Kipchaks - Contents
Ogur and Oguz
Zakiev M. Z. Sakaliba
Pletneva S.A. Kipchaks
Minhylyu G.U. Ethnonyms Sak and Kypsak
Alans and Ases
Minhylyu Gubayt Usmanov
The name of the fatherland
Publishing house Kitap, Ufa, 1994
Sak “Sak”. In the opinion of scientists, under the word “Scythians” were meant various groups of nomadic tribes that in the 7th-2nd centuries BC lived in the extensive territory. Antique and ancient sources ( Pliny, 6, 50; the Herodotus, 7, 64) are informing that Persians call all Scythians “Sacae”.
Scientific literature has contentious opinions about the origin of Scythian - Sarmatian tribes and their linguistic affiliation. On the one hand, the majority of scientists consider Scythians and Sakas of antique sources to be Iranian-lingual and place them in a huge space, from China to Hungary. R.G.Kuzeev also states that during an Iron Epoch the steppe and forest-steppe areas of Southern Bashkortostan were occupied by Iranian-lingual Sarmatian tribes (Iranian-lingual Türks, see Sarmatian mtDNA 6 c. BC-2 c. AD).
In the literature the ethnic names of Sakas are given by their locations: Overseas Sakas, Middle Asian Sakas, “Sakas beyond Sogd”, etc. Thus, a part of researchers place Saka tribes also where lived only the Türkic-speaking tribes: Southern Tian-Shan, Fergana, Pamir, Syr-Darya, Middle Asian interfluvial, Chorasm, Murghab, etc.
On the other hand, a number of scientists had proved the hollowness of the opinion about exclusive Iranian-linguality of the Scythian tribes. Their research demonstrated that not all Scythians - Sarmatians were Iranian-lingual, among them also were Turkified Scythians (Blond Indian and Iranian farmers with genetical lactose intolerance and poor souls without riding skills: “In PIE is restored terminology of horse husbandry, but not horse riding.” [Dybo A. Pra-Altaian World]).
In particular, with a various degree of argumentation in the literature is analyzed a question about the presence in Southern Ural in the 5th - 8th cc. BC of the Iranian-lingual and Türkic-lingual Sarmatians - Alans. S.L.Volin holds that Iranian-lingual were only the eastern group of Sakas. In the opinion of P.L.Aristov, D.Aitmuratov, M. Z. Zakiev, G.Geibullaev, A.Lyzlov, V.V.Latyshev, E.P.Eihvald, F.Brutskus, P.I.Karalkin, I.M.Miziev, F.G.Garipova and other scientists, a part of the Scythian tribes was also Türkic-speaking (“a part” is a tribute to the wisdom of IE advocate scholars and penetrating thought control of the Soviet times). In the works of these authors are given convincing proofs about their Türkic-linguality. In particular, the etymology of the ethnonym “Sak” and language of its carriers is well covered by D.Aitmuratov. Basing on the historical records, he holds that at least a prevailing part of Sakas was Türkic-speaking. The settlement territory of the Scythian tribes are Altai, Kazakhstan, Southern Ural, Mongolia, Black Sea Coast, Caucasus, Danube. This gave D.Aitmuratov complete justification to assert that the history of Sakas is connected with the territories of the southeast Aral area, Jeti-Su, with foothills of Tian-Shan and even with Altai. Therefore it is difficult to imagine that Sakas were Iranian-lingual people, and that the territory where lived antique Scythians, fundamentally, completely coincides with the territory occupied by the ancient Türks.
S.I.Rudenko held the nomad tribes of Southern Ural of the Sauromat-Sarmatian time to be Türkic-speaking. Arrian (2nd century AD), who described the campaigns of Alexander the Great, relying on the available official written reports, also mentions Sakas among the peoples of the Middle Asia.
