essentially influenced the general state of ethnic composition. From that comes a necessity to examine the subject on the backdrop of that complex political situation that developed at the end of the 16th and first decades of the 17th century in connection with such outstanding historical events as the fall of the Siberian Khanate, annexation of the Siberia territory by the Russian state, emergence of the Dzungar Khanate. Obviously, we are not venturing to investigate or examine in detail these events. Some from them, like for example the absorption of Southern Siberia by the Russian state, we covered repeatedly while studying the history of the Shors, Altaians, and Khakases. 1

1 See our books: Essays on Shoria history, L., 1936; Essays on history of Altaians. Novosibirsk, 1948 (second edition, M.-L., 1953); Brief essays on history and ethnography of Khakases (16-19 centuries). Abakan, 1952; Origin and formation of the Khakass nation. Abakan, 1957.

The Siberian Khanate appeared as a result of gradual disintegration of the Kipchak Khanate (Golden Horde in Russian lingo) or Djuchi Ulus. During feudal fracturing (Soviet lingo for dynastic quarrels) at the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century the Kipchak Khanate broke down into two parts, of which the eastern part with a strip of steppes from Volga to Western Siberia received a name White horde. The feudal conflicts and intestine wars gradually resulted in disintegration of the White horde, which in the first half of the 15th century splintered into separate isolated large feudal uluses in its territory: Nogaian led by khan Edigei, Sheibanid headed by descendants of Sheibani-khan (from Chingisid dynasty), and Siberian, in the beginning ruled by members of Tatar nobility of the local ulus from the "Taibugin clan", and after 1560's by khan Kuchum (a Sheibanid newcomer from nomadic Uzbeks). The population of Altai, especially western, was usually subordinated to the various feudal lords of the other uluses that were coming to power during feudal partitioning of the White horde. The administrative political centers which ruled over the population of Altai and adjoining steppes in the interfluvial of the Ob and Irtysh were mainly located along the Irtysh. Although, the so-called Tyumen Khanate that existed prior to the beginning of the 16th century had its center on the bank of the river Tura, where now is located the city Tyumen (Chinki Tura on the map).

Siberian Khanate (From Wikipedia )

The tribes of Altai were in contact with Türkic-speaking, mainly Kypchak nomadic tribes of the Sheibanid and Siberian uluses. Some of the (nomadic) tribes of these uluses were gradually included into the Kazakh and so-called "nomadic Uzbek" people, Kirgizes, Altaians, and even in the ancestral composition of the modern Khakases.

The Siberian ulus, or the Siberian Khanate, was located mostly in the Tobol and Irtysh interfluvial. From the east it was protected with a well fortified fort Kullar located along the river Irtysh, opposite of the mouth of Ishim (Opposite of Qizil Tura/Kizil Tura on the map). In the southeast the border run in the Baraba steppe. In the west a fortified point was a small Tarhan town along the river Tobol (and Tura). The Altai tribes, especially western and northwestern Altai, maintained relations with the nomads of the Siberian ulus through the Irtysh and Ob steppes.

2 I.Ya.Zlatkin. History of the Dzungar Khanate (1635-1758). M, 6 L.P.Potapov

After a military defeat in 1591 khan Kuchum fled to the headwaters of the rivers Ishim, Osha and Kamysh, where his possession bordered on the pasturing routs of Oirats-Kalmyks. There (in 1598) he was once again defeated, this time finally, and fled to Oirats in the Irtysh headwaters, where he tried to seize horses, but was expelled to the Nogai steppe.

The main population of the Siberian Khanate were Türkic-speaking tribes genetically called Tatars by Russian written sources. Many of them were somehow related with Kazakhs and nomadic Uzbeks, and apparently with Nogays (ethnologically, Kazakhs and Nogays were ethnically identical two political and geographical branches of Kazakhs. - Translator's Note).

Political dependent on khan Kuchum also were various tribes and clans, not only within the Khanate, but those on some adjacent territories. In the southeast they were Türkic-speaking "Baraba Tatars", so called genetically in the Russian historical sources after the name of the Baraba steppe. D.Messershmidt recorded from the words of one Baraba Tatar with whom the traveler talked in 1721 that some Baraba Tatar people traced their origin from the local Ostyaks (Istyaks) lwho adopted the Türkic language and the name "Baraba Tatars". 3 (L.Potapov concludes his review of the ethnical composition of the Western Siberia without even naming, unless they were Türkified, the Western Siberian aboriginal Ugric and Ket people, limiting his introduction by the political history and the Türkic settled and nomadic populace. This omission reflects the sorrowful general Russian historiographical trend of leaving the natives out of the picture unless they directly impact the history of the Russian state - Translator's Note)

Chagats - Chiks

Then should be named Djagats (Chagats), or in usual Russian utterance of that time "Chats" (usually "Chat Tatars"), their dependence on the Siberian Khanate apparently had a formal character (That is unclear definition, since all Mongolian dependencies, including the Rus ulus, were autonomous, and a direct home rule applied only to the central ancestral lands. That societal structure was hierarchical, with dependent uluses having their own centers on hierarchically reducing scale. The "Baraba Tatars" had their own autonomous center, subordinated to the autonomous Tumen ulus, subordinated to the autonomous Kipchak ulus (Golden Horde), subordinated to the Great Khan. Subordination meant political recognition, rendering taxes, and rendering a limited number of service duties. The decision who the "Baraba Tatars" were dependents of did not rest with the "Baraba Tatars", but was was resolved as conflicting claim between their overlords, in the later period without a formal approval from the Great Khan. Expulsion of khan Kuchum did not mean a liberation of the "Baraba Tatars", but a transfer of their dependency from the Chingizid-controlled ulus center to the Russian-controlled ulus center, if they accepted that. Those who would not accept had to organize a mass migration, and join an alternate suzerainty as a tribe or as a seok, continuing the eternal saga of the Türkic people - Translator's Note).

They had their own feudal rulers, who were collecting various renditions and assessing duties on the ordinary local nomads. Djagats or Chagats probably, were a part of the Türkic-speaking tribes, related to Teleuts (Telenguts). Per G.Miller testimony, after Kuchum exile the Chat Tatars for some time lived in the headwaters of the Ob (i.e. in the Altai foothills, where they were called Chat which has a folk etymology with a meaning "cape"). Ostensibly, they received this name because their main ulus was once located on a cape. 4 D.Messershmidt, was addressed this question long before Miller, tells that when he in 1721 visited an Uur-Karagai settlement on the right bank of Ob, he found out that the "Local Tatars belong to the Chat tribes... Their origin arose during khan Kuchum time... They could not explain how they did receive the name Chat Tatars". 5 In the overwhelming majority of the Russian historical documents, the Chagats are called Chats, but frequently also ChatTatars.

3 D.G.Messerschmidt. Forschungsreise durch Sibirien 1720-1727. Teil 1. Tagebuchaufzeichungen 1721-1722. Berlin, 1962, p. 68.
4 G.Miller. History of Siberia, vol. 1. L., 1937, p. 314.5D. G. Messerschmidt, Ibid., p. 77.

Dismissing the purely Russian name "Chat Tatars", and not looking for the etymology of the ethnonym, the name Chat is quite possible to understand as a rediced form from Chagat = Chaat 2, Chat. As is well known, in Türkic languages such loss of the consonant "g" in inter-vowel position ia a widespread phenomenon. At the same time should be noted that the full form of the ethnonym Chagat, as we saw, was retained in the Altai mountains among Tubalars (and even earlier among Teleses) in the name of seok Chagat (Chygat). It is also found in some Russian 17th century historical documents in the form Djagat. 6 From that follows a conclusion that the Altai Chagats, who according to the tale initially lived with Teleses of the Teles lake ( i.e. lake Altyn Gol, Türkic "Golgen Lake"), and then migrated to the Tubalars, are descendants of the Djagats, or Chagats (Chygats), whose name is recorded in the Ob area in the Russian historical documents dated by the end of the 16th century

To complete the examination of the ethnonym Chagat for the16th - 17th centuries, we can bring up a valuable historical documentary material. The source is a well-known Sanan Setsen (Tsetsen) historical chronicle, which describes division of tribes in Ordos between 9 sons of the Mongolian the Beg Gun-Biliktu Mergen Djiiung from the Chingis-khan line (17th generation) who died in the 1550. To his seventh son by the name Badme Sambhave were assigned tribes among which were the above Chagats and Mingats, belonging to the left wing of the Ordos Mongols. 7 Thus, it is documented that in the middle of the 16th century Chagats were located in Ordos, on the southern side of Gobi. They have got there, like the Telengits, Mingats, etc., from the Khangai-Altai mountains together with the northern Mongols and Oirats, apparently before 1635, i.e. before the conquest of the Ordos Mongols by the Manchurian dynasty of China. Hence, the Türkic-speaking tribes with the 16th century name Chagat were spread in a large territory, mainly in the Sayano-Altai mountains and north of them, in the basin of the Ob headwaters, reaching Ordos in the south. In the Mongolian historical compositions they are called Chagat, and in the Russian historical documents we believe they are called with a reduced form of that ethnonym, in the form Chaat-Chat. The Chats had fortified small towns, their main center was a small town (shown as Chagat on the map, Russian name "Chat town") on the left bank of Ob along a main track between the cities Tomsk and Tara. 8 Some of the Chats were coaching along the lower course of the river Chik (left tributary of Ob in the vicinity of modern Novosibirsk). 9

6 G.Miller, Ibid., p. 507.
7 Antoine Mostaert. Ordosica. Bull, of the Catholic University of Peking, 1934, No 9, p. 28-29.
8 G.Miller. History of Siberia, vol. 2. L., 1841, p. 91.
9 Ibid., p. 476.

Possibly in the ethnonym Chagat, pronounced the same as Chygat, lays even more ancient name Chik (plus plural suffix of the Mongolian language). In that case we could regard the Chagats-Chigats of the 16th century as the descendants of the ancient Chiks, known from the ancient Türkic inscriptions (the Chiks of the ancient Türkic inscriptions are being associated with the Chi of the Chinese annalistic chronicles, see here about their tamga and here about their own local Upper-Enisei alphabet of the Türkic runiform script, and here about their pre-Mongolian history and their Manichaean religion - Translator's Note), who in the 8th century were living in Tuva along Enisei, and later were displaced by the Uigurs and other tribes. That the ethnonym Chagat-Chigat is connected with the ethnonym Chik can also be deduced because one of the small rivers on the left bank of Ob, where lived Chat Tatars, received a name Chik that survived into present (Same with the river Kemchik = Kem-chik = "Chik's river" - Translator's Note) (And we can speculate that Chagatai was a Chingiz-khan son from a Chagat wife, in accordance with Türkic tradition of naming kids after the tribe of their mothers - Translator's Note).

For our purposes presents interest that one of the volosts of the Siberian Khanate, located along Irtysh above the mouth of the river Ishim, had a name Tokuz. Though that volost, when after the fall of the Siberian Khanate it was attached to the Tobol district, had only three persons, it is hardly doubtful that these people belonged to the group (probably a clan) of Tokuz, whose descendants till now are living among the Northern Altaian Tubalars. It certainly is difficult to tell, whether these three persons that were registered as a separate volost, were a part of the seok Togus which also lived then in the Altai (at least in the first decades of the 17th century), or on the contrary, which is more likely, the Western Siberian seok Toguswas a remainder of the Toguses who lived in the Western Siberia during Kuchum time, but moved to Altai after the fall of the Siberian Khanate, which caused mass outflow of the nomads.

In addition to the Chats - Chagats (Djagats), should be noted two significant groups of the Türkic-speaking nomads who lived along Ob in the Tomsk area and further south: Eushta Tatars and Teleuts. The Eushta Tatars, ruled in the beginning of the 17th century by the Beg Toian, were living at a mouth of Tom and in its vicinity. The Teleut pastures began 5 days of travel south of Tomsk. From the historical documents is known that Eushta Beg Toian after the fall the Siberian Khanate and the final defeat of Kuchum went to Moscow to the Russian Czar Boris Godunov with a request to be addmitted with all his people by the Russian state.

He rendered his petition on March 25, 1604, where he suggested "to put up a city (fort) in his ancestral lands in Tom" and pointed out that with a construction there a city, the Russian state could control with his assistance a number of coaching nearby ethnic groups, among which, in addition to the Chat Tatars, he named Teleuts (Telengugs), Kyrgyzes (Enisei), and others. The offer of Beg Toian was accepted, and at the end of September 1604 was erected the Tomsk fort.

Eushta Tatars, as was stated by Toian, had about 300 persons, apparently were meant adult soldiers. Probably, during the Siberian Khanate the Beg Toian was one of the khan Kuchum functionaries to supervise and gather yasak from the nomads in that area. Now he likewise intended by means of the Russian Czar to keep his position and influence, bargaining for himself and his Eushtans an exemption from yasak. The Eushtin Tatars only carried cavalry service for the military authorities of Tomsk.

Teleuts or Telengu/its

Teleuts or Telenguts (self-name - Telengit) in the 17th century were the most numerous Türkic-speaking nomads scattered in the huge space of mainly Western and Southern Siberia from the Tomsk (56.5N 85E) and Baraba steppe (Cherlak 54N 74E - Semipalatinsk 50N 80E) in the north to the Altai mountains in the south (48N 85E). Moreover, some Telengut-Telengit groups lived not only in the "Russian" Mountain Altai (Tau-Teleuts), but also to the south, in the north-eastern part of the Mongolian Altai, and in the territory of the modern Tuva (51N 95E), and also in the headwaters of the river Irkut (52N 103E) and in the area of the lake Hubsugol (Kosogol) (51N 100E).

The main mass of Teleuts lived south from Tomsk in the Ob steppes or forest-steppes. These Teleuts the 17th century Russian historical documents frequently call "white Kalmyks", in contrast with the "black Kalmyks", or Dzungars (or Oirats), who spoke Mongolian. The main pasturing areas mentioned in the records about the Teleut Ob groups were the steppes and forest-steppes along the Ob, and the valleys of the rivers running into it (Inya, Chumysh, Charysh, Alei, and others). The Teleut pasturing routs began from the river Inya and went up (to the south), almost to the beginning of this great river Ob, formed by merging of Biya and Katun (Katun is a Queen, the river name indicates that these were the ancestral territories of the Katun's tribe, which allows to to suggest a potential name of the tribe that lived there before the demise of the Katuns as a social institution. In the Seyanto and Türkic Kaganates, the tribe Ashtak (Ch. Ashide) was a Katun tribe, see here. It appears that the presence in the Altai of the splinters from the As tribes closes the loop - Altai river Katun - Katun tribe - Ashtak tribe- Tört-As/Dieti-As Altai tribes - Altai. - Translator's Note)

To the west their pasturing routs reached Irtysh, and in the east reached the interfluvial of Ob and Tom, including not only the steppes and forest-steppes extending to Kuznetsk, but also the mountain area of the Salair range.

Teleuts consisted of a number of small feudal uluses headed by hereditary Begs. A largest of them in the beginning of the 17th century was Beg Abak, mentioned in the petition to Moscow by the Eushta Beg Toian. He had a thousands people, which should be understood as one thousand soldiers. The nomadic court of Abak (and later of his senior son and successor) was on the small river Meret running into Ob on the right bank, a little above the river Chumysh and below the river Talmenka.

Abak power partially spread over the population of the northern Altai, and some areas of Kuznetsk Ala Tau, for example, along the river Kondoma. He held that population as his tribute payers, kishtyms, whom he assessed with various commodity impositions (iron products, furs, barley, etc.).

Alongside with Abak, Russian historical documents also name others, smaller Teleut Beks. Bek Kogutei 10 for example, as is seen in the 17th century Russian the yasak books, had an ulus called by his name, and paid yasak at least from the 1629. Kogutei ulus was registered in the Iteber volost. In the name Iteber is impossible not to recognize the seok Chediber, in our days a convention holds it to be Shor only because that seok lived during more than a century among the Shors, where it constituted a special (Etiber) volost in the area of the river Kondoma.

10 In the Altaian Teleuts epos, Kogutei appears as the hero of the eponymous heroic legend.

Apropos, on a P. Remezov map the Etibers (Chediber) are shown on the right bank of Tom, against the mouth of Uskat (tributary of the river Tom), in the area of the so-called Uskat White Kalmyks (Teleuts). Chediber doubtlessly was one of the Teleut tribal divisions. Probably, already in the 19th century from Chedibers in the basin of the river Kondoma, in particular its tributary Mundybashu, separated a group that for some not yet established reasons began to be called Kalar, and under that name also surfaced in the list of the Shor seoks. 11 To the Itiber volosts probably belonged a small ulus of the Beg Ozylbai, who owed yasak for only 8 or 14 persons (1629-1630), while in Kogudei ulus in the 17th century were registered on the average 40 payers of the annual yasak. 12 In 1630's, after Abak's death, when Teleuts began to be headed by his son Koka, almost to the end of the 1650's is frequently mentioned a name of the Teleuteg Madjik (among the eastern Teleut groups) with whom Koka at times united for joint actions against cities of Tomsk or Kuznetsk or against Dzungars, and at times quarreled and had armed clashes with. About an independence of the Beg Madjik is evidencing the fact that he sometimes joined into a coalition with the Beks of "Upper Sayanians" beyond the Teles (Altyn Gol) lake In the documents known to us nothing is said about what "volosts", or rather Teleut seok clans headed Madjik, like there are no such records concerning Beks Abak, Koka and his further descendants (Beks Tabunok, Baigorok), or about the number of the yasak payers. Finally, we have Teleut historical tales about their two Beks, Mamyt and the Balyk. The name of the Beg Balyk Kajanov (unfortunately, without naming the seok) is found in the 1670's Russian historical documents as an ally of the Russian military detachments (headed by the "Tomsk boyar son" Roman Starkov) in a fight against the Teleut Beg Koka's Tabunka (a grandson of Abak). 13 From the tale about these two Beks follows that both of them coached in the area of Kuznetsk, and were under protection of Tomsk authorities, where they were rendering yasak.

11 In the "Description of Kuznetsk district", the made by G.F.Miller in 1734, the statement about Etiber volost (upstream of the river Mandabash) said: "Inhabitants also are called Kalars, though now this name is not especially common" (TSGADA, f. 199, file 1, l. 23).
12 B.O.Dolgih. Clan and tribal structure of Siberian peoples in the 17th century ., 1960, p. 105.
13 Additions to Historical Acts, vol. 6. SPb., 1858, p. 317.

In heat of a quarrel Mamyt killed Balyk, after which the people of Balyk separated from the Mamyt group and began coaching along Tom closer to Tomsk, where later they accepted Islam. 14 In accordance with the historical documents, the Beg Balyk was killed by a detachment of the Teleut Beg Tabunka because he participated in the raids of the Russian mercenaries from Tomsk. 15 In the Mountain Altai in the beginning of 1680's Beg Matur was a lieutenant the of the Dzungar khan Galdan with a title Teleut taishi. In his area were also the Mountain Altai Teleuts, a part of them was called Tau-Teleuts, i.e. Mountain Teleuts. These Teleuts, from the Russian historical documents and Siberian annals, definitely had seoks: Mundus, Naiman, Kershl, Todosh. What groups of Teleuts were in Tuva is not known so far, but in the lake Hubsugul (Russ. Kosogol) area, like in the headwaters of the river Irkut, the Russian documents of 1660's call Teleuts Dolonguts (i.e. Telenguts). They were coaching together with Soets, Uryanhs, and Tuvinians. Sometimes in the historical documents they are registered as Tuvinians of a Dolongut clan. About the number of the Kosogol and Irkutsk Telenguts there is no information, except that in the 1660's they several tens people paid yasak into the Irkutsk fort. 17

14 V.Verbitsky. The Altai Aliens. ., 1893, p. 121-122. Compare: W. Radloff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1. Leipzig, 1884, p. 177-178.
15 P.E.Tadyev. A turning point in the history of the Mountain Altai. In Coll.: Great friendship, Gorno-Altaisk, 1956, p. 9.
16 History of Tuva, vol. 1. M., 1964, p. 209.
17 Ibid., p. 209;. B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 295, 298.


Along the Western Sayan mountains ridge and on its southern side in the territory of the modern Tuva lived the nearest historical ancestors of modern Tuvinians, the Türkic-speaking tribes and clans: Mady, who were coaching along the rivers Hemchik and Ulug-Hemu, Mingats (along Hemchik), Sayans in the headwaters of the Hemchik basin, but frequently also appearing in the Altai and in particular in the Teles lake (Altyn Gol) area, Tochi or Todjins (whose descendants till this time occupy the north-eastern Tuva), the Telenguts dicsussed above, Orchaks, Kujugets, Karsals, and others. Some of these tribes, for example Mady, Orchaks and Kujugets, summertime were appearing on the Teleut pasturing routs, between Ob and Tom, and participated with them in raids on local yasak-paying and Russian population. As to the Orchaks (sometimes in Russian documents they are "Kourchaks"), at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century a part of them were coaching even further west, in a number of volosts of the Tar district, where some of their groups were registered as yasak payers of that district. However, when the Dzungar Kalmyks began frequently enough pasturing in their routs, the Oirat taishi violently drove the "Tar" Orchaks to their territory, from which the Orchaks then were escaping. 20 B.O.Dolgih, who discovered in the archives that information about Orchaks, for some reasons considers Orchaks to be the "Mongol-speaking Kalmyks", even though he himself cites a reference to one Russian document dated by 1625 in which Orchaks in the Baraba steppe are directly called "white Kalmyks " i.e. the same as the Teleuts. 21 Orchaks had long-standing contacts with Teleuts, certainly helped by closeness of their languages. The Tuva tribes, at least in 1580's, in a political relation were independent. They were ruled by Beg Sain-Mashik, and they had their own military forces. In the 1587, for example, when Tuvinians participated in a military campaign against the Oirat western Mongols, , they supplied 15 thousand soldiers.

19 B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 117.
20 Ibid., p. 55.2: Ibid., p. 115.

At last, to the south of modern Tuva was Mongolian state headed by Altyn-khans dynasty. Its founder was Sholoi-Ubashi, a great-grandson of Geresendze, an ancestor of the Halha Beks, who had his ulus on the western slopes of Khangai ridge. In the beginning of the 17th century the court of the first Altyn-khan was located near lake Upsa-Nor, and sometimes along the river Tes that runs into the lake from the east. This state already existed in the 1680's, and by the end of the 16th century it grew so much that the tribes of Tuva and Enisei Kyrgyzes lost their independence and became tribute payers - kishtyms. By the 17th century the possessions of Altyn-khans reached from the Sayan mountains in the north to the southern foothills of Mongolian Altai in the south, and from from the lake Hubsugol in the east through Tuva almost to the Black Irtysh the west.

Russians are coming

The picture of the Southern Siberian population at the beginning of the 17th century would not be complete without mentioning the settling of Siberia by the Russian state. We shall note only the erection dates of the Russian cities (in reality, forts - Translator's Note). In the 1586 Tyumen, and the following year - Tobol. On the Ob in 1593 arose Berezov, and in 1594 Surgut. In 1598 appeared Verhoturie and Narym, in 1601 Mangazeya. With the construction of Surgut, some Chulym volosts started to deliver yasak there, later they were transferred to the Kets (or Ket) fort erected in 1597. Then in 1604 the Tomsk fort was started, heralding the Russian annexation of the Southern Siberia.

