The Bashkirs (/ˈbɑːʃkɪərz/; Bashkir: Башҡорттар, Başqorttar, IPA: [bɑʂqʊrtˈtɑr]; Russian: Башкиры, Baškiry, pronounced [bɐʂˈkʲirɨ]) are a Turkic ethnic group, indigenous to Bashkortostan and to the historical region of Badzhgard, extending on both sides of the Ural Mountains, in the area where Eastern Europe meets North Asia. Smaller communities of Bashkirs also live in the Republic of Tatarstan, Perm Krai, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Tyumen, Sverdlovsk, Kurgan Oblasts and other regions of Russia, as well as in Kazakhstan and other countries.

Most Bashkirs speak the Bashkir language, closely related to Tatar and Kazakh languages which belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages and share cultural affinities with the broader Turkic peoples. In religion the Bashkirs are mainly Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi madhhab.

Bashkirs. Picture by Mikhail Bukar, 1872
Башкиры в Париже
Bashkirs in Paris during the Napoleonic Wars, 1814
Total population
approx. 2 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Russia 1,584,554[2]
Bashkir, Russian[4]
Sunni Islam[5]
Related ethnic groups
Turkic peoples, especially Tatars and Chuvash


There are many different theories regarding the etymology of the endonym Bashqort.

  • According to a folk etymology mentioned by the 18th century ethnographers V. N. Tatishchev, P. I. Richkov, and Johann Gottlieb Georgi, the word Bashqort originally meant "wolf leader" (i.e. bash "head" and qort "wolf").
  • Historian V. S. Yumatov (1847) suggested the original meaning to be "beekeeper, beemaster".
  • Historian and ethnologist A. E. Alektorov (1885) suggested that Bashqort means "distinct nation".
  • The anthropologist R. M. Yusupov considers that Bashqort could have originally been an Iranian compound word meaning "wolf-children" or "descendants of heroes", i.e. bacha "descendant, child" and gurd "hero" or gurg "wolf". The historian Constantin Zuckerman cites the archaeologist and historian Mikhail Artamonov (1872–1972) as identifying phonological similarities between the name of the Bashkir and that of a little-known Scythian tribe of the southern Urals: the Bušxk' (or Bwsxk etc). However, this theory is rejected by both Zuckerman and historian R. H. Hewsen, who instead identifies the Bušxk with the Volga Bulgars.[6]
  • The Turkologist N. A. Baskakov believed that the word "Bashqort" consists of two parts: "badz(a)" – brother-in-law" and "(o)gur" and means "brothers-in-law of the Ugor [Magyars]".
  • According to an orientalist Douglas Morton Dunlop, the ethnonym Bashqort comes from beshgur (or bashgur) which means "five tribes in the modern Bashkir language.
  • Ethnologist N. V. Bikbulatov suggests that the term originates from the name of a legendary Khazar warlord Bashgird, who ruled an area centred on the Jayıq river.
  • The ethnologist R. G. Kuzeev derives the ethnonym from a compound of "bash" — "main, head" and "qort" — " clan, tribe".
  • A historian and linguist András Róna-Tas believes the ethonym "Bashkir" to be a Bulgar Turkic reflex of the Hungarian endonym Magyar (or the Old Hungarian Majer).


Links to extinct branches of Indo-Iranian peoples of the Eurasian Steppe have been proposed by scholars since the early 20th century, while Russian linguist Eugene Helimski pronounces that this "extinct Indo-Iranian branch" must be regarded as the "Andronovo population".[7] A Bashkir scholar Salavat Gallyamov – citing a philologist Nikolai Dmitriev – indicates that Iranian influence on the Bashkir phonology can be assumed, supporting hypotheses that the Bashkir originally spoke an Indo-Iranian language.[8]

Middle ages

Mausoleum of Huseynbek
Mausoleum of Husseinbek of the 14th century in Bashkortostan
Mausoleum of Turahan
Mausoleum of Turakhan of the 15th century in Bashkortostan

The first report about the Bashkirs is found in the Chinese chronicles of the Sui dynasty: 45 tribes called by originators Tiele people are listed in the "Book of Sui" (636 AD) in "A Narration about a Tiele people", Bashkirs being mentioned among them. The Bashkirs are also mentioned in "Ashkharatsuyts" (7th century).

Starting from the 9th century, first written reports about Bashkirs by Arab and Persian authors began to appear. Sallam al-Tardzhuman (9th century); Ahmad ibn Fadlan, Al-Masudi, and Abu Zayd al-Balkhi (10th century); Said Al-Andalusi and Muhammad al-Idrisi (12th century); Ibn Sa'id al-Maghribi Yaqut al-Hamawi and Qazvini (13th century); Al-Dimashqi and Abu'l-Fida (14th century) wrote about Bashkirs.

