CHECHEN SOCIETY TODAY: MYTHS AND REALITY
Mayrbek Vachagaev, Ph.D. (Hist.), former press secretary of President Maskhadov, former general representative of Chechnia in Russia now working for a doctorate at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) (Paris, France)
Prerequisites for Changes in the Social Structure
When trying to formulate a solution to many Chechnia-related problems researchers and politicians alike proceed from its social structure in an effort to understand the Chechens’ ethnic psychology. As one acquaints himself with the history and culture of Chechnia one comes to a clear realization that much of what has been said and written about Chechnia, its teip structure in the first place, has nothing to do with reality.
To begin with we should identify what sort of the social structure we shall be dealing with: the tukhum, teip, or any other. In the last 150 years it was three times that the Chechens approached the limits beyond which there was nothing but physical extermination: during colonization, during deportation, and during the last war with Russia. These three periods have been impressed in the minds as turning points every time there was a threat of final disintegration. In fact, the shared tragic past convinced people that they belonged to the same nation. These events cut deeply into the Chechens’ social structure, their mentality, and ethnic psychology. They urged Chechens to re-assess many facts and events of the past. Today we can say that in the last 150 years the Chechen society experienced global changes.
The first, and last, works written by Chechens who studied the subject appeared early in the 1970s.1 Since that time there have occurred many important events that called for further studies of the same problem. The authors preferred to limit themselves to surveys of the teip structure. The list of teips cited in the materials by M. Mamakaev2 and A. Suleimanov3 is far from being complete. What is more, both authors failed to overcome the communist ideological pressure. One can hardly blame them taking into account the period in which they lived and worked.4 These works described the teip as a remnant of the past in the Chechens’ social consciousness and insisted that thanks to the Soviet Union the Chechens had managed to pass directly from the clan to the socialist system. The “great leap” idea inspired many Chechen historians to start looking for all other stages of social development among the Chechens: the slave-owning, feudal and capitalist.5
I shall try here not only to describe all teips that exist today in the republic but also being free from the ideological shackles of the Soviet period, identify the meaning of the social structural elements.
Today, the Chechens are living through a tragic and very important period of their history. First, because they are waging a war, second, and this is no less important, because of the heritage they got from the Soviet Union. Having rejected the system imposed by the Soviet regime the Chechens tried to return to their roots, that is, to the traditional social structure presented by the tukhums and teips. With this aim in view they restored the Mekhk-khel (the Council of the Country) made up of the most respected people. The result was discouraging: the council turned out to be a highly politicized assembly of the elderly people who wanted either power or, at the very least, proximity to power. The council discredited itself from the very beginning to the extent that after the war of 1996 nobody dared to suggest its restoration. Time has convincingly demonstrated that certain forms of social administration belong to the past while the attempts to revive them are nothing more than fashion mongering.
Pressed for time the Chechens failed to create any new structure to fill in the political vacuum and this was the worst of all. The constitution patterned on a constitution of a Baltic republic proved to be nothing more than an attempt to move closer to the European political values. Further events forced the republic to significantly amend it according to the Islamic social norms. The shift from a European constitution to the Shari‘a spoke of the deficit of time—the republic had no time to find a model that would take full account of the Chechen society’s ethnopsychological make up. The Chechens were left alone in their attempts to join the world community. There were numerous unsettled political problems with Russia—in short, there was no hope that international institutions would help Chechnia resolve its major problems.
Today, the Chechens have still a long way to cover before they find a system best suited to their interests. Time alone will show what it will be and who will suggest it. So far, we all know that the Chechens will reject any variant imposed either from the above or by any outside force: the Chechen society rejects pressure. This has been proved by history: neither Sheikh Mansour, nor Imam Tashu-Hajji, nor Imam Shamil convinced the Chechens to abandon the traditional legal system of the mountains called adat.6 In fact, at first the Chechens rejected everything that these prominent political figures were doing; gradually doubts replaced rejection; after many years they were recognized as national leaders.
It is for over two centuries now that two contradictory legal schools have been coexisting in Chechnia. Islam and the Shari‘a did not push away the adat. During the years of Russian colonization the two legal systems existed side by side with czarist laws. Under Soviet power when Soviet legislation was in force people frequently consulted both adat and Shari‘a that continued functioning secretly. These norms were applied on the sides’ mutual agreement. The Shari‘a was applied to Chechens already condemned by Soviet courts. There were three different legal schools functioning in Chechnia that could not but affect the people’s self-awareness and the sociopolitical processes taking place in the republic in the early 1990s. For nine years the republican leaders could not sort this out. In 1997 Soviet laws were abolished on the Chechen territory and all civilian (secular) courts closed down yet it proved impossible to detach adat from the Shari‘a. From time immemorial adat has been in use as a tradition rooted deep in the nation’s past. No directives could force people to drop its legal norms applied to certain crimes, such as blood feud, conflicts over land, etc.
