Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic


(Bashkort Avtonomiialy Sovet Sotsialistik Respub-likasy), Bashkiria (Bashkortostan). Part of the RSFSR; established Mar. 23, 1919. Area, 143,600 sq km; population, 3,819,000 (1970 census). Bashkiria includes 53 rural raions, 17 cities, and 38 urban-type settlements. The capital city is Ufa.

Constitution and government. The Bashkir ASSR is a socialist state of workers and peasants—an autonomous soviet socialist republic. The constitution presently in effect was adopted on June 23, 1937, by the Tenth Extraordinary Congress of Soviets of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The highest state government bodies are the unicameral Supreme Soviet of the Bashkir ASSR (elected for four years at a ratio of one deputy for each 15,000 inhabitants) and its presidium. The Supreme Soviet forms the government of the republic—the Council of Ministers of Bashkiria. The Bashkir ASSR is represented in the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR by 11 deputies. The local organs of state authority are the city, raion, settlement, and village soviets of workers’ deputies, elected by the population for two years.

The Supreme Soviet of the Bashkir ASSR elects for a five-year term the Supreme Court of the Bashkir ASSR, consisting of two judicial boards (for criminal and civil cases) and the Presidium of the Supreme Court. The attorney of the Bashkir ASSR is appointed by the attorney general of the USSR for a term of five years.

Natural features. Bashkiria is located at the boundary of Europe and Asia and occupies portions of the eastern margin of the Eastern European lowlands (Predural’e), the mountainous zone of the Southern Urals, and the high plains beyond the Urals (the Zaural’e peneplain). The western portion of Bashkiria consists of lowlands, and the eastern part is chiefly mountainous. The Predural’e is composed of the Bugul’ma-Belebei elevation in the southwest, branches of the Obshchii Syrt in the south, and the Ufa plateau in the northeast, with elevations of 400–500 m in certain areas, and the rolling low-ridged Nizhnebel’skaia plain, lying between them along the Belaia River. The Southern Urals are particularly high here (the highest point is Mt. Iamantau, 1,640 m), are up to 150 km wide, and consist of a system of meridional mountain ranges; the Uraltau Range is the water drainage divide. The mountain ranges become lower in the south and pass into the Zilair plateau. Karst features are widespread. Bashkiria is rich in mineral resources, especially petroleum in the Predural’e, where deposits of gas, coal, and rock salt are also exploited. Deposits of iron, copper, zinc, and gold also exist in the east.

The climate is continental—the average temperature in January is -14° C (Birsk) to -17.5° C (Kaga) and in July is 16.5° C (Kaga) to 20.5° C (Raevskii). Average annual precipitation is 400–500 mm in the Predural’e, approximately 300 mm in the Zaural’e, and more than 500–600 mm in the mountains. In the lowlands of Bashkiria the growing season (with temperatures above 10° C) averages 120–135 days, and the sum of its temperatures is 1,800°-2,200° C.

The Kama basin takes up four-fifths of Bashkiria’s area, and approximately one-fifth of the area is occupied by the Ural and Sakmara basins. The chief river is the Belaia (Agizel’—length, 1,420 km), which flows almost entirely within the borders of Bashkiria; its tributaries are the Nugush, Sim, Ufa, and Dema. Bashkiria’s rivers are characteristically subject to seasonal irregularities in discharge rates. There are many shallow lakes in the Zaural’e.

A large part of the Bashkir plains is located in forest steppe zones and steppe zones, with a predominance of chernozems; the northern region of the Predural’e is a sub-zone of mixed forests (considerably thinned out) with gray forest and soddy podzolic soils. The mountainous areas of Bashkiria exhibit altitude zonality, with belts of oak and linden forests on the western slopes (in mountain-forest gray soils) and fir and spruce forests (in mountain taiga podzolic soils). The structure of Bashkiria’s soil cover is as follows: chernozems make up 34 percent of the entire territory; gray forest soils, 35 percent; podzolic and soddy podzolic soils, 5.5 percent; fluvial floodplain soils, 5.5 percent; calcareous humus, more than 1 percent; and others, 18 percent. The area covered by forest is 5 million hectares; wood pulp reserves amount to more than 0.5 billion cu m.

Fauna is fairly diverse, including many game animals and birds (squirrel, hare, mole, and wood grouse). The Bashkir Preserve, with an area of 72,000 hectares, was created in the mountains of Bashkiria in 1930.

Bashkiria is divided into three regions according to natural features—the Ural Mountains and the lowland foothills adjacent to them on the west and the east. The Ural Mountains, located in the eastern part of Bashkiria, are long chains of mountain ranges, gradually diminishing in the south. They are covered by broad-leaved and coniferous forests. Two-thirds of the republic’s area is occupied by the Bashkir Predural’e (the Ufa plateau to the northeast and the Bugul’ma-Belebei elevation to the southwest). The Zaural’e part of Bashkiria stretches in a narrow zone along the eastern foothills of the Urals and along the Ural River.

Population. Bashkirs constitute the indigenous population of the Bashkir ASSR (737,700 people, according to the 1959 census). Russians (1,418,100), Tatars (768,600), Chuvashes (110,000), Maris (93,900), Ukrainians (83,600), Mordovians (43,600), Udmurts (25,400), and several other peoples also live in the republic.

The population of Bashkiria was 2.8 million in 1913, 2.5 million in 1926, 3.2 million in 1939, and 3.3 million in 1959. The average population density is 26.6 persons per sq km (1970). The central regions of the Predural’e are the most densely populated (up to 35 persons per sq km). The proportion of the urban population grew from 4 percent in 1913 to 48 percent at the beginning of 1970. The largest cities (early 1969 population figures) are Ufa (745,000), Sterlitamak (172,000), Salavat (107,000), Oktiabr’skii (81,000), Beloretsk (66,000), and Ishimbai (55,000). Most of the cities were established during the years of Soviet power.

Historical survey. The most ancient traces of man discovered in the territory of Bashkiria date back to the Paleolithic period. During the Bronze Age (3000–2000 B.C.) sedentary cattle-raising and water-meadow farming were the principal occupations of the tribes inhabiting the territory of Bashkiria. They were familiar with the refining of copper and the crafts of pottery-making, weaving, and bone-carving. Their descendants switched to nomadic cattle-raising. Patriarchal and patrimonial relationships came into being at the end of this period. In the fourth century A.D. nomadic tribes from the country of the southern steppe region began to penetrate western Bashkiria in great numbers. The Bashkirs are mentioned under the name “Bashgird” (“Bashgurd”) in written Arabic sources of the ninth and tenth centuries. From the ninth to the 13th centuries the Bashkirs lived in the Predural’e, in the southern Urals, and between the Volga and Iaik (Ural) rivers; in addition to nomadic cattle-raising, they were also engaged in hunting, fishing, and wild-hive apiculture. The decay of ancestral tribal relations began between the tenth and 13th centuries. The Bashkirs had already begun to migrate, not in large tribes but in groups of ten to 30 families. Patriarchal slavery was retained over a long period of time. Feudal relationships arose in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. From the tenth to the 13th centuries western Bashkiria was subjugated by the Bulgars. The Bashkirs were idol worshipers; in the tenth century Islam began to make inroads into western Bashkiria via the Bulgars.

