Tatars are a Turkic ethnic group, native to the Volga-Ural
region, Russia. They are in turn subdivided into various subgroups.
They compose 53% of the population of Tatarstan. Volga
Russia's second-largest ethnicity.
Kazan (Qazan) Tatars
2.3 Qasím Tatars
2.4 Noqrat Tatars
2.5 Perm (Ostyak) Tatars
3 1921–22 famine in Tatarstan
4 Traditional culture
5 Population figures
7 See also
10 External links
11 Further reading
Tartary and Tatarstan
Tatars inhabiting the Republic of Tatarstan, a federal subject of
Russia, constitute one third of all Tatars, while the other two thirds
reside outside Tatarstan. The formation of some of the communities
Tatarstan took place before the
Russian Revolution of
1917 due to
Tatars being specialized in trading.
The emergence of ethnonym "Tatar" is disputed, with two theses trying
to explain its origins. Mongol thesis, according to which etymology
can be traced back to the Chinese "Ta-Tan" or "Da-Dan", is more widely
accepted than Turkic one. Ethnonym "Tatar" first emerged in the
fifth century CE/AD.
The 14th century saw the spread of
Sunni Islam among the Tatars.
Tatars became subjects of
Russia after the
Siege of Kazan
Siege of Kazan in 1552.
Tatars with the Mongol
Golden Horde (that ruled
Russia in the 13th century), they began to negatively stereotype the
Tatar people. Due to these negative stereotypes, some of which persist
in modern Russian society, recently some
Tatar intellectuals have been
trying to link
Tatar heritage with the historic Bulgar population of
Russians were using the
Tatar ethnonym during the
18th and 19th centuries to denote all Turkic inhabitants of the
Russian Empire, however the
Turkic peoples of the Russian Empire
before the emergence of the
Soviet Union did not usually self-identify
as Tatars. Up to the end of the 19th century, Volga
identified themselves as
Muslims until the rehabilitation of the
Tatar occurred. Russian officials used literary Tatar
language to interact with the
Turkic peoples of the Russian Empire
before the end of the 19th century. Volga
Tatar role in the Muslim
national and cultural movements of the
Russian Empire before the 1917
Revolution is significant and this situation continued even after
Tatar authorities attempted in the 1990s to reverse the
Tatarstan that took place during the Soviet
"Bulgarism" is a term for the position that the Volga
significantly descended from the Volga Bulgars.
Kazan (Qazan) Tatars
The majority of Volga
Kazan Tatars. They form the bulk of
Tatar population of Tatarstan. Traditionally, they inhabit the
left bank of Volga river.
Khazar invasions forced Bulgars, Turkic people, to migrate from the
Azov steppes to the Middle Volga and lower Kama region during the
first half of the eighth century. In the period of 10th–13th
centuries, Turkic peoples, including Kipchaks, migrated from southern
Siberia to Europe. They played a significant role in the Mongol
invasion of Rus' in the 13th century.
Tatar ethnogenesis took place
after Turkic peoples, who were mixed with the
Bulgars and other local
inhabitants of the Volga River area, kept Kipchak dialect and became
Muslims. Several new
Tatar states had emerged by the 1500s after the
Golden Horde fell. These states were Khanate of Kazan, Astrakhan
Khanate of Sibir
Khanate of Sibir and Crimean Khanate.
Controversy surrounds the origin of the
Tatar people, whether they are
descended either from
Bulgars or Golden Horde. According to one
Tatar heritage can be traced back to
Kipchaks of the
Golden Horde, yet according to another theory, the
Tatars emerged from
the Bulgar culture which had survived the Mongol conquest of
Mishars (or Mişär-Tatars) are an ethnographic group of Volga Tatars
speaking Mishar dialect of the
Tatar language. They comprise
approximately one third of the Volga
Tatar population. They are
descendants of Cuman-Kipchak tribes who mixed with the
Burtas in the
Oka River area and Meschiora. Nowadays, they live in
Chelyabinsk, Ulyanovsk, Penza, Ryazan, Nizhegorodskaya oblasts of
Russia and in Tatarstan,
Bashkortostan and Mordovia.
Tatars have their capital in the town of Qasím (
Russian transcription) in
Ryazan Oblast. See "Qasim Khanate" for their
history. Today, there are 1,100 Qasím
Tatars living in Kasimov. There
is no reliable information about their number elsewhere.
Tatars live in Russia's Republic of
Udmurtia and Kirov Oblast.
In 1920s their number was around 15,000 people.
Perm (Ostyak) Tatars
Ethnographic subgroup of
Tatars that lives in Russia's Perm
Tatar scholars (as Zakiev) name them
Ostyak Tatars. Their
number is (2002) c.130,000 people.
Main article: Kryashens
Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible subjugated the
Tatars and forcibly converted many of
them to Christianity.