Structure of the Chechen Ethnos
The Chechen people developed from a union of nine tukhums (societies) of blood relatives each of them composed of teips (clans) of blood relatives. Over time, teips were becoming bigger and as they moved from the mountains to valleys they occupied special quarters (kyps) in the villages. Later they divided into extended families of close blood relatives and formed a new structure inside the teip called gar (a branch inside a teip or a clan). For example, the Benoi teip consists of nine gars: Asti, Ati, Chupal, Doyvshi, Edi, Gurjmakhkakhoi, Ochi, Uonjb, and Zhobi.
Each gar depending on its size is divided into smaller units called nek. Some teips are divided into neks and have no gars. In large valley settlements the gar or nek concepts are used to describe where a teip or a quarter can be found, hence villages’ division into neks. For example, in the village of Avtury the Gunoi teip forms numerous neks: Umar-nek, Usman-nek, Chegi-nek, etc. The teip itself is so big that each of its neks claims a structure of its own.
Nek is also divided into a smaller circle of families of blood relatives called dja (granddad, his sons and grandsons form an extended family). Finally, the smallest cell of the Chechen social structure is called dozal (husband, wife, and their children, that is, a nuclear family).
Obviously, the Chechen society is organized in the following way: k’am (people)—tukhum (community)—teip (clan)—gar (branch)—nek (smaller branch)—dja (large family)—dozal (family).
Each of the tukhums was represented on the flag of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria as a star yet there are many teips that do not belong to any of the tukhums enumerated below. In addition, such teips as Chantii, Nashkhoi, Maysty, Dzumsoi are big enough to claim the tukhum structure because each of them includes several gars and neks that can be called teips.
The following tukhums are generally accepted by the Chechens and are also identified as such by prominent ethnologists: Akkii, Chantii, Cheberloi, Mial’khii, Nokhchmakhkakhoi, Orstkhoi, Sharoi, Shotoi, and Terloi.
The Akkii tukhum includes the following teips: Barchahoi, Nokkoi, Pkharchakhoi, Pkharchoi, Viappii, Zhevoi, and Zogoi.
Chantii is represented by Bugaroi, Derakhoi, Dyshni, Khacharoi, Khildekharoi, Kkhokadoi.
Cheberloi includes the following teips: Achaloi, Arstkhoi, Basoi, Begcharkhoi, Bunikhoi, Chebiakhkinkhoi, Dai, Keloi, Kezenoi, Khoi, Makazhoi, Nizheloi, Nokhch-keloi, Rigakhoi, Sadoi, Sandakhoi, Sikkhoi, Sirkhoi, Tsikaroi, Zu’rkhoi.
The Mial’khii tukhum includes the teips: Amkhoi, Barchakhoi, Bastii, Benastkhoi, Charkhoi, Djarkhoi, Erkhoi, Italchkhoi, Iuegankhoi, Kamalkhoi, Kegankhoi, Koratkhoi, Meshii, Sakankhoi, Teratkhoi.
Nokhchmakhkakhoi is represented by Alleroi, Aytkhaloi, Belgatoi, Benoi, Biltoi, Chartoi, Chermoi, Dattkhoi, Egashbatoi, Elistanjkhoi, Enakkhaloi, Enganoi, Ersanoi, Gendergenoi, Giordaloi, Gunoi, Ialkhoi, Ikhirkhoi, Ishkhoi, Kurchaloi, Kushbukhoi (the same as Aliroi), Sesankhoi, Shirdi, Shounoi, Tsontaroi, Zandakoi.
Orstkhoi is represented by Alkhoi, Andaloi, Belkharoi (from an Ingush family name), Bokoi (from an Ingush family name), Bulguchkhoi, Fergkhoi (from an Ingush family name), Galai, Gandaloi (from an Ingush family name), Garchoi, Khevkhakharoi, Khevkharai, Merzhoi (from an Ingush family name), Muzhakhoi (from an Ingush family name), Muzhgakhoi, Orgkhoi, Tsechoi (from an Ingush family name), Vielkha-nek.
