Home    Number 6, 2014

Long-Haired Kalmaks

Type of publication: Research Article

About author(s)

I.I. Dremov | iid57@yandex.ru


Desht-i Kipchak, travel accounts, maps, 14th–16th centuries, Kalmak, Kalmyk, pagans, long hair


In a variety of Western European, Asian, and Russian historical sources, there are mentions of Kalmaks living to the east of the Volga and Yaik (Ural) rivers in the 14th–16th centuries. These mentions are quite terse, yet they testify to the fact that Kalmak nomads had been present in the steppe of Eastern Desht-i Kipchak long before the Oirat Kalmyk migrated from Mongolia and Dzungaria to the west. In these historical sources, Kalmaks are typically referred to as longhaired pagans. Comparing descriptions of appearances of Kalmyks and Tatars, Mongolian and Turkic peoples of the Medieval epoch, may lead one to assume that Kalmaks living in the Golden Horde territory were descendants of Mongols that had migrated to the Kazakh and Volga steppes in the Mongolian conquest period.


Dremov, I.I. 2014. Long-Haired Kalmaks. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 6: 80-91

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