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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(self-designation, Qumuq; plural, Qumuqlar), a people living primarily in the plains and partially in the foothill regions of the Dagestan ASSR. Their population in the USSR is 189,000, of which 169,000 are in the Dagestan ASSR (1970 census). Their language belongs to the Kipchak group of Turkic languages. The believers among the Kumyks are Muslims.

The ethnic origins of the Kumyks are in ancient tribes—the native peoples of northeastern Dagestan and the Turkic-speaking tribes who arrived later, particularly the Kipchaks, whose language was adopted by the aborigines. The Kumyks are similar to other mountain peoples of Dagestan in their anthropological features and the main features of their culture and way of life. The most significant feudal formation of the Kumyks was the Tarkov Shamkalate in the 17th and 18th centuries. The people’s way of life was changed radically by the socialist reconstruction of the economy during the Soviet period and by the cultural revolution. National literature, art, theater, music, and folklore developed, and an intelligentsia emerged.


Gadzhieva, S. Sh. Kumyki: Istoriko-etnografich. issledovanie. Moscow, 1961.
Narody Kavkaza, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960.
Sovremennaia kul’tura i byt narodov Dagestana. Moscow, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Balkars, Kumyks, Laks, and Circassian demonstrated in 2009 protesting perceived ethnic-based injustices resulting from elections, appointments, reforms, and corruption.
More than 500,000 Karachai, Chechens, Ingush, and Balkars, and in less numbers Kumyks, Laks, and Avars, were deported to Siberia and Central Asia.