The first written Arab source on the Bashkirs belongs to the traveler Sallam an at-Tardzhuman. About 840 he visited the country of the Bashkir and roughly described its borders. Abu Zayd al-Balkhi (10th century) described Bashkirs as a people divided into two groups, one inhabiting the Southern Urals, the other living on the Danube plain near the boundaries of Byzantium. Ibn Rustah, a contemporary of Abu Zayd al-Balkhi, observed that Bashkirs were an independent people occupying territories on both sides of the Ural mountains ridge between Volga, Kama, and Tobol Rivers and upstream of the Yaik river.

The first ethnographic description of the Bashkir was made by Ahmad ibn Fadlan — the ambassador of the Baghdad Caliph Al-Muqtadir to the governor of Volga Bulgaria. He visited the Bashkir lands in 922. The Bashkirs, according to Ibn Fadlan, were a warlike and powerful people, which he and his companions (a total of five thousand people, including military protection) "bewared... with the greatest threat". They were engaged in cattle breeding. Bashkirs worshipped twelve gods: winter, summer, rain, wind, trees, people, horses, water, night, day, death, heaven and earth, the one above all being the sky god. Apparently, Islam had already began its spread among the Bashkirs, as one of the ambassadors was a Muslim Bashkir. According to the testimony of Ibn Fadlan, the Bashkirs were Turks, living on the southern slopes of the Urals, and occupying a vast territory up to the Volga. They were bordered by Pechenegs on the south-east, by Bulgars on the west, and by Oghuz Turks on the south.

The first European sources to mention the Bashkirs were the works of Joannes de Plano Carpini and William of Rubruquis (13th century).

By 1236, lands of Bashkortostan were incorporated into the empire of Genghis Khan. During the 13th and 14th centuries, all of Bashkortostan was part of the Golden Horde. The brother of Batu-Khan, Sheibani, received the Bashkir lands to the east of the Ural Mountains.

After the breakup of the Mongol Empire, the Bashkirs were divided among the Nogai Horde, the Khanate of Kazan and the Khanate of Sibir, founded in the 15th century.

Early modern period

Башкирские казаки в Европе
Bashkir riders

In the middle of the 16th century, Bashkirs joined the Tsardom of Russia. Charters of Ivan the Terrible to Bashkir tribes became the basis of their contractual relationship with the tsar’s government. Primary documents pertaining to the Bashkirs during this period have been lost, although some are mentioned in the shezhere (family trees) of the Bashkir.

In the late 16th and early 19th centuries Bashkirs occupied the territory from the left bank of the Volga on the south-west to the riverheads of Tobol in the east, from the river Sylva in the north, to the middle stream of the Yaik in the south, in the Middle and Southern Urals, in Cis-Urals, including Volga territory and Trans-Urals.

Bashkir rebellions of the 17th–18th centuries

Bashkir elder
The Bashkirs, wearing a medallion that identifies him as the village chief. Photo by G. Fisher, Orenburg, 1892
Давлеканово. Кумысники
Davlekanovo (Ufa Governorate). Kumis cooking, the beginning of the 20th century
Башкиры в Оренбурге.1913
Bashkirs in Orenburg, at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812, 1913

The Bashkirs participated in the 1662–64, 1675–83 and 1704–11 rebellions. In 1676, the Bashkirs rebelled under a leader named Seyid Sadir or 'Seit Sadurov', and the Russian army had great difficulties in ending the rebellion. The Bashkirs rose again in 1707, under Aldar and Kûsyom, on account of ill-treatment by the Russian officials.

The third insurrection occurred in 1735, at the time of the foundation of Orenburg, and it lasted for six years. From at least the time of Peter the Great there had been talk of pushing southeast toward Persia and India. Ivan Kirillov drew up a plan to build a fort to be called Orenburg at Orsk at the confluence of the Or River and the Ural River southeast of the Urals where the Bashkir, Kalmyk and Kazakh lands join. Work was started at Orsk in 1735, but by 1743 'Orenburg' was moved about 250 km west to its present location. The next planned step was to build a fort on the Aral Sea. This would involve crossing the Bashkir country and then the lands of the Kazakh Lesser Horde, some of whom had recently offered a nominal submission.

Kirillov's plan was approved on May 1, 1734 and he was placed in command. He was warned that this would provoke a Bashkir rebellion, but the warnings were ignored. He left Ufa with 2,500 men in 1735 and fighting started on the first of July. The war consisted of many small raids and complex troop movements, so it cannot be easily summarized. For example: In the spring of 1736 Kirillov burned 200 villages, killed 700 in battle and executed 158. An expedition of 773 men left Orenburg in November and lost 500 from cold and hunger. During, at Seiantusa the Bashkir planned to massacre sleeping Russians. The ambush failed. One thousand villagers, including women and children, were put to the sword and another 500 driven into a storehouse and burned to death. Raiding parties then went out and burned about 50 villages and killed another 2,000. Eight thousand Bashkirs attacked a Russian camp and killed 158, losing 40 killed and three prisoners who were promptly hanged. Rebellious Bashkirs raided loyal Bashkirs. Leaders who submitted were sometimes fined one horse per household and sometimes hanged.