A policy of Christianization of the Muslim
Tatars was enacted by the
Russian authorities, beginning in 1552, resulting in the emergence of
Keräşens (Christianized Tatars).
Tatars were forcibly Christianized by Ivan the Terrible
during the 16th century, and later, during the 18th century.
Some scientists suppose that the Suars were ancestors of the Keräşen
Tatars, and had been converted to
Armenians in the 6th
century while they lived in the Caucasus. Suars, like other tribes
which later converted to Islam, became Volga Bulgars, and later the
modern Chuvash (who are Orthodox Christians) and
Tatars (who are
Tatars live in much of the Volga-Ural area. Today, they tend
to be assimilated among the Chuvash and Tatars. Eighty years of
Atheistic Soviet rule made
Tatars of both faiths not as religious as
they once were. Russian names are largely the only remaining
Tatars and Keräşen Tatars.
Some Cuman tribes in the
Golden Horde were converted to Christianity
in the 13th and 14th centuries (Nestorianism). Some prayers, written
during that time in the Codex Cumanicus, sound like modern Keräşen
prayers, but the connection between Christian
Cumans and modern
Keräşens is unknown.
1921–22 famine in Tatarstan
Main article: 1921–22 famine in Tatarstan
The 1921–1922 famine in
Tatarstan was a period of mass starvation
and drought that took place in the
Tatar ASSR as a result of war
communism policy, in which 500,000 to 2,000,000
peasants died. The event was part of the greater Russian famine of
1921–22 that affected other parts of the USSR, in which up
5,000,000 people died in total.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help
improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2014) (Learn
how and when to remove this template message)
Historically, the traditional celebrations of
Tatars depended largely
on the agricultural cycle.
Glass mug of fresh susurluk ayranı with a head of froth
Tatar cuisine is rich with hot soups (şulpa), dough-based dishes
(qistibi, pilmän, öçpoçmaq, peremech, etc.) and sweets
(çäkçäk, göbädiä, etc.). Traditional
Tatar beverages include
ayran, katyk and kumys.
In the 1910s, they numbered about half a million in the area of
Kazan. Nearly 2 million Volga
Tatars died in the 1921–22 famine
in Tatarstan. Some 15,000 belonging to the same stem had either
Ryazan in the center of
Russia (what is now European
Russia) or had been settled as prisoners during the 16th and 17th
centuries in Lithuania (Vilnius, Grodno, and Podolia). Some 2,000
resided in St. Petersburg. Volga-Ural
Tatars number nearly 7 million,
Russia and the republics of the former Soviet Union. While
the bulk of the population is found in
Tatarstan (around 2 million)
and neighbouring regions, significant number of Volga-Ural
in Siberia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. Outside of Tatarstan,
Tatars usually speak Russian as their first language (in cities
such as Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Ufa, and cities of
the Ural and Siberia).
Tatar-inhabited areas in
Russia according to the Russian Census of
Tatar cemetery in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast.
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this
section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material
may be challenged and removed. (September 2011) (Learn how and when to
remove this template message)
Places where Volga
Tatars live include:
Ural and Upper Kama (since 15th century) 15th century—colonization,
16th–17th century—re-settled by Russians; 17th–19th—exploring
of the Urals, working in the plants
Siberia (since 16th century): 16th—from Russian repressions
after conquering of
Khanate of Kazan
Khanate of Kazan by Russians
17th–19th—exploring of West Siberia; end of 19th—first half of
20th—industrialization, railways constructing; 1930s–Joseph
Stalin's repressions; 1970s–1990s—oil workers
Moscow (since 17th century):
Tatar feudals in the service of Russia,
tradesmen, since 18th—Saint-Petersburg
Kazakhstan (since 18th century): 18th–19th centuries—Russian army
officers and soldiers; 1930s–industrialization, since
1950s—settlers on virgin lands - re-emigration in 1990s
Finland (since 1804): (mostly Mişärs) – 19th – Russian military
forces officers and soldiers, and others
Central Asia (since 19th century) (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan,
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan; for
China see Chinese Tatars) – 19th Russian
officers and soldiers, tradesmen, religious emigrants, 1920–1930s
– industrialization, Soviet education program for Central Asia
peoples, 1948, 1960 – help for Ashgabat and Tashkent ruined by
earthquakes. - re-emigration in 1980s
Azerbaijan (since 19th century) – oil workers
(1890s), bread tradesmen
Brazil (19th century): With the end of the colonial period, after the
Brazil stimulated the coming of Europeans to
the country, mainly Italians, Germans and Slavs. Among these Slavs
Tatars who went mainly to Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul
China (since 1910s) – railway builders (1910s) -
re-emigrated in 1950s
Siberia (since 19th century) - resettled farmers (19th), railroad
builders (1910s, 1980s), exiled by the Soviet government in 1930s
Germany and Austria - 1914, 1941 – prisoners of war, 1990s -
Turkey, Japan, Iran, China, Egypt (since 1918) – emigration
England, USA, Australia, Canada – (1920s) re-emigration from
Germany, Turkey, Japan and China. 1950s – prisoners of war from
Germany, which did not go back to the USSR, 1990s – emigration after
the breakup of USSR
Sakhalin, Kaliningrad, Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania,
Karelia – after 1944-45 builders, Soviet military personnel
Murmansk Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai, Northern Poland and Northern Germany
(1945–1990) - Soviet military personnel
Israel – wives or husbands of Jews (1990s)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Tatars of Kazakhstan
1921–1922 famine in Tatarstan
^ Russian Census 2010: Population by ethnicity (in Russian)
Uzbekistan – Ethnic minorities" (PDF). Retrieved
2011-06-03. [permanent dead link]
^ Агентство Республики Казахстан по
статистике: Численность населения
Республики Казахстан по отдельным
этносам на 1 января 2012 года Archived 2012-11-15
at the Wayback Machine.