Research of the Bashkir Türkologist scientist, professor Dj.G.Kiekbaev about formation, at the time still before our era, in the Southern Ural of the zonal Türkic language, a linguistic base, deserves a special attention. S.P.Malov, taking into account the presence of the relict phenomena in the Bashkir language, not preserved in other Türkic languages, believed that the Bashkir language early (not later then 5th century BC) separated from the main body of the language, and branched as an independent Bashkiro-Mishar group. Territorially, this group was located in Eastern Europe (Mishar language is linked to the Suvar-Savir-Sibir language, i.e. with the territories of the Western Central Asia/Urals and with the Ogur languages).
The continuity of the Scythian tribes is also supported by archeological and anthropological finds. In particular, from the available male paleoantropological materials, the formation in the Southern Ural of the anthropological type of the Türkic-speaking Bashkirs, as holds R.Üsupov (or R.Yusupov), can be preliminary dated to the 1st millennium AD. From the research of Toth T.A. and Firshtein B.V., the Sarmatians of the Lower Volga and Ural region anthropologically are closer to the synchronous population of the Altai foothills. Is also undeniable the similarity of Sarmatians with the Usuns of Jeti-Su and Tian-shan. The Bronze Epoch tribes of the Volga region, Kazakhstan, and Altai participated in the formation of the Sarmats.
As to the Mountain Altai, per G.A.Geibullaev's just remark, without any doubt, the Mountain Altai was a cradle of the Ancient Türkic tribes, and the recorded unity in the elements of the burials and in the object complex in the Black Sea area, Urals, Kazakhstan, Altai and Southern Siberia testifies precisely to the Türkic-linguality of the Scythians and Sakas. Close analogues were also found (in the positioning of bodies in the tombs, identical form in the ornamentation objects, etc.) in Late Sarmatian time (2nd-4th centuries AD) in the wide territory: in Crimea, Kazakhstan, Kama, Bashkortostan, in the Northern Caucasus (The Mountain Altai cradle must have been made before 2nd millennium BC, because starting from the 2nd millennium BC the linguistic and archeological artifacts start dispersing and popping up in most remote corners, from Palestine to Korea).
An invaluable source proving the Türkic-linguality of the Saka tribes is onomastic material with analogues in those territories with Türkic-speaking population where in antiquity lived Scythians. One of such materials is the ethnonym “Sak”. The etymology of the ethnonym “Sak” is well illuminated by D.Aitmuratov in his book “Türkic ethnonyms: Karakalpak, Black Klobuks, Circassian, Bashkurt, Kyrgyz, Uigur, Türk, Badjank, Saka, Massaget, Scythian”. The ethnonym “Sak”, with a variation "Shak”, is widely spread among the Türkic-speaking peoples: “Shaga” among Kazakhs, Sake, Saka among Kirgizes, Shaklar among Turkmen, Shakai among Uzbeks. This ethnonym in the form Saha is a self-name of one of the Türkic peoples, Yakuts (Yakut). As stated N.A. Aristov, the ancient Türkic tribe, the main mass of which once occupied the Western Tianshan, under a name of the Saka or Sa, Se, finished its existence in India, leaving traces in the Western Tian-Shan as Kara-Kirgiz generation of Sayak, and in the Yenisei as Sagay.
Chaga is a name of a clan subgroup in the tribe of Solty Kyrgyzes. In the E.Koichubaev's opinion, Shaga acsends to the name of a Türkic clan.
In the Chinese sources the Sakas were called Sai. H. A.Aristov in his research records the spelling of the ancient Türkic ethnonym “Sak” as Sa and Se (Soviet Encyclopedia). From there can be asserted that the ethnonym Saka was formed from Sa and ethnonym-forming component, an indicator of plurality, k.
In tribal times the names for the geographical objects were usually given by their belonging to certain ethnic groups, tribal confrderations, individual clans or tribes. Therefore, we believe that the river Sakmar (the right tributary of r. Yaik) consist of ethnonym Sak and topo-formant “mar” - "river”, and had a meaning of “River of Sakas”. Compare, Kazan is the “River of a tribe Kaz”. A fact of naming the territory occupied by a specific ethnos following its name is also recorded in historical documents. In particular, the Saka territory is defined from Strabo (Strabo 11.8.4) composition: “... In Transcaucasia have appeared the Sakas (in the 1st century BC and in the 1st century AD), they “took hold in Armenia of the best land, for which they left from their own name the name Sakasena”.