The fall of the Siberian Khanate caused relocation the local nomadic population. A part of Türkic-speaking groups of the "Siberian Tatars" coached away to the east, which is documentarily evidenced by the Russian historical acts of the 17th century 22 Some of the migrants reached Chulym and Enisei. That finds confirmation in a number of the Chulym Tatars legends recorded in the first quarter of the 18th, then at the end of the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th century They tell absolutely definitely about the arrival of the Türkic-speaking population from the west to Chulym. Can be cited references to some legends, widespread among the Chulym Kyzyls, about their arrival from the rivers Tobol and Ishim. The records (1888) of D.A.Klements from the Achin district say: "The Kizyls still remember that they once lived on the Ishim and Tobol and they had their Czar Kochjun". 23

22 Historical Acts, vol. 2. SPb., 1841, p. 2.
23 D.A.Klements. Preliminary information about excursion to Achinsky and Kansky districts. News of East - Siberian branch of Russ. Geogr. Society, vol. 20, No 1, p. 45.

N.Katanov recorded in the village Askiz a legend that said: "The Kachin people have come from the river Tobol; there they were a people of the Czar Kuchum. (The adventurer) Ermak, fighting Kuchum and pursuing him, subjugated (Kachins) to the Russian Czar. Coming from Tobol, half of the people began settle along the river Kacha, near Krasnoyarsk, the other half began to settle in the lands where now stands Achinsk". 24 We should note in that connection that Kachins called the river Kacha, where they settled, not Kacha, but Izyr-Su, i.e. Ezer, or Desar river. Hence, the Kachins appeared there later than the Kirgiz Djesars have (In respect to toponymy, Vasmer does not have an entry for Russian "ozero" = "lake", and probably not without a reason. Its cognates are in Slavic and Türkic languages, and belong to the oldest layer of the Slavic languages. A proposition that Enisei Kirgizes waited for the Russians to come to bring them the word for a lake would be preposterous, as much as the idea that Slavs in the Pripyat, Vistula, and Danube basins did not have their own word for the lake The only reasonable explanation is that Türkic-Slavic bilingual and therefore symbiotic people defaulted to a single version , and that version happened to be Türkic, of which the 5th c. people may not even have suspected - Translator's Note).

Especial interest presents the D.Messershmidt's record belonging to the 1721 (one hundred eighty years after the defeat of Kuchum) "One knowledgeable Tatar informed me, that the majority of the Tatars who live along the rivers Chulym and Kiya descend from the peoples of khan Kuchum, and earlier they were one people with the Kazakh Horde. After khan Kuchum was banished from Tobolsk, a part of them came here, another part went to Tomsk". 25 In another record Messershmidt informs: "I have met a sensible Tatar in Urup, who confirmed to me that Chulym Tatars come from the Kuchum-khan. First they settled near estuaries of the Chulym and Kiya, but when the Kirgizes were expelled, they spread to here". 26 In the cited Messershmidt field records belonging to the beginning of 1720's, were reflected fresher at that time memoirs of some Chulym Tatar groups about their historical past, than among the Kachins or Kyzyls at the end of the 19th century They should be also trusted because they conform to the Russian historical documents about migration to the east of the Siberian Tatars after the defeat of khan Kuchum, and also with some other materials.


For example, among the Kyzyls was a group called Argyn. Its presence is quite a confirmation of the Messershmid message about the "Tatar from the river Kiya" that Chulym Tatars earlier were one people with the Kazakh Horde (Translated into human language, Argyns were a part of the Kazakh people, and not the army. maybe in some peculiar language horde is a people, but in normal human language horde is an army, and frequently these army, Türkic and Russian, consisted of foreigners. The Argyn people could not be the same people as the Kazakh army, though the Kazakh army could be the same people as the Kazakh people. - Translator's Note).

 The Argyns were (and still are - Translator's Note) a large Türkic-speaking group (or a tribe) that belonged to the Djuchi Ulus (Kipchak Khanate was a banned expression in the Russian humanity sciences. In the modern lingo, the Golden Army and Djuchi Ulus were face-saving political euphemisms to cover the former political vassalage - Translator's Note). With the disintegration of Djuchi Ulus a part of Argyns was involved in the process of formation of the Kazakh nation ("Kazakh nation" in Stalinist-Soviet sense of the word, like apples get involved into the process of formation of apple harvest - very sophisticated - Translator's Note). Argyns also were one of those nomadic Türkic-speaking tribes that participated in ethnogenesis of the modern Uzbeks (Again, the "Uzbeks" in Soviet political sense, because ethnically the Uzbeks were quite formed and distinct a millennium before the Kipchak Khanate Khan Uzbek was born - Translator's Note). Argyns also were among the Siberian Tatars. With the fall of the Siberian Khanate they migrated eastward to the headwaters of Chulym, where in the 17th century they constituted a special volost Argun (mentioned from 1623), paid yasak to Tomsk, and with time (first quarter of the 19th century) participated as a Lesser Argun clan in the Kizyl steppe duma (Counsel) (During the Soviet times it was an anathema to even mention the existence of local democratic institutions among the Türkic peoples under the cursed Czarist regime, when the Russian domains within the Russian empire still were slave-holding fiefs. The "liberation" of the people was ascribed to the "Great October Revolution" that 10 years later totally demolished any and all vestiges of democratic institutions - Translator's Note). Thus, the existence among the Chulym Tatars of a group with ethnonym Argyn is a testimony of the Türkic-speaking tribes' infiltration from the west, from the territory of the former Siberian Khanate, and certainly reflects the commonness of some Türkic-speaking ethnic components of Kazakhs, Uzbeks and modern Khakases.

24 Samples of people's literature of the Türkic tribes, Part 9. Translation. SPb., 1907, p. 533-534.
25 D. Messershmidt, Ibid., p. 134.
26 Ibid., p. 136.


The fall of the Siberian Khanate had one more very serious consequence in respect to the change in the Western and Southern Siberia ethnic composition. There appeared the western Mongols, or Oirats, in the Russian historical documents of the end of the 16th and the first half of the 17th century usually called Black Kolmaks, and then Dzungars (Russ. Zengortses ). Naturally, the arrival of Oirats in Siberia had its reasons, and the fall of the Siberian Khanate only facilitated their advance to the Siberian territory, because the former Khanate borders became unprotected (In the Russian historiography, the westward migration of the Mongolic tribes and the demise of the Türkic Siberian population was indiscriminately attributed to the Chingiz-khan time, any facts notwithstanding, and the concept of "invading aliens" was exploited from the Middle Age period to literally the present, and culminated in the 20th c. with the Stalinist dismemberments and deportations of whole nations - Translator's Note).

Because the penetration of Oirats-Kalmyks into Siberia seriously influenced not only the ethnic composition, but also the political fate of the Southern Siberia local population, we shall dwell on it in detail, attracting newly published sources and studies. 27 First we briefly review the main stages in the history of the western Mongols, or Oirats.

After the fall of the Mongolian (Yuan) dynasty in the 1368 among Mongols began quickly developing a process of feudal division, which infected not only the eastern, but also the western Mongols, reaching a maximum by the end of the 16th century Once dependent on the "Great Khan" as a head of the Mongolian empire and a supreme owner of the lands, the Mongolian feudal lords of various ranks that were earlier receiving from him bestowed pasturing routs and attached population, now aspired to a political and economic independence, to a transformation of the bestowed lands and population to a hereditary property. There was a continuous division and fractioning of feudal domains. The attempts, for example by Esen-khan (1440-1455) from a Choros house, or his great-grandson Batu-Munke also known as Daian-khan (1470-1543), to overcome the feudal disintegration of Mongols, to create a uniform all-Mongolian centralized state did not have a lasting success, and could not stop this process. After the death of Daian-khan who greatly contributed to the unification of Mongols and creation of the centralized state, Mongolia was again divided into domains shared by his 11 sons, of whom the elder sons became ancestors of some Southern Mongolian princes, and his mentioned above younger son Geresendze received the ulus of his father (actually, the family or clan ulus, a traditional inheritance scheme among the Türkic peoples - Translator's Note) with the pasturing routs in Khangai, and became an ancestor of the Halha princes.

27 Materials on history of the Russian-Mongolian relations. 1607-1636. Collection of documents. ., 1959; I.Ya.Zlatkin. History of the Dzungar Khanate. Includes list of various historical sources (Because the Western and Central Siberia were in the Dzungar hands, this 1959 book became a subtle textbook on the Siberian history - Translator's Note).

During the rule of Daian-khan the center of the political life moved from rivers Tola, Orkhon and Kerulen area to the south, to the Chahar area, where was a the court of the last recognized all-Mongolian khan.

At that time the eastern Mongols expanded their pasturing routs to the Ordos and Kuku-Nor steppes. The western Mongols in the 15-16 centuries were concentrated in a fairly small territory (chiefly Mongolian Altai and adjoining areas), including the territory which eventually received a name of Dzungaria, delimited in the east by the western slopes of Khangai mountains, and in the west by the lake Zaisan (in the northwest) and Karashar (in the southwest). In the south their pasturing routs were north of Turfan and Hami. In northwest they bordered the Siberian Khanate and the pasturing routs of the Kazakhs and Kirgizes. In the north they did not reach neither Altai, nor Tuva. Thus, the Southern Siberia was not included into the Oirat coaching territory.

The Oirats during that time had a great need for pastures. It was necessitated by the growth of nomadic herds and incessant division of the feudal possessions. Every new feudal entity, even the small ones, aspired first of all to secure sufficient pasturing routs, in any imaginable way, including seizure by force. Therefore, the Oirat feudals continuously warred among themselves and with neighbors, which considerably weakened their forces. If in 1550-1560's they quite often warred with the eastern Mongols, from the 1570's such warred with Halha princes, especially with Altyn-khans. In 1530's Oirats started fighting for pasturing routs with Kazakhs, with breaks the wars lasted for two centuries, and repeatedly ended up in serious defeats for Oirats. In these conditions Oirats at the end of the 16th century attempted to penetrate Siberia around the northwestern slopes of the Altai mountains. The external incentive for movement to Siberia was the defeat of the Siberian Khanate. The historical sources make it clear that in the second half of the 16th century Oirats coached southwest from the Mountain Altai, in Dzungaria along the Black Irtysh, and in the western adjoining areas of the Mongolian Altai. Along the Black Irtysh were, in particular, the pasturing routs of Derbets. In the valley of the river Ili were pasturing routs of Choroses, and in the Tarbagatai those of Torgouts. In the 1580's the Oirat pasturing routs reached only the southern areas of the lake Zaisan, i.e. the headwaters of Irtysh, 28 and the headwaters of the river Ishim still belonged to the possessions of Kuchum-khan.

28 Upstream of lake Zaisan Irtysh is called Black Irtysh, downstream from the lake simply Irtysh.

In 1587, when Altyn-khan allied with Tuva ruler Sain-Madjik went to a campaign against Oirats (through Tuva), the Oirats were coaching along the left bank of Irtysh, the Hoshouts' pasturing routs at that time reached the rivers Emel and Ili.

Oirats appeared in Siberia only in the beginning of 1590's, when the Western Siberia was already in the Russian hands, though the Russian population there still was very small. And in general the Siberia at that time was populated extremely thinly. In the beginning Oirats appeared in the headwaters of the Irtysh (after a flight of Kuchum), and later, in the first decade of the 17th century, in the headwaters of the river Omi near the city Tara. Oirats certainly did not abandon their old pasturing routs. In 1596 they battled, for example, with the detachments of the expelled khan Kuchum near the lake Issyk Kul, though in the 1598, 500 Oirats turned up in the area near river Ob.

The fall of the Siberian Khanate coincided with a period when Oirats, in need of pastures, wanted to gain new territories, and were gradually creeping from the Dzungaria in the only open for them northwestern direction. 29 In a couple decades a significant group of Oirats reached the lower course of the Volga. During that movement, the fact of the fall of the Siberian Khanate could not fail to attract Oirats' attention, as it enabled them to even temporarily and partially to mitigate the political stress of that time in the historical conditions of the western Mongols. A flow of new Oirat groups began moving to Siberia. A document of 1604, referring to the Susha Tatars Beg Toian, says that even around Tomsk coached "hordes of the Beg Binei". Toian informed that Binei had 10 thousand people, and that his closest pasturing routs are only 10 days of travel from Tomsk, and the distant are in 4 weeks of travel. Bek Binei was an Oirat feudal lord. His name is also mentioned in another document dated by 1609, where it appears alongside with names of a Beg Uzenei and others. Uzenei then headed a group of Oirat feudal lords, from among people ruled by Derbet taishi Dalai (This lyrical description dramatizes situation by presenting a permanent nomadic trait as a single event. Russia and Oirats were equally opportunistic and studious in their expansion. In any nomadic society, at any given time, the natural growth of herds exceeded the limits of the existing pastures, and pushed nomadic pastoralists to expansion, within and outside of their domains, and to seek external trade. There was nothing special in the Oirat move to the vacant pastures after the people of the Siberian Khanate deserted their lands in tumultuous time. The Oirats were not looking for a temporary relief, numerically the Russian forces were in hundreds, the Oirats' forces were in tens of thousands, and nobody could predict a future balance of power. The term "feudal lords" is a calque from the Soviet political economy textbook, scarcely applicable to the leaders of the nomadic tribal societies with their kurultais and elected leaders. Without a public recognition of the legitimacy of the ruler and his capabilities in ensuring wellbeing of his supporters, no ruler could hold on to the support of his subjects. The Chingizid Khan Kuchum was a good example of that, instead of coming under his banner, his subjects dissipated and left him without people and without horses. Khan Kuchum was not outdated and illiterate, he personally witnessed the technology and methods employed by Babur in the conquest of Afganistan and India, and should have been in a position to organize a viable defense of his state from the attacks of small troops of mercenary adventurers. For example, in the decisive battle for the Khanaate new capital Iskar, that opened a road to the Western Siberia, Kuchum managed to lose a battle to the tiny Ermak army of only 600 troops - Translator's Note).

The most intensive Oirat advance in Siberia was occurring at the end of the 1610's. It was connected with a threat of war by Altyn-khan of Halha. In January, 1607. Oirats, on behalf of a large group of feudal lords headed by Dalai-Taishi and Torgout Dzoriktu, ostensibly totaling 120-thousand army, asked the Czar authorities in Tara to be allowed to coach "upstream along the Irtysh to to the salt lakes". This request was satisfied. However, Dzoriktu brother Ho-Urluk, a future head of Torgouts, at that time remained in the old pasturing routs, near lake Zaisan. A few months later, in May of 1607, Beg Uzenei emissaries came to Tomsk and this time asked "to protect them from Altyn-Czar and Kozak horde", because military assaults started between the Oirats and Altyn-khan and Kazakhs (Oirats demonstrated their respect of the Tara suzerainty over its domains, under whoever ruled that domain. The lands were obviously defenseless, but Oirats were studious in their affairs - Translator's Note).

29 I.Zlatkin, Ibid., p. 118.

In September of 1607 in Tara again arrived Dalai-Taishi embassy asking to be allowed to coach not only "upstream along the Irtysh to to the salt lakes"", but also "along Kamyshlov". The emissaries asked the Czar authorities to protect Oirats from Altyn-khan and Kazakhs. The Tar commanders sent ambassadors for negotiations to Moscow, and Tomsk just informed Moscow about the request they received. The answer came to Tomsk in 1608, it recommended to send from the Tomsk emissaries to Uzenei with an offer to accept the Russian overlordship, and after that to satisfy his request. The Tomsk commanders tried to do it, but could not, because the Teleut Beks, whom they planned to send as emissaries to Oirats, respnded that they cannot go to "Kolmaks" because "now the Black Kolmaks coached far away and were at war with Altyn-Czar and Kozak horde, and Black Kolmaks fight among themselves, and their the prince Uzenei lost his best people".

Under a military threat of danger In the 1608 from the headwaters of Irtysh to Tara coached taishi Ho-Urluk, who also asked the Czar authorities to be allowed to coach in Western Siberia along the river Om and to erect there ("5 days of travel" from Tara a small fort for his protection against Altyn-khan.

All this information taken from the Russian written sources, not only allows to track the time and reasons for Oirats' flooding in to Siberia, but also prove that at that time Oirat feudals of various ranks unconditionally recognized the territory of (Western) Siberia as Russian state possessions, and wanted to secure consent for their presence of the local representatives of the Russian state (This is doubtful, because Oirats and all their neighbors had a confederate structure, where local rulers are autonomous and empowered to make all decisions about local affairs, including matters of war and peace, and Oirats likely were not aware of the supposedly centralized state as was projected later by the Russian historians of the Imperial and Soviet periods. Neither was the Russia at the time as centralized as that idea is projecting, for example Ermak wielded a private army of his not only independent from the Moscow government, but in defiance of it - Translator's Note). But soon, invariably receiving permits for temporary pasturing in Western Siberia, large Oirat feudals could not fail to learn that the Russian local military forces, like the number of Russian population in (Western) Siberia, were insignificant, and certainly far from being sufficient to secure the huge territory and its thin and scattered yasak-imposed population. Consequently, the Oirat feudals sharply changed their attitude to the territories of Siberia, where soon they began behaving as absolute masters. They declared themselves the owners of salt lakes in the upper and middle course of Irtysh, and obstructed salt extraction by the Russian population (since there practically was no ethnically Russian population, L.Potapov refers to the politically Russian population of local Türkic and non-Türkic people that traditionally mined and sold salt to their neighbors, and who became Russian tribute payers at about 1620's - Translator's Note), began imposing thir tribute on the the yasak (tribute) population of the Western and Southern Siberia, i.e. Teleuts, Barabans, Kuznetsk Tatars, etc. Moreover, as soon as Oirat feudals successfully ended the 1608-1609 war with Altyn-khan, some from them started talking with the representatives of the Czar power in Siberia with a different language.

A group of feudals headed by the widow of the Beg Uzenei by the name Abai for example claimed their rights on the lands occupied previously by them for pastures with the consent of the Czar authorities, and on the local yasak-imposed population ("yasak-imposed population" here is the local population pying tribute to the local Czar authorities - Translator's Note). At that time some Oirat feudals have already found a common language with the local feudals, in particular with the Teleuts headed by the Beg Abak, and even were coaching in the Teleut pastures (Evidently, neither local people, nor Oirats were happy with the Russian pretensions on the right of conquest and forced impositions, and they confederated along the traditional scheme of tribal confederations - Translator's Note).

The victory over Altyn-khan and the new and fairly safe from the enemies pasturing routs in the territory of Siberia enabled Oirat feudals to regroup their forces and attempt to advance to the Nogai steppe (western Kazakhstan), because at that time the Great Nogai horde that was coaching between Volga and Emba was very weakened and could not protect their pastures. On contrast, the Oirat feudals became stronger to a such degree that the Great Kazakh Horde and Kirgizes temporarily became their dependents. 30 But even in those conditions the largest Oirat feudals such as Dalai-taishi or the future founder of the Dzungar Khanate Hara-Hula nevertheless were mindful of open and direct aggravation of the relations with the Russian state, preferring to act stealthily and within limits. Oirats were preparing for a new war with Altyn-khan, they were very interested in reserving an opportunity in case of need to seek safety in the territory of the (Western) Siberia claimed by the Russian state and substantially annexed by it.

The succeeding war with Altyn-khan was initiated by the Oirat Hara-Hula, but it was unsuccessful for the Oirats. In the 1620-1621 it was known to the authorities in Tyumen and Tobol . After the defeats, Oirats again began drawing closer to the Russian forts and asking for consent to their coaching along the rivers Tobol, Kamyshlov, and upper Ishim. Some of them appeared in the area between the lake Chany, Om and Irtysh. 31 Many taishis occupied in 1621 pastures near lake Yamysh, which was a salt extraction base for the Russian (i.e. Russian-subjugated native "yasak" serfs) population of Siberia.

Soon to Tomsk came a news that many Oirat taishis coached near Ob, and even built in the mouth of the river Chumysh, among Teleut pasturing routs, a small fortified town. 32

30 The subject certainly is the Central Asian Kirgizes, instead of Enisei Kyrgyzes, as believes I.Zlatkin (History of the Dzungar Khanate, p. 135). Enisei Kyrgyzes at that time were subordinated to Altyn-khan and did not adjoin Oirats .
31 Materials on history of the Russian-Mongolian relations, p. 78,105-107..-.-
32 Ibid., p. 11.

Under the impact of the Altyn-khan army, who joined with the Kazakh feudals, many Oirats came to various places of Siberia, where they found safety literally from annihilation. The Oirat feudals were certainly obligated to the Russian state, which allowed them to hide in the Siberian territory, and that without special requirements or conditions. Finding the safety, Oirat feudals quickly got accustomed to the new conditions, and again attempted to subjugate the local neighboring population. They again imposed tribute of iron and furs on some groups of the Kuznetsk Tatars and Northern Altaians located far from the Kuznetsk fort, built in the 1618, which is described in one of the Russian documents of 1622. The Northern Altaians, especially the Shors, for a long time were famous for their skill to extract and smelter iron, and make from it "cuirasses, chain mails, helmets, lances, pitchforks and sabers and all iron things, except harquebuses". That was pointed out by the Beg Toian in his petition to the Moscow Czar about his acceptance as a subject, noting that the population living in the headwaters of the river Tom, "makes armor and shooting irons" (i.e. iron arrowheads). 33 The Oirat feudals tried to completely seize these skilled metallurgists and to obtain weaponry, military equipment and cavalry horse harnesses (bits, stirrups, girth buckles, etc.), as was usually done by Kirgiz and Teleut feudals. Notably, the development and iron production level, and manufacturing from it of various products by the tribal groups of the Altai-Sayan mountains for many centuries were supported by the unlimited and insatiable demand of numerous nomads from the eastern part of the Central Asia, Middle Asia and Siberia. The numerous nomadic military units desperately needed the above products. However, precisely for that reason these small tribal groups were always in tribute dependency from the stronger nomads. Among them the small-scale, but extremely widespread manufacture of iron products was not a source of their well-being, as could be in the normal peaceful conditions, but on the contrary a reason for their dependent and oppressed position from various feudal conquerors.

The governmental circles of the Russian state perfectly understood that for the Oirats-Kalmyks, "except Kuznetsk lands, there is no place to buy weapons". Therefore in the 1622 order the Moscow sovereign demanded from the Kuznetsk commanders to exact from the Kuznetsk tribute-paying people "sables, and any soft stuff, and helmets, and pitchforks, and sabers, who can for give to the sovereign whatever for the yasak, and to Kolmak people by no means to not give yasak order, and with Kolmak people not to trade them, in addition to sables, no iron, helmets, and cuirasses, and pitchforks, and sabers not ordered". 34

33 See in more detail in our books: Essays on Shoria history. L., 1936: Essays on a history of Altaians.
34 Collection of Hilkov's Books. SPb., 1879, p. 193.