In 1229 the Mongol Tatars invaded Bashkiria, and by 1236 they had completely subjugated it; it became part of the appanage of Sheibana, the brother of Batu. In the latter part of the 15th century, after the collapse of the Golden Horde into several khanates, southern and southeastern Bashkiria came under the Nogai Horde, western Bashkiria became part of the Kazan Khanate, and northeastern Bashkiria (the Zaural’e) came under the dominion of the Siberian Khanate. After the capture of Kazan by Russian troops and the liquidation of the Kazan Khanate in 1552, the Russian tsar Ivan IV Vasil’evich the Terrible addressed a charter to the peoples living in the territory of the khanate, including the Bashkirs, in which he called upon them to accept Russian citizenship and to pay tribute (iasak) to the Russian government. The western Bashkirs responded to this in 1552 with a petition requesting Russian citizenship. By 1557 a large part of Bashkiria had been voluntarily incorporated into Russia. The Bashkirs living to the east of the Urals came under the rule of the Russian tsar in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, after the conquest and liquidation of the Siberian Khanate and the annexation of western Siberia to Russia. Bashkiria’s entry into Russia had progressive significance for the Bashkirs—ruinous internecine wars ceased, the Bashkirs were defended against raids from neighboring nomadic peoples, and more favorable conditions were created for the development of the economy and the culture. The Bashkir nationality assumed its basic shape in the 16th century. The influx into Bashkiria of Russian peasants and peoples from the lands along the Volga increased in the late 16th and 17th centuries, thus furthering the development of agriculture in Bashkiria and the transition of the indigenous population to a settled way of life. Landownership among the Bashkirs was communal—land was considered to be the property of the tribe or the family—but they owned livestock according to the rights of private property. Industry was on the scale of domestic handicrafts. A basically natural economy existed. Ancestral patriarchal and tribal vestiges were still strong.

The resentment of broad masses of the Bashkir population—the “black people”—against the growing oppression of local feudal lords and moneylenders, the seizure of lands by Russian landlords, and the abuses of officials in the collection of the iasak led to large-scale revolts from the latter part of the 17th century to the mid-18th century (1662–64, 1681–83, 1704–11, 1735–40, 1755, and so on), which were cruelly suppressed by the tsarist government. These insurrections went down in history as the Bashkir revolts of the 17th and 18th centuries.

The development of the mining and metallurgy industry in the Urals had a great effect on the economy of Bashkiria in the 18th century. The Bashkir population gradually became involved in mining and metallurgy production, resulting in the appearance of Bashkir ore manufacturers. In 1744, Bashkiria (Ufa and Iset provinces) came under the administration of Orenburg Province. The policies of the tsarist government, which contributed to an increase in the exploitation of the people by the local Bashkir and Tatar feudal lords, and the plunder of lands and minerals by the Russian landowners, factory owners, and officials resulted in an intensification of the antifeudal struggle of the Bashkir masses. The Bashkirs took an active part in the peasant revolt of E. I. Pugachev, in which Salavat Iulaev, the legendary hero of the Bashkir people, distinguished himself. Kinzia Arslanov was also one of the leaders of the Bashkirs. In 1788, Ufa became one of the administrative centers of the Muslim religion in Russia. In 1798 the canton system of administration, which reduced the Bashkirs to a military estate, was introduced in Bashkiria. General land surveying of the territories in Bashkiria was carried out from 1798 through 1832.

The reform of 1861 introduced several changes in the status of the Bashkirs. In 1865 the canton system was abolished and the independent Province of Ufa was established. In the 19th century the sedentary life of the Bashkirs became more firmly established, and farming expanded. Land relationships became complicated and strained by the continuing plunder of Bashkir lands by the state. From the 1870’s to the early 20th century, 2 million desiatinas (2.18 million ha) of the finest lands were confiscated. The social oppression and the policies of enforced russification aroused new spontaneous disturbances by the Bashkirs in the late 19th century.

The infiltration and development of capitalism in Bashkiria took place in the postreform period. The mining industry (iron- and copper-smelting works and gold mines), the lumber industry, and industries engaged in the manufacture of agricultural products continued to grow during the 1870’s. In 1878 there were approximately 200 enterprises (chiefly domestic industries) in Ufa Province. The first oil exploration attempts were undertaken in the vicinity of Ishimbai during the 1880’s. The Samara-Zlatoust railroad, connecting the center of the country with the Urals, was built across Bashkiria in 1885–90. Bashkiria was drawn closer into the all-Russian marketplace, and merchandise turnover within Bashkiria increased. On the whole, however, Bashkiria remained an agrarian region, serving as a market for the sale of merchandise and as a source of raw materials for Russian capitalists (bread and similar agricultural products, timber, metals, and other goods). Ufa became an important commercial and administrative center, and the cities of Birsk, Sterlitamak, and Belebei sprang up. An industrial proletariat and bourgeoisie (Russian, Tatar, and Bashkir) emerged. However, the workers were predominantly of Russian nationality, and the number of Bashkir workers was insignificant.

The first social democratic groups in Bashkiria appeared in Ufa between 1895 and 1897. In 1900 a Marxist group consisting of 12 workers under the leadership of I. S. Iakutov was organized in the Ufa steam-engine repair shops. The visits of V. I. Lenin to Ufa (February and June 1900) were of considerable importance for the social democratic and revolutionary workers. During these trips, Lenin met with the exiled social democrats A. D. Tsiurupa, V. N. Krokhmal’, and A. I. Sviderskii and familiarized them with his plan for the creation of a revolutionary publication. The Ufa Committee of the RSDLP was formed in January 1903; it came under the Ural Oblast Committee of the RSDLP in 1904. Ia. M. Sverdlov was one of the organizers and leaders of the Ural Bolsheviks. G. M. Mishenev (Murav’ev) and V. N. Krokhmal’, both members of the Ufa party organization, were delegates to the Second Congress of the RSDLP (in 1903); V. Iu. Frid-lin (Dashin) was the delegate to the Third Congress of the RSDLP (1905); and N. N. Nakoriakov was the delegate to the fourth and fifth congresses of the RSDLP (1906 and 1907). Between May and August 1905, more than 30 strikes took place in Ufa and Orenburg provinces, and 19 political strikes occurred in October. On Dec. 7, 1905, the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies (president, I. S. Iakutov) was established in Ufa. An armed action by the workers took place in the city on Dec. 9. The illegal Bolshevik newspaper Ufimskii rabochii (Ufa Worker—October 1906 to October 1908) was published in Ufa. Ural (January-April 1907), the first legal social democratic newspaper, was published in Orenburg in Tatar.

After the victory of the February Revolution of 1917, soviets of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies were formed in Bashkiria, as they were throughout the entire country: on March 5 in Ufa; in March and April in the Bogoiavlensk (now Krasnous’ sk) and Beloretsk factories; and in Min’iar, Tirlian, and Birsk. The local bourgeoisie created its own nationalist organization—the National Council.

On Oct. 26 (Nov. 8), 1917, Soviet government was established in Ufa and a provincial revolutionary committee (gubrevkom) was created (president, N. P. Briukhanov, and A. K. Evlampiev, A. I. Sviderskii, A. D. Tsiurupa, A. A. Iur’ev, and others). Soviet government was firmly established by the end of October in most of the territory of Bashkiria, with the exception of the eastern regions, which remained in the hands of the bourgeois nationalists.

