Yuriy Sangadzhiev, The Torghuts
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Terbish, B., & Churyumova, E. (2018). Yuriy Sangadzhiev, The Torghuts [Video file]. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.25175
Yuriy recounts two different versions of the origin of the ethnonym Torghut and talks about the dispersal of the Torghuts in Kalmykia. According to one version, this word means ‘silk soldiers’ deriving from the word torgn meaning ‘silk’. The Torghuts who were Chingis Khan’s bodyguards wore blue silk robes. The 10,000-strong army of imperial bodyguards was recruited from men of various clans, including Kereit, Naiman, Buryat, Uriankhai, Khalkha Mongols, Chakhar Mongols, Tsaatans and others. There were two types of bodyguards, for night and for day. With time the bodyguards took families and grew in number. They became Torghuts. Silk has the following properties. When a soldier was wounded with an arrow it was easy to pull it out. Moreover, the wound healed quickly. Silk also protected its wearer from poisoned arrows. According to the second version, this ethnonym derives from the word torg meaning ‘a strong man’. Yuriy is himself from the Keryad clan of the Torghut. Among the Keryads there is a saying that ‘a raven should be killed in its nest, and a Keryad man while he is still a child’, which means that grown-up Keryad men are so strong that is impossible to beat them. The Batud clan has a saying that ‘the Batuds only fight with the Cherkes, and drink only red wine’. The message behind this saying is that in the past the Batuds fought with Cherkes and drank wine as their spoil, whereas the rest of the Kalmyks drank milk vodka. Today the Batuds live in Ketchenerovskiy rayon in Kalmykia. Before World War II they lived in the village of Batud in Limanskiy rayon, which does not exist today. The famous Kalmyk Jangar singer Vladimir Karuev is from the Batud clan. This clan traces its genealogy from the legendary Dova Sokhor who had four sons, one of whom was the founder of the Batud clan. The Kalmyks used to say that there was a union of ‘40 and 4’, which means ‘4 Oirat and 40 Mongol tribes’. The Torghuts, 50,000 yurts in all, came to the Volga region with Kho-Urlyuk who lived a long life, dying at 90 during a battle. The Derbets arrived to the Volga with Dalai Batur. In 1609 the Kalmyks made an agreement with the Russians to become part of the Russian Empire. Today in Kalmykia the Torghuts live in Yashkul’skiy, Chernozemel’skiy, Laganskiy and Yustinskiy rayons. There are some who live in Astrakhan oblast as well. The Torghuts are comprised of Keryad, Merkit, Naiman, Telengit, Altai and other clans.
Torghut, dispersal, population
Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.25175
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/