The small Russian forces quartered in Kuznetsk were not always able to protect local yasak-imposed population from the Oirat feudals attacks, followed with property robbery, first of all of the iron products. The Oirat feudals cooperated with local leading feudal, especially with Teleut feudal. Oirats grazed their cattle on Teleut pastures, even sometimes assessed alman on some groups of Teleut kishtyms, united with the members of the Teleut feudal nobles into military alliances, involved them in plots against the Russian state, established marriage kinships, etc. Some Oirat feudals were contriving plans for the capture of extensive pastoral territories in the western and southern parts of Siberia, and for that purpose used not only the local Teleut feudals, but also refugee princes from the Khan Kuchum house, mainly his sons, assembling temporary military unions under their aegis, for revolts against the Russian state and its population in Siberia.

From the Russian historical sources at the end of 1620's is known a series of armed uprisings in the Western and Southern Siberia organized by the Oirat feudals, with participation of the Kuchum crown princes and local feudals (Chats, Teleuts, Tuvinians, Kirgizes, etc.). 35 Apparently not without a reason the Teleut Beg Abak visited (1625) the court of Hara-Hula taishi. 31 Being a (conquered and subjugated) subject of the Russian state, and not without an influence of Oirat rulers, in 1633 Beg Abak did not allow a passage of Tomsk cossacks to the the river Biya, and in the 1634 even attacked the yasak White Kalmyks (i.e. Teleuts) in the basin of the river Uskat (Being an autonomous ruler, he would do exactly the same it Kuchum or Hara-Hula sent troops through his territory without his consent. His acceptance of Russian suzerainty did not make him anybody's serf, as the Russian mentality saw and treated him - Translator's Note).

The Oirat wars with Altyn-khan also continued the following years, influencing location of Oirat uluses. The largest change in the Oirats' location happened by the end of 1620's, it was caused by the external military and internal events. Torgouts coached away to the lower course of Volga, and Hoshouts went to Tibet. In Dzungaria remained mainly Choroses. 37

A successful war with Altyn-khan at that time enabled Oirats to regain their old pasturing routs west of the Mongolian Altai, where some Oirat uluses began to return to. The Oirats ruled by Hara-Hula fought for consolidation of forces, they contracted territorially.

5 Among the participants of the revolt is named Teleut Beg Kogutei, who at that time, together with Barabans, Tuvinian Orchaks, and others was among the Beg Abak Teleuts. In the Altaian epos, Kogutei appears as a hero of an eponymous heroic legend.
36 G.Miller, Ibid., vol. 2, p. 320..
37 I.L.Zlatkin, Ibid., p. 148.

After the death of Hara-Hula (1634) emerged a Dzungar Khanate, in 1635 Batur, a son of Hara-Hula, became its ruler with a title Hongtaishi.

The Dzungar Khanate and its policy influenced quite substantially the life of indigenous population in the Southern Siberia, including its ethnic composition. Dzungar rulers were hostile to representatives of the Russian state in Siberia and, were contriving plans to capture extensive territories of Siberia suitable for pastures, and not any lesser desired to get its yasak-imposed population, especially in the southern Siberia, which were for Dzungar khans tribute payers from which could be obtained plenty of iron products and precious furs (L.Potapov relays the common belief that any colonialism is bad, except for the Russian brand. The local subjugated population id depicted as experiencing a love at a first glance toward the banditry employed by the Czar, and if not for the bad Mongolian apples would love to be fleeced in the name of the Russian Czar. But the robberies of the 16-17th centuries were still a good life for those generations, the real free-for-all ball started in the 18th c. with the Peter I - Translator's Note).

Therefore the Dzungar khans struggled for gaining the tribute payers in different ways, one of which was a regular preparation of the yasak-imposed population for a struggle against the Russian state generally, and against the peaceful Russian population that lived in Siberia, in particular. We shall not address here to what degree the Dzungar khans were successful, and we shall only look how the new political situation after the formation of the Dzungar Khanate was reflected in fate of all Teleuts first, and then some groups of the Northern Altaians.

Dzungar Khanate ca 1750 AD (From Wikipedia )
Khanate borders are marked in blue

As we saw above, during the Abak's life Teleuts were in close contact with the Dzungar feudals, but retained their independence. After death the of Abak the ulus headed his senior son Koka (probably, in 1635). Another apparently significant part of the Teleuts constituted then another ulus, headed by Beg Madjik, with whom Abak's Koka (this Russified form of the name evidently follows the Russian reports) cooperated (especially for joint robberies of the yasak-imposed population of Kuznetsk district whom they considered to be their tribute payers), quarreled, and was hostile. The Tomsk commanders, surely, aimed to receive a recognition of submission to the Russian state from the new Teleut ruler, but practically were not succeeding for a long time. Only in the 1650 Abak's Koka, in his ulus, in the presence of (the Russian) ambassadors, swore an oath of allegiance to the Russian state (actually, it normally was a mutual concord, and both sides were sworn on to keep its conditions. A portrayal of a mutual agreement as a unilateral submission, popular in the Russian historiography, is a falsification - Translator's Note). But in the 1652 he already collected a tribute and plundered the "yasak Tatars" of the Kuznetsk district (Kuznetsk "yasak Tatars" were Koka's Teleut tribesmen, so the event was a tribal affair within the Teleut domains, and unlike the Russian extractions they could not be called robberies, unless in the politics of the divide and rule policies. Presumably, Koka contract with Russians swore his autonomy in his domains, and the Russians were obligated to go through him if they wanted any extractions from his people named Kuznetsk "yasak Tatars" by the Russians - Translator's Note). Probably afraid of unpleasant consequences for such action on the part of the Tomsk commanders (or disappointed by the treacherous conduct of his Russian counterparts - Translator's Note), Koka in 1653 joined Dzungar Hongtaishi (Russ. Kontaishi, frequently not capitalized, Mong. title Hongtaishi, Altan Khan = Golden Khan, 1507-1582), to which undoubtedly for a long time he was courted by the Dzungar feudals. Dzungar khan allocated for his protection three thousand armed Dzungars, assuming that the Tomsk authorities will chase after Beg Abak, who went to the steppes on the western side of the Ob. Abak's Koka's example was followed by the Beg Madjik, who was systematically showing aggressive intentions toward Kuznetsk fort and assigned to it yasak-imposed population (i.e. the Kuznetsk fort was a military enforcement base for subjugation and forced exactions from the local part of the Teleit tribes, who were "assigned" to it for that purpose, were put in serfdom, and imposed a bondage as a "yasak" tribute population. The Teleut prince found that status of his tribesmen scornful and was tagged "aggressor" for that - Translator's Note).

After joining Dzungaria, Madjik was sometimes allied with the Beg of the "Upper Sayans" Manzei, who was living near Teleses (in Tuva), and was also a Dzungaria subject, for an attack on the Kuznetsk district. Joining Dzungaria, Abak's Koka was not getting along with his patrons, and the quarrels grew into armed conflicts that ended badly for Teleuts. In the 1655 the Tomsk cossacks coming to Teleuts for trade became witnesses of Teleut mass flight from the Ob western side. Teleuts were crossing day and night in haste on the right bank of small river Irmen (near river Chik near modern Novosibirsk). They responded to cossacks that it is not a time for trade, that they barely escaped, abandoning in the steppes on that side of Ob their cattle and property.

There is no doubt that the Teleut pasturing routs in the second half of the 17th century in the west were spread to Irtysh, despite of the constant invasions to Irtysh of the the Dzungar nomadic groups wishing to settle there, and to declare that territory as their property. One of the documents dated by 1660 directly stated that "Telenguts the children of Ishken... are coaching up and down along the river Irtysh, between Almas and Chigir". 38 Therefore is doubtful the B.O.Dolgih's remark in respect to the Teleuts or White Kalmyks, about whom he writes: "In the west the pastures of "White Kalmyks" (Teleuts) in the 17th century, apparently did not reach the bank of Irtysh". 39 However, as the Dzungar feudals were seizing and securing territories along the Irtysh on its exit from the Altai mountains, the Teleut pasturing routs became possible only for those groups who were recognized the authority of the Dzungar khans. However, as we shall see further, Teleut Beks quite often wanted to free of that dependence, from time to time rising in armed resistance, or sometimes seeking protection and refuge near the fortified Russian cities of Tomsk and Kuznetsk.

From the time of the formal transfer of Teleuts under the control of Dzungaria, Teleuts constantly lived under a threat of trouncing, and nothing remained of their former independence. On the contrary, their dependence on the Dzungar khans was growing, in their hands Teleut Beks were instruments of the Dzungaria policies and executors of various orders, and Hongtaishi's officials.

38 G.Miller. History of Siberia, vol. 3. (Manuscript prepared for print by the USSR Academy of Sciences Ethnography Institute, editors A.I.Andreeva and L.P.Potapov), document No 258.
39 B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 115.

Let's turn now to the historical materials containing information on the nearest historical ancestors of the modern Altaians.

As should be expected, during the 17th century more and much the written Russian sources mentioned Teleuts. They usually are noted generally, without of tribal names and clans, and quite often they still are called White Kolmaks in contrast with Oirats or Dzungars, who in the same documents are called Black Kolmaks. But sometimes the (Russian) historical sources of the 17th century also mention names of some Teleut tribal groups. Of them, the earliest references belong to Ak-kishtyms and Toguls. The document of 1627 talks about newly imposed tributes in the volosts and lands, and are named volosts Askeshtim and Togul. 40 These volosts (together with Kersagal) in 1675 were "from Kolmaks most remote frontier volosts". 41 In the yasak books (tribute accounting books) of the 17th century the Askishtym and Togul volosts are called "steppe volosts", which confirms the Tubalar legend about seok Togul coming to them from the steppe. By the beginning of the 18th century the Askishtyms lived between the headwaters of Ini and Uskat and along river Tom, and the Toguls lived by the headwaters of the Chumysh. 42 The White Kalmyks (Teleuts), registered in the yasak books of the beginning of 1670's, lived along Uskat, and a part of them was considered at that time "expats" of the petty prince Abak's Koka. Attention to the "White expat Kalmyks" arose after the death of Dzungar Batur-khan (Baatur Khan, or rather Bagatur Khan with silent "g"), but before the accession to the Khan throne of his successor Galdan. The Dzungar Hongtaishi (evidently, the Russian records treat the Mongolian title-name of Altan Khan as a generic title, and L.Potapov follows that without reservations or explanations - Translator's Note) dared to demand a return to him of the mentioned Kalmyks. This only shows how far Oirats reached in their aggressive actions and claims, the same Oirats who in some tens of years of the coaching in the lands of Siberia fancied themselves there an almost main political force, at least not lesser in comparison with the Russian state, which rights to Siberia at the end of the 16th century seemed to them to be indisputable (funny, Russian "rights" are the rights of conquest, which do not recognize any rights. After stealing others' property, in defense of the theft the Russians invoke their property rights. In reality what was indisputable was a fact of conquest - Translator's Note). The Oirat feudals behaved so rudely and roughly toward the local yasak-imposed population that that began to be repulsed ba the population. During described time after the death of Batur-khan, among the Oirat or Dzungar feudals arose serious conflicts (normally associated with the election process of the successor in egalitarian societies - Translator's Note), which badly weakened the Khan's power. In those conditions some Siberian kishtyms tried to free from the dependence. In the summer of 1658 against Dzungars rose the Teleut Beg Abak's Koka. He again was defeated. Nevertheless, a part of Teleuts ruled by Abak's Koka coached to and remained close to Tomsk. In the 1665 taishi Sengge (a son of Batur) complained to the Russian ambassador Vasily Bubennoi, who came from Tomsk, that "from famine his, Seng's (Sengge's), yasak Kolmyks from Teleut Koka ulus, left, and nowadays live in Tomsk, and the Czar majesty's commander those kyshtyms of his do not return" .43

40 G.Miller, Ibid., vol. 2, p. 586.
41 Additions to Historical Acts, vol. 7, p. 322. In Fisher, Kersagal volost was in the headwaters of the river Tom.
42 So they are shown in the "Drawing book of Siberia" by S.Remezov, composed in 1701.
43 I.Ya.Zlatkin, Ibid., p. 215.

Abak's Koka himself again fell into the dependence on Dzungaria. But the Teleuts who have broken away from him remained to coach along the Uskat (a tributary of Tom), and in the yasak books of the Kuznetsk district of the beginning of the 1670's they are registered as "expat white Kalmyks", and with such notations: "of the former leave", then "of the last to leave, who left the petty prince Abak's Koka. They were registered as 75 paying souls". 44 Abak's Koka at that time already coached in the headwaters of the river Alei, a left tributary of Ob, in the location south-west of the present Ust Kamenogorsk. From the report of the Russian ambassador V.Litosova who stayed in the 1666 in the court of taishi Sengge, located "between high mountains on a small river Kusutan in the Djair Shere Moudun gorge" follows that Teleut Beks Koka and Madjik were ruled by Sengge. In the spring of the 1668 in conversation with an ambassador B.Bylin was again discussed the question about "expat White Kalmyks (Teleuts)". Sengge told the ambassador that he knows that the "Russian sovereign against my Teleuts did not send a war and did not take them by force, they fled from me, and the great sovereign should not order to hold them in Tomsk and in Kuznetsk, and his sovereign's servants (order not) to harass (them), and I shall take them from the Tomsk and near Kuznetsk (and jail them) in a fort.". 45 Then Galdan, at that time still simply the llama "kutuhta" told the ambassador Bylina about it, formulating hisopinion in this form: "Our expat Teleuts have no business staying (in the possessions) of the great sovereign". But Sengge-taishi did not agree with his brother. In the summer of 1668 he sent to Tomsk his emissary with a requirement to let go the "expat White Kalmyks (Teleuts)", otherwise he threatened, "Sengge taishi will go with a war to the Tomsk and Kuznetsk forts". In three years about these expat White Kalmyks (Teleuts) wrote a son of the already late Sengge-taishi, Tsewang-Rabdan. Finally, in the 1679 Galdan himself, now a khan of Dzungaria, demanded the "expat White Kalmyks (Teleuts)", threatening to crush Kuznetsk. 46 Despite the vigorous representations of the Dzungar taishi and khans, "expat White Kalmyks (Teleuts)" remained to live in the Russian state. The Czar representatives in Siberia refused to carry out the groundless demands of the Dzungar feudals, and their threats were left hanging in mid-air.

It should be noted in this connection that from the beginning of the 1670's after Galdan accession to the Khan position in Dzungaria, his claims on taxing with alman the yasak-imposed population, mainly the southern Siberian population, become insistent and were frequently accompanied by military threats.

44 B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 107.
45 I.Zlatkin, Ibid., p. 220. The commander Veliyaminov message to the Russsian Czar also says: "The expats white Kolmaks left to Tomsk and Kuznetsk to serve the great sovereign voluntarily, and they live in Tomsk and Kuznetsk on their own will, and not because of bondage" (Additions to Historical Acts, vol. 6, p. 314-315). The subject was 60 families that run away to Omsk.
46 Additions to Historical Acts, t, 6, p. 42

As his forces grew, and after some military successes over his opponents, Galdan was executing his intentions toward yasak people by using force. So, after a victory over Ochirtu Tsetsen-khan (1678) Galdan again subjugated Teleuts-Telenguts and Enisei Kyrgyzes. At the same time he also did not object that they kept paying yasak to the Russian state, and even developed an idea of the necessity of a double taxation, but that idea was certainly rejected by the Russian side.

In the second half of the 17th century, at least in 1675, the Teleuts under headed by Tabunka (a son of Abak's Koka and a grandson of the Beg Abak) coached along the river Alei. 47 The location of the Teleuts at the end of the 17th century is given in "Drawing book of Siberia" by S.Remezov, generally speaking distinguished by accuracy and based on good documentary material. There the Teleuts residence is shown in a large territory, namely on the right side of Tom, in the headwaters of small rivers Black and Garlik, between the estuaries of the rivers Ini and Verdi (near modern Novosibirsk), on the right bank of the river Verdi along its middle course. Further are shown "White Kalmaks: beyond Ob, against the river Chumysh are Tabunka's people" (i.e. people belonging to the ulus of the above mentioned Beg Koka's Tabunka), and on a left bank of Ob between the estuaries of the rivers Charysh, Alei and Anui, and by the mouth of the river Katun on the left side.

In respect to the Tau-Teleuts, or mountain Teleuts, the yasak books of the Kuznetsk district contain a record that Tau-Teleuts in 1692 were registered as yasak-paying volosts.

Proceeding to the review in the 17th century sources of the other Teleut tribal names, in the beginning of the 20th century recorded as seoks of the Southern Altaians (including Teleuts), first of all should be notes Munduses. The Mundus volost (together with Totosh volost) is mentioned in the 1642 as a volost "beyond the ridge" and not paying yasak. 48 The data of the yasak books shows that Munduses started paying yasak from 1671 by two small groups, 14 and 8 persons. 49 An evidence exists that in 1681 Munduses paid yasak in Kuznetsk 50 Judging by such sources as for example the "Copy from the Drawing of the Siberian lands of 1672" (made by commander P.Godunov), Munduses or Mundujtses, as they were named there, lived near the Teles lake (Altyn Gol) together with Tau-Teleuts, and Naimans, and consisted of some groups. At least alongside with simple Munduses there are also mentioned Yau-Munduses (should be Tau-Munduses, i.e. mountain Munduses). All listed groups, as states the source, paid yasak to the Russian sovereign. 51

47 Ibid., vol. 7, p. 332.
48 G.Miller, Ibid., vol. 2, p. 486-489.
49 B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 106, 108.
50 Ibid., p. 102.


In the cited "List from the Drawing of the Siberian lands of 1672", like in some Siberian annals, together with Teleut Munduses and the mountain Teleuts who were living in the vicinity of Teles lake (Altyn Gol), were also listed Naimans. Then, in the 17th century Naimans neighbored not only Teleuts, but also Teles, the old inhabitants of that gave the Russian name to the lake Teles (Altyn Gol). Probably already by that time the Teleses so much intermixed with Naimans that the Naiman group in essence was assimilated into Teleses, retaining only their name. Maybe, because of this assimilation has appeared a notion about Teles consanguinity of with Naimans and also a ban on marriages between them.

A long neighborliness of Naimans with Teleuts can probably also explain the presence of the seok Naiman among the Teleuts, though the majority of the seok Naiman population concentrated in the group of Altaians called Altai-kiji.


It is impossible to pass by name the Turtas (Tört-As, Russ. Tert-As) of the yasak Tatar volost of the Tobol district. It was located below Tobol on a right bank of Irtysh. In its name we recognize the Teleut (or Akkyshtym) seok Tert-As (Tört-As) recorded by W.Radloff. The volost Turtas is mentioned in the document of 1660. It was subdivided into the Kul-Turtas and Bi-Turtas, and in these names is tempting to see the Altaian language form of the Tertases (Tört-Ases) social divisions, meaning "Tert-As (Tört-As) slaves" and "Tert-As (Tört-As) Biys". But that is definitely simply a suggestion.

The presence of the Tertases (Tört-Ases) was reflected in the Irtysh hydronymy. A large right bank tributary of the Irtysh until this moment is called Big Turtas, it also accepts a river Small Turtas. In the final chapter we will review the ethnonym Tertas (Tört-As) as an ancient tribal name, and here we shall only note that in S.M.Abramzon's opinion, in all probability this ethnonym survived among the modern Kirgizes in the name of Azyk tribe, whose members call themselves Tört Tamgalu, i.e. the Azyks with four tamgas, or "Four-tamgas Azyks". 52


Then in the documents of 1680's we meet the name Telengut (or Dolongut). From them we learn that Dolonguts-Telenguts also lived in the area of the lake Hubsugul (Kosogol), and paid yasak to the Irkutsk fort. The yasak was rendered not only with furs (mink, foxes, squirrels, etc.), but also with Chinese fabrics and silver. 53

51 See "News of Russian History and Antiquities Society at Moscow university", 1849, p. 6; Compare: N.Spafaria Travel in 1675, Notes of Russk. Geogr. Society Ethnography Branch, vol. 10, b. 1, SPb., 1882, p. 69. Questions of Kirgizes' ethnogenesis according to ethnography. Works of Krigiz Archeological Ethnogr. Expedition, vol. 3, p. 36.
53 B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 98-299.

Then are mentioned Irkits, they paid yasak in the Tunkin fort. The Irkits are named as a clan of Soets (i.e. Tuvinians). A part of Irkits were breeding deers. They bred riding deer.

The seoks Todosh and Kergil of the modern Southern Altaians are also mentioned in the 17th century documents as residing in the Altai, but are called volosts. The volost Totosh (Todosh, also Russ. Totosh/Totush), for example, is mentioned as a "beyond the ridge" volost (together with Munduses) not paying yasak in 1643. The document of 1671 says about it that the its population partially left to the Sayan mountains, i.e. to the Sayan Tuvinians. These clans possibly ruled by the Tuva Beks, in turn dependent from the Altyn-khans (L.Potapov uses the name-title of the king Altyn-khan as a descriptor of his state - Translator's Note). According to the records of the yasak books, in the 1681 was received yasak from the Totush volost . 54

The Kergil volost in the 1671 rececords paid yasak.


Quite frequently are mentioned Teleses (especially in the documents of 1630's), who were living by the Teles lake (Altyn Gol). The main pasturing routs and a political center of Teleses were on the southern side of the lake. At that time they were ruled by Beg Mandrak and then by his son Aidarka (Aidar/Aydar/Hidar/Gaidar; Aydar = Light Soldier). For the first time from them was taken yasak in the 1625 by cossacks Sidorko Fedorov and Ivashko Putimets, who counted that "estimate of the Teles people is 200 persons". More regularly they paid yasak since 30's, without specifying what number of souls (Russian term for counting serfs) rendered the quantity of furs.

In the 1633 the Russian cossacks from Tomsk tried pass to the south, to the merging point of Biya and Katun, where begins the river Ob. There they planned to erect a fort. By that time the Dzungar Khanate wanted not only to exclusively take hold of the Mountain Altai population, but spread their territorial claims also on the Mountain Altai. A construction of a fort at the merging of Biya and Katun, the local Russian authorities believed then, would assist on one hand in solidifying the Russian influence on the Tubalar yasak-paying volosts, and on Tau-Teleuts, and on another hand to protect them and the whole Mountain Altai from the enslavement and seizure by Dzungaria. The intentions of the Tomsk cossacks at that time were prevented by the Teleut Beg Abak, who was coaching on the right bank of Ob in the territory between the modern cities of Novosibirsk and Barnaul (and even further south). Abak battled with the small group of cossacks near the mouth of the river Chumysh (a right tributary of Ob above Barnaul) and forced them to retreat. But in the same year to the headwaters of Biya and even to the Teles lake (Altyn Gol) sneaked Peter Sobansky has penetrated with cossacks, and extracted yasak from the Teleses ruled by the Beg Mandrak who were residing near the Teles lake (Altyn Gol). Sobansky returned there for the yasak in the 1642, he succeeded in extracting it only after a battle with Teleses, during which Beg Mandrak was captured and taken to Tomsk as a hostage. Sobansky inspected territory in the headwaters of the Biya, and noted a place at the mouth of the river Swan for erection of a fort, but his suggestion was not followed.

54 Ibid., p. 107-108.

Later in the 1646, the Tomsk cossacks showed up again. By then, Beg Mandrak died in jail, and his son Aydar refused the demands to pay yasak. Again a military combat broke, and the Teleses were defeated. A little later they coached away to Tuva, where lived their Upper Sayans neighbors, ruled by Beg Mansi (or Manzei).

