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The Ginukhs

The Ginukhs, the Genukhs, the G'inozy, the G'enoze (self-name) live in Russia. There are 0,6 thousand persons of them. The Ginukhs belong to the Tsezsky nations, indigenous population of the Western Daghestan. They speak the Ginukh language. Avarian, the Russian, the Gunzibian, the Bezhtian, the Tsezian and the Georgian languages are also common. Writing is the Avarian based on the Russian writing. The Ginukhs are Moslems - Sunni by the religion.

In early Middle Ages they were subjected to the Christianity. During the 15th - 18th centuries the Ginukhs adopted the Islam. When Daghestan became a part of Russia (1813) the Ginukhs participated in the struggle for liberation of Daghestan and Chechnya. The Ginukhs actively participated in the anticolonial revolt in 1877. After the suppression many have moved to Turkey, Iran. From 1921 the Ginukhs are the part of the Daghestan АSSR (from1991 - the Republic of Daghestan). There were 244 the Ginukhs in 1947. In 1944 the Ginukhs were forced to live on the Chechen's territory; in 1957 they have returned to their land.

The cattle's breeding is the Ginukhs traditional occupation. They were growing barley, rye, wheat, and millet. Their traditional trades were beekeeping and hunt. Domestic crafts: manufacture of woolen cloth, oriental carpets, bags, saddle bags, knitted footwear and socks, felt; blacksmith work; manufacturing of wooden instruments and utensils. The division of labour by sex and age was strictly regulated. The Ginukhs had basically exchange trade.

Today the basic occupations of the Ginukhs are: cattle breeding, field husbandry, vegetable growing and gardening in places of resettlement. The role of patriarchal, consanguine associations (the Tukhum) was great. The small family prevailed; there were forms of undivided families. The Ginukhs keep traditions of family ceremonialism, customs of respect of the elders, solidarity, hospitality, friendship.

Men wear a shirt, trousers, beshmet, the Circassin coat, felt cloak, sheepskin coats and hats, knitted woolen boots with a patten color ornament, shoes on hard sole, boots from leather, felt footwear and from second half of the 19th century boots with the Russian type heel. Carried a belt with silver decorations, a dagger in leather (less often - in silver) sheath.

Women wear dresses - shirts, a detachable dress; trousers with narrow trouser-legs; a cap (the Chukhta); woolen and silk scarves, woolen shawls; cloth belt. Footwear was the same, as men's (except for kidskin and leather boots). Women had the silver decorations with jewels.

Food basically was made from flour and meat-and-milk. The main dishes were khinkaly, bread, porridges, and pies with cheese and meat, dairy and meat soups. Proverbs, sayings, riddles, parables, jokes, songs, ballads, and fairy tales presented on Avarian and Ginukh languages. The Ginukhs have advanced folk medicine. Their traditional representations connected to magic, a cult of ancestors, belief in devils, genie, owners of a forest, mountains, the river, a grove, lake etc.

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