(self-designation, Urbugan), an ethnic subdivision of the Darghins, inhabiting the settlement of Kubachi in Dakhadaevskii Raion, Dagestan ASSR. They speak the Kubachi (Arbuk) dialect of the Darghin language. Religious Kubachi are Sunni Muslims. They are first mentioned in written sources dating from the ninth century, where they are called Zerehgaran, a Persian word meaning “those making shirts of mail” (Russian, korchuzhniki). Since the 16th century they have been known as Kubachi, the Turkish word for korchuzhniki. From ancient times the chief occupation of the Kubachi has been artistic metalworking.
REFERENCESShilling, E. M. Kubachintsy i ikh kul’tura. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949. Narody Kavkaza, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960.
an urban-type settlement in Dakhadaev Raion, Dagestan ASSR; a major arts center of Dagestan. In the early Middle Ages, Kubachi was famed for its chain mail and arms. During the 11th through 17th centuries, Kubachi had highly developed stone carving (carved tympana and high reliefs depicting animals, people, and war and hunting scenes) and bronze casting (cauldrons with similar depictions). In the 18th and 19th centuries there was a flowering of artistic metalworking (niello in silver, deep engraving, filigree, chasing, embossing, and gold and silver inlays in metal, ivory, and horn), particularly in the production and ornamentation of arms.
Carving is still an important craft in Kubachi, as seen in tombstones, wooden architectural details, and household objects decorated with plant motifs. Craftsmen produce copper trays and dishes decorated with geometric and animal motifs. The art of Kubachi is characterized by a logical completeness of ornamentation and purity and vigor of line. Popular plant motifs are intertwining stems with flowers, leaves, and buds: the markharai (stalks), tutta (branch), and tamga (rosette).
The Khudozhnik Combine, based on an artel founded in 1923, is now in operation in Kubachi. Master craftsmen (A. Akhmedov, G. M. Kishev, G. Kurbanov, R. A. Alikhanov, G. M. Magomedov) create decorative silver vases, trays, pitchers, tableware, and jewelry adorned with engraving, niello, inlays, and so forth. They work sizable areas in sections when applying a large floral pattern.
REFERENCESShilling, E. M. Kubachintsy i ikh kul’tura. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Kil’chevskaia, E. V. Dekorativnoe iskusstvo aula Kubachi. Moscow, 1962.