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Pavel Antonov and others, about the Derbets

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


In this video three Derbet individuals, Pavel Antonov, Baatr Mandzhiev and Nadezhda Badmaeva, talk about the Derbet tribe/clan. Pavel Antonov: In 1771 when Ubashi Khan took the majority of Kalmyks back to Dzungaria (China), the Derbets who stayed in Russia divided into two groups: Iki Derbet (Big Derbet) and Bag Derbet (Small Derbet). I am from Baga Derbet. In the past, I spoke to our scholars about the origin of the Khashkh aimak. The Kalmyk Andrei Mitirov said to me that in our clan we had Uyghurs. When the Kalmyks first came here to the Volga from Dzungaria, they brought with them several Uyghur families. That is why we have their blood in our clan. We have a stamp in our clan that looks like a Muslim sign. Baatr Mandzhiev: If we talk about where the Derbets come from, we came to this place more than 400 years ago from Dzungaria. In Dzungaria there was a union of four Oirat tribes, including the Derbets, Torghuts, Khoshuds and Elyuts. The Derbets were the most numerous. Upon their arrival here, they divided into two groups, Big and Small Derbets. Some people say that the wealthy who split became Big Derbets, and those who remained became Small Derbets. Nadezhda Badmaeva: The Kalmyks consist of three groups, including the Derbets, Torghuts and Buzavas. The Derbets in their turn consist of Iki and Bag Derbets. The latter live in the northern part of Kalmykia, in Oktyabrskiy, Sarpinskiy and Ketchenerovskiy rayons. Our village, which is called Iki-Bukhus, is home to several arvn groupings, including the Syatud, Khoonud, Ik Bat, Bichkn Bat, Buurl, Serksh, Mangd. Among them the Khoonud, Ik Bat, and Syadud are the most numerous. Other arvn people are less numerous, and they also live in the neighboring villages. In general, we have many Derbets in Kalmykia, although our literary language is based on the Torghut dialect. The Buzavas live close to the Kazakhs and Russians. One can position the Derbets between the Buzavas and Torghuts. In our village, we support each other and live in friendship. Among the Derbets there are many people who sing songs and dance. There are many famous people who were born in our village, including the mathematician Pyurvya Erdniev, the Jangar singers Vladimir Karuev and Kutlan Mukubenov, the singer and songwriter Bovush Ambekova. We all love our village, and often participate in various competitions.




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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin