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About Russia

Nations of Russia

The Baghulals

The Baghulals, the Bagvalals (their self-name means " the poor people who eat raw meat ", "bogatyrs") live in Russia (5 thousand persons).

They belong to the Andian nations and they are an indigenous population of the Western Daghestan. The Baghulalian language has several dialects: the Khushtadinian, the Tlondodinian and the Tlibishian. Also the Avarian and the Russian languages are common. Writing in the Avarian language is based on the Russian writing. The religion is the Islam of Sunni kind.

From the end of the first millennium AD the Baghulal tribe association was a part of the Dee - Dury (Dido) union. With the union disintegration in the XVth century the Baghulals were united in the union of rural communities the Baghulal with the Khushtada village as a centre. In the XIVth century the Islam became the religion of the Baghulals. Since 1921 the Baghulals became a part of the Daghestan €SSR (since 1991 -the Republic of Daghestan).

Traditional occupations are: agriculture (grain, legumes, vegetables, melon growing, industrial crops), gardening, viticulture, beekeeping and sheep breeding. The following crafts are common: pottery, manufacture of cloth and a felt; processing of a timber, metal, leather and a stone. The Baghulals have the neighboring territorial settling; in the past it was a congeneric settling (the Tukhum).

Men's traditional costume consists of a tunic- shirt, trousers, beshmet, the Circassian coat with the gazyry, a sheepskin coat with false sleeves, and a sheepskin hat. Women wear a black dress - shirt, trousers to a toe, a dark coverlet, a leather cap, a red belt, sheepskin coat, a jacket and leather, felt and knitted boots. There are plenty of a silver and copper decorations. Men 40 years old and younger shaved a head, leaving moustaches and a beard.

Traditional food of the Baghulals is unleavened bread, baked beans, porridges, the khinkal with meat or milk; pies, milk, butter, cottage cheese, meat (fried, boiled and dried). The Baghulals were organized in the communities (Jamaats). The small families with two generations (sometimes with three generations) prevail. In the beginning of XXth century the undivided families were common. The Baghulals have strong congenic ties (the Tukhums). The marriages between cousins are preferable. The Baghulals have a rich song and dancing folklore (mainly in the Avarian and the Baghulalian languages). The most noticeable holiday is the holiday of the first furrow. The traditional belief remnants still remain. The main mythological characters are the genies, Adjakha the Dragon etc.


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