a Russian term of Turkic origin used to designate the emancipated obshchinniki (communal peasants) in Dagestan, who constituted the overwhelming majority of the peasantry. The term uzden’ was used in contradistinction to the terms lag (slave) and raiat (serf, dependent). It was applied even to the feudal service class (uorki) by the Russian administration in the 16th century and by the Adygeians and Kabardins in the 18th and 19th centuries. The uzdeni were usually dependent both economically and politically on the feudal lords. Some advanced to the highest levels in feudal society, while others finally reverted to the status of dependent peasants.