Sanj Khoyt, About the Buzava

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Terbish, Baasanjav 

In the past the Kalmyks participated in many wars and conquests waged by Russia. During such military campaigns, the Kalmyks often reached the lands of the Cossacks with whom they developed friendly relationships. Among the Torghut nobility were those who were left without inheritance. Dugar and Bok were two such noblemen. They took their subjects and went to the Crimean Khan but later joined the Cossacks. There were also many Kalmyks who switched sides on their own. The Buzava were formed from these Kalmyks. After the collapse of the Dzungar Khanate, some Zungars also joined the Cossacks. The ancestors of Sanj were among them.In the past Buzava settlements were called aimak. Being a part of the Cossack military units, the Buzavas were soldiers. Sanj's grandfather, for example, fought in the 1905 Russo-Japanese war. For military service the Buzavas were given land which they often leased to Russian peasants.The Christianization among the Kalmyks was not successful. Even those who were baptized, did not know their Christian names. It should be noted that the Buzavas of Don had a very strong Buddhist tradition which made it difficult for the Buzavas to convert geniunely to other religions.Sanj talks about the ethnonym buzava. There are several theories. According to one, buzava originates from the word baz 'cattle yard'. According to another, it comes from the words bu zav '(those who) showed rifles', which alludes to their military occupation.Some Kalmyk scholars contend that Buzava have their own dialect. The Kalmyks who emigrated to Europe and the USA are mainly Buzava Kalmyks.

Buzava, Cossacks, aimak, the Don, ethnonym
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