Salyachiev A.G.1, Ustinova L.P.2
1Kazan National Reseach Technical University named after A. N. Tupolev, Branch Naberezhniye Chelny, Bachelor-student
2Kazan National Reseach Technical University named after A. N. Tupolev, Branch Naberezhniye Chelny, PhD. Philol. Sc.

The article is devoted to the Nagaybaks, that are an ethnic group today, their history, cultural features, some traditions, which remain till the present days.

Keywords: ethnic group, history, Nagaybaks

Category: History

Article reference:
Nagaybaks: history and modernity // Humanities scientific researches. 2016. № 8 [Electronic journal]. URL:

View this article in Russian

The ethnonym “Nagaybaks” was first recorded in the 19th century, but the Nagaybaks are known as “Ufa’s novokreschens” or Kryashens. There are several theories about the Nagaybaks origin. Some researchers believe that the Nagaybaks (nogai back means Nogai Prince) are the descendants of christened Nogais, others believe that the Nagaybaks are the descendants of Kazan and Arsk Tatars. In the article we try to consider where Nagaybaks came from and who they are.

Historians [1] write that in the middle of the 16th century, after the conquest of the Kazan Khanate by Ivan the Terrible, Arsk Tatars were baptized and deported to the territory of Bashkortostan. They were called “pripuschenniki” – it means  the visitors were allowed to the land owned by the Bashkirs. The native inhabitants rebelled, because they did not want to pay the land tax, but the immigrants payed it. In 1736, for non-participation in the Bashkir rebellion and for assistance in its suppression this group of people was recorded as the Cossacks by the Imperial Edict of the Empress Anna Ioanovna, and got the Bashkirs’ lands for 50 miles in all directions from the place of their residence, where later a military Nagaybak’s fortress was founded. The first warlord (voyevode) was Vasily Suvorov, father of  the great commander Alexander Suvorov. According to this version, Nagaybak’s village was named after a Bashkir Nagaybak, who roamed in those places.

Who are the Nagaybaks? In the second half of the XIX century the Nagaybaks stood out as a specific ethnic group of Christianizing Tatars and during the population census of 1920 – 1926  they were registered as an independent nation. In December 1927 Nagaybaksky District was established with the center in the village Fershampenuaz.

Accordind to the Russian laws the Nagaybaks are a small nation, a part of the Orenburg Cossacks, living  in the Chelyabinsk region. The history of the Nagaybaks is connected with the Gumbeyka river, which flows through the Nagaybaksky and Agapovsky Districts. They crossed the bridge across the Gumbeyka-river and returned from their military expeditions crossing the river.

According to the historians [2], the Nagaybaks are genealogically Kryashens that are an ethno-confessional group of Turk-Tatars of the Volga and Ural regions. Being  Religion-Orthodox, they live mainly in Tatarstan, in small groups in Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, and the Chelyabinsk Region.

Where did the Nagaybaks come from? According to the legends, which are still fresh in the memory of the Nagaybaks, they came to the Chelyabinsk Region from the Western Bashkiria, they arrived certainly not at their wish, but because they were  sent for service, in a fact, they were taken away from their homes, and before that they lived near Kazan and where the names of villages repeat the names of the villages in the Chelyabinsk Region. The Nagaybaks have very bright names of villages: Paris, Fershampenuaz, Kassel, Ostrolenka, which were given  in honor of the victories  in the Patriotic War against Napoleon in 1812. But the Nagaybaks remember and call their villages by the old names: the village Paris is called Balikli, Ostrolenka- Sarashly, Kassel-Kili.

The Nagaybaks like to talk about their ancestors and they are very proud of them, because they showed miracles of bravery during almost all military companies of Russia. Especially the Parisians (the inhabitants of the village Paris), when they say that nagaybak’s Cossacks were among the first to burst into Paris and raised the Russian flag. In 1814 in Paris, Nagaybaks-Cossacks opened the parade dedicated to the victory of the Russian army over Napoleon.

During the Civil War 1917-1920 most Cossacks-Nagaibaks joined the Whites because they could not violate the oath, most of them were executed. In 1917, 52 officers from the Nagaybaks were arrested and  executed on the Red hill near Verhneuralsk, according to the witnesses- ” the heads were cut down together with shoulder loops…”

According to Fedor Markin, director of the SEC “Astafyevskaya” the Nagaybaks live a full life. The Nagaybaks are very hardworking people and very envious too, for example, if they see that their neighbors plowed the garden and planted potatoes, they do the same as their neighbors.

Affiliation to Orthodox Christians has a great impact on the culture of  the Nagaybaks. On the other hand the Nagaybaks have features of Turkic people the Cossacks, being experts in horses and having a great passion for them. It comes from the tradition: the true Cossacks were obliged to keep a horse, because they were sent to the army only on horseback.  If a Cossack could not have a horse, he walked on foot and was not considered as a Cossack. There was a Nagaybaks tradition: a mother  seeing her son to war, gave bread to his horse in hope that the horse would bring her son back alive.

The Nagaybaks have enormous values, they can be proud of them and tell proudly :” I am a Nagaybak! I know my language!” Today they keep carefully all their traditions and customs handing them  on to  younger generations.

  1. «Nagaybaks».
  2.СТРАНА ТЫСЯЧИ НАРОДНОСТЕЙ-традиции и обычаи нагайбаков.
  4. /«Nagaybaks are small nation».

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