Zoya Kheichieva, The Derbet
Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge
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Terbish, B. (2015). Zoya Kheichieva, The Derbet [Video file]. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.42504
In this short interview, Zoya talks about the history of the Derbets and compares them with Torghuts in terms of their respective dialects, customs and dress. Zoya: A long time ago, Kalmyks lived in Dzungaria among other peoples including the Mongols, the Uighurs, the Bashkirs, and the Buryats. Since there was not enough land for everyone to graze their livestock, some Torghuts and Derbets decided to migrate to the banks of the Volga. The Derbets were headed by Khan Dalai-Batyr. Later the Derbets divided into Bag Derbet and Iki Derbet. Today Bag Derbets live in Ketchenerovskiy, Iki-Burulskiy, Tselinniy, Oktyabrskiy, Maloderbetovskiy, and Sarpinskiy rayons. Iki Derbets, by contrast, live in Gorodovikovskiy and Yashaltinskiy rayons. Q: Are the Derbets different from other sub-ethnic groups in Kalmykia? Zoya: We are different from the Torghuts with regard to our dialect. If in their dialect words are pronounced softly, in the Derbet dialect we have more reduced vowels and consonants. That is how I hear it anyway. Also, we have different rituals. For example, during weddings Torghuts put a scarf over the head of their brides. By contrast, we do not do this. Q: Are the Derbets and the Torghuts different in terms of character? Zoya: Probably different. People say that Torghuts are more cunning, whereas Derbets are more straightforward. Q: Are Derbet costumes different from those of the Torghut? Zoya: They are the same, not different.
Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.42504