The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Turkic atalyk, “paternity,” from ata, father), a custom which arose under the tribal system.

Atalychestvo was also preserved in feudal society. Parents of the nobility gave away their newborn children to be brought up in the families of vassals or servants. The practice was widespread among many peoples of the Caucasus, the ancient Celts, the Arabs, and others. On reaching a certain age, the child was returned to its own family with festivities accompanied by an exchange of gifts between the parents and those who raised the child. Atalychestvo disappeared with the abolition of feudal relations.


Kosven, M. O. “Atalychestvo.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1935, no. 2.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.