Viatichi

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Viatichi

 

an ancient Russian tribe that inhabited part of the basin of the Oka River. The chronicles regard the legendary Viatko as the progenitor of the Viatichi: “And Viatko settled with his kin upon the Oka, and from him were named the Viatichi.” The Viatichi engaged in farming and cattle raising; they preserved their patriarchal tribal system until the tenth or llth century and developed feudal relationships between the 11th century and the 14th. In the ninth and tenth centuries the Viatichi paid tribute to the Khazars and later to the Kievan princes, but they managed to maintain their political independence until the beginning of the 12th century. In the llth and 12th centuries in the territory of the Viatichi a number of artisan towns arose, including Moscow, Koltesk, Dedoslav, and Nerinsk. In the latter part of the 12th century the land of the Viatichi was apportioned among the Suzdal and Chernigov princes. By the 14th century the Viatichi were no longer mentioned in the chronicles. Early burial mounds of the Viatichi containing cremated remains have been found along the upper Oka and in the upper Don region. They contain the interred remains of people buried by family groups. The pagan burial rite was retained until the 14th century. There are numerous small body-burial mounds of the Viatichi dating from the 12th century to the 14th.

REFERENCES

Artsikhovskii, A. V. Kurgany viatichei. Moscow, 1930.
Tret’iakov, P. N. Vostochnoslavianskie plemena, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1953.

D. A. AVDUSIN