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the government of Pensa was formerly inhabited by them.* They differ in dialect from the other tribes of Mordouines.
The Mordouines pretend that they were never idolaters, but worshipped the heavens,† and as Pallas remarks, like all the nations of Tschudish origin, they turn to the east on saying their prayers. Strahlenberg says, that the Mordouines used to sacrifice oxen to their god Jumi-shipas, which is the same as Jumala.
"The Mordouines differ little from the Russians, except in complexion, in which they resemble the rest of the Tschudish nations." Pallas says, "Les Mokshaniens sont moins sales que les Ersaniens. La couleur blonde et même rousse des cheveux est moins commune chez eux que parmi les autres ; la plupart les ont bruns ou châtains. Leurs femmes sont, ainsi que les Ersaniennes, rarement belles, mais en revanche très laborieuses."+
Erman terms the Arsa and Moktscha tribes of the Mordwi. He observes, that the evidence afforded by their languages and most of their customs, connects the Mordwi with the Finnish nations, but that they are distinguished by a more powerful frame of body and greater stature, and by their florid complexion
"weit kraftigere Gestalte und blühende Gesichts-farbe"from the Finnish nations in more western countries, especially from the Esthonians. A still observable dislike to the slaughtering of animals, except as offerings to supernatural beings, distinguishes the Mordwi, and indicates the prevalence of ideas derived from the Mongoles.
Between the Wolga and the Sura, the country rises into a plateau, covered with oak forests, and inhabited by the Tscheremisses. Beyond the district occupied by this people are the abodes of another separate tribe, termed the Tschuvasches.§
• Pallas, Travels in the Crimea, vol. i. p. 27.
+ Pallas, however, observes that the Mordouins have lost, in a great measure, the memory of their ancient usages and traditions. They worship the sky, under the name of skaï.
Pallas, Voy. i. p. 128, &c.
§ It is not improbable that the Tschuvasches may have been originally a Tschudish tribe, who became assimilated to the Turkish race by being long subject to the Bulgarians. The Turkish kingdom of Bolghari extended over extensive countries on the Lower Wolga.
The latter are sometimes included among the Finnish races, but by the testimony of their language belong, according to Pallas, Rosen, and other travellers, more properly to the stock of the Tartars. The Tscheremisses are always reckoned as Tschudes, and are of the same great branch as the Morduines. The Tscheremisses inhabit low huts in the forests: the clothing both of men and women consists of white linen; they are very slow in adopting agricultural habits.
Erman says that the stature of the Tscheremisses is weaker and smaller than that of the Mordwi, and that they display a remarkable timidity in the expression of their countenances. They retain their ancient pagan religion, and make offerings of horses, sheep, and goats to malevolent genii in the darkness of the woods, and present fruits as gifts to the benevolent gods in the open fields.*
The Tscheremisses seen by Erman had long black hair flowing down their shoulders, but this appears not to be the general character. Pallas gives a very different account of them. His description of the Tscheremisses is as follows: "The Tscheremisses inhabit countries watered by the same rivers, Wiatka and Kama: they form a considerable horde in the government of Kasan. They are of a middle stature: almost all of them having hair of a clear chestnut colour, or of a light red: these colours are most conspicuous in their beards. Their faces are very white, but their features broad: they are by no means robust, and are commonly timorous, thievish, and excessively obstinate."†
According to Strahlenberg the Tscheremisses used to worship Jumala, without any image or temple, under green trees. They made a fire and threw meat and bread into it, crying, "Jumala sargala,"-Jumala have mercy upon us.‡
The languages of the Tschudish tribes on the Wolga have many terms cognate with the Tartar or Turkish language; and Adelung and Klaproth suppose the ancient inhabitants of this region to have been intermixed with people of Tartar origin, and particularly with the descendants of the ancient Chasars.
*Reise um die Welt, Band ii. 1. + Pallas, Voy. en Sibérie, tom. vii. p. 24. * Strahlenberg's Hist. of Siberia.
Professor Rask rejects this opinion as utterly improbable, since all the tribes in question keep themselves perfectly distinct from intermarriages with strangers, and will not even suffer foreigners to live among them or near them. According to Rask the dialects of these nations are intermediate links in the chain of Finnish and Tartar languages: they have all preserved parts of an original speech, once common, according to him, to all the Scythian race; and the Wolgian tribes have still more in common with the Tartars than the remote Finns, who were separated at an earlier period from the central body of the nation. A more extensive acquaintance with all the dialects of this family of languages is required, in order to dete:mine which of these opinions rests on the best foundation. It may, however, be observed, that the Finnish idioms have origi nally some essential characters in common with those of the Tartar nations. We shall hereafter advert to this relationship, and show that there are some grounds for maintaining Professor Rask's opinion, that all these idioms belong to one great class, or perhaps to one great family of languages, which includes all the Finnish dialects, with those of the Tartars and other nations of Eastern Asia.