Bashkirs fought on both sides (40% of 'Russian' troops in 1740). Numerous leaders rose and fell. The oddest was Karasakal or Blackbeard who pretended to have 82,000 men on the Aral Sea and had his followers proclaim him 'Khan of Bashkiria'. His nose had been partly cut off and he had only one ear. Such mutilations are standard Imperial punishments. The Kazakhs of the Little Horde intervened on the Russian side, then switched to the Bashkirs and then withdrew. Kirillov died of disease during the war and there were several changes of commander. All this was at the time of Empress Anna of Russia and the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739).

Although the history of the 1735 Bashkir War cannot be easily summarized, its results can be.

  • The Russian Imperial goal of expansion into Central Asia was delayed to deal with the Bashkir problem.
  • Bashkiria was pacified in 1735–1740.
  • Orenburg was established.
  • The southern side of Bashkiria was fenced off by the Orenburg Line of forts. It ran from Samara on the Volga east up the Samara River to its headwaters, crossed to the middle Ural River and followed it east and then north on the east side of the Urals and went east down the Uy River to Ust-Uisk on the Tobol River where it connected to the ill-defined 'Siberian Line' along the forest-steppe boundary.
  • In 1740 a report was made of Bashkir losses which gave: Killed: 16,893, Sent to Baltic regiments and fleet: 3,236, Women and children distributed (presumably as serfs): 8,382, Grand Total: 28,511. Fines: Horses: 12,283, Cattle and Sheep: 6,076, Money: 9,828 rubles. Villages destroyed: 696. As this was compiled from army reports it excludes losses from irregular raiding, hunger, disease and cold. All this was from an estimated Bashkir population of 100,000.

Later, in 1774, the Bashkirs, under the leadership of Salavat Yulayev, supported Pugachev's Rebellion. In 1786, the Bashkirs achieved tax-free status; and in 1798 Russia formed an irregular Bashkir army from among them. Residual land ownership disputes continued.

The establishment of the Republic of Bashkortostan

Члены Башкирского Правительства
The Members Of The Bashkir Government, 1920
Лейпциг-2013. У памятника башкирским воинам. делегации России и бургомистра Лейпцига.DSC00197
Monuments to Bashkir soldiers in Leipzig

After the 1917 revolution are All-Bashkir Qoroltays (conventions) on which a decision on the need to create a national federal republic within Russia. As a result, 15 November 1917 Bashkir Regional (central) Shuro (Council) proclaims the establishment in areas with predominantly Bashkir population of Orenburg, Perm, Samara, Ufa provinces territorial and national autonomy Bashkurdistan.

In December 1917, delegates to the All-Bashkir (constituent) Congress, representing the interests of the population edge of all nationalities, voted unanimously for the resolution (Farman #2) of the Bashkir regional Shuro the proclamation of national-territorial autonomy (of the republic) Bashkurdistan. The congress was formed the government of Bashkurdistan, the Pre-parliament – Kese-Qoroltay and other bodies of power and administration, and decisions were made on how to proceed.

In March 1919, based on the agreements of the Russian Government with the Bashkir Government was formed Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

October 11, 1990 the Supreme Council of the Republic was proclaimed the Declaration of State Sovereignty. March 31, 1992 Bashkortostan signed a federal agreement on the delimitation of powers and areas of jurisdiction between the authorities of the Russian Federation and the authorities of the sovereign republics in its composition and its Annex of the Republic of Bashkortostan, which determined the nature of the contractual relations between the Republic of Bashkortostan and the Russian Federation.


Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA)
Distribution of R1b showing Bashkorostan as a genetic isolate
Tug of war competition on Moscow Sabantuy of Moscow bashkirs
Bashkir Sabantuy

Regarding Y-DNA haplogroups genetic studies have revealed that the dominant frequency for Bashkir males is for haplogroup R1b (R-M269 and R-M73) which is, on average, 47.6%. The Y-DNA haplogroup R-M269 (R1b1a2) is dominant among the Basques in western Europe. Following are the haplogroup R1a at the average frequency of 26,5%, and haplogroup N1c at 17%. In lower frequencies were also found haplogroups J2, C, O, E1b, G2a, L, N1b, I, T.[9] The main branch of R1a in Bashkirs is Z93, specifically Z2125, which peaks in Central Asia, among Bashkirs at 31%. Despite the Bashkirs being Turkic peoples, the haplogroups R1b and R1a is mostly linked with Indo-Europeans.