In our opinion, the hydronyms Samara in the basin of r. Itil and r. Dniepr, enclave Samara in the basin of the r. Sakmar, r. Samarga in the Primorie Province (province along the Pacific coast in Russia), settlements Samarkands, Samara (Stalinist “Kuibyshev”), r. Samur in Dagestan are also formed from the most ancient form of the ethnonym Sak, Sa. Our stipulation that hydronyms Samara, Sakmar arose from the ethnonym Sa, Saka becomes even more convincing taking into account that the historical documents record river Samara (Sahmara). In the opinion of F.Garipova's, hydronym Sakmar originally could have sounded in a form Sagymar.
In the basin of the r. Sakmar is known one more hydronym with the ethnonym Sak: Kyrsak-elga, a former tributary of the r. Small Ik (formed from the Komi kurya = “old riverbed” + -Sak (ethnonym), compare Finnish kurki “eastuary, throat, mouth” and ononym “Sakaman” = “Saka mountain”.
In the basin of the r. Dem in Bashkortostan is also a hydronym Kursak: r. Kursak is a tributary of the r. Dem. In addition to that, the place names with the ethnonym Sak are recorded in Bashkortostan near a city of Sterlitamak: a mountain (variation the Shakh-tau), in the Ishimbai district (equivalent of a county in the US) of Bashkortostan, in Tatarstan: Shaki, in Azerbaijan: Sheki, Sakasen, in the Crimea: district Saki, in the Perm area: Shakva, in Armenia: Shaki, in the northwest of Jeti-Su: Shaga, in the west of the Chimkent Province (Uzbekistan, near Tashkent): valley and aul Shaga, and also in the geographical place names Saga, mentioned by A.Marcellin, and Sag-Dare in the place of the later Chirik-Rabat. To the same line also belong the names of the settlements: village Sakmar in the Baimak district of the Bashkortostan Republic, a settlement Sakmar in the Hungarian Republic, village Sakmary in the Kupgur district of the Perm Province. We also believe that the ancient Türkic ethnonym Sak is also recorded in the compound ethnonym “Kypsak"-"Kypchak”, known still from the 3rd-2nd century BC, and the Bashkir surnames Sakaev, Sakin, Shakibaev, Shageev, and the female name Sékiné (“Sakina”) are formed from that ethnonym.
On the “oldest Türkic map of the world”, not far from the Caspian Sea are shown cities Bulgar and Suvar, where Mahmud Kashgari identified Suvar with the city of Sakhsin. Vestberg is arguing that Itil and Saksin are one and the same (For S.A.Pletneva suggestion, click here). In Eastern Transcaucasia is recorded a toponym Sakysh, and this placename is also found in the ancient Türkic inscriptions. We should also recite the following. Significantly, S.Ya.Baichorov holds the presence in Digoria and Balkaria of the place names on -shki //-shkhi, and the concurrence of their forms with the proto-Bulgarian epigraphical monument from Preslava should be considered an evidence that before the arrival of the Iranian-lingual tribes to Digoria, there lived Türkic-speaking tribes. Research also mentions that the tribes that lived in the Eastern Europe before the1st century BC, were repeatedly breaking through the Caucasus into the countries of the Near East, the consequences of their being there are the ancient Türkic elements in the Caucasian Albania of the place names (Sakysh, r. Iori - its Türkic name is Gavyrly, the Kara Yazy territory - in ancient Türkic yazy is a “plain”). Also, Romans called the Azov Sea a lake or a bog Meotida, and also “Scythian or Sarmatian ponds”, and the Scythians called it “Kargaluk” (Türk. Karga = "old”, luk = suffix, to see who this word belongs to, Google it).