Sharoi consists of the teips Cheroi, Ikaroi, Kh’akmadoi, Khikhoi, Khimoi, Khulandoi, Kinkhoi, Kiri, Shikaroi, Zhogaldoi.
Shotoi includes the teips Gattoi, Keloi, Khal-keloi, Khiakkoi, Marshoi, Nikhaloi, Pkhamtoi, Sattoi, Tumsoi, Varandoi, Vashandaroi.
Terloi includes the following teips: Bavloi, Beshni, Eltparkhoi, Kenakhoi, Matsarkhoi, Nikaroi, Oshnii, Sanakhoi, Shuidii, Zherakhoi.
There are also teips existing outside the tukhums: Amakhoi, Belkhoi, Betsakhoi, Bigakhoi, Charkhoi, Chinkhoi, Dzumsoi, Galoi, Garchoi, Giloi, Goi, Guchingkhoi, Gukhoi, Kei, Kharsenoi, Khukoi, Khurkhoi, Khurkoi, Kkhartoi, Ksgankhoi, Kuloi, Lashkaroi, Maisty, Marshaloi, Mazarkhoi, Merloi, Mulkoi, Nashkhoi, Nikotoi, Peshkhoi, Sakhandoi, Siarbaloi, Tsatsankhoi, Tseysi, Tulkkhoi, Zumsoi, Zurzak’oi.
Today there are teips of Daghestanian origin among the Chechens: Akhtoi, Akkhshoi, Almakkhoi, Andii (Andians), Antsadoi, Arganoi, Bortii, Chanakhoi, Chungaroi, Danukhoi, Etloi, Galgtloi, Gaz-gumkii (Lakhs), Gumkii (Kumyks), Khakaroi, Khark’aroi, Kogatii, Kubchii (Kubachins), Kulinakhoi, Kordoi, Melardoi, Sarkhoi, Sholardoi, Siulii (Avars), Sogattoi, Tarkhoi (Kumyks), Tsadarkhoi (Tsudarins), Tundalkhkhoi, Udaloi, and Zhai.
There are teips formed by descendants of other nations: Ardaloi, Batsoi, Chartoi, Gurzhii, Mekhaloi, and Shoi are of Georgian origin; Abzoi has Abazin roots; Arseloi and Orsi—Russian roots; Cherkazii was formed by Cherkesses; Gebertloi is of Kabardinian origin; Gezloi was formed by Tartars; Nogii, by Nogais; Turkoi, by Turks; Zhugtii is of Jewish origin.
The Chechen ethnos comprises nearly two hundred teips, 30 of them being of Daghestanian origin while 15 others were formed by other Caucasian peoples and members of other nations.
An Ethnically Homogeneous Society?
The first myth. There is a lot of talk about ethnic homogeneity of the Chechen society. In actual fact a quarter of its teips is formed by members of other peoples. At the same time, this ratio cannot be applied to the numerical strength: the Chechens are in an absolute majority. Still, this illustrates a very typical feature of the Chechen society that allowed aliens to assimilate and acquire the rights of ethnic Chechens. For example, Salambek Khajiev, one of the first Chechens to be elected member of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences and a former minister of the Soviet government, belongs to the Siulii teip with neks and quarters of its own in the town of Shali. Some 150-200 years ago its members moved from Daghestan to Chechnia. Being ethnic Avars they never associate themselves with Daghestan—they decline even a mere mention of their origin.
The Tsikaroi teip illustrates the beginning of the Georgian branch among the Chechens. Naturally enough, not all descendants of all peoples formed their teips. More often than not a person of alien extraction that stayed behind in Chechnia for any reason joined one of the existing teips that guaranteed his security. The newcomer started his own branch inside the teip, that is, he formed a new gar or nek. For example, one of the most prominent Chechens, surgeon Khasan Musalatov practicing in one of the Moscow hospitals, belongs to the Tsikaroi teip (the Cheberloi tukhum) descended from an ethnic Khevsour taken prisoner by members of the Tsikaroi teip during a raid into Georgia early in the 19th century. After a certain period of time when the Khevsour’s relatives had failed to buy him out and he stayed with the teip he was allowed to marry a local girl. He received a plot of land and became the teip’s fully-fledged member. Being aware of their past and ethnic origins such people regard themselves as Chechens—any hint at their alien origins would be interpreted as an insult. There are numerous examples of this—this can be said of anybody who insists that he is rooted in the Chechen society.