The Sayan Beg was shielding Teleses, and helped them in the armed conflicts with Russians, even though he, like the Teleses, at that time was in tribute dependence from the Dzungar khan.

Teleuts also were collecting tribute from Teleses during that period. When the Russian yasak collectors in the 1652 came to the Teles lake (Altyn Gol), they did not find population there. It turned out that at that time the Teleuts evacuated the Beg Aydar, who was resisting the domination of the Russian state. Somewhat later Teleses returned from the Teleuts to their place, and already from the end of the 1650's they appear in the (Russian) historical documents as "yasak-paying people". Sometimes Teleses were sending their yasak to Kuznetsk with Chelkandy, with whom they were in close contact.

In the middle of the 17th century the Dzungar Khanate succeeded in expanding its control to the Mountain Altai, and it was collecting alman not only from the northern, but also from the Southern Altaians. The alman collectors of the Dzungar khan, frequently the Teleut princes, forayed into all Altai corners, extracting valuable furs and iron products.

From our review it is seen that in the 17th century, as testify the Russian historical documents, in the Altai and its northern foothills under the same names lived the nearest historical ancestors of the modern Southern Altaians largest seoks, constituting at least a half of their population as found in he data of the 1897 census 55 Only such names as Kypchak, Kobek, and Tongjoan, who at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century were Southern Altaian large seoks, were not found in the mentioned above documents of the 17th century. However that does not mean that in the 17th century in the Altai were no ancestors of these seoks. The Russian historical sources, naturally, did not completely reflect the tribal structure of the Southern Altaians, even more so because not all their ancestors at that time belonged to the Russian state and were paying yasak.

The review also demonstrated that the Mountain Altai from the second half of the 17th century was a dependent from the Dzungar feudals (funny language, "Dzungar feudals" is a code word for the Dzungar state, while the "Russian state" is a code word for Russian feudals. Such idiosyncrasies abound - Translator's Note), who were coming to Altai mainly from the Tuva side. So, for example, for a number of years in 1660's in Tuva were stationed troops of the Dzungar taishi Sengge, they were quartered in the area of Hemchik, where they stayed to the end of his life (died in 1670).

55 In addition to Teleuts in general, they also are Mundus, Todosh, Irkit, Naiman, Kergil, and Toles (Teles).

After his death, in the beginning of the 70's from the banks of the Ili river to the Enisei headwaters moved a Dzungar Hongtaishi Galdan, who also had a lamaist title boshoktu (blessed). He was regularly collecting alman during the period of his rule not only from the population of Tuva, where his troops were stationed, but also from the Mountain Altai population, and from the Minusinsk depression population, where resided the Enisei Kyrgyzes.

To assess how high and ruinous for the economy of nomads were the cattle exactions by the Dzungar khan, we can refer to the report of the Kuznetsk commanders about the stay in 1689 near the Hemchik "beyond Cholushman and behind the Altynei lake (Altyn Gol) at a distance of three days of travel" of the Boshoktu-khan Galdan, who at that time suffered a defeat from the northern Mongols. The formal reply of the commander said: "Boshoktu-khan (army) stands assembled, from the Kirgiz to Boshuhtu-khan (Boshoktu-khan) is being driven cattle, about twenty thousand, to feed his people" (this is not an example of systematic assessment, but of a war-time emergency call-up of the people and war material - Translator's Note). 56 Another document of 1689 said that to Kirgizes came three taishis accompanied by a small detachment, and collected from the "Kirgiz half of any cattle, and they the taishis made lists among them Kirgizes of female widows and maidens because their Kalmyk taishi Boshohtu-khan (Boshoktu-khan) was ravaged by the Cossack horde" (Predatory assaults on defenseless people, mainly women, children, and elrerly, when the male population was away on a campaign or summer pastire routs, was a traditional and favorite method of Russian warfare, starting from the 10th century's St.Vladimir - Translator's Note). 57

It is documentarily known that the Mountain Altai constantly suffered from the exactions of the Dzungar khan Galdan. In the beginning of 1680's Altai as "Hongtaishi possession" was ruled by Galdan viceroy for the "Altai lands petty prince Matur-taishi", 58 who was a Teleut Beg with a title taishi received from the Dzungar khan. The dependence of the Altai population from the Dzungar khan Galdan was also noted in the Russian Siberian annals. A fragment from one such annal: "And from the Tomsk city... to the mouth of Biya and Katun by boats is one and a half month. And about those places on both sides of the river Ob live yasak Tatar people and "White Kalmaks" (Teleuts - L.P.), the yasak is being paid to the Black Kalmak Bogoshte-khan (Boshoktu-khan ?) and other taishis, to the Khan brothers and relatives" (This is exact description how the Türkic, Mongolian, and Russian states were organised - Translator's Note). 59

On the basis of the quoted documents can be conclude that a full subjection of the Teleuts-Telenguts and Enisei Kyrgyzes to Dzungaria happened in the 1680's, which is also stated in the I.Unkovsky message. 60

56 Central State archive of ancient acts (TSGADA), Siberian department, column 1052, l. 82-83. Compare column 1038, l. 354.
57 Ibid., column 1052, l. 101-102.
58 Historical acts of the 17th century, vol. 2, Tomsk, 1897, p. 16; compare Archive USSR Akad. of Sciences, f. 21, list 5, No 152, ll. 291-301.
59 Siberian annals. SPb., 1907, p. 393.
60 Embassy to Zungar Hun-Taichzhi Tsevan-Raptan of artillery captain Ivan Unkovsky and his travel diary for 1722-24. SPb., 1887, p. 183. Further quotations: "Unkovsky Embassy".

Let's look now how the tribal divisions of modern Northern Altaians were reflected in the sources of the 17th century. First of all can be asserted that all main Tubalar volosts known in the 1897 census are also mentioned in the sources of the 17th century. Komlyash or Komnosh volost (in the documents it is listed under both names) is registered as yasak-paying already in the 1629 61. Same can be also stated about Kuzen volost. In the 1631 this volost coached away to the Sayan mountains, but then returned back. Appears also Since 1629 is also registered among yasak-paying Tirgesh (Turgesh) (Turgesh) volost, which after 1703 began to be called Kergesh in the documents. It was noted that that volost was associated with the Teleses and Sayans. For example in the 1642 it left "to Teleses" and "to Sayan mountains". 62 The Tubalar volost Yus is noted as paying yasak in the 1629 and 1630. Moreover, the documents also register some divisions of the modern Tubalar seoks, noted above. Those are Bolan volost (1630-1631), which we can rightfully correlate with the Tubalar seok "Palan-Komdosh", then Shanjin volost, in which name we recognize a division of the seok Yus-Shanmai. There is also a Togus volost, which forces us to recollect the numerous seok Togus, in the 1897 census listed in the Tubalar Kergesh (Turgesh) volost. At last, we shall note the Chigat volost, which we should compare with the seok Chagat, or Chygat, considered to be a descendent of Teleses. Chagats or Chygats, in 1627 already lived among Tubalars. This volost in the 17th century also sometimes left "to Sayan mountains".

The hypothesis stated above we about a connection of the Chygats or Chagats with "Djagats " in the 17th century (and during earlier time with the Chiks) remains in force. By some documents of the 17th century, a clan (or volost) Togus was a part of the Tirgesh (Turgesh) (Turgesh), 63 and it was also observed at the end of the 19th century, when seok the Togus was registered in the Kergesh (Turgesh) volost of the Tubalar as the most numerous seok.


By the way, judging by the contents of one document ("to the Chagat lands, Togus lands and Volan lands the travel from Kuznetsk by ski is 4 weeks"), 64 the Tubalar seoks or volosts at that time occupied the same places as at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries. Early and sufficiently detailed descriptions are contained in the sources about Kumandy as a whole, and about those groups that by the 1897 census were registered as Kumandy seoks. The first mentioning of Kumandy are in the yasak books of the Kuznetsk district, where along with many Tubalar volosts they are registered as yasak-paying already in the 1629.

61 G.Miller, Ibid., vol. 2, p. 370; B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 105.
62 B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 107.
63 Ibid., p. 113
64 G.Miller, Ibid., vol. 2, p. 586.

At that time (until 1715) nothing is said about Kumandy division on the Upper and Lower. Although, in 1642 the administration of the Kuznetsk fort noted that a part of Kumandy left "to the Lower Kumanda", then "to the Sayan mountains" and even to the "Black and White Kolmaks". 65 But here the "Lower Kumanda" is not called as a volost, but as an ethno-geographical area, alongside with Soens, and Black and White Kolmaks . At the same time we know a document of 1653 which talks about small and large Kumandy and indicated their residence: "By the river Biya and along the river Katun are the volosts Small and Large Kumanda". 66

The named volosts unlikely match the Lower or Upper Kumandy, because they lived along not one, but two rivers. At the same time the document has interesting details. We are learning that Kumandy along Katun at that time were the kishtyms (L.Potapov uses spellings and kyshtyms intercheanebly - Translator's Note) of the Teleut Beg Abak's Koka (son of Abak), who himself depended from the Dzungar khan. A part of Kumandy living along Katun is called simply Kumandy. We certainly have no reasons to doubt the quoted document. A significant part of Kumandy still lived sedentary on the right bank of the the Lower Katun, in that place where the river leaves from the Altai mountains into the foothill steppe (before merging with river Biya). At last, the Kumandy also lived in the basin of the river Inga (a right tributary of Katun in its lower course). Later, in the 19th century, Kumandy continued to live there amalgamated with Teleuts, and gradually merged with the local Russian population. Many of their descendants preserved the memory of their origin until present.

Incidentally, a number of the 17th century historical documents hold that Kumandy volosts belong to the Kondoma volosts. Therefore, S.A.Tokarev wrote that in the 17th century the Kumandy volosts were definitely located along the river Kondoma. 67 It is impossible to concur with that. The 17th century documents pinpoint very precisely the location of Kumandy: along the rivers Katun and Biya. Kumandy volosts, judging by the documents prepared in the Kuznetsk fort, belonged to number of the Kondoma volosts only because the road from Kuznetsk to Kumandy first went upstream the Kondoma, and then from its headwaters the road crossed to . Incidentally, the Kumandy who were living along the river Biya in second half of the 17th century also were sedentary, they sowed barley and also were dependent from the Teleut Beg Koka. The document of 1675 says how alman collectors sent by the Beg Koka sailed upstream the river Biya in eleven boats to the Kumandy volost, "and back they sailed and those boats were full with barley, and to them, the yasak tribute people, (to) Kumandy volosts made strong squeeze, what they had that barleys was all taken away without any remainders", 68 though the Biya Kumandy were yasak-paying people of the Russian state (Russians claimed Kumandy as their serfs, apparently by the right of conquest of the territory, and as a successor state of the Siberian Khanate, presuming that the Siberian Khan owned all the people in his territory. But at the same time Russian concord with the Teleut administration pledged to respect their ancestral rights, which meant control of the Teleuts and their confederates, one of which were known as Kumandy (Kumans). The same was applicable to the Teleuts who aligned with the Dzungars who also respected their ancestral rights. In the Teleut eyes they were abiding with their agreement with Russia, which assessed them within their conquered territory a tribute on all their people including their kyshtyms, and if Teleuts did not collect from Kumandy Russia would severely punish them for underpayment. At the same time the Russian emissaries were evidently collecting yasak directly from Kumandy, holding them directly responsible for the payments. Thus, it appears that in the 1675 the Kumandy were double tribute payers, directly to the Russian and thru Teleuts to the Dzungar overlords - Translator's Note).

65. B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 107.
66 G.Miller. History of Siberia, vol. 3, document No 252.
67 S.A.Tokarev. Pre-capitalistic vestiges in Oirotia. M.-L., 1936, p. 80-81.

In the previous year, the Koka's Tabunka collectors visited the Shor volosts up to the river Kondoma, where they "took alman with barley and sables, and different animals, and iron, and red leather, and from those Kondoma volosts sailed back to their ulus" .69 From that is visible that the Koka's son Beg Tabunka, like his father, had his kyshtyms, though Teleuts themselves at this time were the subjects of the Dzungar khan.

On the mentioned above P. Remezov's map, the Kumandy are shown only along the river river Biya, between the estuaries of the rivers Swan and Neni, but with subdivision on Kumandy Upper and Kumandy Lower. Probably, they were two territorial groups of the Kumandy, which later the administration of Kuznetsk converted into volosts.

Now we shall review the references in our sources about separate seoks of Kumandy registered by the 1897 census, starting with such typical for the modern Lower Kumandy seok as Chabat. The earliest information about this seok as about a yasak "volosts" of the Kuznetsk district belongs to the 1629. In the 1636 the Chabat volost (with families), together with Yus volost, coached away "to the Black Kolmaks". In the 1653 a Kuznetsk cossack "Pospelko with comrades", having gone upstream the Kondoma, found "behind the river Biya Chebat men", which "to the (Russian) sovereign the yasak were not paying". 70 This implies that in the middle of the 17th century the Chabats lived in the area near river Biya (on the left bank).

Seok So or Solu, at the Upper Kumandy, as correctly believes B.O.Dolgih, in the 17th century Russian documents is called Solun volost, which becomes known to the Kuznetsk administration from the 1630, but gets in the listing of the yasak-paying volosts of the Kuznetsk district only from the 1650, in spite of the fact that an attempt to impose yasak on that volost was undertaken still in the 1643, when cossacks from the Kuznetsk fort were in the Kuzen volost, two "days" from the Solun volost, which was considered at that time to be beyond the ridge. Curiously, in the document of the 1906th, when the clan composition of the Kumandy and the names of their clans were already well known, there appeared a seok Solu, 71, in which should be seen a confirmation of the B.O.Dolgih's guess about the identity of the modern seok So with the volost Solun of the 17th century.

The Seok Tastar in the 17th century was called Tastar volost. The Tastar volost appears in the yasak books of the Tomsk district in 1661. It was assigned to grouping of the Tomsk mountain frontier volosts. Its inhabitants sometimes (1661, 1681) fled from Kyrgyzes to the river Tom to the Tuluber volost. The Tastar volost is not mentioned together with any undoubtedly Kumandy volost. Probably, our opinion about late unification of the seok Tastar with the Lower Kumandy is quite justified.

70 Additions to Historical Acts, vol.. 7, p. 339-340. Ibid., p. 332.
71 G.Miller. History of Siberia, vol. 3, document No 242. Barnaul archive, file No 142, sheaf 18.

Seok Kerzal, Kersagal seok does not belong to Kumandy (Ort = Upper)

In connection with Kumandy we have to address Kersagal volost. The 1906 above mentioned document named seok Kerzal among the Upper Kumandy. B.O.Dolgih holds that Kersagals were a part of the Lower Kumandy still in the 17th century, though he does not provide any proofs. 72 We believe that exist no reasons to identify Kersagals with Kumandy. The researchers and travelers of the 19th and 20th centuries, who have visited Kumandy, did not note this seok among them, though among the modern Kumandy was preserved a memory about Kersagals. It is quite explainable, because the stories about events, tribes, even some historical persons belonging to the 17th century, were well preserved in the modern Altaian people's memory, which was attested repeatedly. Some Kumandy people remember Kersagals till now. Sometimes small naughty children are threatened with them: "Kersagal will come and take you away". 73 There is no worthwhile information in the historical sources that would enable to prove the Kersagals' belonging in the 17th century to the Kumandy.

A study of these documents leads to an opinion that Kersagals were not a part of the Kumandy. Some facts against the Kersagals' belonging to the Kumandy are as follows. Among the Kuznetsk district yasak-paying volosts the Kersagal volost appeared only in 1650, while all the Kumandy volosts, which are namesakes with the seoks, were registered in the yasak books as yasak-payers from the 1629. In a document of 1675 Kersagals are listed not with Kumandy volosts, but with Teleut volosts. This text reads: "In the last 183th year (1675 - L.P.) in the winter till the spring till the floodwaters, in all volosts along the river Kondoma and in Tagan, and in Togul, and in Azkyshtym and in Kersagal volosts were White Kalmyks (Teleuts)of the thief Koka's Tabunka, from his ulus best people, and brothers, and nephews, about sixty people and more, and from yasak-paying tribute people took alman with barley and sables, and different animals, and iron, and red leather, and from those Kondoma volosts sailed back to their ulus". 74 The document of 1676 states quite definitely that the Kersagal volost was along the river Katun (probably, at the lower course): "Came from the Katun river from Kersagal volost best man (noble) Tatar Babashko, and in the Kuznetsk... said: in the last 183rd in August in the time of harvesting barley, came to them to the Kersagal volost from beyond Katun river from the headwaters of the river Aliya a black almyk (alman collector ? or Black Kalmyk = Mongol ? ) Sookun with comrades with all his pasturing crowd". Further follows the text: "In the 184th year in the autumn, in October, with the last water, during frost, past their Kersagal volosts upstream the river Biya, were sailing White Kalmyks (Teleuts)) people of Bachi ulus in eleven boats to the Kumandy volost", etc. 75 From that can be conclude that in the middle of the 1670's Kersagals lived on the left bank of Biya, near its confluence with Katun, i.e. practically in the headwaters of the river Ob.

72 B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 112.
73 P.I.Karalkin's, a Kumandy national, personal message.
74 Additions to Historical Acts, vol. 7, p. 332.

In the lists of the yasak-paying volosts in the first decades of the 18th century recorded by G.Miller, this volost is not present any more, though the Kumandy volost is present. Remezov has shown it between the estuaries of the Beh-temir and Neni (near Biysk). We hold to the opinion that Kersagals, like the Orchaks and Kujugets (or Kuchuguts), belonged to the Tuvinian tribes, which only from time to time were coaching to the Ob steppe, and then were returning home to beyond the Sayan mountains, to the Hem and Hemchik valleys. And now a significant group of Kerzals (or Karsals) lives in Tuva, they are the descendants of the Kerzals of the 17th century Russian documents. The Tuva tribes from time to time coached not only in the Ob steppes, but also in the Mountain Altai. In the valley of Katun river in Altai in the beginning of 1650's coached Sayans ( = Soens ?), Mingats, and Tochi (Todjins), who came from the Tuva. They sought a refuge from the Mongolian feudals, and were associated with Teleses. Bek Samargan, who was Sayans ruler, even asked Czar representatives to have a Russian fort built for their protection at the confluence of the Biya and Katun. His request was not met then, and they had to pay alman to the Choros' Chekur-taishi (a son of Hara-Hula). 76 Judging by the later documents, in the 1675 they remained under control of Dzungaria, and belonged to the office of the Teleut taishi Matur, who was serving the Dzungar leaders.


Chelkandy become known in the Russian written sources in the first quarter of the 17th century. In the 1625 the Russian cossacks Fedorov and Putimets, sent "to the Teles and Shchelkany lands", reported: "In Shchelkan volost are estimated 20 people, and the yasak from them [we] again have taken for you sovereign 20 sables". 77 The Kuznetsk district yasak books from 1629 noted Shelkan volost as yasak-paying volost. 78 In 1642 a part of Chelkandy and Tirgesh (Turgesh)es went to Teleses, with whom Chelkandy were closely associated, and to the Sayan mountains, apparently to the "Upper Sayans ( = Soens ?)", who were living beyond the Teles lake (Altyn Gol). Chelkandy, like some other tribes around the river Biya, in the 17th century documents were frequently assigned to the Kondoma volosts, for the reasons already discussed.

75 Ibid., p. 339.
76 Ibid., vol. 3, p. 319; G.Miller, Ibid., vol. 2, p. 534.
77 N. Ogloblin. Review of columns ( ?) of the Siberian department, vol. 1. M.. 1895, p. 115.
78 B.O.Dolgih, Ibid., p. 106.

In the examined documents we have not found a division of the Chelkandys into seoks. B.O.Dolgih believes that Chelkandy are a territorially separated part of the Kumandy or Shors. But for that conjecture exist no facts. Though Chelkandy in their present places live at least from the 17th century, in respect to the seok Shakshalyg they can be viewed as a newcomer group (from the Teleses); the Chalkanyg seok has a common origin with the Tubalar seok Kuzen (Kuzen volost). The proofs of that were given above in the analysis of specific ethnographical and historical material of the 1897 census.

* * *

So, the review of the written sources shows that the modern Northern Altaians are the descendants of the 17th century yasak-paying population that lived in the same places, under the same names. The 17th century Russian names for the yasak-paying volosts and lands were undoubtedly the Northern Altaians their own tribal names (but in a Russian pronunciation). They have persevered till our time. The review of the historical ancestors of Altaians from the 17th century written documents should not fail to note a close connection at that time between the Northern Altaians, Teleses and inhabitants of the northwestern Tuva, the Sayans, who are called "Upper Sayans" in the Russian sources. These probably are the Tuva Sayans, who were inhabitants of the river Alasha basin, lake Kara-Hol, and probably, the Mongun-taiga area in the Western Tuva. It is not difficult to notice how frequently the quoted above documents talk about departure of this or that Northern Altaian group, or Teleses, "to the Sayans". The affinity of language, common culture and daily life, and the presence of mountain passes facilitated that association, and even aided in the intermixing of the population.

Historical review (continued)

Generally, we can also track the fate of the Altaians' nearest historical ancestors in the 18th century. But for that should be reviewed some political events in the history of the Southern Siberia.

The Dzungar Khanate as a state began growing and getting stronger during Batur-khan (Baatur/Bagatur, Erdeni Batur Khan, 1634-1653), who was occupied with consolidation of the Khan's power in Dzungaria, and maintained peaceful relations with the Russian state. In the beginning he did not display monopolistic tendencies in the alman exactions from the local yasak-imposed population of the Southern Siberia, though he persistently advocated an idea of double exactions of in kind payments, by the Russia and by the Dzungaria.

After Batur's death, the policy of consolidating the western-Mongolian forces and reinforcing Dzungaria was continued by his son Galdan (Choros Erdeniin Galdan Boshugtu Khan, 1653-1697), who run into serious difficulties. Galdan tried to expand Dzungaria possessions. He wanted to annex Halha (48N, 118.5E), but failed, and Halha remained under the control of the China's Manchurian dynasty. Carrying out his Halha plan, he transferred the Khan's court from the valley of the river Ili (in Jeti-su) first to Tuva in the valley of river Hemchik (1673), and later to the lower course of the of river Kobdo (1688). The whole Tuva, Enisei Kyrgyzes, and the whole Mountain Altai, except some northern areas with yasak-imposed population controlled by the (Russian) Kuznetsk district, then fell under control of Dzungaria. The majority the yasak-imposed population had to pay alman to the Dzungar khan. From time to time the armed resistance came only from the Teleut uluses ruled by Abak's Koka and his brothers, who sometimes fought with Dzungars, not only resisting to be the kishtyms of the Dzungar khan, but also aiming to have their own kishtyms, in particular the Kumandy, Shors, Chelkandy and some Teleut yasak-paying volosts (Togul, Askishtym and other volosts) (For the Tele/Teleut history, that inability to come to terms with the reality points to a former leading status of the Tele tribes, which became a psychological barrier on the path from the lordship to the serfdom - Translator's Note). After suffering a defeat from the Manchurian or Qing empire, and after loosing the war, in the 1697 Galdan committed suicide. During his successors Tsewang-Rabdan (1697-1727) and his son Galdan-Tseren (1727-1745), Dzungaria became a great power. It ruled the Senior and Middle hordes of Kazakhs, and a number of cities in the east Turkestan: Kashgar, Aksu, Turfan, Yarkand and others. Its territorial claims have grown up remarkably. They were also aimed at Russia. Tsewang-Rabdan, for example, stated to the Russian ambassador I.Cheredov in the 1713 that the cities Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Kuznetsk are built on the Dzungarian lands, and should be demolished, otherwise he would take them by force. From that is clear that the Dzungar khan not only went against a (Russian) historical truth, but also was far from the objective evaluation of the real situation. His successor Galdan-Tseren also was not free from these faults.