^ "About number and composition population of
Ukraine by data
All-Ukrainian census of the population 2001".
Ukraine Census 2001.
State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Retrieved 27 September
портал :Итоги всеобщей переписи
населения Туркменистана по
национальному составу в 1995 году.
^ "National composition of the population" (PDF). Archived from the
original (PDF) on November 13, 2013.
^ Joshua Project. "
Tatar in Turkey". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
^ "Population by ethnic nationality". Statistics Estonia. Retrieved 30
^ Template:Http://portalus.ru/modules/english russia/rus
Tatars See No Future for Themselves in Putin's Russia". The
Interpreter. 24 March 2014.
^ a b c "TATAR. THE LANGUAGE OF THE LARGEST MINORITY IN RUSSIA".
Princeton University. Archived from the original on 2006-12-13.
^ a b c d Azade-Ayshe Rorlich. "1. The Origins of the Volga Tatars".
^ a b c "Tatar". Encyclopædia Britannica.
^ a b c DMITRY GORENBURG. "TATARS AS MESO-NATION" (PDF).
^ a b c Kropotkin, Peter; Eliot, Charles (1911). "Tatars". In
Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge
University Press. pp. 448–449.
^ "A. Rorlich - Origin of the Volga Tatars". Retrieved 10 May
^ Great Soviet Encyclopedia, article on Tatarstan.
^ Viktor Aleksandrovich Shnirelʹman, Who gets the past?: competition
for ancestors among non-Russian intellectuals in Russia, Woodrow
Wilson Center Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8018-5221-8,
ISBN 978-0-8018-5221-3. Limited preview at Google Books 
(Chapter The Rivalry for the Bulgar Legacy).
^ Татары (Серия «Народы и культуры»
РАН). М.: Наука, 2001. — P.36.
^ James S. Olson, ed. (1994). "An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the
Russian and Soviet Empires". pp. 624–625.
^ Brower 2001, p. 271.
^ Mizelle 2002, p. 18.
^ Werth, Nicolas; Panné, Jean-Louis; Paczkowski, Andrzej; Bartosek,
Karel; Margolin, Jean-Louis (October 1999), Courtois, Stéphane, ed.,
The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression, Harvard
University Press, pp. 92–97; 116–21,
^ Dronin & Bellinger 2005, p. 98.
^ Mizelle 2002, p. 281.
^ Millar 2004, p. 56.
^ Millar 2004, p. 270.
^ Haven, Cynthia (4 April 2011). "How the U.S. saved a starving Soviet
Russia: PBS film highlights Stanford scholar's research on the 1921-23
famine". Stanford News Service. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
Millar, James R. (2004). Encyclopedia of Russian History Volume 2: A-D
(PDF). New York, USA: Macmillan Reference. ISBN 0-02-865907-4.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-04-29.
Mizelle, Peter Christopher (May 2002). "Battle with Famine:" Soviet
Relief and the
Tatar Republic 1921-1922. District of Columbia, USA:
University of Virginia.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Tatar xalıq kiemnäre.
Tatars in Congress Library (1989)
The Origins of the Volga Tatars
(in Russian) 
Tatar world-wide server
(in Russian) Anthropology of Tatars. By R.K. Urazmanova and S.V.
(in Russian) (in Tatar)
Tatar Electronic Library
(in Russian) (in Tatar)
Tatar music & video catalog
Bukharaev, Ravil (2013). Islam in Russia: The Four Seasons.
Danier R. Brower; Edward J. Lazzerini (2001). Russia's Orient:
Imperial Borderlands and Peoples, 1700-1917. Indiana University
Italics indicate extinct group
Ethnic groups in Russia