- Caucasian Avars
poptime= approx. 1 million
Russia: 814,500 (2002 [http://www.perepis2002.ru/content.html?id=11&docid=10715289081463 Russian 2002 census] ] ),::primarily Dagestan: 750,000 Azerbaijan: 50,900 (1999 [http://www.azstat.org/statinfo/demoqraphic/en/007.shtml#s7 The State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan Republic: "Population by ethnic groups"] ] )
related= Northeast Caucasian peoples
Avars or Caucasian Avars are a modern people of
Caucasus, mainly of Dagestan, in which they are the predominant group. The Caucasian Avar languagebelongs to the Northeast Caucasian language family (also known as Nakh-Dagestanian).
They populate most of the mountain part of Dagestan, and partly also plains (Buynakskiy, Khasav'yurtovskiy and other regions). They also live in
Chechnya, Kalmykiaand other subjects of Russia, as well as Azerbaijan(mainly, the Balakan and Zakatala rayons - 50,900 (1999) and Georgia (Kvareli Avars - 2,500). fact|date=August 2008|please give sources for those 2 remaining figures
In 2002, the Avars, who assimilated some peoples speaking related languages, numbered about 1,04 million, of which 814,500 live in Russia and more than 750,000 in Dagestan. 32% of them live in the cities (2002 number). fact|date=August 2008|please give sources for those 3 remaining figures
The Avar language belongs to the Avar-Andi-Tsez subgroup of the Alarodian Northeast Caucasian (or Nakh-Dagestanian) language family. The writing is based on the
Cyrillic alphabet, which replaced the Arabic scriptused before 1927 and the Latin scriptused between 1927 and 1938. More than 60% Avars living in Dagestan speak Russian as their second language.
The earliest mention of the Avars in European History at their current location is from
Priscuswho declares that in 463 AD a mixed Saragur, Urog and Unogur embassy asked Byzantium for an alliance having been dislodged by Sabirs in 461 due to the Avars' drive towards the westPriscus. Excerpta de legationibus. Ed. S. de Boor. Berolini, 1903, p. 586
Also mentioned in the Syrian compilation of Church Historian
Zacharias Rhetorbishop of Mytilene] . According to the head of the Soviet archaeological-ethnographic expedition of 1945 - 1948, these Caucasian Avars migrated to their present location from Khwarezm, which was originally populated by the Alarodian Hurriansfrom Subartu(which was to the south of Transcaucasian Iberia)"Ancient Khwarezm" (Moscow 1948), Sergei Pavlovich Tolstov (1907-1976)] . According to Omeljan Pritsakand some other scholars, this Avar invasion of the Caucasus resulted in the establishment of the Avar ruling dynasty in Sarir, a Christian state in Dagestani Highlands, where the Caucasian Avars now live. It is not clear whether or in what way these Avars are related to the early European Avarsof the Dark Ages, but it is known that with the mediation of Sarosiosin 567, the Göktürksrequested Byzantium to distinguish the Avars of Pannonia as "Pseudo-Avars" as opposed to the true Avars of the east who had come under the Göktürk hegemony [http://www.transoxiana.org/Eran/Articles/alemany_abs.html "Sixth Century Alania: between Byzantium, Sasanian Iran and the Turkic World" Agustí Alemany Vilamajo] ] .During the Khazarwars against the Caliphatein the 7th century, the Avars sided with Khazaria. Surakat, is mentioned as their Khaganaround 729/30 AD followed by Andunik-Nutsal, at the time of Abu Muslima, then Dugry-Nutsal. Sarir suffered a partial eclipse after the Arabs gained the upper hand, but managed to reassert its influence in the region in the 9th century, when it conflicted with the weakened Khazars and conducted a friendly policy towards the neighbouring Christian states of Georgia and Alania.
In the early
12th centurySarir disintegrated, only to be succeeded by the Avar Khanate, a predominantly Muslim polity. The only extant monument of Sarir architecture is a 10th-century church at the village of Datuna. The Mongol invasionsseem not to have affected the Avar territory and the alliance with the Golden Hordeenabled the Avar khans to increase their prosperity.
15th centurysaw the decline of the Horde and the rise of the Kumykshamkhalate at Tarki, with whom the Avars could not compete until the 18th century, when they increased their prestige by routing the army of Nadir Shahat Andalal. In the wake of this triumph, Umma Khanof the Avars (reigned 1774-1801) managed to exact tribute from most states of the Caucasus, including Shirvanand Georgia.
Two years after Umma Khan's death in 1801, the khanate voluntarily submitted to Russian authority. Yet the Russian administration disappointed and embittered freedom-loving highlanders. The institution of heavy taxation, coupled with the expropriation of estates and the construction of fortresses, electrified the Avar population into rising under the aegis of the radical Muslim
Imamate of Dagestan, led by Ghazi Mohammed(1828-32), Gamzat-bek(1832-34) and Shamil(1834-59).
Caucasian Warraged until 1864, when the Avarian Khanate was abolished and the Avarian Districtwas instituted instead. One portion of the Avars refused to collaborate with Russians and migrated to Turkey, where their descendants live to this day. Although the population was decimated through war and emigration, the Avars retained their position as the dominant ethnic group in Dagestan during the Soviet period. After World War II, many Avars left the barren highlands for the fertile plains closer to the Caspian shore.
The most prominent figures in Avar history were
Umma Khan, Hadji Murat, and Imam Shamil. The most celebrated poet writing in the Avar language was Rasul Gamzatov(1923-2003). In Azerbaijan, there is an ethnic Avar Member of the Parliament (MP), Ali Antsukhskiy(elected in 1995, in 1996 killed by official Baku).
Famous Avar artists include
Khalil-bek Musayasul, whose drawings were shown at the New York Metropolitan Museum [http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:Hihdda7uz1kJ:www.jamestown.org/docs/Saidov-14Sep06.pdf+musayasul+metropolitan+museum&hl=de&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=de&client=firefox-a, see page 13] , and Kamil Aliev(a distant cousin of MusayasulFact|date=May 2007) who is noted for his ornamental carpet work [ [http://www.anl.az/index_e.php Azerbaijan National Library] retrieved May 11, 2007] .
A famous Avar Sportstar is Magomed "The Propeller" Magomedov. Born
June 4, 1982he is a Thaiboxer and the WMC Light Heavyweight World Muay Thai champion. Another famous sportsman of Avar origin is a former WBOheavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov.
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