In early July 1918, White Czechs and White Guards seized Cheliabinsk, Ufa, and Orenburg. A White Guard and socialist-revolutionary government was set up in Ufa in September 1918. In late 1918 the Red Army began its offensive in Bashkiria against the White Guard forces of A. V. Kol-chak. Mounting dissatisfaction among the soldiers of the Bashkir White Army and the entire Bashkir population with the rule of Kolchak caused the Bashkir nationalist government to switch over to the side of the Soviet government. It turned to the government of the RSFSR with a request for assistance and an alliance. The Agreement of the Russian Worker-Peasant Government With the Bashkir Government on the Soviet Autonomy of Bashkiria (made public on March 23) was signed on Mar. 20, 1919. Bashkiria was the first autonomous soviet republic to become a member of the RSFSR. The city of Sterlitamak became the capital of Bashkiria. On June 9, 1919, the 25th Infantry Division (division commander, V.I. Chapaev) liberated Ufa. By autumn all of Bashkiria was cleared of White Guard forces. The First All-Bashkir Congress of Soviets, which elected the Bashkir Central Executive Committee, took place in Sterlitamak in July 1920. Great Bashkiria, with Ufa as its capital, was established on June 14, 1922, by the decree On the Expansion of the Borders of the Autonomous Bashkir Socialist Soviet Republic of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. On Mar. 27, 1925, the Fifth All-Bashkir Congress of Soviets approved the draft of the constitution for the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. On June 23, 1937, the Extraordinary Tenth Congress of Soviets of the Bashkir ASSR adopted a new constitution for the Bashkir ASSR.

Bashkiria was transformed into an industrial and agricultural republic during the years of socialist construction. The petroleum content of the Volga-Ural region was substantiated by Soviet scientists at the beginning of the first five-year plan. In May 1932 the first wells were drilled in the vicinity of Ishimbai. The task of creating a large-scale petroleum-product storage and distribution complex in the vicinity of the western and southern slopes of the Urals was brought up at the Seventeenth Congress of the Party in 1934. Bashkiria became one of the centers of the new petroleum region (the “Second Baku”). New industries—petroleum, electrical engineering, individual branches of the chemical and textile industries, and so on—were created. Diversified, mechanized kolkhoz and sovkhoz farming was begun (97.9 percent of the peasant farms were collectivized by 1940). Bashkiria was awarded the Order of Lenin on Mar. 15, 1935, for its successful industrial and agricultural development. A cultural revolution took place—illiteracy was eradicated, a national corps of skilled workers and an intelligentsia emerged, and Bashkir literature and art achieved significant development. The Bashkirs were consolidated into a socialist nation (natsiia—nation in the historical sense) as a result of the building of socialism.

The bases of approximately 90 enterprises were shifted from the western regions of the country to Bashkiria during the early years of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. Approximately 250,000 people evacuated from other areas arrived in the republic. The volume of Bashkiria’s gross industrial output increased by a factor of more than 2.5 during the war years. More than 250 fighting men from Bashkiria—including the soldier A. M. Matrosov, the legendary hero who left Ufa for the front, and M. G. Gareev, who was twice honored as Hero of the Soviet Union—were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union for heroism on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War.

Bashkiria’s economy and culture continued their rapid development in the decade after the war. In 1968 the gross output volume of the republic’s major industries increased by a factor of 414, compared with 1913. The gross output of all industries in 1968 increased by a factor of 34, compared with 1940. The material and cultural standard of living of Bashkiria’s population was raised considerably. The Bashkir ASSR was awarded a second Order of Lenin for its successful achievements in the development of industry, agriculture, and culture on June 13, 1957, to mark the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Bashkiria’s voluntary annexation to Russia. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the title Hero of Socialist Labor was conferred on 92 toilers, and more than 40,000 persons were awarded orders and medals of the Soviet Union (up to 1968). On Mar. 21,1969, the Bashkir ASSR was awarded the Order of the October Revolution for its successful achievements in building Communism and in connection with the 50th anniversary of the republic.

Economy. Bashkiria has well-developed industry and agriculture. It is one of the principal petroleum-producing regions of the USSR (one-seventh of the countrywide petroleum output), as part of the Volga-Ural petroleum and gas region. It is an important center of the rapidly growing chemical and machine-building industries.

INDUSTRY The fixed capital stock of industry is structured as follows (as of Jan. 1,1969): fuel, 45 percent (including petroleum extraction, 23.1 percent; oil refining, 19.9 percent); chemical and petrochemical, 15.8 percent; electric power, 13.3 percent; machine-building and metalworking, 8.7 percent; ferrous metallurgy, 2.3 percent; lumber, woodworking, and paper and pulp, 2.3 percent; food and light industries, 4.5 percent; and others, 8.1 percent.

Toward the beginning of the 1970’s, Bashkiria occupied second place (after the Tatar ASSR) in the Soviet Union with regard to petroleum output. Petroleum is obtained from deposits at Tuimazy (the principal region), Ishimbai (the oldest oil fields), Shkapovo, Arlanovo (the most promising), and Chekmagush. Natural gas (reserves of 300 billion cu m were forecast in early 1960) and petroleum gas by-products (11–116 cu m per ton of petroleum) are extracted. There are oil refineries (Ufa, Salavat, and Ishimbai) and gas-gasoline plants at several fields.

Lignite deposits (balance of reserves, 0.4 billion tons) are mined in the south. Bashkiria’s electric power system is tied in with the systems of the Urals and the area along the Volga. Thermal power plants are predominant; the Pavlovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (166,000 kW) has been constructed on the Ufa River.

Petrochemical and gas plants produce alcohols, carbon black, polyethylene, synthetic rubber, detergent materials, resins, plastics, synthetic fibers, and herbicides (facilities at Salavat, Sterlitamak, and Ufa). A large soda-cement combine (Sterlitamak) has been established at the sites of local salt and limestone deposits. Rubber products, paints and varnishes, synthetic tanning agents (Ufa), and wood chemical products are manufactured.

Iron ores (reserve balance of more than 90 million tons), copper-zinc ores, and pyrites (copper-sulfur combine in Sibai) are mined in the mountains of Bashkiria; gold ores are mined in the Zaural’e. Ferrous metals have been produced in Beloretsk since 1762. The machine-building and metalworking industries, which employ more than one-fourth of all industrial workers, are well developed; facilities are centered

Table 1. Industrial production output for certain products
1 Ufa Province
Petroleum (thousands of tons)1,4525,64625,34944,434
Natural gas, including by-products (millions of cubic meters)131721,3362,686
Coal (thousands of tons)492.53,5636,219
Iron ore (thousands of tons)242128201357341
Electric power (millions of kilowatt-hours)3.8412086315,24011,936
Lumber (thousands of cubic meters)1032136561,4091,310
Wool fabrics (thousands of linear meters)6055969802,0072,427
Plywood (thousands of cubic meters)237488589

at Ufa (electrical engineering industry and mining and oil-drilling equipment), Sterlitamak (machine-tool industry), Beloretsk (steel wire and cable manufacturing), Salavat (machine-building for the petrochemical industry), and other cities.

In 1968 approximately 5 million cu m of wood were stockpiled (chiefly in the northeast), including approximately 3 million cu m slated for business. Plywood, furniture, standard homes, lumber, wood-chip slabs, and matches (centered mainly at Ufa) are manufactured. There is a paper mill at the settlement of Krasnyi Kliuch. Approximately one-sixth of all industrial workers are employed in food processing and light industry; the flour- and groats-milling, butter, cheese, and milk-processing, meat, sewing, and shoe industries are particularly well developed; other independent industrial enterprises include the Ufa cotton combine, the Ishimbai linen knitwear factory, the Nizhnetroitskii cloth factory, a vitamin factory (Ufa), and a sugar factory (Meleuz).

AGRICULTURE. Bashkiria is an important producer of grain crops and livestock products. More than half the territory (60–80 percent in the lowlands) is allotted to farming. Plowed fields account for 4.9 million hectares, hay fields 0.7 million, and pastures and pasturelands 1.6 million (1968). In 1968 there were 99 sovkhozes and 651 kolkhozes. The number of tractors (in 15–horsepower units) utilized in agriculture rose from 100 in 1928 to 62,000 as of Jan. 1, 1969, and grain combine harvesters increased from 5,000 in 1940 to 13,400; all sovkhozes and 99.8 percent of the kolkhozes have electricity (1968).

