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ABOUT RUSSIA / NATIONS / AKHVAKHS

About Russia

Nations of Russia

The Akhvakhs

The Akhvakhs are also known as the Ashvado (self-name), the Sadyk'ilidu, and the Giakh'valal. They live in Russia (4 thousand persons) and Azerbaijan (2 thousand persons). A total number is about 6,5 thousand persons. The Akhvakhs belong to the Andian nations. They are indigenous population of the Western Daghestan.

The Akhvakh language has two dialects: northern and southern, the latter includes the Tsekobsky and the Tlynubsky dialects. Russian, Avarian, Azerbaijan and Kumyk languages are also common. Writing in the Avarian language is based on the Russian writing. Religion is the Islam of the Sunni kind.

The Akhvakhs presumably have descended from inhabitants of various areas of Avaria, mainly from the Khunzakh Avarians. Northern Akhvahs have formed the Akhvakh union of communities, the Tsunta-Akhvakh. Southern Akhvakhs have formed the Ratlu-Akh-vakh. Approximately from the XVII century the Ratlubs, the Tsekobs and the Tlynubs became part of the Gidatlin union of communities. From the XV century the Akhvakhs were fighting with the Khunzakhs, the Gidatlins and the Tiidals for the independence. From the XV century the Islam became dominant among the Akhvakhs.

After Daghestan joined Russia in 1813 the Akhvakhs have participated in the struggle of liberation of the Daghestan and the Chechen nations. In 1921 they became part of the Daghestan €SSR, from 1991 -the Republic of Daghestan. In the first half of XVIII century the part of Akhvakhs settled in the Zakatal area of Azerbaijan. Another part settled on the Kumyk flatness during the Soviet period.

Traditional occupations are a cattle breeding and a partly irrigated agriculture (barley, wheat, oats, corn and a potato; legumes, an onions, garlic, tobacco). Processing of a sheepskin, timber and stone, manufacture of leather and blacksmith's work are common crafts. Nowadays a field husbandry, gardening, vegetable growing are well developed on the Kumyk flatness.

The Akhvakhs were organized in communities of the warriors - cattlemen and farmers (Jamaat). The small family prevailed, there were various forms of the undivided families. In a family life the Akhvakhs follow the customs of interdictions and avoidance. The Akhvakhs keep traditions of family ceremonialism, respect of the elders, the Tukhum solidarity, and hospitality.

The Akhvakhs traditional clothes are of Daghestanian type. Men wear: trousers, a shirt, beshmet, a Circassian coat, a felt jacket, a felt coat, various sheepskin coats and hats, footwear from leather and felts. They usually have a shaved head, moustaches and a beard. Women wear: a dress - shirt, trousers, a cap, scarves, shawls. They have same footwear as men do. The Akhvakhs traditional food is a bread and meat-and-milk. The common dishes are: fresh and sour bread, khinkaly, porridges, meat and dairy soups and pies.

The Akhvakhs celebrate a calendar and Muslim holidays. Proverbs, sayings, riddles, parables, lullabies etc. are in the Avarian and the Akhvakh languages. The Akhvakhs have the national agricultural calendar and folk medicine. The traditional beliefs connected with the cults of the land, the sky, stars, fire, a thunder, a lightning, mountaintops, forest, groves and ideas about malicious and kind spirits still remain.
NATIONS OF RUSSIA

 

The Adygy I The Aguls I The Akhvakhs I The Aleuts I The Altaians I The Andians nations I The Andins I The Archins I The Armenians I The Aserbaijanians I The Assyrians I The Avars I The Baghulals I The Balkarians I The Baraba Tatars I The Bashkirs I The Besermians I The Bezhtians I The Botlikhs I The Bulgarians I The Buryats I The Byelorussians I The Chamalals I The Chechens I The Cherkess I The Chukchis I The Chuvashs I The Cossacks I The Crimean Tatars I The Dargins I The Didos I The Dolgans I The Enets I The Eskimos I The Estonians I The Evenks I The Evens I The Finns I The Gagauz I The Georgians I The Germans I The Ginukhs I The Godoberins I The Greeks I The Gypsies I The Hunzibs I The Ingush I The Itelmens I The Izhorians I The Jews I The Kabards I The Kalmyks I The Karachay I The Karatas I The Karelians I The Kazakhs I The Kets I The Khakass I The Khants I The Khvarshis I The Komi-Permyaks I The Komis I The Koreans I The Koryaks I The Kumuks I The Kyrgyz I The Laks I The Latvians I The Lezgins I The Lithuanians I The Mansis I The Maris I The Moldovans I The Mordvins I The Mountain Jews I The Nanais I The Negidals I The Nenets I The Nganasans I The Nivkhs I The Nogays I The Orochis I The Oroks I The Ossetians I The Permyak Komis I The Poles I The Russians I The Rutuls I The Saams I The Selkups I The Shors I The Small Nations of North I The Tabasarans I The Tajiks I The Tatars I The Tats I The Teleuts I The Tofalars I The Tsakhurs I The Turkmens I The Tyva I The Udeghes I The Udmurts I The Ukrainians I The Ulchis I The Uzbeks I The Veps I The Vods I The Yakuts I The Yukaghirs I




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