Most mtDNA haplogroups found in Bashkirs (60–65%) consist of the haplogroups G, D, С, Z and F; which are lineages characteristic of East Eurasian populations. On the other hand, mtDNA haplogroups characteristic of European and Near Eastern populations were also found in significant amounts (35–40%).[10][11][12]

According to the study Suslova et al. 2015: "The Bashkirs appear close to Mongoloids in allele and haplotype distribution. However, Bashkirs cannot be labelled either as typical Mongoloids or as Caucasoids. Thus, Bashkirs possess some alleles and haplotypes frequent in Mongoloids, which supports the Turkic impact on Bashkir ethnogenesis, but also possess the AH 8.1 haplotype, which could evidence an ancient Caucasoid population that took part in their ethnic formation... Bashkirs showed no features of populations with a substantial Finno-Ugric component, for example Chuvashes or Russian Saami. This disputes the commonly held belief of a Finno-Ugric origin for Bashkirs..."[13]

The Bashkirs are characterized by East-Asian admixture, which dates from the 13th century, according to an analysis of the identical-by-descent segments.[14]


Bashkir language is a Turkic language of the Kypchak group. Main dialects: Southern, Eastern and North-Western. Distributed in the territory of Historical Bashkortostan.

The Russian census of 2010 recorded 1,152,404 Bashkir speakers in the Russian Federation. Bashkir language is native to 1 133 339 Bashkirs (71,7% of the total number of Bashkirs, reporting mother tongue). The Tatar language is called native 230 846 Bashkirs (14,6%). Russian language is native to 216 066 Bashkir (13,7%). Most Bashkirs are bilingual in Bashkir and Russian.

The Bashkir tribes in ancient times used the Old Turkic alphabet. After the adoption of Islam, which began in the 10th century and lasted for several centuries, the Bashkirs began to use the Arabic alphabet. Since the mid-18th century begins the formation of the Bashkir national literature. In 1923, the approved Bashkir alphabet based on Arabic alphabet. In 1929 appears the Bashkir alphabet based on the Latin alphabet (yanalif). In 1940 introduced the alphabet based on Cyrillic alphabet. The modern Bashkir alphabet consists of 42 letters.


Bashkirs by federal subject 2010
The area settled by the Bashkirs according to the national census of 2010.

The ethnic Bashkir population is estimated at roughly 2 million people (2009 SIL Ethnologue). The 2010 Russian census recorded 1,584,554 ethnic Bashkirs in Russia, of which 1,172,287 Bashkirs live in Bashkortostan (29.5% of the total population of the republic).


Holiday Bashkir national costume 52
Bashkirs in traditional clothing, Ufa, 2016

The Bashkirs traditionally practiced agriculture, cattle-rearing and bee-keeping. The half-nomadic Bashkirs wandered either the mountains or the steppes, herding cattle. Wild-hive beekeeping can be named as a separate component of the most ancient culture which is practiced in the same Burzyansky District near to the Kapova Cave.

Traditional Bashkir dish bishbarmaq is prepared from boiled meat and halma (the kind of noodles), sprinkled with herbs flavored with onions and some qorot (young dry cheese). This is another notable feature of the Bashkir cuisine: dishes often served dairy products — rare party without qorot or qaymaq (sour cream). Most of the dishes Bashkir cuisine is nutritious and easy to prepare.

A series of epic Bashkir works called Ural-batyr and Akbuzat keeps layers of ancient mythology and have parallels with the Epic of Gilgamesh, Rigveda, and Avesta. Their plots concern the struggle of heroes against demonic forces. A peculiarity of them is that events and ceremonies described there may reference a specific geographical place; the Shulgan-Tash cave and its vicinity.


Bashkirs in the midday prayer in the vicinity of the village Muldakaevo. Photo by Maxim Dmitriev, 1890
Mosque in the Bashkir village Yakhino (1910)
The mosque in the Bashkir village of Yahya. Photo by S. M. Prokudin-Gorskii, 1910

In the pre-Islamic period the Bashkirs were followers of Tengrianism.[15][16]

Bashkirs began to convert to Islam in the 10th century.[17] Arab traveler Ibn Fadlan in 921 met some of the Bashkirs, who were Muslims.[18] The final assertion of Islam among the Bashkirs occurred in the 1320s and 1330s (Golden Horde times). On the territory of Bashkortostan preserved the burial place of the first Imam of Historical Bashkortostan — The mausoleum of Hussein-Bek, 14th-century building. In 1788 Catherine the Great established the "Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly" in Ufa, which was the first Muslim administrative center in Russia.