Bashkiria’s agricultural production has increased in the years of Soviet power. The quota of the more valuable grain crops has been raised, and plantings of commercial and feed crops, vegetables, and potatoes have been greatly expanded (see Table 2).

Table 2. Areas under grain crops (thousands of hectares)
Total grain-crop area2,297.43,512.14,357.0
Grain crops2,218.42,997.52,942.6
 Spring wheat547.11,051.81,706.0
Commercial crops30.0118.4141.7
 Sugar beets (industrial)0.969.9
 Vegetables, melons, potatoes32.8148.5170.8
 Feed crops16.2247.71,101.9

In addition to wheat, other grain crops are also grown (1968; figures in hectares): rye (584,000), oats (256,000), buckwheat (57,000), millet (71,000), and leguminous seed plants (206,000, chiefly peas). Corn has been cultivated for verdure on a large scale since 1955; large areas are given over to grass cultivation. The 1968 harvest yielded 56 million centners of all grain crops (including 33 million centners of wheat), 11 million centners of sugar beets (industrial), and 20 million centners of potatoes. Fruit and berry plantings accounted for 13,600 hectares, mainly in the valley of the middle and lower course of the Belaia River; plantations of dog rose are well developed.

The principal branches of the livestock-breeding industry are the raising of meat and dairy cattle and the raising of sheep for meat and wool. (See Table 3 for livestock figures.) The breeding of downy goats and commercial horsebreeding (for koumiss and meat production) are well developed in certain areas. Bashkiria is also a well-developed apiculture region.

Table 3. Livestock (thousand head, at beginning of year)
Sheep and goats2,2942,2303,095

The manufacture of livestock products in 1968 included 238,700 tons (dressed weight) of meat (75,000 tons in 1940), 1,428,500 tons of milk (453,000 tons in 1940), 7,036 tons of wool (3,843 tons in 1940), and 692,100,000 eggs.

Government purchases in 1968 amounted to 2.7 million tons of grain crops (1.1 million tons in 1940), 936,000 tons of sugar beets (2,800 tons in 1940), 56,700 tons of sunflower seeds (11,600 tons in 1940), 177,200 tons of potatoes (70,000 tons in 1940), 177,000 tons of cattle and poultry (31,100 tons in 1940), 685,000 tons of milk (123,000 tons in 1940), and 218,800,000 eggs (77 million in 1940).

The agricultural regions are structured as follows: the forest steppe and the steppe of the Predural’e are the principal wheat and livestock regions and have the heaviest cultivation of commercial crops; in the northern Predural’e the planting quota of oats, barley, rye, buckwheat, and peas has been raised, and in the Zaural’e the quota of spring wheat and the role of livestock-breeding (including horse herding and breeding and downy-goat breeding) have been increased; localized farming and mountain pasturage and breeding of livestock are predominant in the southern Urals; and suburban farming exists around industrial centers.

TRANSPORTATION. The length of Bashkiria’s working railroads in early 1969 totaled 1,197 km (780 km in 1940). The electrified east-west Kuibyshev-Ufa-Cheliabinsk railroad is the principal transport trunk line. It is joined by another east-west railway line within Bashkiria—the Moscow-Ul’ianovsk line (at the Chishmy station), and a number of north-south lines branch out from it (Ufa-Sterlitamak-Tiul’gan and others). A new east-west trunk line is being built by extending the Magnitogorsk-Beloretsk railroad to the Chishmy region. The Belaia and Ufa rivers (the navigable portion open to all navigation totals 775 km) are the chief waterways. A network of oil and gas pipelines has been developed (Tuimazy-Ufa, Ishimbai-Ufa, Ishimbai-Orsk, and others). At the end of 1968, the length of main pipeline amounted to 3,259 km (168 km in 1937); the amount of oil and petroleum products pumped in 1968 reached 69.4 million tons. In 1968 there were 9,400 km of paved roads (3,000 km in 1940). There is an airline network. Bashkiria exports primarily petroleum and petroleum products, ores, and agricultural products and imports mainly coal and metals.

INTERNAL CHARACTERISTICS. The Belaia River region is the economic center of Bashkiria. Almost one-half the population, four-fifths of the industrial production, and the major portion of agricultural production are located here. Processing industries are predominant. Agriculture is distinguished by its high rate of productivity, and the transportation system is very advanced. Western Bashkiria is the chief petroleum-producing region and the major agricultural producer of wheat and livestock, and it has the highest rural population density. Northern Bashkiria is a region of agriculture, lumber industry, and a rapidly growing petroleum industry. The thinly settled mountain region of Bashkiria (including the Zaural’e) has mining and metallurgy industry, with major timber-processing facilities in the northern mountain belt and a vigorous grain economy, as well as livestock breeding, in the east and southeast.

PROSPERITY. The people’s prosperity is rising steadily because of the growth of the republic’s national income. The volume of retail merchandise turnover in 1968 increased by a factor of 8.4, as compared with 1940 (at comparable prices). In 1968 government and cooperative enterprises and organizations (excluding kolkhozes) constructed residential dwellings with a total living space of 1.1 million sq m. In addition, 907 single residential dwellings were built by the inhabitants in cities and villages during 1968, and 11,900 dwelling units were constructed by kolkhozes and the inhabitants in rural localities. Social security funds and the real income of the population continue to rise.


Public health. In 1913 only 143 physicians and 342 middle-level medical personnel were working in Bashkiria; hospital beds numbered just above 1,700. As of Jan. 1, 1969, Bashkiria had 375 hospitals with a total of 32,800 beds, 505 medical establishments offering dispensary and polyclinical aid, 6,353 physicians in all specialties (that is, one doctor for every 600 people), and 23,300 middle-level medical personnel. In 1968 there were 31 operational sanatoriums and 11 rest homes. The Aksakovo, Alkino, Glukhovskaia, Krasnousol’sk, Chekhovo, Shafranovo, Iumatovo, Iak-tykul’, and Iangantau health resorts, the medical treatment facilities in the Assa area, the mineral springs at Tuimazyneft’, and others are all located within Bashkiria.

Education and cultural affairs. Before the October Revolution, only about 20 percent of the population in the territory occupied by Bashkiria was literate. In the 1914–15 school year 132,500 students received instruction in 1,562 schools providing general education. There were no institutions of higher learning. A genuine cultural revolution took place in Bashkiria under Soviet power. Compulsory eight-year general education was introduced, and a well-developed system of educational institutions was created. In 1969, 101,700 children were enrolled in 921 kindergartens. During the 1969–70 school year 922,600 students received instruction in 4,636 general education schools of all types, more than 60,000 students received instruction in 63 secondary specialized educational institutions, and 41,400 students were enrolled at nine institutions of higher learning—Bashkir University; petroleum, agriculture, medicine, aviation, and arts institutes; and three pedagogical institutes.

As of Jan. 1, 1969, the republic had 1,754 people’s libraries (16,340,300 copies of books and periodicals), 3,166 club organizations, seven museums (the Museum of Local Lore, the V. I. Lenin House Museum, the M. Gafuri House Museum, and the M. V. Nesterov Art Museum in Ufa; the Frunze and Chapaev House Museum in Krasnyi Iar; the Sterlitamak Museum of Local Lore; and the K. V. Ivanov House Museum in the village of Slakbash), seven theaters, 2,768 movie projectors, and extracurricular institutions, including the Palace of Pioneers in Ufa, 48 houses of Pioneers, 12 children’s athletic schools, and stations for young technicians and naturalists.

