Ivan Modunkaev, Etymology of the Word Buzava
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Terbish, B., & Churyumova, E. (2018). Ivan Modunkaev, Etymology of the Word Buzava [Video file]. https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/276472
Ivan talks about two versions of the etymology of the ethnonym Buzava. This is his story: I am already 80. I like to read books, talk to people and ask questions from the elders. You cannot find anything written about the Buzavas. Buzava is a nick name. The Buzavas are the same as the Torghuts and the Derbets. They lived with Russians and received education. The Kalmyks are warrior people. In the beginning, the Kalmyks were employed as door keepers, but later were taken into the cavalry. In the past, the Kalmyks wore long coats. The Buzavas are referred to as ogtr Buzava (i.e. Buzava with a short coat). Why is this so? Because it was not comfortable for cavalrymen to wear long coats. They cut their coats, and hence their nick name - ogtr Buzava. Buzava derives from the Kalmyk word bu meaning a ‘rifle’. Buzava means ‘a rifle carrier’. We, the rest of the Kalmyks, did not see rifles, but when we saw rifles the first time we called those Kalmyks ‘bu zaakh’ that is ‘those who carry rifles’. Some people say that there was a river called Buzava from where the Buzavas derive their ethnonym. I personally think that the version with rifles is more believable.
Buzava, etymology, ethnonym
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.23772