In yearly 1990s began the religious revival among the Bashkirs.[19] According to Talgat Tadzhuddin there are more than 1,000 mosques in Bashkortostan in 2010.[20]

The Bashkirs are predominantly Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi madhhab.[5]

Notable Bashkirs

See also


  1. ^ Lewis, M. Paul (ed.) (2009). "Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition". Dallas, Tex.: SIL International.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "ВПН-2010". Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  3. ^ [1] Archived September 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "8. НАСЕЛЕНИЕ НАИБОЛЕЕ МНОГОЧИСЛЕННЫХ" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  5. ^ a b "Bashkortostan and Bashkirs",
  6. ^ Peter B. Golden, Haggai Ben-Shammai & András Róna-Tas, The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2007, pp. 422–423.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Европейско-Азиатские Новости. Возраст Башкирского народного сказания составляет четыре тысячи лет. 2006: "Позже Салават Галлямов, опираясь на исследования члена-корреспондента Академии наук СССР, доктора филологических наук Николая Дмитриева, указавшего на наличие иранской фонетики в современном языке башкир Южного Урала, .. and; Марина Шумилова. "Башинформ", Уфа, 12 октября. Гипотеза об индоиранском происхождении башкир получила новое подтверждение.
  9. ^ Лобов А. С. Структура генофонда субпопуляций башкир. Диссертация кандидата биологических наук. — Уфа, 2009.- 131 с. Archived 2011-08-16 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ С. А. Лимборская, Э. К. Хуснутдинова, Е. В. Балановская. Этногеномика и геногеография народов Восточной Европы. Институт молекулярной генетики РАН. Уфимский научный центр. Медико-генетический научный центр РАМН. М. Наука. 2002. С.179–180
  11. ^ Антропология башкир/Бермишева М. А., Иванов В. А., Киньябаева Г. А. и др. СПб., Алетейя, 2011, 496 с., С.339.
  12. ^ "Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in Yakuts" (PDF).
  13. ^ Suslova, T. A.; Burmistrova, A. L.; Chernova, M. S.; Khromova, E. B.; Lupar, E. I.; Timofeeva, S. V.; Devald, I. V.; Vavilov, M. N.; Darke, C. (1 October 2012). "HLA gene and haplotype frequencies in Russians, Bashkirs and Tatars, living in the Chelyabinsk Region (Russian South Urals)". International Journal of Immunogenetics. 39 (5): 394–408. doi:10.1111/j.1744-313X.2012.01117.x. ISSN 1744-313X. PMID 22520580.
  14. ^ Yunusbayev, Bayazit; Metspalu, Mait; Metspalu, Ene; Valeev, Albert; Litvinov, Sergei; Valiev, Ruslan; Akhmetova, Vita; Balanovska, Elena; Balanovsky, Oleg; Turdikulova, Shahlo; Dalimova, Dilbar; Nymadawa, Pagbajabyn; Bahmanimehr, Ardeshir; Sahakyan, Hovhannes; Tambets, Kristiina; Fedorova, Sardana; Barashkov, Nikolay; Khidiyatova, Irina; Mihailov, Evelin; Khusainova, Rita; Damba, Larisa; Derenko, Miroslava; Malyarchuk, Boris; Osipova, Ludmila; Voevoda, Mikhail; Yepiskoposyan, Levon; Kivisild, Toomas; Khusnutdinova, Elza; Villems, Richard (21 April 2015). "The Genetic Legacy of the Expansion of Turkic-Speaking Nomads across Eurasia". PLOS Genet. 11 (4): e1005068. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005068. ISSN 1553-7404.
  15. ^ Shireen Hunter, Jeffrey L. Thomas, Alexander Melikishvili, "Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and Security", M.E. Sharpe Inc.
  16. ^ К вопросу о тенгрианстве башкир // Compatriot, Popular Science Magazine (in Russian)
  17. ^ Shirin Akiner, "Islamic Peoples Of The Soviet Un", Second edition, 1986
  18. ^ Allen J. Frank, "Islamic Historiography and "Bulghar" Identity Among the Tatars and Bashkirs", Brill, 1998
  19. ^ Jeffrey E. Cole, "Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia", Greenwood publishing group
  20. ^ Интерфакс. Говорить о притеснении ислама в России кощунственно, считает Талгат Таджуддин // Interfax, 17 December 2010

Further reading

External links


Bashkir may refer to:

Bashkirs, an ethnic group in Russia

Bashkir language, a Turkic language spoken by the Bashkirs

The (American) Bashkir Curly or Curly Horse, a curly-coated American horse breed

The Bashkir horse, a horse breed from Bashkortostan in the Russian Federation

Stefan Bashkir, a character in Eoin Colfer's novel The Supernaturalist

The V'ornn name for their merchant class, in Eric Van Lustbader's Pearl Saga

Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic

The Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Bashkir: Башҡорт Автономиялы Совет Социалистик Республикаhы; Russian: Башкирская Автономная Советская Социалистическая Республика, Bashkirskaya Avtonomnaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika); also known as Soviet Bashkiria or simply Bashkiria was an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian SFSR. Currently it is known as Bashkortostan.