Science and scientific institutions. Scientific societies and the Institute of People’s Education were established in 1920. The Akademtsentr (academic center), which was the leading institution for the study of the Bashkir language, was created in 1921. The Institute for the Socialist Reconstruction of Agriculture was organized in 1931, the Institute of National Culture was founded in 1932, and the Institute of Public Health and Hygiene was opened in 1934.

Eminent figures of modern Soviet science, including A. A. Bogomolets, A. V. Palladin, E. O. Paton, P. P. Budnikov, and E. S. Varga, worked in Bashkiria during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. During this period Bashkiria’s scientists did much to increase agricultural productivity, the discovery of new oil deposits, and the introduction of modern petroleum-refining methods.

The Bashkir branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, which existed until 1963, was established in 1951; it consisted of the institutes of geology, biology, and history, language, and literature and also the departments of economic research and organic chemistry (which was subsequently reorganized as the Institute of Chemistry). In the 1950’s, Bashkiria made important advances in the refining of petroleum. This contributed to the organization of industrial scientific research institutes, mainly engineering oriented. The Bashkir Scientific Research Institute for Petroleum Refining was established in 1956; the scientific research institutes of petrochemical production and agriculture, the Bashkir Scientific Research Institute of Construction, and the Scientific Research Institute for the Transport and Storage of Oil and Petroleum Products began operations between 1957 and 1959. Bashkir University was opened in 1957 on the basis of the pedagogical institute. The Ufa branch of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Chemical Agents for Plant Protection and a pilot plant began operations in 1964. In subsequent years new universities and scientific research institutes were established not only in Ufa but also in Sterlitamak, Salavat, Birsk, Oktiabr’skii, and other cities.

The resumption in 1967 of the role of the Bashkir branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR as a major regional research center in the natural and social sciences was an important event. More than 370 scientific workers, including 18 doctors and 140 candidates of science, worked in its scientific institutions during 1969. Bashkiria’s scientists take an active part in the analysis of urgent economic and cultural problems and the study of natural resources and the productive forces of the republic, and they are making substantial contributions to the advancement of Soviet science.

Bashkiria’s geologists discovered the exceedingly rich deposits of oil and iron and copper ores that provided the basis for the development of the petroleum, petrochemical, and metallurgical industries; research is carried out in paleontology, geotectonics and geomorphology, geophysics, age determination of minerals, petrology, and geochemistry. A. A. Trofimuk, G. V. Vakhrushev, K. R. Timergazin, and A. I. Olli worked in Bashkiria and created their own schools; B. M. Iusupov, A. Ia. Vissarionova, D. G. Ozhiganov, and V. L. Iakhimovich are among those currently working in Bashkiria.

The efforts of biologists are directed toward the formulation of theoretical principles for the growth of agricultural productivity and the conservation and development of forest resources in the southern Urals. Research is being conducted in the physiology of plant immunity (V. K. Girfanov and L. I. Sergeev), the ecology of forest insects, soil science (S. N. Taichinov, and others), and the study of nucleic acids.

Bashkir chemists—V. G. Ben’kovskii, S. R. Rafikov, B. V. Klimenok, R. M. Masagutov, and Z. I. Siuniaev—are working mainly on the problems of refining oils with a high sulfur content, petrochemical synthesis, and the synthesis of high molecular and physiologically active compounds.

The physical and mathematical sciences began to be developed in Bashkiria in the late 1960’s. G. A. Babalian and M. M. Sattarov (intensification of oil-extraction operations) and A. F. Polak and others (development of new construction techniques) are working in the engineering sciences in association with the petroleum, machine-building, construction, and other industries.

Medical research has played a large role in the development of the republic’s public health programs. Work has been carried out in the study and utilization of natural medicinal resources (G. N. Teregulov and associates), surgery (I. G. Kadyrov and others), ophthalmology (G. Kh. Kudoia-rov), and therapeutics (Z. Sh. Zagidullin and others). Research in the prevention and treatment of occupational diseases in the petroleum and chemical industries has led to a sharp decline in the sick rate of workers employed in Bashkiria’s leading industries.

Considerable progress has been achieved in the social sciences, including history, philology, literature, economics, archaeology, and ethnography. Notable contributions to science have been made by the work of the archaeologist K. V. Sal’nikov, the ethnographer R. G. Kuzeev, and the philologists D. G. Kiekbaev, K. Z. Akhmerov, and A. I. Kharisov.

Economists use mathematical methods and electronic computers to analyze problems relating to the development and distribution of industrial complexes and to optimum planning for the production and procurement of agricultural products; they are also engaged in research on general economic problems. Fourteen scientific councils have been created for the future development of scientific research in the republic and the coordination of efforts in the various independent branches of science.


Press, radio, and television. In 1968, 241 books and pamphlets with a printing of 1,658,000 copies were published in Bashkiria; 112 newspaper editions (excluding multiple printings) came out in Russian, Bashkir, Tatar, Mari, Chuvash, and Udmurt, with a single combined printing of 966,000 copies. Newspapers published in the republic .are Sovet Bashqortostanï (Soviet Bashkiria, since 1918), in Bashkir; Sovetskaia Bashkiriia (since 1906, originated with the newspaper Ufimskii rabochii); Kïzïl tan (Red Dawn, since 1918), in Tatar; Leninse (Leninist, since 1923), in Bashkir and Russian; and Bashqortostan pionere (Pioneer of Bashkiria, since 1930) in Bashkir. Magazines include Agidel’ (since 1930), Bashqortostan kïzï (Daughter of Bashkiria, since 1968), Khenek (Pitchfork, since 1925), Bashqortostan ukïtïusikhi (Teacher of Bashkiria, since 1924), and Pioner (since 1930) in Bashkir; and Bloknot agitatora (Agitator’s Notebook; in Bashkir, Russian, and Tatar).

The republic’s radio and television carry broadcasts in Bashkir and Russian on two radio and two television programs, and they also relay broadcasts from Moscow. A television station is located in Ufa.

Literature. The oral folk poetry of the Bashkirs consists of epic poems, songs of history and everyday life, tales, and legends. They have been transcribed and published, primarily by Russian scholars, since the early 19th century. The freedom-loving poems and songs of Salavat Iulaev, the first of the Bashkir singers and säsän’ï (narrators) known to us and a fellow fighter of Emel’ian Pugachev, belong to this body of folk literature. The 18th- and 19th-century writers T. Ialsygul, Gali Sokryi, Sh. Ia. Zaki, and G. Salikhov wrote mainly religious and ethical poetry. The ideas of enlightenment and criticisms of scholastic methods of teaching were reflected in the works of writers and scholars in the latter part of the 19th century, including M. K. Akmulla, M. Umitbaev, and M. Bikchurin.

Mazhit Gafuri emerged on the literary scene on the eve of the Revolution of 1905–07. His works are highly treasured not only in Bashkir literature but also in Tatar literature. He became the poet of the October Revolution. His collection Red Banner (1917) marked the beginning of Bashkir revolutionary lyric poetry. Garif Gumer, B. Z. Ishemgulov, Tukhvat Ianabi, Imai Nasyri, and other writers who participated in the Civil War began to write. The first works of the Komsomol poet Shamun Fidai, Iarly Karim, and the Bolshevik publicist Sh. A. Khudaiberdin were published in the newspapers of the Red Army.

The drama Ashkadar (1920) by M. Burangulov and the musical comedy The Little Shoes (1921) by the dramatist and composer Kh. K. Ibragimov, which makes fun of the morals of the bourgeois and merchants, were staged by the Bashkir mobile theater. In 1920, D. I. Iultyi wrote the play Karagul, which concerns the Bashkir toilers’ struggle for freedom. The thoughts and feelings of a man of labor who had become the master of his own fate are embodied in the poetry collections of M. Gafuri, S. F. Kudash, G. Gumer, T. Ianabi, and others. The young writers Sagit Agish, Gabdulla Amantai, Ali Karnai, Rashit Nigmati, Mukhitdin Tazhi, Gainan Khairi, and others began working in the late 1920’s; youth, Komsomol members, and champions of the new life appeared as the heroes in their works.