In respect to the yasak-imposed population of the Southern Siberia, especially insistent and demanding were both last Dzungar khans. If during the life of Galdan (1688) his brother Sengge resolutely declared that the yasak-imposed population of the Southern Siberia (in particular, in the Krasnoyarsk district) were "my grandfather and my father yasak-paying people" (i.e. Hara-Hula and Batur-Hongtaishi), not ashamed that at least that statement distorted historic facts, Galdan-Tseren already demanded of the Russian state an exclusive possession the yasak-imposed population of the Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk and Kuznetsk districts. There is no need to prove that all these groundless demands of Dzungaria were not satisfied. And Dzungar khans certainly did not dare to solve the contention by weapons.

Failing to achieve diplomatically and by threats a desired result, Tsewang-Rabdan undertook a forceful action towards the most numerous population of the Southern Siberia, the Teleuts and Enisei Kyrgyzes. The Kirgiz events are well covered by various sources.

78 L.P.Potapov

In the 1702 Tsewang-Rabdan sent into the Minusinsk depression a strong contingent of 2.5 thousand soldiers which has driven Enisei Kyrgyzes by force to Dzungaria. 79 The number of relocated Kyrgyzes was "three half-thousand smokes", i.e. one and a half thousand wagon carts (over 6 thousand soles of both sexes). With the Kyrgyzes also partially migrated some of their kishtym people. In Dzungaria Kyrgyzes were a separate seok numbering 4 thousands wagon carts, ruled by four zaisans, but under a control of the Dzungar khan.


The Teleuts too were moved to Dzungaria by force, though this subject is not covered at all in the historical literature. The resettlement was carried out following the order of Tsewang-Rabdan, in 1716 he told about that in a conversation with the Russian ambassador I.Cheredov. 80 Dzungar Hongtaishi then emphasized that he has freed the disputed territories from the coaching there Kyrgyzes and Teleuts to eliminate the conflicts ostensibly arising because of them being the subjects of Dzungaria. In a conversation with the ambassador I. Unkovsky the Dzungar khan also once mentioned that that Teleuts previously lived "near the Ob river, and of those about two thousand were defeated and robbed, and the rest went there".81

The fact of administrative relocation to Dzungaria in the beginning of the Tsewang-Rabdan rule, and of the Teleuts full dependence is well established not only from the words of the Dzungar khan, but also by some other historical materials. The petition dated January 18, 1722, of the Teleut Beg Tabun's Baigor (a grandson of Abak's Koka and a son of Koka's Tabunka) with a complaint about the former Kuznetsk commandant B.Sinyavin, addressed to the Russian Czar through the Tobol provincial office, says: "In the past his (Baigor - L.P.) ancestors all lived for many years in the Kalmyk urge (the court of Dzungar khan - L.P.) ruled by local lords. And his grandfather, when he was in Tomsk service, served with Kirgizes to his Czar majesty with the Russian service people, and with his subordinates Kalmaks of a thousands people. And he (Baigor) was giving under his high Czar majesty hand that Kirgiz land, and collected amanats and brought them to Tomsk to render. Andhe, Baigor, was serving in the Kalmyk urge, and lived as a prince in the Ob territory, had subjected to him in-service Kalmyks 3000 smokes". 82 The petition tells about some assignments given by the Dzungar khan that had to be carried out by the Teleut zaisan Baigor as a man in the Dzungar service.

79 L.P.Potapov. Origin and formation of the Khakass nation, p. 161-168.
80 I. Zlatkin, Ibid., p. 347-348.
81 Unkovsky Embassy, p. 136.
82 Monuments of the Siberian history of the 18th century, Book 2. SPb., 1885, p. 295-297. Urga is the court of the Dzungar khan.

For example, he went with a detachment of one thousand Teleuts under an order of Hongtaishi to the Yamysh lake "to guard his Czar majesty treasury and Russian people from the Cossack (Kazakh ?) horde, and by that showed his devotion, and no damage was inflicted on this treasury and the people from them the Cossack (Kazakh ?) horde in that Yamysh steppe did not happen". 83 The mentioned in the petition Baigor's grandfather is Beg Abak, who in the first quarter of the 17th century really participated in the campaigns conducted from Tomsk against the Enisei Kyrgyzes (The Russian campaigns against the Enisei Kyrgyzes using Teleuts, and against Teleuts using Kyrgyzes, are also "not covered at all in the historical literature" - Translator's Note). He is called grandfather certainly incorrectly. He was a great-grandfather of Baigor, but in translation from the Teleut language the common term meaning a grandfather and a great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather (Teleuts have a classification system of relationship), was translated into Russian as a "grandfather".

There are no reasons to doubt the violent relocation of the Teleuts to Dzungaria. Anther consideration is about the motives of such relocation. Unlikely truthful was Tsewang-Rabdan explanation about the relocation of the Enisei Kyrgyzes and Teleuts with a purpose to "improve relations" with the Russian state. Probably more correct was that captured Tomsk Tatar whom an inhabitant of Tara Michael Zalivin (who was with I.Unkovsky embassy in the Tsewang-Rabdan court) has met in a forest and told Zalivin "and Hongtaishi took Kirgizes and Telenguts that they from him would not have left". 84

The only unknown remaining detail is when happened the violent relocation of the Teleuts to Dzungaria. Though undoubtedly it happened in the first years of the Tsewang-Rabdan rule, but exactly when we do not know. It would seem that the answer can be found in a document of 1699, where the Russian service people who arrived from Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Kuznetsk, reported that "Kyrgyzes and Teleuts are Araptan Hongtaishi people". 85 But from that message is not yet clear whether at that time were moved Teleuts, because the Kyrgyzes, for example, in 1699 still lived in their places. Apparently by that time most of the Teleuts ruled by Abak's Koka and his son Tabun coached around the headwaters of the Alei, i.e. in the territory seized by the Dzungar khans. To the Tomsk district the Teleuts were only coming for robbery (i.e. to collect yasak from their kyshtyms, as they did before the Russians took over the very same exactions not entitled to be called "robberies" - Translator's Note). During one of such attacks in the 1700 they plundered the White Kalmyks (Teleuts) near Ob, "burnt their uluses, stole cattle and captured people". 86 And still to resolve the problem of the year of the Teleuts violent relocation on the basis of these facts is obviously impossible (The L.Potapov's overuse of the expression "violent relocation" in this miniscule and debatable episode grossly contrasts with the practically complete absence in his scholarly historical descriptions of the methods used to drive the exceedingly numerous native tribes from their lands, reduce them to yasak-paying serfs, and bring their numbers from dominating to disappearing in that great Siberian motherland of theirs - Translator's Note).

83 Ibid..
84 Unkovsky Embassy, p. 93.
85 Monuments of the Siberian history of the 18th century, Book 1. SPb., 1885, p. 6 and 11. Archive USSR Akad. of Sciences, f. 21, list 5, file 152, ll. 232-281 reverse.
86 Iakinf. Historical review of Oirats. SPb., 1854, p. 132.

In the Chinese sources, 87 in Dzungaria Teleuts, numbered 4 thousands wagon-yurt carts, constituted a separate seok ruled by four Teleut hereditary zaisans; one of them in the beginning of 1720's was Tabun's Baigor (great-grandson of Abak). The total number of Teleuts, who mostly lived in Dzungaria, was about 20 thousand people, accepting a usual factor of 5 people per yurt-family. The ambassador I.Unkovsky, who visited Dzungaria in 1722-1724, does discuss the numbers, and writes: "Under his Hongtaishi possession are different peoples, namely, his own people called Zungars, Kirgizes, Uryanhaians (Tuvinians), Telengits and Mingats... ". 88

Kyrgyzes, relocated from Enisei, also constituted seok of 4 thousand. wagon carts and also were ruled by four zaisans, and the Tuvinians - Uryanhais had a status of a Khanate, but their quantity of yurts was not stated. Mingats, mentioned by Unkovsky, at some time were driven to Dzungaria from Tuva, from Hemchik valley. In Dzungaria they were registered as a separate seok of 3 thousand wagon carts ruled by two zaisans . 89

It is possible to indirectly judge a number, significant for those times, of Teleuts-Telenguts from the message (1723) of an Ust-Kamenogorsk fort commandant about arrival in the fort of nine Telenguts for trade business (cattle and sable pelts) who told them: "They were released from Kontashni in the past 720 (year) to coach along the Uba and Irtysh rivers, and in those places are coaching about three thousand of their people". 90 Three thousand people was only one Teleut group allowed to coach on the right bank of Irtysh near the Western Altai, it was a considerable figure. We compare to it 3000 yurts of the Ob Teleuts ruled by zaisan Tabun's Baigor. And taking later data that would reflect by then at least a half-century period after the Teleuts relocated to Dzungaria, the number would be increased. From a letter of one Teleut zaisan addressed to Czarina Elizaveta (Elisabeth) Petrovna (1756) we learn that when began devastation of Dzungaria by the army of the Qing dynasty, the Teleut zaisans rushed to flee from Dzungaria to Southern Siberia (to their native land) and went to the Russian forts bordering Altai. Along the road they were repeatedly attacked by the Chinese army, but nevertheless "about five thousand wagon carts with horses and camels barely saved their bellies, and then to the Russian borders with considerable hurry began to approach". 91

88 Unkovsky Embassy, p. 193.
89 After the the fall of the Dzungaria has begun, following the death of Galdan-Tseren (1745), Mingats together with Teleuts started to migrate from Dzungaria back home. a part of them reached Tuva and intermixed with other tribal groups. In the Kobdo area (in Western Mongolia) is located a hoshun of Mingats, Mongolised linguistically and in significant measure culturally and in daily life. They were described by G.Potanin (Essays on Northwestern Mongolia, vol. 2, 4).
90 Monuments of the Siberian history of the 18th century, Book 2, p. 435.

Hence, at this time just the returning Teleuts totaled approximately 5 thousand wagon carts. Thus, the Southern Siberia most numerous tribes of the Teleuts, Enisei Kyrgyzes and Tuvinians (including Mingats) during the Dzungar Khanate blossom were in its full control, and Kyrgyzes and Teleuts even were moved to Dzungaria, and some Tuvinians, particularly Mingats.

We shall cite still more documentary evidence of Teleuts' subjection to the Dzungar khan, Teleut zaisans not only were in the khan's service to rule their fellow tribesmen, but also collected alman from the Altaians in the Mountain Altai (in particular Tau-Teleuts, who were then coaching along the river Kan, in the vicinity of the lake Karakol, and other places).

The document of the 1710th pictured alman collection for the Dzungar khan by the Teleut taishi Baigorok, mentioned above. In the I.Unkovsky's travelling diary he is mentioned as a vassal of the Dzungar khan. In 1712, on behalf of the Dzungar khan was collecting alman from Kumandy a Teleut prince Dureng. He also collected alman from Kumandy in 1713, but was driven out by (Russian commander) Grigory Ryhlev and even abandoned the collected alman. Then Dureng appeared at Kumandy and Chelkandy in 1752, as a "Zengor alman collector". That year a bashlyk of the Lower Kumandy volosts Akuchai Istegechev (Russian form of Istegech's Akuchai, Istegech being a father of Akuchai, or at least a previous known bashlyk. "Bash" is a Türkic "head", bashlyk is equivalent to "in the head", "on the head", and is a term for a hat in general, and for the Türkic and Scythian bonnet hat in particular - Translator's Note) and bashlyk of the Upper Kumandy volosts complained in Biysk that before Djuren (Dureng ?) was collecting 2-3 sables from each alman payer, but now demands 6 sables, and from those who do not have sables, he takes horses, "and for underpaying alman beats them mercilessly" (Probably, the collection included a collection of arrears for the past few years, a practice equally typical for all revenue systems, including Dzungar and Russian; L.Potapov portrays it as solely Dzungar practice, but the reason may be that Russians were intervening militarily with the Dzungar collections, precipitating the arrears  - Translator's Note).

The documents of the 1713 and 1718 tell about cruelties in gathering alman among the Northern Altaians by the Teleut Beg Mandu, sent by Dzungar khan. In the 1713 this Teleut Beg was driven out from the Shors by the "boyar son" Fedor Sorokin (the name of this boyar tells that he is a descendent from the Kipchak trbe Sary Djun, Slavic "Sorochin", and the hereditary title "boyar" of his father indicates his belonging to the ruling class of the country - Translator's Note), in the 1718 he came again and "in all yasak-paying volosts ordered the yasak Tatars to prepare the Hongtaishi alman, from every man 30 forged cudgels and 30 iron arrowheads, two iron pots, an anvil, 2 mallets and 1 plyers, and in the Zabiya (Beyond Biya) foothill volost threatened people: if the whole mentioned alman is not rendered, and for that them yasak-payers wanted all hanged, and fields their burnt, and that in the Kuznetsk from them the yasak-paying aliens are many beaten". 92 In 1745 in the Maima valley a Teleut zaisan Puktush (from the seok Mundus) was collecting alman for the Dzungar Hongtaishi. 93

91 Omsk regional archive, f. 1, list 1, file 47, sheaf 22, l, 242. See: P.E.Tadyev, Ibid., p. 23.
92 Monuments of the 18th century Siberian history, Book 2, p. 319.
93 Tomsk provincial records, 1859, No 1.

All these Teleut Beks resided in Dzungaria and were coming to Altai in the line of "service" to the Dzungar khan, plundering and oppressing the local tribes and clans, frequently their close Teleut relatives. The Dzungar khan was a sovereign possessor of the Teleuts-Altaians. He not only controlling their pasturing routs, but was also appointing their zaisans. He was not respecting the hereditary tradition of the Altai zaisans, who passed the leadership by a right of succession, and when he found it expedient he was changing that order at his own discretion. For example, in a known case Galdan-Tseren in 1739 deposed from zaisanship an Altaian zaisan Boboi (or Babai) ("Babai" is "Grandfather", "Grand-Grandfather" and generally "Pra-Father" in Türkic, cited by Herodotus as the Scythian Pra-Father "Papai" with voiceless "p/b", a feature typical for some Türkic vernaculars - Translator's Note) and installed as a zaisan his cousin Gulchugai, leaving Boboi as Gulchugai's assistant. 94

The location of the Teleut or Altai zaisans at the Dzungar khan court is mentioned by a number of documents. A Teleut zaisan Batu-Menko talked to the Russian envoy major L.Ugrumov at the Galdan-Tseren court in 1731-1732, telling him about their victories over the Chinese army in 1730-1731 95. In the Dzungar khan campaigns the Altai zaisans also served their military duty. From the Altaians who were coaching along the river Kan and near lake Karakol (nowadays Ongudai aimak in the Altai Republic and Ust-Kan aimaks in Mongolia) in 1745 became known that their zaisans Ombo, Mamyi and Kutuk were are the court of Dzungar khan for a second year in a row. 96

In respect to the location of some Southern Altaian groups around the middle of the 18th century, exist fairly detailed information, especially for Teleuts. But before reviewing materials about the Teleut locations, should be stated that for the examined time exist authentic data on the location of the Chats. We are obliged with that to the Great Northern expedition, when its participant G.Miller, a student S.Krasheninnikov, and others traveled in 1734 from the Kuznetsk to Tomsk by the river Tom and collected exact information about location of some Türkic-speaking groups, including the Chats. The Chat "Tatars" lived on both banks of the Tom from a village Zeledeevo in the south almost to the Tomsk. Their settlements were called yurts (Konstantinovs yurt, Muratovs, Tokmashevs, Kazan, and others). In the Tomsk district were 10 such settlements. Two of them had mosques (Muratovs and Kazan yurt).

Now we shall return to the Teleuts. If a large part of Teleuts still lived in Dzungaria, some of their groups lived in the Kuznetsk district. G.Miller, who visited Southern Siberia, informs (1735) about a Teleut volost, or "White Kalmyks (Teleuts)' volost" in the territory between Kuznetsk (from the Nativity monastery) to the mouth of the river Uskat. At that time there were registered 151 yasak payers.

94 P.E.Tadyev, Ibid., p. 10.
95 I.Ya.Zlatkin, Ibid., p. 368-369.
96 Omsk archive, f. 1, list 1, file 4, ll. 142-143. See reference: P.E.Tadyev, Ibid., p. 18.

From the village register from Kuznetsk down the Tom to Tomsk, composed for G.Miller expedition by student S.Krasheninnikov who noted only the settlements on the banks of the Tom (interspersed with Russian settlements), follows that some Teleut settlements were then called yurts. Among those are, for example, Tytykovs, Porosenkovs, Kashnakovs Yurts) (all names are in Russain utterance, not authentic names - Translator's Note) in which lived "Teleut Tatars". 97 Many of them have already been Christianized, and the travellers called them "Baptized Tatars" (for example, upstream and downstream from the Russian Kemerov village ("kemer" is "coal" in Türkic, from that originate "Kemer" toponyms related to ironworks - Translator's Note)). On the river Bochat and in the headwaters of Chumysh was a Kyshtym volost (63 yasak payers). 98 On the river Chumysh, downstream to the Russian villages, lived the population of the Togul volost (31 yasak payers). The volost had its name, per G.Miller, after a small river Togul running into Chumysh from the east. The people certainly were Teleuts who also were coaching there in the 17th century, when they belonged to the Beg Abak ulus. From this volost a part of the population migrated to Tubalars in the Biya basin, where these Teleuts received a name Yalan and became a seok among the Tubalars, noted above.

Along their route, academic travelers noted Chat and Tatars. The Tuliber settlements also were called yurts. Among those were, for example, Mamysh and Shirin Yurts in the area of small rivers Tersei, tributaries of Tom; and Kokoshnik Yurt, and Sustanakov Yurt. Hence, the Tuliber Tatars lived in the western foothills of the Kuznetsk Ala Tau, east from the modern Leninsk-Kuznetsk, south from Kemerovo. G.Miller describes the location of their volost as being along the river Tom from the river Uskat and down to the Tom's confluence with Mungat. Judging by the ethnographic data relayed from his own observations by S.Krasheninnikov, Tuliber Tatars belonged to Teleuts. One of the telltale attributes that survived almost to our days among the Mountain Altai Teleuts and Bochaty Teleuts (along the rivers Large and Small Bochaty), that allows to attribute Tuliber Tatars to the Teleuts, should be recognized a presence of birch altars at their dwellings. Here is how it is described by S.Krasheninnikov, who visited the Sustanak's yurts: "There we saw at three yards 4 birches set up, inclined to the east, of which on three Chinese rags were hung, woolen, hemp, and used, and on the fourth birch, in front of them, was hanged a hare pelt, on all its legs, near paws, were tied red ribbons. At these birches these Tatars every year bring sacrifices to the God, having prepared a great barrel of beer, and, to those birches having brought it, pour it on them, and drink it, and thus paray to the God... They.., have kams, all of them have an instrument which the Russians call tambourine, and they call it turu, its rim is like of a sieve, like on a drum one side has stretched leather. Lengthways inside is a thick stick, and the middle of it where rests a holding hand is not dressed. Through this stick runs an iron rod, on which metal stripes are hung up. They beat this tool instrument with a hare-pelt beater". 99

97 S.P.Krasheninnikov in Siberia. Unpublished materials. (Prepared for printing by prof. N.N.Stepanov). M.-L, 1966, p. 38-39.
98 G.Miller. Description of Kuznetsk district. Central State Archive of Ancient acts (TSGADA) in Moscow, f. 199, file No 1, ll. 1 and 2.

From this sensible description clearly transcends a typical Teleut sacrifice yaik (Manifestly homophonic with the East European river Yaik - Translator's Note) with typical for it cord with color ribbons and a pelt of a white hare in the middle, stretched between birches, and also a Teleut type shaman tambourine with a beater wrapped in a shrunk pelt of a hare. By the way, in Sustanak yurts S.Krasheninnikov observed a fairly curious detail: "Here we saw a maiden which 4 has braids, two on each side... asking why this maiden from maidens and women is different, because maiden have 10 and 20 braids, and women only two, one on each side are braided, we have learned that this maiden was charmed, and for that has 4 braids, and when already get married her 4 braids will be braided into two braids. Tatar women and maidens put on man's caps over hair". 100

Thus, (in the middle of the 18th century) the Teleut-inhabited areas were the right bank of Ob almost to Tomsk (5630'N 8458'E) and the banks of Tom from Kuznetsk (after 1931 the old Kuznetsk was renamed to New Kuznetsk = Novokuznetsk 5345′N 8707′E) to Tomsk.

Tau-Teleuts and Northern Altaians lived in their usual places in the Northern Altai, but they were double tribute payers. In addition to the yasak (paid to the Russian overlords), they also paid alman to the Dzungar khan, usually collected by the Teleut petty princes (And since they also supported their own Teleut hierarchy, they were triple-taxed - Translator's Note). A journal note of the ore receiver P.Shelegin who headed a governmental expedition sent to the Teles lake (Altyn Gol) in 1745 "with a task of exploring the lands and uncovering peoples living behind the Kolyvano-Voskresensk border line", listed the following:

1) "double tribute payers Yasak-paying Tatars of Tau-Teleut yurts, coaching along the river Maima",
2) "double tribute payers Yasak-paying Tau-Teleut Tatars coaching along the river Isha",
3) "Yus Tatars coaching along the river Sary-Kopsha (Sary-Koksha - L. P.) which flows from the Katun ridge from midday (direction) to the north into river Biya",
4) "Komlyaj Tatars, who had been coaching upstream of the river Biya",
5) "Yasak-paying Kergej Tatars",
b) "Teleut Tatars coaching near the mouth of Chulyshman", here Teleses are incorrectly called Teleut Tatars.
7) "Kumandy Tatars with settlements near the mouth of the Swan". 101

99 S.P.Krasheninnikov in Siberia, p. 50.
100 Ibid..
101 Archival file of the Altai district No 32.

An official report of the Kuznetsk commander Shapochnikov from August 10, 1745 inventories the Northern Altaians in better detail and more accurately: " On both sides of the river Biya, right next to the river, live yasak-paying double tribute payers in the following order:

1) Kumandy volost, from Kuznetsk 140 versts, the road is mountainous and runs in the mountain taiga, and consequently this distance is covered in 3-4 days of travel, from Biysk 1 day of travel; in this volost tribute payers 110 persons;
2) Upstream along the Biya (from them) is a second, Kuzen volost: from Kumandy 20 versts, in it yasak-paying 46 persons;
3) Komlyaj volost, 50 versts: yasak-paying 51 persons;
4) Kergesh (Turgesh) volost from Komlyaj 10 versts right near the lake Telenk (Teles/Altyn Gol): yasak-paying 43 persons, from Kuznetsk to Kergesh (Turgesh) volost 220 versts, and riding from Kuznetsk is 7, from the Biysk is 3 days of travel;
5) From Kergesh (Turgesh) volost two day by boat to the double tribute payers who are living on that (far) side of Teles lake (Altyn Gol), together with Zengor (Dzungar) Kalmyks;
6) From Kumandy volosts 60 versts to the Tau-Teleut volost, which is coaching on the banks of Katun and Maima, which runs from rocky mountains between river Biya and Katun and runs into the last... On this side of Biya (on the right side - L. P.), in the Black Forest, live double tribute payers Shelkal volost ... Yus volost... to them from Kuznetsk riding 2-5 days of travel... " 102

From both documents quoted above is abundantly clear that the yasak-paying Northern Altaians, in particular Tubalars, by the middle of the 18th century also have not changed their location, though they frequently had to pay alman to the Dzungar khan also ("also" means in addition to the Russian collections). Interesting is data about Altaian or Mountain Teleuts, who remained in the Altai in the same places as in the 17th century, about Chulyshman Teleuts, apparently the Teleses, and others. Both quoted document say nothing about the existence of Tiber volost. The name of the Tiber volost showed up once, in a document dated November 10, 1720, which remarked "of the Tiber volost yasak-payer Tatar Booshty Kobykaev, who visited the Kuznetsk office". Never again the Tiber volost is mentioned in various historical acts of the 17th and 18th centuries known to us. Apparently, it was not really an administratively yasak tribute-paying volost, but the Tubalar seok Tiber was referred to as volost, the seok probably was then included in the Kergesh or Tirgesh (Turgesh) volost.

