- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
107

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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TO DAGHESTAN
107
and in Baghdad. Their kingdom, Khazaria, lay
between the Caucasus, the Volga, and the Don,
but at times stretched much farther. The Khazar
culture was relatively high; they founded towns,
had a full-grown state system; they were well
known for their industry, faithfulness to duty, and
trustworthiness—qualities lacking in the Hun
character. When their kingdom was destroyed by
the Varangian (that is, Scandinavian-Slav) kingdom
in Kiev at the end of the gth and during the
ioth century, and the last remnant wiped out in
1016, it may be that a part of the Khazars was
left in the district between the lower reaches of the
Terek and the Caucasus. Possibly, too, they were
joined by bands from Turkish-Tatar tribes that
came with the Turks in their wanderings, and with
Chingis Khan’s (1221) and Tamerlane’s (1395)
Mongols in the I3th and i4th centuries. The
Kumyk rulers, called skamkkal, settled in Tarku.
The Kumyks are a peaceful, steady, hard
working, enterprising, and cleanly people. The
houses are comparatively roomy—working-rooms
below, and above are separate rooms for men and
for women, with windows, and an open balcony in
front. They are Sunnites, but can also be on good
terms with Shiites. They carry on fishery in the
Caspian, breed cattle (mostly sheep and horses),
and keep bees ; they now also carry on some agri
culture through irrigation. They are great horse
men, and take wild horses with the lasso, which
these fearless riders quickly tame. They are also
traders, seiling their carpets, sheep’s wool, hides,

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