The 1930’s were marked by an upsurge in Bashkir literary activity and by its development along the path of socialist realism. The novellas and novels of S. Agish, B. G. Bikbai, Kh. L. Davletshina, A. Karnai, S. F. Kudash, I. Nasyr’, and A. M. Tagirov; the verse narratives of M. G. Khai and D. I. Iultyi; and the dramas of S. M. Miftakhov were devoted to the theme of collectivization. The growth of industry in Bashkiria and the formation of the working class are reflected in the sketch “Ishimbai” (1935) by A. Karnai, the novella The Blood of Machines (1934) by A. M. Tagirov, and the poetry of R. Nigmati, K. Kh. Daian, and S. G. Kulibai. The poets B. Kh. Valid, Maksud Siundiukle, and M. N. Marat appeared with works of poetry on the working class. The themes of the Revolution and the Civil War received a great deal of attention in the literature of the 1930’s: novels by A. M. Tagirov (Soldiers, parts 1–2, 1931–33; Red Guards, 1934; and Red Army Men, 1936) and D. I. Iultyi (Blood, 1934) and I. Nasyri (Kudei, 1936); and novellas by A. Karnai, Kh. B. Mukhtar, I. Nasyri, Ch. Kh. Khanov, B. Kh. Khasan, and others. Humor and satire is also well developed in novellas by S. Agish, short stories by G. K. Davletshin, B. Z. Ishemgulov, Kirei Mergen, and Tukhvat Ianabi, and poetry by G. G. Amiri. The genre of the verse narrative was used on a large scale—for example, Shunkar (1936) and Child (1939) by Gafur Saliam, The Beautiful Valleys of Ak-Idel’ (1939) by R. Nigmati, and Land of the Victors (1935) by T. Ianabi. Plays by S. M. Miftakhov, B. G. Bikbai, K. Kh. Daian, and N. K. Karip also appeared.

Poetry underwent significant development during the Great Patriotic War of 194M5. Books by T. G. Arslan, A. M. Valeev, M. S. Karim, Kh. K. Karim, N. N. Nadzhmi, R. Nigmati, and others were a kind of poetic chronicle of the war. Images of heroes on both the war and home fronts were created in books by S. Agish (To the Front, 1943), K. Mergen (Bashkirs, 1943; Dzhigity, 1944), S. F. Kudash (On the Steppes of the Don, 1943), G. Gumer (Tales of Grandfather Iulsura, 1945), and others. The dramas of B. G. Bikbai, K. Mergen, and A. K. Mubariakov were presented on the Bashkir stage.

Among the items published in the postwar years were the novella To Meet the Spring (1952) by S. F. Kudash, about the friendship of the poets Gabdulla Tukai and Mazhit Gafuri, and his memoirs Unforgettable Moments (1957) and Treading the Path of Youth (1964); and the novella Town on the Waves (1951) by G. Gumer, about the labor of the raftsmen, and his autobiographical novella From the Threshold to the Chamber (1957). The genre of the novel was developed considerably. The novel Irgiz (1957) by Kh. L. Davletshina depicted the friendship and common struggle of the Bashkir peasants and Russian workers. The novels The Oppressed (1959) by Z. A. Biisheva and Gold Is Collected by Grains by la. Kh. Khammatov are devoted to the people’s past. Novels by S. Agish (Foundation, 1950), A. M. Valeev (First Steps, 1952), and B. G. Bikbai (When the Akselian Overflows, 1956) depict the socialist transformation of a Bashkir village. The struggle to obtain oil in Bashkiria is described in the novels On the Slopes of Naryshtau (1948–1949) by K. Mergen and Swans Remain in the Urals (1956) by A. G. Bikchentaev. The novels May Rain (1957) and Dog-Rose Blossom by A. M. Valeev, Generous Land (1959) and Moscow Road (1968) by D. F. Islamov, I Promise You No Paradise (1963) by A. G. Bikchentaev, and Soldiers Without Epaulets by Kh. G. Giliazhev (1964) are devoted to their contemporaries. In poetry outstanding verse narratives were written by T. G. Arslan, Sh. S. Bikkulov, M. G. Gali, Kh. K. Karim, K. K. Kin’iabulatova, S. G. Kulibai, N. N. Nadzhmi, R. Nigmati, G. Z. Ramazanov, and M. Siundiukle.

Considerable success has been achieved in Bashkir dramaturgy. Dramas by I. A. Abdullin, N. V. Asanbaev, A. K. Atnabaev, G. G. Akhmetshin, M. S. Karim, A. M. Mirzagitov, and N. N. Nadzhmi were warmly received. There has been a notable increase in children’s literature. Novellas by Z. A. Biisheva, A. G. Bikchentaev, R. B. Gab-drakhmanov, F. A. Isangulov, M. S. Karim, and K. Mergen have appeared. Bashkir literature has been infused with youthful vigor: the poets R. G. Bikbaev, R. Ia. Garipov, A. Kh. Igibaev, M. N. Karimov, Ia. Kulmyi, F. A. Rakhim-gulova, R. A. Safin, and R. G. Khakimov and the prosaists I. G. Gizzatullin, G. G. Ibragimov, V. M. Iskhakov, N. S. Musin, and others. Authors who write in Russian are also producing successful works in the republic.

The history of literature and literary criticism are well advanced. Monographs devoted to Bashkir literature and native folklore have been published. Research work in these areas is carried on by A. I. Kharisov, K. A. Akhmed’ianov, M. F. Gainullin, S. A. Galin, N. T. Zaripov, Kh. Sh. Zin-natullin, A. G. Kudashev, K. Mergen, G. Z. Ramazanov, S. G. Safuanov, A. Kh. Khakimov, G. B. Khusainov, M. Kh. Mingazhetdinov, and other scholars.


Architecture and art. The oldest Paleolithic rock wall paintings in the USSR were discovered at Shul’gantash (Kapovaia Cave) in the territory of Bashkiria; a large quantity of ornaments, pottery, and metal decorations embellished with patterns and stylized depictions of animals were found in burial mounds and graves. Collapsible yurts (tirme) covered with felt, huts, and primitive framework shelters (burama) in the mountain and forest areas served through the ages as dwellings for the Bashkir cattle breeders. Winter quarters were houses made of wood, sometimes adobe. The architectural influence of the Bulgars is observed in the construction of Bashkir auls (villages) and especially in the architecture of buildings of worship (mosques and mausoleums). Russian architectural influence was clearly noticeable after Bashkiria’s voluntary annexation to Russia (16th century). The period between the 16th and 18th centuries saw the rise of the cities of Sterlitamak, Belebei, Birsk, and Ufa, in which classically styled stone houses appeared alongside wooden homes in the 19th century and buildings of an eclectic nature were constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At present, old cities (among them Ufa, Sterlitamak, and Belebei) are being rebuilt and new cities (Salavat, Oktiabr’skii, and Neftekamsk) are being created. Elements of classical architecture were incorporated into structures built between the late 1930’s and the 1950’s (the G. K. Ordzhonikidze Palace of Culture by the architect N. I. Shabarov; the House of Industry by the architects A. S. Liubarskaia, V. M. Liubarskii, M. A. Khomutov, and A. F. Kozlov; the university by the architects B. G. and S. G. Kalimullin; and other buildings in Ufa; also the Palace of Culture in Salavat and the House of Engineering in Oktiabr’skii). In the 1960’s large-scale construction was expanded, and the building of cities proceeded according to well-designed and integrated master planning, with modern-style buildings in simple and concise forms (the Bashkir Academic Drama Theater by the architects S. I. Iakshin and others; the State Circus and the Palace of Sport in Ufa; the Palace of Sport in Oktiabr’skii; and new blocks of multiple-story dwellings in Ufa, Salavat, and other cities).

