- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
111

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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TO DAGHESTAN
111
heavy, the salt-content is far greater—in the Kara
bugas gulf, for instance, it is 17 per cent.
When I came back to the house my host and
hostess were there, and wc had a pleasant breakfast
with Samursky and Korkmazov. Our hostess poured
out coffee, and there was fresh caviare, new-laid
eggs, excellent Daghestan cheese. It could not have
been better. But unfortunately I spoke neither
Turkish nor Russian, and all my conversation with
Samursky and his wife had to be carried on through
Quisling as an interpreter in Russian, or through
Korkmazov, who spoke French excellently.
Language conditions in Daghestan are, as I said
above, very complicated. The official language, as
spoken by Samursky and Korkmazov, is Turski-
Kumyk ; but they both spoke Russian also.
Samursky was a comparatively young man, and
evidently sprung from the people; he is not very
highly educated, and does not seem to be much
interested in general literature, but to be all the
more interested in practical life. He did not know
any of the Western European languages, but
published a book in 1925 in Russian on Daghestan.
He is a elever man, and undoubtedly a good
speaker, and evidently has great influence among
the people here. He is a Lesghi from southern
Daghestan, his mother-tongue being Lesghian.
His real nåme is EfFendi ; Samursky is an assumed
one. He had no part in the revolutionary movement
before the Revolution. For several years he was
president of the Central Executive Committee of
Daghestan. Now (1929) he is working on the

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