Bashkir ASSR was the first Autonomous Soviet Republic in RSFSR.

The republic occupied an area of 143,600 km2 (55,400 sq mi) in the far south-eastern corner of European Russia, bounded on the east by the Ural Mountains and within seventy kilometers of the Kazakhstan border at its southernmost point. The region was settled by nomads of the steppe, the Turkic Bashkirs, during the 13th-century domination by the Golden Horde. Russians arrived in the mid-16th century, founding the city of Ufa, now the republic's capital. Numerous local uprisings broke out in opposition to the settlement of larger Russian populations in the centuries that followed. The Bashkirs finally give up nomadic life in the 19th century, adopting the agricultural lifestyle that remains their primary means of support. The traditional clan-based social structure has largely disappeared. The predominant religions of the Bashkir population are Islam, which is observed by the majority, and Russian Orthodoxy. A major battleground of the Russian Civil War, in 1919 Bashkiria was the first ethnic region to be designated an autonomous republic of Russia under the new communist government. The republic declared its sovereignty within the Soviet Union on 11 October 1990 as Bashkir Soviet Socialist Republic, and in 1992 it declared full independence. Two years later, Bashkortostan agreed to remain within the legislative framework of the Russian Federation, provided that mutual areas of competence were agreed upon.

The republic has rich mineral resources, especially petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, manganese, copper, salt, and construction stone. The Soviet government built a variety of heavy industries on that resource base. The traditional Bashkir occupations of livestock raising and beekeeping remain important economic activities.

Bashkir Uprising (1704–11)

The Bashkir Rebellion from 1704 to 1711 was one of the longest in the series of Bashkir rebellions in the 17th and 18th centuries in the Russian Empire.

Bashkir rebellion (1662–64)

The Bashkir rebellion was one of the first major insurrection of Bashkirs in the second half of the 17th century.

Bashkir rebellion of 1735–1740

The Bashkir rebellion of 1735–1740 refers to a rebellion which was initiated by the Bashkirs against the Russian Empire. The rebellion was initiated in 1735, but was put down by Russian and pro-Russian Bashkir troops in 1740 after a series of heavy clashes.

Bashkirs (painting)

Bashkirs is a painting by William Allan, painted, signed and dated in 1814. The original title of the painting: "The Bashkirs, consorts sentenced to Siberia".

History of Bashkortostan

The history of Bashkortostan or Bashkiria covers the region in and around the Southern Urals, historically inhabited by Bashkirs. The region has been known by several names, including al-Bashgird, Bashgirdia, Bascardia, Fiyafi Bashqyrt (The Bashqyrt steppes), Pascatir and similar variants. As with previous names, the modern federal subject of Bashkortostan was named after the native Bashkir people.

How Much Land Does a Man Need?

"How Much Land Does a Man Require?" (Russian: Много ли человеку земли нужно?, Mnogo li cheloveku zemli nuzhno?) is an 1886 short story by Leo Tolstoy about a man who, in his lust for land, forfeits everything.

Islam in Russia

Islam in Russia is the nation's second most widely professed religion. According to US Department of State in 2017, Muslims in Russia numbered 14,220,000 or 10.0% of the total population. However, the populations of two federal subjects with Islamic majorities were not surveyed due to social unrest, which together had a population of nearly 2 million, namely Chechnya and Ingushetia, thus the total number of Muslims may be larger. Among these Muslims, 6,700,000 or 4.6% of the total population of Russia were not affiliated with any Islamic schools and branches.

Recognized under the law and by Russian political leaders as one of Russia's traditional religions, Islam is a part of Russian historical heritage, and is subsidized by the Russian government. The position of Islam as a major Russian religion, alongside Orthodox Christianity, dates from the time of Catherine the Great, who sponsored Islamic clerics and scholarship through the Orenburg Assembly.The history of Islam and Russia encompasses periods of conflict between Muslims and the Orthodox majority, as well as periods of collaboration and mutual support. Robert Crews's study of Muslims living under the Tsar indicates that "the mass of Muslims" was loyal to that regime after Catherine, and sided with it over its Ottoman rival. After the Tsarist regime fell, the Soviet Union introduced a policy of state atheism, which impeded the practice of Islam and led to the execution and suppression of various Muslim leaders. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Islam regained a prestigious, legally recognized space in Russian politics. More recently, President Putin consolidated this trend, subsidizing the creation of mosques and Islamic education, which he called an "integral part of Russia's cultural code", encouraging immigration from Muslim-majority former Soviet bloc states, and condemning what the Russian state considers to be criminal anti-Muslim hate speech, such as caricatures of the Muhammad.Muslims form a majority of the population of the republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan in the Volga Federal District, and predominate among the nationalities in the North Caucasian Federal District located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea: the Circassians, Balkars, Chechens, Ingush, Kabardin, Karachay, and numerous Dagestani peoples. Also, in the middle of the Volga Region reside populations of Tatars and Bashkirs, the vast majority of whom are Muslims. Other areas with notable Muslim minorities include Moscow, Saint Petersburg, the republics of Adygea, North Ossetia-Alania and Astrakhan, Moscow, Orenburg and Ulyanovsk oblasts. There are over 5,000 registered religious Muslim organizations, equivalent to over one sixth of the number of registered Russian Orthodox religious organizations of about 29,268 as of December 2006.