Patterned weaving and counted-thread embroidery (headbands [kharaus] worn on the forehead, napless two-sided Farsi carpets, curtains [sharshau], and decorative towels, which compose the basic home decor) have been well developed among the Bashkirs since ancient times. Geometric designs—diamonds, triangles, stars, cross-shaped figures, and zoomorphic and anthropomorphic motifs—and bold, contrasting combinations of bright colors are typical. Chain-stitch embroidery, cloth footwear applique, leather stamping, and metal engraving and embossing are also widely practiced. Plant designs, S-shaped figures, and horn motifs predominate. Wooden objects are decorated with simple geometric carvings, and boat-shaped ladles (izhau) are bored out into beautiful forms.

Artists who appeared as early as the prerevolutionary years (at the first exhibition organized in Ufa, 1916) have played a large role in the formation of Bashkir fine art: K. A. Davletkil’deev, the first Bashkir artist (primarily a portraitist); M. N. Elgashtina; A. E. Tiul’kin, a master of the monumental epic landscape; A. P. Lezhnev; and V. S. Syromiatnikov. In 1920 the Art Museum opened in Ufa (since 1954, the M. V. Nesterov Art Museum), and in 1926 the Art Academy (now the Ufa Academy of Arts), in which many Bashkir artists received their training, was founded. In the late 1930’s and during the 1940’s, historical-revolutionary themes—for example, the pictures of I. I. Uriadov dedicated to V. I. Chapaev and the pictures of A. P. Lezhnev dedicated to Salavat Iulaev—and themes of socialist construction occupied an important place in Bashkir painting. Artistic development in Bashkiria was particularly successful in the 1950’s and 1960’s, when artists appeared who were alumni of the country’s art institutes. The landscape works of V. P. Andreev and N. A. Russkikh; the delicate landscapes, filled with poetic charm, of B. F. Domashnikov; and the typically bright range of decorative canvases by A. D. Burziantsev, A. V. Panteleev, and P. P. Salmasov are outstanding. Pictures on historical and contemporary themes, including portraits, are painted by R. M. Nurmukhametov, A. F. Lutfullin, A. A. Kuznetsov, and A. T. Platonov; the colorful way of life of the people is reflected in the genre paintings of F. A. Kashcheev and the still lifes of A. Kh. Sitdikova. M. N. Arslanov and G. Sh. Ima-sheva work as theatrical painters. In sculpture, T. P. Ne-chaeva (portrait busts, fine plastic art, and decorative ceramic panels) and B. D. Fuzeev (primarily portraits) were outstanding during the 1960’s. Progress is being made in book design and graphics (R. G. Gumerov, B. Ia. Palekha, and others).

Music. Until the October Revolution, Bashkir music was represented only by native folk music. Bashkir folk songs are sung solo. There is a variety of styles, including uzun-kyuy (long, drawn-out melody, including songs having full refrains and free meter and rhythm, or instrumental melodies of an improvisational nature), urtasa- kyuy (semi drawn-out melody), and kïska-kyuy (short melody, including fast, structurally precise, and rhythmically mechanical songs or figurative pieces). The kïska-kyuy is accompanied by different types of instrumental melodies: marches, which accompany male war dances; the kïlanïp-biyu— melodies associated with heroic figurative dances; the biyu-kyuy—lyrical and dance tunes; the takmak—a dance song similar to the chastushka (folk verses that are sung) that originated in the late 19th century. Irteks, kubairs, and bayts—songs similar to the bylina—are heroic epic forms. Elements of polyphony are encountered in the art of the uzlyau (“play with the throat”), in which the performer produces a sustained low tone and a melody at the same time. A distinctive pentatonic scale combining pentatonic and diatonic harmonies provides the harmonic basis for native folk music. Bashkir folk music instruments include the kuray (a longitudinal reed flute similar to the shepherd’s reedpipe), the accordion, and the kubïz (a type of vargan [reed instrument] made of metal or wood).

Professional musical art began to be cultivated in Bashkiria after the establishment of Soviet power. A considerable portion of the Bashkir composers’ creative work in the 1920’s consisted of songs and choruses (Kh. K. Ibragimov, M. M. Valeev, K. Iu. Rakhimov, and S. Kh. Gabashi). Performances with music written by Kh. K. Ibragimov (the musical comedy The Little Shoes), M. R. Kalinovskii, K. Iu. Rakhimov, S. Kh. Gabashi, and M. M. Valeev were staged in the theater at Sterlitamak (in Ufa since 1922). In 1919 a music school was founded in Ufa, and a music technicum was established in 1922. Symphonic concerts have been held in Ufa since 1925. In 1932 a Bashkir branch affiliated with the Moscow Conservatory was opened (director, People’s Artist of the Bashkir ASSR J. G. Al’mukhametov), which was reorganized in 1936 as a music studio. In the 1930’s, Kh. F. Akhmetov, Kh. Sh. Zaimov, Z. G. Ismagilov, T. Sh. Karimov, and R. A. Murtazin graduated from this studio. The Music Theater of Bashkiria (since 1941, the Bashkir Theater of Opera and Ballet), the Bashkir Philharmonic, and an orchestra of native folk instruments—the Bashkir Folklore Group—were established in Ufa in 1938. The correspondence branch of the Gnesins’ Music Pedagogical Institute (teaching and tutorial center) has operated since 1962 in affiliation with the Ufa Academy of Arts. The Salavat Musical College began operating in 1963. In 1968 the Institute of Arts, with six faculties, was opened in Ufa, and in 1969 musical colleges were established in Oktiabr’skii and Davlekanovo.

The distinctive national style of Bashkir music took shape through a synthesis of native folk music traditions and the principles of European and, above all, Russian classical music. The first Bashkir operas—Khakmar by M. M. Valeev, Mërgën (Marksman) by A. A. Eikhenval’d, Karlugas (Swallow) by N. K. Chemberdzhi, and others—were presented in the 1940’s. Crane Song by L. B. Stepanov—the Bashkir ballet—premiered in 1944. The 1950’s and 1%0’s saw the staging of the operas Salavat Iulaev (1955) and Shaura (1963) and the musical comedy Kodasa (1959) by Z. G. Ismagilov, the ballets A True Mountain Story (1959) by A. S. Kliucharev, Buratino (1960) and Giul’nazira (1963) by N. G. Sabitov, Mountain Eagle (1959) by N. G. Sabitov and Kh. F. Akhmetov, and Black-Faces (1965) by Kh. Sh. Zaimov and A. G. Chugaev. Symphonic, chamber, instrumental, and vocal music has been developed by Bashkir composers. The works of Kh. F. Akhmetov, Kh. Sh. Zaimov, R. A. Murtazin, and N. G. Sabitov have earned much acclaim.

Bashkir conductors include Honored Art Workers of the Bashkir ASSR N. G. Sabitov and G. Kh. Mutalov; vocalists include People’s Artists of the RSFSR B. N. Valeeva, G. S. Khabibullin, and M. Kh. Khismatullin, Honored Artists of the RSFSR M. A. Akhmetzianova and M. G. Saligaskarova, People’s Artist of the Bashkir ASSR G. S. Al’mukhametov, and Honored Artist of the Bashkir ASSR S. K. Galimova; and ballet soloists include People’s Artist of the USSR Z. A. Nasretdinova, People’s Artists of the RSFSR Kh. G. Safiullin and G. G. Suleimanova, and Honored Artists of the RSFSR T. Sh. Khudaiberdina, F. M. Sattarov, and M. A. Tagirova.


