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The Aguls

The <b>Aguls</b>The self-name is the Aguls; the Agular is the nation in Russia. They are indigenous population of Daghestan. The Aguls live in the central part of southeastern Daghestan - in the Agul, the Kurakh and the Derbent areas - in remote gorges or in cities. A total number of the Aguls is 18.7 thousand people. The traditional occupations are agriculture and cattle breeding. The crafts are wood-working, stone processing, carpet weaving, patten knitting and manufacture of leather. By religion the Aguls are the Moslems-Sunni. The language is the Agulian and belongs to the Lezghin group of languages - the Caucasian (the Iberian-Caucasian) languages. The writing is based on the Russian alphabet. The Aguls are close to the Lezghins in an ethnic term. The Aguls are divided on 4 groups which live in 4 gorges: the Aguldere, the Kurakhdere, the Khushandere and the Khpukdere.There is an opinion in the historical literature that the Aguls basic occupation was the cattle breeding. But according to the archaeological materials collected from medieval sites near to the modern auls (the Tpig, the Richa, the Burkikhan and the Khudita) the basic occupation of the Aguls in early Middle Ages was agriculture. Rather large sizes of the Middle Age monuments on the Agul'sky area and huge quantity of the deserted terraces in vicinities of these settlements testify to intensive agricultural development of the given area and various kinds of craft manufacture. "The day of the first plough" was the most important point of the ploughing. In different districts this day fell on different calendar day. The Entry into the field was accompanied by a number of archaic ceremonies, celebrations etc. The celebrations lasted for two days. Only after that the home-folks could start the field works.

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