The kaval is a chromatic end-blown flute traditionally played throughout Armenia, the Balkans and Turkey. The kaval is primarily associated with mountain shepherds.Unlike the transverse flute, the kaval is fully open at both ends, and is played by blowing on the sharpened edge of one end. The kaval has eight playing holes (seven in front and one in the back for the thumb) and usually four more unfingered intonation holes near the bottom of the kaval. As a wooden rim-blown flute, kaval is similar to the kawala of the Arab world and ney of the Middle East.

Kipchak language

The Kipchak language (also spelled Qypchaq) is an extinct Turkic language and the common ancestor of the Kipchak branch of Turkic languages.

The descendants of the Kipchak language include the majority of Turkic languages spoken in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus today, as Kipchak-Cuman was used as a lingua franca in Golden Horde–ruled lands.

Kazakhs are remnants of Eastern Cuman-Kipchak tribes who lived in Northern Kazakhstan in the 10th century, but migrated to Europe later. So, their language originates from a more isolated form of earlier Kipchak.

Tatars, Siberian Tatars, Balkars, Karachays, Kumyks, Cumans (later Crimean Tatars), Bashkirs and Mongolian aristocracy adopted the Kipchak language in the days of the Golden Horde.

Old Tatar language

The Old Tatar language (İske imlâ: يسكى تاتار تلى, translit. İske Tatar Tele, also Old Bashkir language, Volga Turki) was a literary language used among the some ethnic groups of Volga-Ural region (Tatars, Bashkirs and others) from the Middle Ages till the 19th century. It was a regional variety of Turki, a written Turkic language used throughout the Muslim Turkic world.

Old Tatar is a member of the Kipchak (or Northwestern) group of Turkic languages, although it is partly derived from the ancient Bulgar language (the first poem, considered to be written by Qol Ghali in Old Tatar dates back to Volga Bulgaria's epoch). It included many Persian and Arabic loans.

In its written form the language was spelled uniformly among different ethnic groups, speaking different Turkic languages of the Kipchak group, but pronunciation differed from one people to another, approximating to the spoken language, making this written form universal for different languages. The main reason for this universal usage was that the principal differences between the languages of the Kipchak group are in the pronunciation of the vowels, which was not adequately represented by the Arabic script.

The language formerly used the Arabic script and later its variant İske imlâ. The Old Tatar Language is a language of Idel-Ural poetry and literature. With the Ottoman Turkish, Azeri, Kipchak, Uigur and Chagatai, they were the only Turkic literary languages used in the Middle Ages. It was actively used in publishing until 1905, when the first Tatar newspaper started being published in modern Tatar, which until then had been used only in a spoken form.

Orenburg Caravanserai

The Orenburg Caravanserai (Bashkir: Каруанһарай) is Mosque, historical and architectural complex in Orenburg, cultural monuments of the Bashkir people.The building is located at 6 Park Avenue, Orenburg.

Was built in 1837 – 1846 years on voluntary donations to place the Office of Bashkir-mesheryak army commander, hotels for Bashkirs who came to Orenburg "in their need for services and" workshop and school for the Bashkirs. Historical and architectural complex consists of Bashkir folk houses and mosques. The original design of the architect Alexander Brullov was designed as a pastiche of traditional Bashkir village: central dominant ensemble - octagonal mosque reproduced form Bashkir yurt.

The building housed the Orenburg Bashkir Pedagogical College (1920-1924).

Pugachev's Rebellion

Pugachev's Rebellion (Peasants' War 1773-75, Cossack Rebellion) of 1773-75 was the principal revolt in a series of popular rebellions that took place in the Russian Empire after Catherine II seized power in 1762. It began as an organized insurrection of Yaik Cossacks headed by Yemelyan Pugachev, a disaffected ex-lieutenant of the Imperial Russian Army, against a background of profound peasant unrest and war with the Ottoman Empire. After initial success, Pugachev assumed leadership of an alternative government in the name of the assassinated Tsar Peter III and proclaimed an end to serfdom. This organized leadership presented a challenge to the imperial administration of Catherine II.