Theater. Professional theater was created in Bashkiria after the October Revolution. The first national theater, which has been operating in Ufa since 1922 and is now known as the Bashkir Academic Drama Theater, was opened in 1919 in Sterlitamak on the basis of the activities of Red Army amateur circles. During the 1920’s and 1930’s the works of Bashkir dramatists were presented there; among them were The Little Shoes by Kh. K. Ibragimov, Factory and Umiak by A. M. Tagirov, Red Star by Mazhit Gafuri, Karagul by D. I. Iultyi, Khakmar and Friendship and Love by S. M. Miftakhov, and Karlugas by B. G. Bikbai. Theatrical figures have staged classical Russian drama (The Inspector General by N. V. Gogol and Guilty Though Guiltless by A. N. Ostrovskii) and Western European drama (The Robbers by F. Schiller, The Sheep Well by Lope de Vega, and others), as well as the best plays of Soviet authors (Liubov’ larovaia by K. A. Trenev and Armored Train 14–69 by V. V. Ivanov). Patriotic plays became part of the repertoires of theaters during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45; among them are War by Kirei Mergen, Dear Wife by A. K. Mubariakov, On the Bank of the Belaia River by Rashit Nigmati, and Invasion by L. M. Leonov. Between the 1940’s and the 1%0’s theater repertoires were enriched by plays devoted to contemporary life, the heroism of the Civil War and the Great Patriotic War, and the historical and revolutionary past of the Bashkir people. Among them were Tal’ian-Accordion by G. G. Akhmetshin, We Will Not Part by I. A. Abdullin, The Lonely Birch Tree, On the Night of A Lunar Eclipse, and The Land of Aigul’ by M. S. Karim, Spring Song by N. N. Nadzhmi, Raisa by N. V. Asanbaev, He Returned and Shonkar by A. K. Atnabaev, To Meet the Storm by R. Ishmurat, Soldier’s Son by A. M. Mirzagitov, and Nerkes by I. Kh. Iumagulov.

There are Russian theaters in Ufa (founded in 1931) and Sterlitamak (founded in 1938), dramatic theaters in Sibai (founded in 1931) and Salavat (founded in 1933), and a puppet theater in Ufa (founded in 1932). Bashkiria’s theatrical figures include People’s Artist of the USSR A. K. Mubariakov; People’s Artists of the RSFSR Z. I. Bik-bulatova, G. M. Mingazhev, A. F. Zubairov, G. Kh. Karamyshev, and G. M. Tukaev; Honored Artists of the RSFSR Kh. G. Bukharskii, R. S. Ianbulatova, and B. G. Imashev; Honored Art Workers of the Bashkir ASSR and Honored Artists of the RSFSR G. Sh. Imasheva and Sh. M. Murtazina; and People’s Artists of the Bashkir ASSRG. B. Abzgil’dina, L. G. Akhtiamova, T. M. Biktasheva, D. R. Dautova, Kh. I. Kudashev, M. A. Magadeev, T. F. Rashi-tova, A. G. Sadykova, G. Z. Suleimanov, G. A. Ushanov, and R. Sh. Faizullin. Performers and personnel for Bashkiria’s dramatic theaters are trained at the State Institute of Theater Arts, the Ufa College of Art, and in the theater faculty of the Ufa Institute of the Arts (opened in 1968).


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Ocherki po istorii Bashkirskoi ASSR, vols. 1 (parts 1—2)—2. Ufa, 1956–66.
Usmanov, A. N. Prisoedinenie Bashkirii k Russkomu gosudarstvu. Ufa, 1960.
Usmanov, Kh. F. Stolypinskaia agrámala reforma v Bashkirii. Ufa, 1958.
Podgotovka i provedenie Velikoi Oktiabr’skoi sotsialisticheskoi revoliutsii v Bashkirii: Sb. dokumentov i materialov. Ufa, 1957.
Obrazovanie Bashkirskoi ASSR: Sb. dokumentov i materialov. Ufa, 1959.
Aminev, Z. A. Oktiabr’skaia sotsialisticheskaia revoliutsiia i grazhdanskaia voina v Bashkirii (1917–1919 gg). Ufa, 1966.
Uzikov, Iu. A. Podpisano V. I. Leninym (Po sledam piati leninskikh telegramm v Bashkiriiu). Ufa, 1967.
Bashkiriia za polveka. Ufa, 1969.
Buranghulov, I. Bashqortostandi kapitalizmdeng üseshe (1861–1897 yïldar). Ufa, 1961.
Ghulirov, G. Bashqortostan tïnïs tözöloshkä küseü osoronda (1919–1922 yïldar). Ufa, 1958.
Ghulirov, G. Bashqortostanda kholq khuzhalïgïn ayaqqa bast’ir’iu osoronda (1923–1928 yïldar). Ufa, 1960.
Komar, I. V. Geografiia khoziaistva Urala. Moscow, 1964.
Narodnoe khoziaistvo Bashkirskoi ASSR: Statisticheskii sbornik. Ufa, 1967.
Khismatov, M. F. Bashkiria: Ekonomiko-geograficheskaia kharakteristika. Ufa, 1968.
Nauka v Sovetskoi Bashkirii za 50 let. Ufa, 1969.
Pisateli Sovetskoi Bashkirii. Ufa, 1955.
Molodaia literatura vozrozhdennogo naroda. Moscow, 1958.
Istoriia bashkirskoi sovetskoi literatury; Ocherki, parts 1–2. Ufa, 1963–66.
Bashqort sovet ädhäbiäte tarikhe. Ufa, 1967.
Gäynullin, M. and G. Khösäinov. Bashqort sovet yadhïus’ûar’i. Ufa, 1967.
Khösäinov, G. Bashqort sovet poëziyahïnïng ütheü yuldarï. Ufa, 1968.
Timergälina, R. Kh. Bashqortostan yadhïusïlarï: Biblioghr. beleshmä. Ufa, 1968.
Sakhautdinova, M. “V Sovetskoi Bashkirii.” Arkhitektura SSSR, 1957, no. 9.
Khudozhnik, 1959, no. 6, pp. 2–19.
Avizhanskaia, S. A., N. V. Bikbulatov, and R. G. Kuzeev. Dekorativno-prikladnoe iskusstvo bashkir. Ufa, 1964.
Narodnoe iskusstvo bashkir. [Album.] Leningrad, 1968.
Pikunova, G. “Pesnia o Bashkirii.” Khudozhnik, 1969, no. 4.
Rybakov, S. G. Muzyka i pesni ural’skikh musul’man.. . . St. Petersburg, 1897.
Lebedinskii, L. N. Kompozitory Bashkirii. Moscow, 1955.
Lebedinskii, L. N. Bashkirskie narodnye pesni i naigryshi, 2nd ed.
Moscow, 1965.
Shumskaia, N. “Muzykal’naia kul’tura Bashkirskoi ASSR.” In Muzykal’naia kul’tura avtonomnykh respublik RSFSR. Moscow, 1957.
Bashkirskie narodnye pesni. Collection compiled by Kh. F. Akhmetov, L. N. Lebedinskii, and A. I. Kharisov. Ufa, 1954.
Gaskarov, F. A. Bashkirskie tantsy. Ufa, 1958.
Khairullin, R. Bashkirskii ansambl’ narodnogo tantsa. Ufa, 1966.
Bashkirskii gosudarstvennyi teatr opery i baleta. Moscow, 1955.
Bashkirskii akademicheskii teatr dramy. Ufa, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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