Thus, the data of onomastics and related disciplines allow to assert that the Türkic ethnos is aboriginal in the Eastern Europe including the Southern Urals, which is located on the border of Europe and Asia, and the Sakas are Türkic tribes of the Scythian period, and are ancestors of the ancient Bashkirs, they are one of the Bashkir components in their ethnogenesis process.
This group of the placenames, derived from the ethnonyms known since the early Middle Age period, also includes toponyms formed from the names of the ancient Bashkir tribes, such as Borjan “Burzyan”, Kypsak “Kypsak”, Usergan “Ysergan” (in quotation marks the author renders the modern Russian pronunciation of the Türkic names).
Kypsak “Kypsak”. An important role in the Bashkir ethnogenesis and in the creation of the historical Bashkortostan ethnotoponymic picture played Kypsaks "Kypchaks”.
The ethnonym Kypsak and the Kypchak society were known for a long time. They occupied a huge territory and pastured in the steppes from Itil and Yaik to Irtysh. In the 11th-13th centuries, their Rus contemporaries called them Polovetses. The Byzantines, and after them all of the Western Europe also, called these people Komans. The Chinese transcribed the word Kypchak with hieroglyphs: “Tsin-cha” (钦察 / 欽察 Qin-cha) and “Küe-she” (古耶舍). They knew the Tsyn-cha in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC, and Byzantines and Ruses faced them 1300 years later, in the 11th - 12th centuries.
The author of the book “Kipchaks” S.A.Pletneva notes that a general tendency of the Kypchak society before the Mongol invasion in the beginning of the 13th century was a tendency of development (rise): from a small tribe, casually mentioned in the Chinese chronicle, Kipchaks by the beginning of the second millennium have turned into a strong, capable and numerous ethnical group, whose political influence and military potential had to be respected not only by the ageing Byzantium, but also by the powerful Rus (“powerful Rus” is a Russian peculiar national idiom, like the “scythe and hammer” or “dear leader”). As political force they gained prominence in the12th century, and in the first decades of the 13th century in the extensive steppe space from Altai to Crimea and Danube. The Bashkir scientist R.G.Kuzeev writes that a main role in the formation of the Bashkir ethnos was played by two stages of Türkic migration: ancient Bashkirian in the 8th-9th centuries, and Kypchak in the 13th-14th centuries. However it is known that they (or a part of them) were among the Huns (1st-4th centuries AD - M.U.) and in Western Türkic Kaganate (6th - 7th centuries).
Arabian and Persian geographers, travelers and historians of the 9th - 10 c., in the sections of their compositions devoted to peoples inhabiting remote from the Caliphate Eastern European and Asian steppes, constantly mention Kumak people and country.
Famous Arabian geographer Ibn Hordadbeh (second half of the 9th century), using earlier compositions (possibly, even of the 8th century) for his work, named Kumaks, and Kypchaks who separated from them, first in the list of the Türkic tribes. N.A.Baskakov wrote "Further into the depth of the centuries, the Kypchaks, together with Kumaks, constituted probably the greatest mass of the Western Türkic and partly of the Eastern Türkic Kaganate, which in turn was a result of disintegration of the Hun empire that included different tribes and tribal confederations”.
Thus, it is possible to pose, with a solid foundation, that Kypchaks penetrated territory of the historical Bashkortostan in the early Middle Ages, together with other Türkic tribal societies, and in particular, with the Huns. This status is also supported by the facts from other regions. The Kypchak tribe Terter of the N.Pontic steppes is known in Azerbaijan in the 7th century. Z. M.Buniyatov cites the data, according to which Kypchaks invaded Albania (which Albania?) still in the 7th century, and the Georgian records tell about Kypchaks in S. Caucasia in connection with the events of 456-510.