SECTION VIII. Of the Ugrian Tribes: Wogouls, Ostiaks, Magyars or Hungarians.
To the eastward of the nations enumerated above is a more extensive region, inhabited by tribes termed by writers of various times, Ugrians or Ougres, Uralian Finns, or nations of Jugoria.
Ugrien, Jugrien, or Jugoria, is a country the sovereignty of which is claimed in the old imperial title of the Russian czar. There has been much controversy as to its situation. The old traveller Müller placed it in Russia, on the Petschora, and between that river and the Uralian mountains. Schlözer made it extend southward to the Witschegda; Georgi thought it was on the coast of the White Sea, from the Uralian chain to the Obi. According to Lehrberg, who has written a learned memoir on this subject, ancient Ugrien lay not on the coast of the White Sea, nor on the Petschora or the Witschegda, nor in
European Russia. It comprehended a great part of Siberia, between the country of the Samoiedes on the shores of the Frozen Ocean and the gulf of Obi on the northern side, and the domains of the Tartar Khans, reaching from the fifty-sixth to the sixty-seventh degree of north latitude. It extended in breadth from the northern part of the Uralian chain to the river Narym eastward, and to the Agar, which flows into the Obi above Surgut. Lehrberg's authorities are old Russian maps, and passages in the Russian annals, and in the account of Baron Herberstein's embassy to Moskow in 1516. If the inferences drawn from these data are correct, it must be concluded that a great part of the country now called Siberia was at an early period subject, nominally at least, to the Russians of Nowgorod. Southern Jugoria fell afterwards under the Tartars, when it became a part of the Siberian Tartar kingdom or Czariate, or rather Khanate, of Tjumen. This Tartar kingdom was founded by Ousom-khan of the Nogay race. The old Jagorians or Ugrians were the ancestors, as Lehrberg has proved, of the modern Vogouls and Ostiaks.*
It has been thought by many that the name of Ugria is of Slavonian origin, and means "terra ad montes sita," from an etymon in the old Slavonian language, in which case it might be a proper epithet for the country bordering on the Uralian mountains; but a late writer has observed that the region bordering on the Uralian chain has long had a similar name in the language of its native inhabitants, which is quite different from the Russian and Slavonian.+ The origin of the name is obscure, but it is, as we shall find, of ancient date, and has been recognised in the national appellative of a race more celebrated than any of the present inhabitants of the Uralian countries.
Paragraph 1-Of the present Ougres, or of the Vogouls and Ostiaks.
The Vogouls now inhabit the northern part of the Uralian chain. They give themselves out to be the same people as
• Lehrberg, über die geographische Lage und die Geschichte des im RussischKaiserlichen Titel genannten Jugrischen Landes-Untersuchungen zur Erläuterung der alteren Geschichte Russlands, von A. C. Lehrberg. St. Petersburg, 1816.
+ Müller's Ugrische Volkstamm.
the Ostiaks, and call themselves by the same name of Mansi. The districts where they are now found reach from the Vitschera, on the western side, to the Khonda and Tauda on the eastern. They have no community, but wander in separate families through the forests, and live by hunting. They still retain much of their ancient idolatry. There are many rivulets and places in this part of Siberia, which bear the name of Schaïtanska, or Schaïtanskaia, from the idols of the Vogouls, which the Russians commonly term Schaïtan. One of these, says Pallas, was lately found near the Sosva and the Lobva, in a forest newly consumed by fire. It was a statue of copper, representing a man holding a javelin in his hand, and stood near a very lofty pine tree.*
The language of the Vogouls, according to Gatterer, resembles the Hungarian, and the proper Finnish, and more especially the dialect of the Khondish Ostiaks. Georgi, in his description of the nations inhabiting the Russian empire, derives it from the Finnish, but allows it to have so much peculiarity, that it may be considered as a particular language. Pallas says, "Their language has much affinity with the Finnish, as far as I could ascertain by a vocabulary; but they have several dialects. The Vogouls on the borders of the Sosva differ from those of the Toura, as well in their pronunciation, which is shorter and more masculine, as in their manner of expression. They are more lively than the others, who are naturally phlegmatic."
Paragraph 2.-Of the Ostiaks.
The name of the Ostiaks is very widely spread in Siberia, and is often applied to races of men who are probably very distinct from the proper Ostiaks of Ugrian origin, whose principal country is the region bordering on the Obi. The term Ostiak appears to be derived from the Tartar Usch-styach, meaning 'foreigner' or 'alien,' and nearly synonymous in the Turkish language with the Tschudor Tschudaki of the Russians. Another origin has been ascribed to the name by Klaproth, but this, according to Erman, is undoubtedly the true one.
* Pallas, Voy. en Sibérie, ibid. † Mithridates, i. p. 559. ‡ Pallas, vol. iii.