The rebellion managed to consolidate support from various groups including the peasants, the Cossacks, and Old Believers priesthood. At one point, its administration claimed control over most of the territory between the Volga River and the Urals. One of the most significant events of the insurrection was the Battle of Kazan in July 1774.

Government forces failed to respond effectively to the insurrection at first, partly due to logistical difficulties and a failure to appreciate its scale. However, the revolt was crushed towards the end of 1774 by General Michelsohn at Tsaritsyn. Pugachev was captured soon after and executed in Moscow in January 1775. Further reprisals against rebel areas were carried out by General Peter Panin.

The events have generated many stories in legend and literature, most notably Pushkin's historical novel The Captain's Daughter (1836). It was the largest peasant revolt in Russia's history.


The quray (Bashkir ҡурай, Tatar quray, [quˈrɑɪ]) is a long open endblown flute with two to seven fingerholes, and is the national instrument of the Bashkirs and Tatars. The instrument is a type of Choor. On March 1, 2018 Kurai was registered as a territorial brand of Bashkortostan, a patent was received from the Federal Service for Intellectual Property of the Russian Federation.

The most widespread kind of quray is a quray made from the stem of the umbelliferous plant, called urals edgepistil or Kamchatka pleurospermum (Pleurospermum uralense). The stem of a quray is 2–3 metres (6 feet 7 inches–9 feet 10 inches) long. It flowers in July, then dries out in August–September. It is cut in September and kept it in a dry and dark place. The length is found by measuring 8-10 times the width of a palm encompassing the stem of a plant. The first hole must be done at four fingers distance from the top of the plant, the next three holes at two fingers distance from each other, the fifth at the back at three fingers distance from the fourth hole.

The length of a quray is about 510–810 millimetres (20–32 inches). The diapason of a quray consists of three octaves. The quray is used as a solo as well as an ensemble instrument. Now, a quray can be made from veneer. It is more stable and its sound is similar to the natural quray's sound.

In addition to a grass quray some other types of quray are known:

sor-quray - a sort of quray made by the Bashkirs who lived in the steppe where the natural quray does not grow. It is made of steppe grass and its length is not more than one meter, but it is wider in its diameter. The specialists say it was used for calling signals.

copper quray - a quray made from copper. However, specialists disapprove of using this kind of quray, because it is harmful for the health.The names of outstanding quray-players-improvisers include Kubagush-sasan, Baik-sasan, I. Murzakaev, G. Arginbaev, Y. Icyanbaev, I. Dilmukhametov, G. Suleymanov, K. Diyarov, R. Rakhimov, Y. Gaynetdinov, A. Aitkulov and R. Yuldashev.

There are many quray performers: laureates and diploma-winners of International Musical Folk Festivals, International Students' and Youth Festivals and all-Russian contests of performers of rare musical instruments.

There is a picture of a quray flower on the national flag and Bashkortostan state emblem.


For the Israeli city, see Shaghur.Shagur is a wind instrument like an elongated flute like those of the Bashkirs and the Caucasians. Shagur a similar wind instrument to the shoor but with holes on the side and made of wood, only about 30 to 40 cm long.

The World Qoroltai of the Bashkirs

The World Qoroltai of the Bashkirs (The World Kurultai of the Bashkirs) (Bashkir: Бөтә донъя башҡорттары ҡоролтайы (конгресы)) — international Union of Public Organizations, designed to meet the challenges of unification, ethnic and cultural development and renewal Bashkirs. Headquartered in Bashkortostan in Ufa.

Ufa electoral district (Russian Constituent Assembly election, 1917)

The Ufa electoral district (Russian: Уфимский избирательный округ) was a constituency created for the Russian Constituent Assembly election, 1917.

The electoral district covered the Ufa Governorate. Ufa was a multinational constituency. List 1, the 'Federalists-Bashkirs' (fielded by the Ufa Governorate Secretariat of the Bashkir Central Council), was headed by Ahmet-Zaki Ahmetšachovič Validov. The SR list was dominated by leftist elements.In the Ust-Katav volost (hosting the Ust-Katav Wagon-Building Plant), out of 5,062 votes cast, 4,222 votes went to the Bolshevik list and 750 to the SR list.


Öçpoçmaq ( or ;Cyrillic: Өчпочмак pronounced [ˌœɕpɔɕˈmɑq], literally triangle) is a Bashkirs and Tatar national dish, an essential food in Bashkirs and Tatar culture. It is a triangular pastry, filled with minced beef, onion and potatoes. Öçpoçmaq is usually eaten with bouillon or with tea.

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