Let's cite some data about the Northern Altaian volosts from the materials of the "Hand-written description" of the officer Plautin, also dated 1745. It already says about the division of the Kumandy onto the Lower Kumandy and Upper Kumandy volosts. In the lands of the Lower Kumandy volost is a Sagan crossing of Biya, 30 versts from the Biysk, through which crossed in the way to the Kondoma and Mrass the alman collectors in the double tribute paying volosts. For some reasons nothing is said about the Upper Kumandy volost. The Plautin materials add little to what was stated above about the Tubalar volosts.

102 Materials on history of Siberia. Readings in the Russian Society of history and antiquities..., Book 4, ., 1866, p. 88-89.

The Kuzen volost was located on both sides of the Biya, above Kumandy, beginning 23 versts from the mouth of the river Kemza (above the mouth of Swan). Kuzens sowed summer grains and peas. Of the cattle they held only horses. Thus, the mentioned above legend which we recorded among Tubalars and Chelkandy, that says that earlier Kuzens lived near the river Swan by the Aktygan mountain, but migrated from there to the left bank of Biya to grow cattle, is corroborated by the Plautin's materials. Above the Kuzen, 22 versts from the sources of Biya, laid the Komlyaj volost, and beyond it on the both banks of Biya, and on the both banks of the Teles lake (Altyn Gol) to its middle extended the Kergej volost. It bordered on the Teleses (Shelegin called them Teleuts), who occupied the upper part of the lake. Here also were sowed various summer grains, and of cattle were held only horses. Through this volost near the sources of Biya then passed the "Kalmyk road to Zengoria (Dzungaria)".

The Yus volost in the hand-written Plautin's materials is not mentioned.

He characterizes the Shelkal volost as follows: "The Shelkal volost begins at the river Kondoma (from the headwaters - L. P.) and lays on both sides of the river Swan middle course; they pay yasak to Russia and alman to Zengoria, but their court and punishments are closer to Russia (indicating that the Russian legal system is a blend of Slavic and Türkic systems - Translator's Note). The cattle breeding consists of horse cultivation only; they sow only barley". 103

Galdan-Tseren died in 1745. With his death flared internecine fight between Dzungar Beks for the Khan's throne, which started a fast disintegration of the Dzungar Khanate. It soon finally dissolved under attacks of the Chinese Qing dynasty army, that most determined enemy of Dzungaria. The disintegration and fall of the Dzungar Khanate greatly influenced the further fate and course of Altaian history, change of their ethnic composition, their localization.

It was discussed above that the Dzungar feudals headed by Hongtaishi severely exploited not only those kishtyms whose pasturing routs were close to them, within the the limits of Dzungaria, but also those coaching far from the borders of Dzungaria, who even were located in the territory of the Russian state (for example, Northern Altaians). If the Northern Altaian yasak-paying volosts paid to Russian Czar a yasak of 1-2 sables per person, from each payer for the Hongtaishi from them were collected 6 sables (L.Potapov compares Russian annual impositions against possible collection of arrears - Translator's Note). In addition, they were also taking iron products. When a detachment of Count Ryhlev in the 1713 set out to kick out from the Kumandy a Teleut Bek Dureng, who was collecting alman there for the Dzungar khan, the Bek hasty retreated and had to drop everything that he collected from Kumandy during that site visit.

103 About that see in more detail: L.P.Potapov. Essays on a history of Altaians, p. 122-123.

It turned out that "Dureng abandoned taken from the Lower Kumandy volost 660 squirrel pelts (podpals), -, 3 bever belly pelt, 66 iron kazans (cauldrons), 109 tagans (cauldron stand), tester (?) stirrups, iron kon (bit - L.P.)". In addition he managed to keep "900 shooting irons (arrowheads - L.P.), 100 crow-bars (?), 2 branding irons, 2 komzas (smoking pipes - L.P.) and 99 iron ladles". 104 From the list of the objects in the collected alman, up to the smoking pipes, it is apparent that in essence that was a robbery of the Altaians' property, with a full whimsy (From the this tear-dropping tale one would think that the slave-owner Robin Hood Count Ryhlev flew on a white horse from the Sankt-Peterburg all the way to Altai to free the poor Altaians and to return the booty taken from the Teleut collector to its rightful owners. The return part is however omitted, leaving an impression that the whole booty went instead into the treasury of the poor Russian Czar, who, one would naively infer from this tale, never used the same Teleut zaisans to squeeze the royal tribute from the same Kumandy kyshtyms, now upgraded to the status of the Russian kyshtyms after robbing Teleuts from their kyshtyms, but retaining them as tribute collectors - Translator's Note).

Let's review the facts from the life of the Southern Altaians. Tau-Teleuts, for example, paid Russia a rate of one sable, and Hongtaishi 51 sables. But from Tau-Teleuts were also taken not only the furs. One Altaian in the 1744 was telling to a Russian cossack B.Poilov: "Came to the Kan volost from Zengor land a zaisan and under an order of the Zengor ruler Galdan-Chirin, in all those Zengor volosts, and in Tau-Teleut volosts ordered from every five tens people to prepare thirty and three fur coats". 105 The Southern Altaian "Kan and Karakol volosts", called "Zengor volosts" as ruled by the Dzungar khan, and also Tau-Teleuts, who were coaching near Katun and Maima, despite of the remoteness of their residence from the court of the Dzungar khan, experienced oppression and exploitation not to a lesser degree than the kishtyms living in the territory of Dzungaria. The Dzungar khan dressed, equipped and fed the large army entirely at the expense of the exploited ordinary population of the nomadic Dzungars, and especially so of the population which were in the kishtym dependence. Captain I. Unkovsky, who headed the Russian embassy to Tsewang-Rabdan cited in his report a story of an ordinary Oirat woman, who complained to the Unkovsky's wife that in Dzungaria "for the whole summer gather to Urgu to Hongtaishi 300 and more women, and over the whole summer from their kosht (wool, wool cloth) they sew kuyaks (cloth or felt cover) to the armour and dresses, which are sent to the army". 106 (At that time, and for another century, Russia used exactly the same methods in equipping its army, using its own slave labor and tribute assessments - Translator's Note)

It is quite clear that weakening of the Khan power, internecine feuds of Oirat or Dzungar feudals created conditions that allowed some kishtym Beks of the Dzungar khan more leeway in choosing pasturing routs, and the danger rising from the China forced them to also think about getting far away out of Dzungaria. For the Enisei Kyrgyzes, Teleuts and Mingats it was time to return to the old places from which they were driven by the Dzungar khan.

104 See in more detail about the objects collected with alman, and collection violence in our book "Essays on history of Altaians".
105 I.Ya.Zlatkin " Ibid., p. 363
106 Unkovsky Embassy, p. 149.

It is impossible to doubt that a part of Teleuts, leaving the collapsing Dzungar Khanate, migrated to the Kirgiz areas, to the eastern Tian Shan and other places, and gradually merged with them. From that, among modern Kirgiz tribal names are the names of Teles, Mundus and some of their subdivisions. Soon after the death of Galdan-Tseren, in second half of 1740's, the Enisei Kyrgyzes started coming back by separate groups through the Russian border forts. 106 The same, judging by the documents, can be also stated in relation to Mingats, who in the most part left Dzungaria in the beginning of its defeat by the Qing army. In respect to the Southern Altaians, who were frequently called Uryanhaians (Tuvinians), and Teleuts, the situation is less clear. It is known documentarily that a mass of the Teleuts moved to Russia at the beginning of the Dzungaria defeat. But the documents from the middle of the 18th century clearly show that a part of "Altaians" and Uryanhaians (Tuvinians) at that time lived in the Central and Western Altai (Kan and Karakol "Kalmyks") and it seems that especially indicative is that their zaisans also coached there, though at times they were visiting with the courts of temporary rulers of the collapsing Dzungar Khanate.

To summarise the data about Uryanhai (Tuvinian) and Teleut zaisans' pasturing routs, scattered in various documents, we shall assemble the following picture. Zaisan Gulchugai, to whom Galdan-Tseren gave zaisanship taken away from Boboi, in the summer coached in the headwaters of the Buhtarma (calf nursery ?), Berel and Narym, and in the winter stayed at Narym, Irtysh and its right tributary Ablaiketke (Ablaiketk ?). On same river also grazed his cattle demichi (zaisan assistant) Hohai, and zaisan Babai or Boboi grazed his cattle in the valley of Buhtarma and in the valleys of the small rivers flowing on the left to Irtysh from the Kalbin ridge, and around Ust Kamenogorsk. Zaisan Namky lived in the Kaerlyk valley (basin of river Kan), and subordinated to him Altaians (Teleuts) lived in the valley of Katun and river Kamchilu. Along Katun, above the river Sema, also coached zaisan Boohol. The Uryanhai (Tuvinian) zaisan Ombo, whom the Russian border authorities held as "highest chief", coached along the rivers Kanzg, Yabogan and in the headwaters of the Charysh. A known Teleut zaisan Batu-Menko coached in the Kan steppe. Zaisan Doldoi was coming in the summertime to the rivers Kan and Yabogan, but for the winter he was leaving to the headwaters of the Katun.

The stated material enables to conclude that in the southern and western parts of Altai the pasturing routs of the Tuva (Uryanhai) and Teleuto-Altai zaisans, especially the summer pastures, have not been strictly carved up and divided. A probable reason for that was that that these areas of Altai were among the property seized by the Dzungar khan (Two other reasons, not mentioned by L.Potapov, are, first, that these seoks were relatively new to the area, and did not have time to fossilize the traditional ranges as "ancestral" lands, and second, their traditions did not allow them to claim exclusive use of the ranges. The "property of the Dzungar khan" would be a remote third likelihood. - Translator's Note).

After the death of Galdan-Tseren on the throne temporarily settled his natural son Lama (Llama ?) Dorji,and a grandson of the leader of the Volga Kalmyks Beg Davatsi (Debachi) challenged the throne. 107 Taishi Amursana, who was coaching, like the Davatsi, in Tarbagatai, supported Beg Davatsi. These both taishis actively fought against Lama Dorji. In the beginning of the 1753 with the help of Amursana, Davatsi or Debachi seized the throne, and soon arose frictions with Amursana. Amursana demanded a division of the Dzungar possessions, and pretended to the Altai and the the transfer of the "Kan and Karakol, Tele and Tau-Teleut volosts and people to his possessions". 108 Davatsi refused him. Amursana organized against him a campaign, but sufferred a defeat and fled to the Qing emperor. Altai and Uryanhai (Tuvinian) zaisans in this conflict were on the side of Debachi, as informs a vahmistr A.Besednov, who in August 1754 visited Uryanhai). One of them told Besednov that in 1754 "In the spring their Altai zaisans left to help Debache-khan... And now it is known that those zaisans came back and brought with them Amursana's wife and children, and many are captured, and Amursana left with all zaisans to the Mungal side". A Teleut zaisan Kutuk (from the seok Kypchak) personally told Besednov the following: "In their land are trubles, all of them left to serve Debache-khan to help, and they helped, noyon Amursana and all his lands wrecked, his wives and children, cattle and grain and his life cleaned up and brought all that to their lands, and divided the spoils, and Amursana escaped with 300 people to the Mungal land across the Teles lake". 109 Amursana from the Teles lake (Altyn Gol) and through Tuva fled to Halha and switched to the side of the Qing rulers.

Soon for the Dzungar Khanate the events took a dramatic turn. The Qing dynasty, taking advantage of the internecine feuds among Dzungars, found a suitable moment to destroy their sworn enemy Dzungaria, and to sieze its lands. 110 The dynasty troops, which included Amursana, invaded Dzungaria in the spring of the 1755, seized Davatsi, destroyed the Khanate, and installed everywhere their puppets. Military detachments of the Qing dynasty on the way to Dzungaria siezed Tuva, and did not miss Altai. The archival materials testify that in January 1755 they appeared in the valley of river Chui and offered the Chulushman Telengits and Teles to submit to the Chinese emperor. The Chulushman inhabitants not only refused that offer, but sent to Kuznetsk a representative with a request to protect them. For the refusal to submit, the Chinese army taken away from their pastures in the headwaters of the small rivers Koidy in the Teles lake (Altyn Gol) area about 400 Teles people with all their property and yurts. Possibly, Teleses taken by the Qing army ended up in Xinjiang, whence, say the legends of the southern Kirgiz Teleses, their ancestors came to Kirgizia. 111

107 See our book " Origin and formation of the Khakas nation", pp. 144-145.
108 I.Zlatkin, Ibid., p. 439.
109 Ibid., p. 440.
110 History of Tuva, vol. 1, p. 239.-

In Tuva, the Qing troops crushed "Yellow Sayans" who refused to submit to the Chinese emperor, and "Took all Yellow Sayanto a last man to captivity, leaving the young alive, and slaughtering all the olds, and also captured the other Zengor uluses". 112 The troops of the Chinese and mobilized by the Qing emperor eastern Mongolian and Halha armies stayed in the Kan and Karakolsk volosts, along the river Sema, etc., with a task of complete conquest of the Mountain Altai population by the Qing dynasty. And aggressors everywhere met not only a refusal, but at times an armed resistance also. The Altai zaisans, especially Gulchugai and Boboi, fought, and not unsuccessfully, with separate units of the enemy army. 113 At that difficult for the Altaians (Teleuts) time many of them sought protection and safety in the Russian state. A Teleut zaisan Batu-Menko came to Kuznetsk, asking for protection of Tau-Teleut volosts; he argued that "a strong military hand drives them and incline to submit to the Chinese khan, and they do not wish that, but wish to be eternal subjects of the Russian empire, and to pay into the treasury of its Czar majesty the yasak with other Tau-Teleut Tatars, because their great-grandfathers, grandfathers and fathers back more than hundred years to the Russian side into its treasury of the Czar majesty yasak started paying" (This unfinished story stops at a most interesting moment. In the Türkic confederations, the allied tribes bring their contributions in the form of assessments and military participation. In case of an external assault, they receive from their confederation a necessary assistance. When Russia replaced the Western Siberian Khanate, its autonomous members did not proclaim independence, but stayed with the successor state, keeping their ally obligations toward the ruling center, and expecting reciprocal obligations in return. That was the content of the Teleut zaisan Batu-Menko appeal, unanswered in the L.Potapov passage - Translator's Note).

Having subdued Dzungaria in the summer of the 1755, the army of the Chinese emperor returned home, leaving in Dzungaria stationed garrisons. At that time (autumn of the 1755) Amursana relinquished the Chinese citizenship and with a group of soldiers returned to Dzungaria, where he soon settled down in the Khanate former political center along the river Ili. He started gathering forces for the restoration of the Dzungaria. His efforts, directed to the restoration of Dzungars' independence, first of all were not successful among the surviving Dzungar feudals. Conflicts and fighting have flared again. The news about liberating efforts of Amursana agitated the Qing emperor, and he made a decision not only to finish with Amursana, but also to eradicate the Dzungars. A huge army gathered by him moved again to Dzungaria. Amursana fled to Kazakhs.

11 S.M.S.M.Abramzon. Ethnic history of Kirgizes. In Coll.: Türkological collection in honor of A.N.Kononov's 60-year anniversary, ., 1966, p. 167.
112 See description of the Chinese-Mongolian army invasion to Altai in P.E.Tadyev's article "Turning point in the history of the Mountain Altai" (page 23 on), whio found it in the Omsk regional archive, f. 1, list 1.

113 Ibid..

Without meeting any resistance, Qing's army carried out the emperor's order, exterminating Dzungars and their former kishtyms without exception. This fact of common knowledge is widely covered in our (and not only our) historical literature, and not needed to be repeated. In that connection we shall examine the tethering of the Southern Altaians (Teleuts) to the Russian state, which created new conditions in the life of Altaians (Teleuts), in their localization, and in their historical and ethnic development (From this point on, L.Potapov switches his terminology from ethnic description "Teleuts" to geographical description "Altaians, South Altaians", and episodically to the political "Dzungars", apparently following the genetical definitions of the sources, and introduces unnecessary ethnic ambiguity of the sources in his discourse. A generic and properly annotated terminology would be justified if the following events pertained to a mixed population of Teleuts and their various kyshtyms, but this is not a case, the zaisans are specifically defined as Teleut zaisans - Translator's Note).

Brutal actions of Qing army in Dzungaria caused a uniform reaction of a hatred to the subjugator and aspiration for freedom, though the resisting actions of separate Dzungar groups were isolated and could not positively impact the outcome of this unequal struggle. Against the Qing subjugator in the summer of the 1756 flashed a revolt of Tuvinians, who also supported the revolt headed by the Hotogol Beg Tsengundjap. That event aroused the activity of Amursana, who was preparing continue a struggle for the restoration of Dzungaria. Uryanhai-Altai zaisans supported Amursana financially, and helped him to establish connection with Tsengundjap. 114 Both revolts were severely suppressed. In the beginning of the 1757 Tsengundjap was captured and executed, and Amursana after a series of defeats at the end of July 1757 hid in Semipalatinsk and soon died near Tobolsk of a smallpox.

After the defeat of Dzungaria, for a long time Tuva remained under the yoke of the Manchurian dynasty, but the fate of the Southern Altaian Teleuts developed more fortunate, they were accepted in the Russian state. Even at the first invasion of Qing army to Dzungaria many Teleut and Uryanhai (Tuvinian) zaisans expressed a desire to voluntary join Russia and began caravanning to the Russian border in hope to find safety from the aggressors. They asked "to let them pass inside the empire". The border commanders dispatched that request to the central government. A Senator Nepluev prescribed to the Siberian military leaders to allow Altaians (Teleuts) to coach near the border, pending a special order. The Czar government in this situation, wishing to avoid conflicts with the Manchurian dynasty, was indecisive. In the autumn of the 1755 a commander of the Kolyvano-Voskresensk and Kuznetsk border line informed the government: "fifteen Altai zaisans have a diligent desire to be in our patronage, promising to pay yasak upfront even for three years". 115 In few months this request duplicated 19 zaisans, including zaisan Ombo.

114 I.Zlatkin, Ibid., p. 459.
115 The further discourse is given mainly from the documents we published in the book "Essays on the history of Altaians", and the documents studied in the Omsk regional archive by P.E.Tadyev, partially published in the above article (page 26-30).

The Empress Elizaveta (Elisabeth) Petrovna authorized it only in the beginning of the 1756, and that with a condition of relocating them, with all their people, to the Volga Kalmyks. Meanwhile, as this question was being weighed in the Petersburg, some zaisans with their people have already been forcefully driven away by the Qing aggressors. The events developed as follows. In the February of 1756 12 Altai (called so after the location of their pastures) zaisans (Ombo, Kulchugai, Kutu, Namky, Boohol, Cherep, Buktush, Buurut, Kaamyk, Namjil, Izmynak, and Sandut) gave the Commander of the border line colonel de Garriga a letter: "Give us guard people; save us from evel times in our lands; erect a fort where you want. At present we are under a white sovereign. The colonel of our white sovereign, please do it faster, they want to take us away with all our houses". This letter handed the zaisan Namky, who declared that in case of acceptance of the Altaians (Teleuts) into Russian patronage, zaisans can pay yasak upfront and on demand of the authorities supply 2000 warriors. After that, the Altai zaisans led by Ombo came to the Biysk fort asking to speed up the fulfillment of their petition. In the March of the same year zaisans wrote still another letter which said: "Beforehand we former possessions of Galdan-Cheren twelve zaisans before this already sent to you zaisan Namky with our previous letter, and nowadays again we twelve zaisans with all our ulus people wish to be in patronage of the white Czar, and from our subjects ulus people we shall pay yasak how the will of the white Czar determines, and if white Czar in a need to us twelve zaisans would enjoin to our Zengor people or where in other place to send an army to a campaign, we this army during winter time of one thousand, and in summertime of two thousand people immediately would send, and we are having intention to be in the patronage of the white Czar twelve zaisans consisting of a thousand five hundred wagon carts of people or maybe more, or little less than that. And so we twelve zaisans have sent with this Namky and certufy this with our hands (signatures)".

Finally, on May 2, 1756 a decree was sent to the Siberian governor Metlev iwhich ordered to accept Zengorsk zaisans in patronage even in the event that they refuse to relocate to the Volga Kalmyks. After that, from the June of 1756 began a mass crossing of the Southern Altai and Tuva-Uryanhai tribes of the border mentioned above, and already for the first approximately three months the oath was sworn in by more than 10 thousand people, mosty belonging to that branch of zaisans who petitioned about their acceptance into the patronage of Russia.

It should be note that Uryanhai (Tuvinian) and Altai (Teleut) zaisans, especially the ordinary nomads, who joined Russia were almost totally deprived of cattle and property by the pillages and excesses of the Qing dynasty army. For the zaisans Buktush and Tseren, for example, the cost of the property taken from them by the military robbers was estimated in a sum of 6723 rubles in the prices of that time (in 1750, 1 ruble = 28 g of silver, 6723 rubles = 188.2 kg = 415 lb of silver, or $90 000 at 2009 price of $13.5/oz - Translator's Note). This sum included the cost of 1069 horses, 1318 sheep and so on. 116 Nothing can be added about how badly were ruined the ordinary cattlemen. The Russian border authorities and army had to assist the new Altaian subjects of the Russian state in bringing wounded and weakened by famine lifeless people to the fort, and supplying them with food. From the food stocks stored in the border forts and settlements, the Altaians (Teleuts) were given flour and barley at the following rates: To people above 10-year olds a chetverik (26 liters) per person per month, to children under 10-years "except small babies who do not eat bread" a half of chetverik. Zaisans and foremen (demichies) were also given money. For the surviving cattle were constructed pens and stables, where the cattle was fed. 117 Thus, by acceptance to the Russian state the Altaians (Teleuts) were saved from famine and destruction in a literal sense of the word.