The dominant tribe of Kumaks was settled mostly on the banks of Irtysh. Kypchaks, per data of Hudud Al-Alam, occupied a separate territory located to the west, approximately in the southeast part of Southern Ural. About the mountain terrain in the Kypchak lands also wrote Chinese chroniclers: in the chronicle Yuan-Shi these mountains were named Üyli-boli, and the Kypchaks were named “Tsyn-cha”(Qin-cha) …
Ibn Haukal noted (10th century), that Kypchako-Kimak tribes were coaching, together with Oguzes, in the steppes to the north of Aral Sea, and Al-Masudi approximately at the same time wrote that all of them coached across rr. Emba and Yiak. “Between their estuaries 10 days of travel; there are located the winter stans and summer pastures of Kumaks and Oguzes. Some hordes of Kimak tribes quite often were coaching on the coast of the Caspian Sea: in the “Shakh-name” this Sea even is called Kimak Sea.
"Lugat it-turk” (“Dictionary of Türkic languages”) by Mahmud Kashgari contains not only rich linguistical and ethnographical material, but also the oldest Türkic map of the world. On this map, made in 1077 AD, is shown the “Area of Kyfdjaks (Kypchaks)”.
An eastern writer, Tadjik Nasiri Husrau (this is a misnomer, in the 11th century Tadjiks still were an Arabian tribe, and the name Tadjik did not yet cover the Farsi-speaking tribes of Middle Asia) in the middle of the 11th century already calls the Aral area steppes not the Oguzian, as was done by his predecessors, but Kypchakian.
Among the ethnonyms belonging to the Medieval period, are Kai and Shary. In another way Kumaks were also called Kais, and the Sharys (Bashk. Hary, Haryrlar - M.U.) (this is a demonstration of the the dialectal conversion s/sh/h, which caused su “water” to be pronounced “hu”, and created a duplicate of Su-ar = “Water People” as Khu-ar = "Water People”, and toponym Khuarasm = Chorasm = Kwaresm), in the opinion of all scientists studying nomadic associations in the Middle Age epoch, are Kypchaks or Polovetses, because the Slavic word “Polovetses” - (“pale yellow”) means light yellow (polova is straw, chaff, husk).
Many researchers also believe that Kipchaks were blond and blue-eyed, some scientists even connect their origin with “Dinlins”, who lived in the Southern Siberia steppes in the end of the first millennium BC - beginning of the first millennium AD, and who were blonds according to the Chinese chroniclers.
S.A.Pletneva thinks that quite probably among the Kipchaks also were blond individuals, but however a majority of the Türkic-speaking Kimako-Kypchaks people with Mongoloid admixture (based on the data of anthropologists) was dark-haired and brown-eyed.
Very interesting is the research of P.A.Aristov. In particular, he writes that Oguzes were either Kipchaks or Komans, the Kumans probably were, like Badjanks, a union of Kangly and Kypchak clans, where parts of Alchin tribe participated also.
Then continues: “there are sufficient information to know that, generally, the eastern half of the ulus called Deshti-Kypchak, i.e. Kypchak steppe, was filled, with the exception of a small number of Naymans and Argyns, by numerous Kypchak clans, and also by the clans of Alchin tribe, while the steppes of the western half of ulus, from the Urals to Danube, was a coaching territory for the remains of the Kipchaks and predating them Türkic tribes, who united with a part of the Kypchaks under the common name Nogais” (in the Bajmak district of Bashkortostan are surnames Argynbaev, Alsynbaev, names Argynbai, Alsynbai, formed from the ethnonyms Alsyn and Argyn - M.U.).
The territory occupied by ancient Bashkirian tribes in the territory of historical Bashkortostan was investigated by R.G.Kuzeev. He writes that in the 17th - 19th centuries, Kypchaks lived compactly and in small groups in huge territory from the upper course of the river White in the north to the lower course of Sakmara in the south. In the west and a southwest the Kypchak auls were scattered in a valleys of the rivers Dema, the Big and Small Uran, Irgiz, Kamelik. According to the informant from the Baimak district Safiulla Isyanov, the territory occupied by Kypchaks had a form of a half moon.
One of indicators of the Kypchak tribe residence are the placenames containing the ethnonym Kypsak “Kypchak”. Plenty of settlements with members of this tribe are located in the territory of historical Bashkortostan.