Concerning some results of an expedition to the republic of Altai
In 2016, a group of scientists from the Sh. Marjani Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan made an expedition to the Altai Republic. Its purpose was to identify the status and content of the ancient Turkic Clan identities among Altai people living in the region. The primary analysis of the collected data allows us to draw the following conclusions: Tribal identity among the people of Altai is a sustainable phenomenon, performing the function of demographic security for the ethnic group. Many Turkic peoples who came from the Altai Region lost their tribal identities because in conditions with different ethnic groups they did not have the threat of genetic extinction. Tatars’ aspirations to unite on the basis of belonging to a single community is preserved mentally and behaviorally. Semiotic study of the Altai language testifies to the development of certain historical processes. Thus, the presence of terms such as kadybas (smith) and kömÿrchi (collier) confirm the presence of a developed economy of iron mining and smelting technology of high-quality steel in the Altai Region during the rise of the Turk Khanate. Legends about the origins of Turks reveal fundamental commonalities and a certain evolution of the spiritual and religious world. The cult of the wolf is one of the elements of the archaic world of Turkic-speaking peoples. With this animal is considered the ancestor. Once the life of Turks became varied, as they migrated farther to the west, and away from Chinese culture, and came under the influence of Islam, their ideas about themselves underwent transformation. Each Turkic people formed their own ideas about their places of origin and their world.
Keywords: Altai, identity, Seok, structure, semantics, Turks, wolf cult
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About the author: Gulnara F. Gabdrakhmanova – Doctor of Science (Sociology), Head of the Department of Ethnological Research, Sh.Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences (Entrance 5, Kremlin, Kazan 420014, Russian Federation); firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 25.05.2016 Accepted for publication 04.10.2016
Published Online 17.11.2017