By the data in the preserved documents, by the November 1756 near the Russian borders were 13 thousand wagon carts of the Altaians (Teleuts) and Uryanhaians (Tuvinians) who voluntarily accepted patronage. There are a few lists of the zaisans who accepted the Russian patronage. They contain the names of Omba, Kutuk, Gulchugai, the Bolot (son of Omba), Puktush, Burut, Cheren, Namky, Enzynak (Izmynak), Batu Menko, Cheren (Tseren) appear, and others.

The majority of zaisans refused resettle near Volga and remained to coach in the Altai (along the rivers Katun, Biya, Isha, Sandy, Anui, Charysh, Ube, and others). The documents say that about 7 thousand people were settleded in the Krasnoyarsk and Kuznetsk districts. 118 From a report of colonel Kolobovsky about send-off to Volga of those who accepted the Russian patronage follows that they were sent from the Biysk on June 28, 1757 headed by fon Enden. With him were sent from the fort and forward posts of the Kuznetsk and Kolyvan border lines (Biya, Katun, Anui, Nikolai, Kolyvansky and Gulbinsky factories, advanced posts Uban, Krasnoyar, Shemanaev, Alei, Zmeevsky mine, Kabanov guardpost) 566 families, 1106 men, 1178 women, total 2284 people. They had 76 camels, 3657 horses, 157 cows, 31 rams and goats. In the list among those sent are named zaisans: Burut Chekagul, Kymyk Yamanak, Kutuk Kutuigulin, Tseren Uruk and families of diseased zaisans Gulchugai and Omba. In addition are named Kalmyks of zaisan Vuktush department, but neither him nor his family are in the list.

16 According to the Omsk regional archive. See: P.E.Tadyev, Ibid., p. 30.
17 Ibid..
18 Ibid., p. 29.
19 L.P.Potapov 129

It is clear from that how a part of Altaians (Teleuts) and Uryanhaians (Tuvinians) (and possibly Dzungars) ended up near Volga, where they assimilated among the Mongol-speaking Kalmyk people. This also explains how Telengits appeared among the Volga Kalmyks, though linguistically Mongolised, their ethnic name they retained for a long time.

It was already noted above that about 7 thousand Altaians (Teleuts) and Uryanhaians (Tuvinians) freed from the Dzungar khans yoke, who voluntary joined the Russian state, were resettled in the Kuznetsk and Krasnoyarsk districts. 119 This quite important documentary evidence drew insufficient attention of researchers. For the purpose of the present work it has a special significance, because the fact of the relocation to these areas of the groups who coached from Dzungaria undoubtedly influenced the ethnic composition of the Northern Altaians, including the Teleuts of the Kuznetsk district, these descendants of the Ob "White Kalmyks (Teleuts)" group. Unfortunately, this subject question not only was not yet examined, but in essence even was not raised at all in our scientific literature. This is why we should make a small addition to the illumination of this significant historical event in the life of the Altaians, which was for them the entry into the patronage of the Russian state.

The Altaians who sought salvation from the enemy army had their subjection registered in stressful and dangerous for them conditions. To facilitate the acceptance of the Altaians, Russian authorities performed it in various points, for example in Ust Kamenogorsk, Kolyvan, Biysk, Kuznetsk, even in the Kuzedeev advanced post along the river Kondoma. After completing formalities to be admitted to Russia, people were immediately let to cross the border and sent to safe places to settle. The Kuznetsk and Krasnoyarsk district were certainly such safe places. Undoubtedly, the groups of new subjects accepted in the Kuznetsk, Kuzedeev advanced post and Biysk were sent to those areas. We still cannot say anything about those (Teleuts) who were sent to settle in the Krasnoyarsk district, because of the absence of examined materials, but in respect to Kuznetsk district such material does exist.

This question can answered for the Kuznetsk district by comparing the names and quantity of the yasak-paying volosts and the number of their population from the materials of the 1730-40's, i.e. the materials belonging to the period immediately preceding the passage of the Altaians to Russia, with the corresponding materials belonging to the middle of the 19th century. Undoubtedly, the newcoming tribal or ethnic groups were settled precisely in the yasak-paying volosts of the Kuznetsk (and Biya) districts, the population of which at that time already became sedentary and in significant part in closely neighboring with Russians. 120

119 Archive of the State Council, 1, p. 254. See the quoted above article of P.E.Tadyev.

The newcomers should have certainly increased the number of the local yasak-paying population. It should be noted that the newcomer yasak-obligated nomadic cattlemen had to convert to sedentary life, and not only because of the loss of their herds caused by the tragical events in their life after the defeat of Dzungaria, "but especially because the fertile steppes and forest-steppes the of Kuznetsk district were occupied and ploughed (and used for grass scything) by the sedentary population, both the Russian, and the local yasak-paying population. Consequently, after a reform of 1822 (Speransky's "Charter on aliens") in the Kuznetsk district were established seven administrative volosts of "sedentary aliens", so entrenched and advanced was the sedentary condition, mainly among the different Teleut groups and related to them so-called "Kuznetsk Tatars".

Let's turn now to some historical materials, incidentally not yet published. Bn the data collected by G.F.Miller in 1734, i.e. approximately a quarter century before the mass exodus of Altaians (Teleuts) to the Russian state, in the Kuznetsk district were officially registered the following yasak-paying volosts:

Below Kuznetsk, downstream along the rivers Tom and Chumysh, are located:

1. Keret (Keresh) volost, in the former Aba Tatars location, near the mouth of the river Aba. The inhabitants call themselves Keresh, 10 of them pay tribute (yasak).
2. Teleut, or so-called White Kalmyks volost, from the Nativity monastery to the mouth of the river Uskat, on the north-eastern bank of the river Tom. 122 151 of them pay tribute.
3, 4. Tuluberd and Bayan. From the confluence of the river Uskat to the borders of Mungat fort. 123 In the first only 4 people pay tribute, in the second 28 people. G.Miller notes that the name Bayan Tatars in casual speech is almost unknown, and both volosts are called by a common name Tuluberdy (Bayan was a dynastic tribe at one time, and its vestiges are widely spread among the Türkic and Slavic peoples. Apparently, a name of a Bayan's leader later superceded and substituted their ancient ethnonym among this small splinter - Translator's Note).
5. Kyshtym volost, whose inhabitants call themselves Kyshtyms, along the river Bochat that runs from the west into Uen or Inu, and in the headwaters of the of the river Chumysh. It has 63 people paying tribute.
6, 7. Tagan and Togul. Both lie downstream of the Chumysh river, toward the Russian villages laying on the same river down from Beloyarsk. The first has total 39, the second 31 payers. The Togul volost received its name from the small river Togul that merges from the east with Chumysh; above it into Chumysh from the same side flows another small river called "Ikelep" (L.Potapov cites "Ikelep" in quotation marks, apparently to reflect that the name may be a semantical moniker "Two lands" or something similar - Translator's Note). A few Toguls also live along the river Aba commingled with Russians.

122 See the "Register of villages from Kuznetsk down the Tom river", composed by S.P.Krasheninnikov, and also his "Travel Diary of 1734-1735" in the above mentioned book "S.P.Krasheninnikov in Siberia"; G.F.Miller Description of Kuznetsk district, ll. 21-24 reverse. The Nativity monastery was on the hill side 3 versts below Kuznetsk.
123 This fort was built in the 1715 by a Kuznetsk commander B.Sinyavin, in the vicinity of the river Mungat (left bank of Tom).

Above Kuznetsk along the river Tom to the borders of Krasnoyarsk district lay the volosts:

1.2.3. Bogorak, where Mrassa runs into Tom. There live 27 yasak payers.
4. Moinak, above Bogorak volosts, between small rivers Usoi and Belsu, running into Tom. There are 49 yasak payers.
5. Sagai, near the Tom sources, on a small river Askys, tributary of Abakan, and at one of Chulym sources, river Yus. There are 53 payers.
6. Beltir, in the steppes along the river Abakan, and along the river Tashtyp. There are 45 payers.

On the river Mrassa and its small trubutaries:

1. Beshboyak, 10 versts upstream the Mrassa from its mouth. Number of yasak payers 46.
2. Ede along Mrassa, above Umzas and along Mrassa tributary Tashilga. There are 24 yasak payers.
3. Togoyak, above the river Umzas, in the mountains (at a half-day riding distance) 4 payers.
4. Elej along the river Mrassa (above a small river Tashilga), 27 payers.
5. Near Karga along the river Orton, running into Mrassa from the east. Yasak-payers 43 people. The word karga, noted Miller, in Tatar means "raven". The inhabitants, however, do not know why they have such name (see Yu.Zuev - Ancient Türks for a genetical link to the Usun kagan tribe).
6. Kuzesh (Kuzen) Karga, along the river Mrassa, in the location where small river Syurtka runs into it from the west, and a little higher from the east runs into it a small river Tayas. There are 17 yasak payers.
7. Kyzyl Karga on a small river Pyzasu (right tributary of the Mrassa). There yasak pay 15 people
8. Kivin, above a small river Pyzasa, 31 yasak payers.
9. Kivin in the headwaters of the Mrassa, with 12 yasak payers.
10. Izusher (Uzut-Shor) along a small river Pyzasu, above Kyzyl-Karga, 21 yasak payers.

On the river Kondoma:

1. Barsoyat, 30-40 versts above than the mouth. Yasak-payers 35 people
2. Beshboyak, or Katun, 30-40 versts above Barsoyat, in the area of confluence with Kondoma (from the east) of the small rivers Telbes and Mondubash (near Mondubash is extracted especially high-quality iron ore). The name Katun came from the Katun (Queen) mountain, located on the right bank of Kondoma between Bars and Beshboyak volosts. Yasak-payers 44 people
3. Etiber, upstream the Mundymashut (Miller's Mandabash), 40-50 versts from its mouth where into it run Bazas, Anzas and Manzas. Its inhabitants are also called Kalars, though Miller notes, that now that name is not especially common. Yasak-payers 34 payers.
4. Etiber, on Kondoma, 50 versts above the Beshboyak volosts, at the confluence with the river Antrop (left tributary). There are 47 yasak payers.
5. Elei, 40-50 versts above Etiber (Kondoma). There are 27 yasak payers.
6. Karacher, or Shor, because the inhabitants are usually called Shors, and they passed that name to their other neighbors. It is located 30 versts above the previous volost along Kondoma. 72 yasak payers belong to it.

124 Shors call river Kondoma Mondum, Mondubash, or Mondumash, its right tributary can mean "Kondoma summit", or "Little Kondoma".

On the river river Biya and Altyn lake (Teles) and in other neiboring districts are the volosts:

1. Shelkal, along the river Ku or Swan, 60-70 versts from its confluence with river Biya; there are 43 payers.
2. Karga, below the previous on the same river, only 11 yasak payers.
3. Kumandy, at the confluence of the river Ku and Biya, approximately half-day sail along the river river Biya. There are 105 yasak payers. " All this placeboth Tatars and Kalmyks call Kumanda", writes G.Miller.
4. Yus, or better Yut, because the inhabitants call themselves Yuts (Tenti), is located in the mountains between the rivers Biya and Katun, half-day travel from the lowermost Kumandy uluses, on a small river (rivulet) Kishcha (?), running from the east into Katun. There pay yasak 11 people
5. Kuzen, half-day travel upstream the Biya from the Kumandy volost. There are 28 yasak payers. A little above it into the Biya runs (from the east) a small river Talei (Tuloi).
6. Komlyash, half-day travel from the previous volost upstream the river Biya, where into it from the west runs river Kopsha. There are 49 payers.
7. Kergesh (Turgesh), half day travel upstream from Komlyash, on the east bank of Biya, where it originates from the lake Altyn. There are 39 people, paying yasak.
8. Tau-Teleut, in the mountains, from which it received its name, along the river Katun where into it from the west runs Sema, and from east Ishpa and Isha. There are 34 payers.
9. Telet on the lake Altyn and in the estuaries of the running into it rivers Chulyshman and Chulcha. In this volost live Telet (Teles) Tatars, they are paying a voluntary determined amount of the yasak a year, also with furs.

Thus, the Miller's description lists 36 yasak-paying volosts, of which for 35 is given a number of yasak payers, with a total figure of 1,317 people (only for the Teles volost, where lived Teleses the number is not given).

Miller also informs that Tau-Teleuts pay only one sable per person, as paying the yasak voluntary, like the Teleses, only the last pay 60 sables a year, irrespective of the population. Miller has shown that the Teleut nation along the Kalmyk border, i.e. Tau-Teleuts, totaled up to 350 families, which in his opinion, came near the number of the Teleses living beyond the Teles lake (Altyn Gol).

Now it is logical to compare G.F.Miller's materials with the earlier and later materials. For the first period we should refer to the answers sent from Kuznetsk to V.N.Tatischev, which were based on the "census of the 1719 and the evidence of the 1723" and list the names of the same 34 volosts, where are counted 1,376 people, undoubtlessly of only the yasak payers (This is a first direct indication by L.Potapov that all the counts given above referred only to the yasak paying heads of the households, and the total number of population should be adjusted accordingly by a factor of 4-5, as in the examples with the Kyrgyz wagon carts or Teleuts deported to Volga Kalmyks - Translator's Note). 125 The Tatischev list does not have Tau-Teleut volost with 34 payers, or the Teles volost, listed by Miller. With addition of Tau-Teleut volost the Tatischev list would have 1,410 yasak payers, i.e. 93 peoples more than what was recorded by Miller according to data of the 1734. The difference is obviously small, and that only reinforces a trust in the both lists.

125 Archive USSR Akad. of Sciences, f. 21, list 5, No 152. "Cities of Kuznetsk supplement, composed in the Kuznetsk office by force of orders of her Imperial majesty from the Siberian gubernatorial office and geographical descriptions", ll. 252-281 reverse.

As a source for the second period, we shall refer to one reliable document dated by 1745. That is the already mentioned official report of the Kuznetsk commander Shaposhnikov that named 13 yasak volosts located along Kondoma and Biya, against the 15 volosts named in these places by Miller. In the commander official report are absent the Barsoyat and Beshboyak volosts located on Kondoma and noted by Miller. The other volosts go under the same names, with a small divergence in the number of the yasak payers in them, with a difference, as a rule, of 1 to 3-4 persons (up or down) for each volost. The divergence is quite explainable by the difference in the dates of drawing the lists, estimated as 11 years. Thus, G.F.Miller information is undoubtedly the most full and exact within the framework of official administrative figures of the examined time.

From the stated above is clear what was the composition and number of the yasak-paying volosts among the Northern Altaians and the so-called Kuznetsk Teleuts and Kuznetsk Tatars almost before the exodus of the Southern Altaians to the Russian state.

Comparing now the previous period with respective data for a little more than a century later, after the inclusion of the Southern Altaians into Russia, it would be easy to be ascertain that in the Kuznetsk (and future Biya) 126 district in fact have been settled a significant number of Altaians, predominantly Teleuts, and some other admitted groups. For such a comparison we have materials collected at the beginning of 1860's by W.W.Radloff, and at the end of by 1860's by V.Verbitsky. Both authors, using the same official records of 1859, note in the Kuznetsk district seven settled "alien" volosts. The parallel list, with the indication of total population of each volost, is as follows:

By W.Radloff By V.Verbitsky
  men - women   men - women- all people
Ashchkyshtym 214 235 Ach. Keshtim 214 235 449
Bayan 309 118 Bayan 309 118 427
Togul 176 196 Torgul 129 176 196 372
Kumysh 229- 209 Komnosh 229- 209 438
Kamlar 125 129 Kamlar 125 129 254
Yachin 296 322 Achyn 296 322 618
Shui 355 385 Shu 355 385 740
Total 1704 1594 Total 1704 1594 3298

126 Biya district was established in 1783 within Kolyvan province, in the 1804 this district was transferred to the Tomsk province. W.W. Radloff, Aus Sibirien.. Bd. 1, p. 214.
128 V.Verbitsky. The Altai Aliens, p. 7
129 Correctly, Tongul.

In the cited lists does not coincide the name of only one volost. In the W.Radloff list it is called Komnosh, and in theV.Verbitsky list Kumysh. That these are two names are of the same volost testify the identical figures for population, total and by sex (in the volosts). Probably, the name Komnosh of this volost W.Radloff gave erroneously, because the volost Komnosh is known still from the 1620's, they lived in the basin of the river Biya. In the same territory the Komnosh volost is mentioned in the 1734 by G.Miller, it is also corroborated by the official report of the Kuznetsk commander Shaposhnikov (1745). Quite naturally, at Verbitsky the Komnosh volost is registered with the Black Tatar nomadic volosts of the Biya district. And Radloff himself informs about a tribe (and a clan) Komnosh among Black (mountain taiga) Tatars, whom he calls Tubalars. The correct name of sedentary volost in question is certainly Kumysh, which after the reforms of 1822 was transformed into Kumysh "upravas". 130 Its inhabitants lived along the river Ine, together with yasak-payers of the Shui sedentary volost.

In respect to the so-called "nomadic" aliens (terminology for sedentary and nomadic is within the framework of the indicators stipulated in the "Charter on aliens"), at W.Radloff we find the list of the yasak-paying volosts and their numbers only for those that judging by V.Verbitsky publication at that time belonged to Biya district, and were called by a generic Black Tatars term. Their list is summarized follows:

By W.Radloff By V.Verbitsky

Lower Kumandy
Upper Kumandy
men - women
831 740
322 284
275 234
756 705
257 232
121 116

Lower Kumandy volost
Upper Kumandy volost
Kuzen volost
Komlyaj or Kondoj volost
Yus volost
Torgul volost
men - women- all people
831 740 1571
322 284 606
275 232 507
756 705 1461
251 232 483
121 116 237
Total 2562 2311 Total 2556 2309 4865

The Verbitsky's list, in addition to the Biya district, contains 22 more "volosts of nomadic aliens" of the Kuznetsk district with quantitative indicators of the population on each volost. Such list is absent in the W.Radloff's quoted work, though all the names of all these volosts are given (even with a transcription), but only as seok clans of the Shors, and without indication of their numbers. However, the Kumysh alien upravas was divided onto two halves. The inhabitants of 1st half lived along the river Ine, and of the 2nd half in the Barnaul district. The last were deportees from the 1st half of the Kumysh volost.

At that time, Radloff insufficiently critically accepted the information given to him locally, and entered in the list of the Shor's clans some names for the volosts adopted not from the names of the clans, but from the names of the petty princes who were heading them. For example, such names are the names Barsoyat, Bejboyak, Sherogash.

V.Verbitsky published his list in 1871 for the first time (covering 17 volosts) from his own very valuable studies and corresponding numbers. 131 The first publication gives a list of all settlements along the rivers Tom, Kondoma and Mrassa, and their tributaries, with indication of the name of the taxed settlement (aul or ulus) and quantities of huts or yurts in them, with definition of their volosts. He gives there alternate names of the volosts, in addition to the official nomenclature, which sometimes enables to figure out the clan composition of the yasak-paying volosts. The Kiviy volost, for example, Shors called Kobyi, from the name of the seok-clan Kobyi, The Elei volost Shors called Chelei (clan Chelei), and others. Certainly, Radloff, despite of the noted shortcoming, the clan composition of these (mostly Shorian) 22 nomadic volosts was determined properly, because that was the author's specific objective, which is impossible to state about Verbitsky. Nevertheless, Verbitsky data are of great importance for our purpose. The Verbitsky list provides the volosts of the Kuznetsk district "nomadic aliens" (see table on page 135). (table needs proofreading):

  men - women- all people    
Aba 117 114 231    
Tagab 367 371 738    
      men - women- all people
Ashkyshtym 294 290 584 Keret 9566 324 8477 275
Kazan 437 408 845 Ede 179 143 599
Kondoma-Barsoyat 351 390 741 Bogorak 348 338 686
Kondoma-Bejboyak 383 350 733 Mrassa-Bejboyak 293 261 554
Kondoma-Elei (Chelei) 133 267 254 521 Mrassa-Elei (Chelei) 133 319 266 585
Kondoma-Karacher (Kara-Shor) 134 378 311 689 Mrassa-Izusher (Uzut-Shor) 137 36 29 65
Kondoma-Itiber (Chediber) 135 469 462 931 Near-Karga 138 243 256 499
Kondoma-Shelkal 300 214 514 Far-Karga 104 96 129
Itiber-Sherogash (Kalar) 136 167 147 314 Kyzyl (Kyzyl-Karga) 139 79 80 69
    Kiy 183 176 198
    Kiviy 140      
Total 5,583 5,125 10,708    

131 V.Verbitsky. Pasturing routs of Kuznetsk district aliens along the rivers Tom, Mrasa and Kondoma. Memorial book of Tomsk province for 1871 Tomsk, 1871, p. 242.
132 The Tabysky clan people held themselves to belong to that volost, according to Verbitsky, its members lived on rivers Chumysh, Vahta and Mejen. See : G.N.Potanin. Essays on Northwestern Mongolia, vol. 4. SPb., 1883, p. 937.
133 Elei from name of the Teleut clan Chelei.
134 From the name of the Kara-Shor clan.
135 From name of the Teleut clan Chediber.
136 Also Kalar.
137 From the name of the clan Uzut-Shor. In this volost were also members of the clans Tayash, Kechiya.
138 Also Payan, in it was registered Karga clan.
139 In the past this volost was called Kyzyl-Karga (18 century). There lived clan Kobyi.

Thus, the fullest and most accurate official list of the yasak-paying volosts of the "nomadic aliens" in the Kuznetsk and Biya districts, composed according to the data of 1859, was published by V.Verbitsky. It contains 29 volosts, with indication of the population number in each volost. It should be now compared in respect to the numbers of the population in these volosts with the data of G.F.Miller, where are registered 26 official volosts listed by V.Verbitsky, with the same location of the population for each of them. Miller gives the following volosts:

Bayan, Kyshtym, 141 Togul, Bogorak, Moinak, 142 Ede, Elei (Chelei) (on Mrassa), Near-Karga, Kuzesh (Kuzen)-Karga, 143, Kyzyl-Karga, 144 Kivin, Kovin, 145 Izusher (Uzut-Shor), Barsoyat, Bejboyak, Etiber (Chediber), 146 Elei (Chelei) (on Kondoma), Karacher (Kara-Shor), Shelkal, Kumandy, 147 Yus, 148 Kuzen, Komlyash, 149 Kergesh (Turgesh).

In the listed volosts in the Miller list were 901 yasak payers. Recognizing that in each family was only one yasak payer (only males from 18 to 60 years old) and the average family had 4 people, the total yasak-imposed population in the listed volosts is estimated at 3,604 people. The Verbitsky data (for 1859) in these volosts registered 14,647 people. Such momentous increase in the yasak-imposed population of the nomadic volosts (within one century) certainly cannot be explained by only a natural increase, especially considering the social and economic conditions of the yasak-imposed population life under Czarism, difficult conditions of life (absence of warm homes and clothing, often famines, etc.), which drove the children mortality rate very high. The increase in the number of inhabitants in these "nomadic" yasak-paying volosts was undoubtedly affected by settling there of the the Altaians accepted into the Russian state who survived the defeat of Dzungaria.

