Home    Number 2, 2022

Geopolitical Interests of the Karabulaks (1800–1865)

[Geopoliticheskie interesy karabulakov (1800–1865 gg.)]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522020105


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted:  17.10.2021

Accepted: 03.02.2022

About author(s)

Irina Babich | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3240-6780 | babi7chi@yandex.ru | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS (Leninsky prospekt 32-А, Moscow, 117303, Russia)


Karabulak, North-East Caucasus peoples, Ingush, Chechen, Caucasus war, Russian Empire, archives, maps


The article draws on newly discovered archival materials to examine the vectors of geopolitical interests of the Karabulaks in the context of their relationships, on the one hand, with the Chechen and the Ingush; on the other, with the Russian state power in 1800–1865. The Karabulaks – people who spoke a language of the NakhDagestanian linguistic group and lived up until 1865 in the foothills and mountainous areas of the Great Caucasus Ridge – have received little attention in Russian/Soviet scholarship. In 1865, the Russian authorities forced the Karabulaks to abandon their land and migrate to the Ottoman Empire, thus possibly removing them from the focus of later Russian historians and ethnographers. I argue that there was a specific geopolitical principle at play in the relations among the peoples of the Caucasus in the first half of the 19th century. That principle effectively divided not just peoples but also kin and clan groups. Thus, Karabulaks eventually found themselves divided into a smaller part adjoining the Ingush and becoming the subject of the Russian Empire and a larger part adjoining the Chechens resisting Russia. Still, apart from the geopolitical factor, there was a religious one playing an important role in uniting Karabulaks, Chechens, and Dagestan people on the grounds of the shared ideological movement led by Imam Shamil as a common spiritual leader.


Babich, I.L. 2022. Geopoliticheskie interesy karabulakov (1800–1865 gg.) [Geopolitical Interests of the Karabulaks (1800–1865)]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2: 154–167. https://doi.org10.31857/S0869541522020105 EDN: HSEKDA

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