141 At Verbitsky - Ashkyshtym.
142 At Verbitsky - Kazan.
143 At Verbitsky - Far-Karga.
144 At Verbitsky - Kyzyl.
145 At Verbitsky - Kyi.
146 At Verbitsky one Kondoma-Itiber, the second Itiber-Sherogash (also Kalar)
147 At Verbitsky the Kumandy volost is subdivided into Lower Kumandy and Upper Kumandy
148 At Verbitsky - Yuj
149 At Verbitsky - Komlyaj or Kondosh

In respect to the Teleut volost, which was recorded by G.Miller along the river Tom (from Kuznetsk downstream to the confluence with the river Uskat) with 151 yasak payers. On the river Bochat and in the headwaters of the Chumysh Miller noted yasak-paying Kyshtym volost with 63 payers. A century later the picture has changed. Instead of the Teleut volost in Kuznetsk district appeared a Teleut alien upravas, officially subdivided into 3 parts (1st, 2nd and 3rd parts). In the upravas were registered 2991 souls of both sexes. Its inhabitants mainly lived in the uluses and villages along the rivers Large and Small Bochat, Ur and Uskat and only partially along the river Tom. The Kyshtym volost turned into Ash-Kyshtym (or Ach-Kyshtym) sedentary alien upravas with 449 souls of both sexes, and a nomadic Ash-Kyshtym volost with the population of 584 souls of both sexes. The sedentary officially was divided onto two halves. One of them was called 1 half Ashkyshtym, its population lived together with Teleuts (1st, 2nd and 3rd parts of the Teleut alien upravas). The second, sedentary 2 half Ashkyshtym, was in the uluses along the rivers Rocky and Taraba. Thus, it becomes completely clear that the population of these both volosts in which was used the exoethnonym self-name Telenget (by Radloff), and who were called Teleuts by the Russians, have significantly increased during the examined period. It should be certainly explained that a significant part of the Teleuts, who were saved from the butchery of the Qing army in the territory of the Russian state, were added to these volosts to their fellow tribesmen who were already living there. But Teleuts during examined time also lived, numbering 2,791 people, in the Biysk district, in the foothills of Altai, in the basin of the the lower course of the river Katun, in the territory of three sedentary alien upravas: Tarhan (Bystryan), Kokshin and Sarasin. 150 A significant part of these Teleuts, emphasizes V. Verbitsky, has appeared (in the beginning of the 19th century) there as deportees from the Kuznetsk district.

One of the strongest evidence of the settling of the former Dzungar subjects in the Kuznetsk district among already living there Teleuts and Akkishtyms is the fact first established by W.Radloff, that is the homonymy of the seok clans among the Kuznetsk Teleuts, including Akkishtyms, and Southern Altaians who settled in the Mountain Altai after their joining to Russia.

150 V.Verbitsky. Altaian Aliens, p. 7.

Those are the seoks Munduz, Kypchak, Naiman, Teles, Todosh, Tumat, and others, a majority of them lives in the Mountain Altai, where also ended up the noble hereditary zaisans (uktu yayzan) who traced their origin from aristocratic clans (Mundus, Kypchak, Todosh). During the flight from Dzungaria the Altaians, Uryanhaians (Tuvinians), Teleuts and others reached with their caravans at different times the various Russian forts (from Ust Kamenogorsk in the west to the Kuznetsk and Kuaedeev advanced post in the east) and in the conditions of that time settled in various places allocated for them, and partially, as was noted above, even were sent to the Volga. In the Kuznetsk district ended up not only the Teleuts, but also some other fugitives from Dzungaria, including some groups of Oirats-Mongols. About that convincingly testifies the presence among the Kuznetsk Teleuts of the seok Choros, which also exists among the Mountain Altaians, but was not recorded by the 1897 census. This seok is noted in the Mountain Altai by a number of researchers. 151 In this case we undoubtedly deal with assimilated among the Türkic-speaking Altaian people of the western Mongols, Choroses, which ended up in the Altai and in the Kuznetsk district after the defeat of Dzungaria together with Teleuts, Uryanhaians (Tuvinians), and Teleses. Incidentally, the presence among Kuznetsk Teleuts (Ashkishtyms) of the seok Tertas (Tört-Ases) serves as evidence that among the Kuznetsk Teleuts' historical ancestors were Teleuts or Teleses who lived along Irtysh and constituted the "Tört-As ulus" in the Siberian Khanate.

Also noted should be the seok Purut among the Kuznetsk Teleuts. It represents the descendants of the Tian Shan Kirgizes and ended up there together with the Teleuts after the defeat of Dzungaria. Most likely that Buruts, as the Tian Shan Kirgizes were called, and by the G.Miller's information, the Enisei Kirgizes also were called Buruts the Dzungars, were forcefully relocated to Dzungaria, 152 partially ended up in the southern area of the Mongolian Altai and dissolved among the Torgout people, the western Mongols. G.N.Potanin in 1870's found a Burut bone among the Bulgun Torgouts. 153 Doubtlessly, some groups of the Enisei Kirgizes - Buruts returned during the examined time to the Krasnoyarsk district. It is known that in the beginning of the Dzungaria defeat in the 1740's small groups of Enisei Kyrgyzes, who were called in the Russian official documents Kirgizes-Kalmyks, crept across the Russian border forts and posts to the Kuznetsk and Krasnoyarsk. 154 Maybe, that was how among the Kachins in the 19th century were located clan seoks Purut and Kyrgys.

151 From the seok Choros descended a known Altaian painter I.Gurkin.
152 G.Miller. History of Siberia, vol. 1, p. 314.
153. G.N.Potanin. Essays on Northwestern Mongolia, vol. 2, p. 43.
154 L.P.Potapov. Origin and formation of the Khakass nation, p. 164-165.

We further believe that seok Merki among the Bachat Teleuts appeared during the same time, partially also joining the Tarbagatai Torgouts. 155 Lastly, the seok Chungus, found by W.Radloff among the Teleuts (Ach-kishtyms) can by origin be a western-Mongolian clan, getting there together with other fugitives from Dzungaria, first of all with the Teleuts. 156 Our assumption rests on the fact that Potanin recorded among the Olets a Chingys or Shangys bone. 157

So, the Teleuts and other tribal or ethnic groups located in the Kuznetsk district, who found in Russia safety from the annihilation by the Qing dynasty army, were mainly placed in the steppe and forest-steppe zone, in the foothills of Kuznetsk Ala Tau, and in the basin of the lower course of Biya. It affected the living zone of not only the Teleuts and Akkishtyms, but also small groups of Shors, Kumandy and Tubalar clans. About penetration to the Kondoma (and partially to Mrassa) of some Teleut groups tells the presence among the Shor population of the Teleut seoks Chediber and Chelei. In the middle of the 1730's the Chediber clan totaled only 80 yasak payers, with the total population of approximately 320 people. A century later already were registered 1,245 souls of both sexes, which can only be explained by arrival there of the fellow tribesmen. The same can be also asserted in respect to the both Elei volosts (Teleut clan Chelei). According to Miller, in two Elei volosts were 54 payers, we calculate that to be a little more than 200 people. In a hundred years the Teleut population in these volosts was already registered of 1,075 souls of both sexes. In the Biya district during the examined time the number of Kumandy has greatly increased. Miller recorded in the Kumandy volost 105 yasak payers, and a century later among Kumandy were registered 2,177 souls of both sexes. Recalling the Kumandy legends about arrival to Biya of some their part from the river Charysh, the elements of the Türkic cattle breeding culture and life preserved among them, then the increase of the Kumandy population should be also associated with the arrival to Biya of the Teleut people and their admixture with earlier inhabitants of the Kumandy volosts.

We believe that our excursion into the passage of the Southern Altaians to the Russian state in the second half of the 1750's, and the influence of that fact on the ethnic composition of the Northern Altaians and "Kuznetsk Teleuts", fills in a certain lacuna in our historical ethnographical literature devoted to Altaians.

Southern Altaians

The voluntary subjection of the Southern Altaians to the Russian state was recorded by one more decree from November 16, 1756, with instructions on the relations with the Altaians by the local authorities.

155 G.N.Potanin, Ibid., vol. 2, p. 44.
156 W. Radlff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1, p. 216.
157 G.N.Potanin, Ibid., vol. 2, p. 42.

From that time the Altaians found serenity, and they gained an opportunity to be developing their economy in peaceful conditions. We can establish the affiliation of some Altai zaisans of that time with certain seoks, and by that to assist in finding the ethnic composition of the Southern Altaians two hundred years ago. From the legends of the Southern Altaians and Teleuts recorded in the beginning of 1860's, Radloff writes: "According to Altaians, during the Dzungar state they had only 5 zaisans, and these zaisans are designated as "uktu", i.e. hereditary, noble, from a blood line (uktu zaisan). From the last zaisans only 4 zaisans are uktu, and people hold them in honor. How high is valued the origin of zaisans is shown by the fact that people everywhere know their family trees". 158 Radloff was told the following four uktu-zaisans:

1) Kuduk from the clan Kypchak,
2) Puduko from the clan Irkit,
3) Kokkush from the clan Todosh,
4) Puktush from the clan Mundus.

Similar results we received during the field work within the limits of the former Tau-Teleut volost, or later of the 1st duchina, where were collected materials on the family trees of the Altai zaisans. The genealogy of the zaisans in the 1st duchina went back to Puktush, and all zaisans were from the seok Mundus. In addition to Puktush, we were able to establish from the documents the real historical persons with a rank of zaisan, named to us while listing the genealogy of the names Ereldei, Apas, Korty, and Adyi-oka. 159 The name of the zaisan Puktush, as we saw above, is repeatedly encountered in the Russian documents on the history of Siberia in the middle of the 18th century. It is also present in the list of zaisans who voluntary joined the Russian state in 1756.

A valuable evidence for the ethnic composition of the Southern Altaians serves a fact that zaisan Kutuk belonged to the seok Kypchak. The ethnonym Kypchak, even as a name of a volost, in the Russian historical documents of Siberia is absent. Certainly, it is difficult imagine that such a tribal name in the 17th-18th centuries did not exist among the Altaians. The seok Kypchak was noted by the 1897 census among the Southern Altaians as one of the most numerous. The message about zaisan Kutuk's belonging to the seok Kypchak fills in that gap. The name of Kutuk is also repeatedly encountered in the written Russian sources examined by us, and we find it in the list of zaisans accepted in the patronage of the Russian state. In that list is not present the name of the zaisan Kokush of the seok Todosh, and likewise is not also present zaisan Puduka from the seok Irkit. But that can mean that both zaisans perished during the bad time when the population of Dzungaria met with almost complete destruction, 160 and the escaped part of the population of these seoks was saved and joined the Russian state together with other related seoks. In general, the Todoshes and Irkits, as was noted above, were recorded in the Russian sources.

158 W.W. Radloff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1, p. 251. The subject is that group of the Southern Altaians that called themselves Altai-kiji.
159 See "Essays on history of Altaians" (second edition), p. 298.

It is impossible to miss that the legend of the modern Altaians recorded by Radloff tells of only four noble and hereditary Altaian (Teleut) zaisans in the Dzungar state. That coincides with the message of the Chinese written sources about existence in the Dzungar Khanate of the Teleut seok initially with four zaisans. The subject is only the hereditary ulus heads of the Altaians (Teleuts), for the number of zaisans as various ranks managers appointed by the Dzungar khan was certainly many times more than that, and as was noted, the Dzungar khan not always respected the law of succession of the subordinated to him Altai (Teleut) zaisans. At the court of the Dzungar khan we meet many Teleut zaisans, way more than four, as is seen from the documents. However, irrespective of the zaisan names named in the Altaian legends, we can confidently state that in the Teleut tribal federation, subjugated by Dzungaria, the seoks Mundus, Kypchak, Todosh and Irkit were the strongest and most numerous, for from them came the uktu-zaisans.

Certainly, also were around lesser local zaisans, who lived and controlled Altaians during the height of the Dzungar Khanate in the Mountain Altai. The above mentioned documents tell about a number of such zaisans, with indication of their place pasturing routs.

After acceptance of Altaians by the Russian state, the Czar government retained for zaisans all rights and privileges which as a privileged estate they had before, and in the beginning generally did not interfere with the internal affairs of the Altaians. The territory of the Mountain Altai was assigned to the Altai district with its Kolyvano-Voskresensky factory, and was declared a property of the Russian crown. For the Altaians (Teleuts) was allocated within the limits of the mountain part of the Altai district a huge territory named "Kalmyk villages". Administratively, the Southern Altaians were divided into five duchinas, named by the numbers, and two Chui volosts (first and second). In the 1801 from the 2nd duchina (under zaisan Kystai Kazakov) was separated a sixth duchina, and in 40's was separated a seventh duchina. This last was separated from the fourth duchina. Its zaisan by the name Koskblok descended from the seok Naiman, and simply bought the zaisan rank. 161

160 I.Ya.Zlatkin wrote: "From the people numbered during the described time not less than 600 thousand people, has survived 30-40 thousand people, saved by flight to Russia" (History of the Dzungar Khanate, p. 462).
161 W. Radloff, Ibid., p. 252.

The Northern Altaians lived as of old within four volosts: Komlyaj, Kergej, Yus and Kuzen. The Kumandy had two volosts, Upper and Lower Kumandy, and Chelkandy and Toguls were within the 22 nomadic volosts of the Kuznetsk district. The Kuznetsk Teleuts and Ak-kishtyms were assigned to the sedentary volosts of the Kuznetsk district. In the Bachat volost in the village Semenushkina were located the governors of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd halves (in Russia, 3 halves make a whole) of the Teleut volost, and the 1st half of the Akkishtym volost. Their uluses were along the Large and Small Bochats (tributaries of the river Ini), on Uskat, in the basin of Chumysh, along river Tom. W.Radloff visited them, and established that they call themselves Telengits and are divided into 15 seoks.

A part of them in the second half of the 19th century relocated (on their own?!!) to the Biya district, and joined the Sarasin, Kokshin and Tarhan (Bystryan) sedentary alien upravas.

So, can taken as firmly established that after a voluntary entry of the Southern Altaians in the Russian state in the second half of the 18th century, the population of Altaians as a whole, and their ethnic composition generally coalesced to a status that was recorded by the 1897 census.

After the 1822 reform of the control of the aliens (M.Speransky reform) the Altaians of the Biya district were assigned to the "coaching" category, and for them was retained the administrative system described above, with division onto duchinas and volosts. As a result of reform, especially as a result of the work of the Yasak Commission, which reviewed the state of the aliens in Western Siberia during the 1828-1835, some part of Altaians were authorized to remain in the sedentary category, for them was established a "special internal administration called volosts, with the election for each such administration of one head and one assistant". In consequence, in the Biysk district in 1835 were organized the volost administrations of the sedentary aliens, which were not called volosts, but alien upravas. These upravas were officially established as the volost administrations, with the following official names and composition of the population.

1. Bystryan (Tarhan) volost uprava for the east side of Katun, assigned before to the Smolensk Russian volost (456 souls), to reside in village Bystryanskoe (Tarhan) (unless there was another Smolensk volost, the Russian Smolensk volost is located a good distance west of Moscow, the previous subjection of the Katun cattlemen to the Russian Smolensk volost sounds delusory and perverse. How could they deliver their tribute yasak payments, which they paid in-kind, to a ruler a third of a globe distant? - Translator's Note)
2. Sarasin volost uprava in a village Sarasin for the western (left) side of Katun, who also previously were assigned to the Smolensk Russian volost.
3. Kokshin volost uprava for 149 souls in the villages Ikonnikovo (20 souls), Surtai (59), Berezovka (45 souls) and Karagujin (25 souls); the internal uprava was established in Berezovka.
4. Uimon volost uprava, to reside in a village Upper Uimon to which were assigned 65 souls of sedentary Altaians, previously registered in the 6th Altai duchina.
5. Teleut volost uprava; it was created for converted Teleuts in the villages Ulala and Sarasa, numbering 61 souls that did not want to belong to the Sarasin volost uprava "because of differences in faith and disagreements in the way of life" with the population of the Sarasin volost uprava. And those from the village Ust-Koksin 52 alien people who came there at the end of 1820's from the Shui uprava of the Kuznetsk district, but were assigned to the Lower Kumandy volost, were reassigned now to the Bystryan (Tarhan) volost uprava.

We still have to characterize the ethnic composition of the Altaians sedentary volosts, because such data is available. 162

The Bystryan (Tarhan) uprava (or volost uprava) consisted primarily of Kuznetsk or Bochat Teleuts and Kumandy. It included seven vilages: Ulala, first occupied by the Bochat Teleuts, who moved there from the village Kokshi; Maima, originally founded by Kumandy from the Tarhan village which later received a name Bystryan; Birulya also founded by Kumandy who moved there from the river Chepshi (left tributary of Ishi) and from the Tarhan village; Balyksa, formed by Kumandy and then by migrants from the Kumysh uprava (apparently Teleuts) of the Barnaul district, and deportees from Tarhanka (?), village Soltona; Cheposh also founded by Kumandy, and Pilna, also a Kumandy village.

The Sarasin uprava primarily consisted of Kazakh clan Kopek (compare Altai seok Kobek) ("kopek" = "dog", a Türkic version of Hion/Khion/Xionites, the "red" Huns in antiquity traditionally dressed in red bonnet headdress and red caftans), who coached eastwards from beyond Irtysh (i.e. from west of Irtysh). They settled there and mostly assimilated among the local Russian peasant population. Later Bochat Teleuts (Shaburaks) joined them, forming villages Myetu (1847) and Chergu. Even later they were joined by Christianised Altaians and Teleuts from Ulaly.

The Kokshin uprava included four villages: Berezovka which founders were Kumandy; Old Surtai and New Surtai, founded in 1820's by the Kuznetsk Teleuts, and Upper Karaguj whose initial inhabitants were people from the villages Beryozovka and Surtai.

The Upper Uimon uprava included the Russian Old Believers who settled on Uimon with the rights of the aliens, and migrants from the Shui volost of the Kuznetsk district from the village Ust-Koks. The Shui sedentary volost was located on the northern slopes of the Kuznetsk Ala Tau ridge, and according to Radloff consisted of Teleut descendants. In the 18th century that volost was included in the Tomsk district and belonged to the "Chulym volosts".

In respect to the mentioned above Kumysh volost the same can be stated about the location and composition of the population. It was included in the Barnaul district in the 19th century.

162 Mountain Altais and its population. Vol. 3, issue 2. Sedentary aliens of the Biya district. Barnaul, 1902.

Concluding this chapter, we can accept that the ethnic composition of the modern Altaians, and their origin are generally uncovered.

Analysis of the historical material enables to unintelligibly retrace the nearest historical ancestors of the Southern and Northern Altaians. In respect to the Southern Altaians can be not doubt that they were predominantly Teleuts-Telenguts coaching in the interfluvial of the Ob and upper Irtysh headwaters. Most of them were violently transferred (probably, right at the beginning of the 18th century) to Dzungaria and on the territories seized by Dzungaria on the right bank of Irtysh, in the Western and Central Mountain Altai (Comparing this statement with the geographical picture given on page 85 of this chapter, it appears that Teleuts remained steadily in a shrinking portion of their ancestral territory, and the "violent transfer" was a local event, precipitated by a dispute about the spheres of influence between Dzungaria and Russia. At one time, Tele chose to confederate with Oirats, in exchange for a prominent status in their confederation, but the Oirat attempts to reclaim Tele lands utterly failed. The reasons of the shrinkage remain outside of the geographical limits self-imposed by the writer, but the net effect was that Tele tribes were steadily withdrawing from the areas occupied by the pervasive Russian advance. That withdrawal can be called voluntary or involuntary, depending on the observer's point of view, exactly like the much drummed up "voluntary" subjection of the Teleuts to Russia in the days of their worst national disaster. By the time Dzungaria was dismembered, The Russians occupied practically all Tele lands, and the only options that Tele had were a selection between a Chinese or a Russian patronage over them and their lands. Either one was prescient for a national doom. - Translator's Note).

The most intensive colonization of the Mountain Altai, especially that part where formed ethno-territorial community of the Altai-kiji, went on at the end of the Dzungar khan Galdan-Tseren's rule (died 1745). In the Mountain Altai were coaching various Teles, Teleut and "Uryanhai", i.e. Tuvian tribal divisions, ruled by Galdan-Tseren subordinate zaisans. The mixing of the Mountain Altai population especially increased in the middle of the 1750's caused by internecine disintegration and full defeat of Dzungaria by the China Qing dynasty. The mass flight from Dzungaria of its subject Uryanhai and Teleut tribes and partially of the western Mongols or Oirats, to the Western and Central Altai, and the acceptance of the Altai population in Russia created conditions for stable peaceful political conditions, which finally stabilized the ethnic components among the modern Altaians. The clan and tribal groups of the Teleuts, Tuvinians, and western Mongols (Dzungars) that found refuge in the Altai, together with the previous Altai population, were that "ethnic material" of which was composed the Altai-kiji. This also explains the almost full coincidence of the seoks among the modern Altai-kiji and Teleuts, and also the presence among the Altai-kiji and Teleuts of the Tuvinian tribal groups (Irkit, Soen, Kobaly, Olüp, Tandy, Tumat, and others). The flight from Dzungaria also explains the presence in the Altai of such ethnic groups as Burut, Kyrgyz, Ara, and Modor, that happened to be in Dzungaria as a result of the forceful relocation of the Enisei Kyrgyzes (from the Russian-claimed territories to the undisputably Oirat territories, and thus myopically playing into the Russian hands by converting the rightful ancestral lands into ownerless vacant lands - Translator's Note). In the Mountain Altai almost all of these groups are recorded by the 1897 census as seoks. Lastly, the Choroses that for some reasons escaped the 1897census, undoubtedly also are Altai-assimilated descendants of the Oirat Dzungars, who came to the Mountain Altai fleeing from the defeat of Dzungaria. All the listed groups, after subjection to the Russian state, began intermixing with Chui Telengits and Chulyshman Teleses. In the result of so unique, but quite specific historical conditions coalesced the ethnic composition of the modern Southern Altaians.

163 L.P.Potapov

The modern Northern Altaians can be described as the descendants of the Türkic-speaking tribal groups of the 17th-18th centuries that lived in the same places and under the same names. Their modern ethnic composition, as we saw above, developed much earlier in comparison with the ethnic composition of the Southern Altaians, and on somewhat different, though also mixed ethnic base.

After the above discourse, it is logical to try to track the more ancient ethnic elements, which served as a substrate from which descended the historical ancestors of both groups of the modern Altaians. We shall devote to that the following chapter, which will conclude our research.

Part 1. Ethnic composition of Altaians at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 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 .
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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 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 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 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_clansTeleuts 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 50 1.6
10 Kergil 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, 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,
7. Tongjoan (Tuvinians),
8. Chapty (Tuvinians),
9. Ochy (Teleuts),
10. Bailagas,
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 Tele above 18 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.


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

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

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.
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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

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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)...

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.
57 top

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

69 W. Radlff. Aus Sibirien, Bd. 1, . 212.

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.

* * *

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.

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 cattlemen 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.

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 justifiably 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.


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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