Those who struck root and were accepted by the teip differed from those who grew outside teips and arrived in Chechnia to earn money. Any artisan who accepted protection of a teip could remain outside it. Such people did not assimilate and did not start a new life among the Chechens. There are teips formed by people of different ethnic origins (by Andians, Lakhs, Avars, Tartars, etc.).
Can one discern between the originally Chechen and alien teips? This can be done but few specialists can do this by the teip names. There are exceptions to this rule, too: the Siulii teip was formed by Avars; the Gurzhii, by people who came from Georgia, Khevsuretia, to be more precise, etc. There is one thing that marks a purely Chechen teip: each has a mountain of the same name. Each of such teips has its historical homeland high in the mountains and a village of the same name. Chechens are convinced that a teip with an eponymous mountain is a purely Chechen one with the glorious past. For example, the Shirdi teip (the Nokhchmakhkakhoi tukhum) came from the village of Shirdi-Iurt (Nozhai-Iurt District) at the Shirdi mountain, close to Daghestan and the Andian mountain range. Today, its members live in the villages of Germenchuk, Shali, Mesker-Iurt, on the Terek and elsewhere in the republic.
Tukhums as Geopolitical Social Alliances
The second myth. Tukhums affect social processes in the republic. The majority of the Chechens can barely grasp the meaning of the term “tukhum.” Few of them know the name of the tukhum of which their teip is part because today tukhums have no role to play. Many teips have become so large that they are claiming a higher structural status.
In our days, tukhums point to the teips’ geographical location and help identify kindred teips. For example, to identify the teip closest to the Pkhamtoi teip we have to identify the tukhum to which the teip belongs. There are at least two dozens of teips in it. All of them are related to each other and the Pkhamtoi teip, and form the Shotoi tukhum. Tukhums have no other functions and it is ethnologists who mainly deal with them.
This is responsible for the lack of clarity with individual teips that form parts of definite tukhums. For example, normally the Dzumsoi teip that does not belong to the Shotoi tukhum is believed to be closely related to the Tumsoi teip (part of the Shotoi tukhum). The same applies to Chinkhoi that does not belong to any of the tukhums. At the same time, members of the Terloi tukhum believe that Chinkhoi and Guchingkhoi belong to their tukhum. In this way, three teips (Tumsoi, Dzumsoi, and Chinkhoi) belong to three different tukhums. It is not easy to stick to the generally accepted limits when talking about tukhums—a sure sign that they are loosing the importance and influence, otherwise each of the teips would have preserved its tukhum affiliation.
Teip, or Clan—Its Social Status
The third, and main, myth: the teip is all-important!
Teip is a complex hierarchical structure. This misleads certain academics that tend to look at the teips as an omnipotent social element and certain politicians who talk too much about the Chechen society’s teip structure. They tend to substantiate their optimistic forecasts about political measures by saying that the “largest and richest” Chechen teip is involved. This error is typical not only of Moscow politicians—it was frequently made (and is made) by Chechen politicians in the 1990s when Chechnia was building up its statehood and today.
Anybody holding forth about the “strongest,” “richest,” “the most influential” or the “largest” teip demonstrates his absolute ignorance. Such people are doomed to failure because other teips will reject them: none of them is prepared to regard itself as being of secondary importance. More likely than not it is teip members that stick such labels. You will never find a member of another teip willing to agree with such statements. What is more, few people will dare to commit this blunder in the presence of a member of another teip though the press allows itself such errors.
Let’s discuss, for example, the fairly widespread opinion, promoted by the Russian media, that the Benoi teip is the largest among the Chechen teips. It seems that Moscow was misled by these statements when it selected Akhmad Kadyrov, a fairly unpopular figure in Chechnia, as the head of republican administration. The fact that he was the mufti is irrelevant: in Chechnia as a Sufi republic any turk (leader of a village religious community) has more authority than the mufti whose sole task is to organize hajj. In Chechnia the post is purely nominal. Yet the choice has been made and Moscow spent much time saying that half of the Chechnia population belonged to the Benoi teip, that its members were the bravest fighters, etc. It turned out, however, that other teips (some of them belonging to the same tukhum) were as numerous (Alleroi, Gendergenoi, Tsontaroi, etc.) to say nothing of the fact that Moscow set all other teips against Kadyrov and that today many people in his own teip, among them brothers Umar and Magomed Khanbiev who were Maskhadov’s ministers, the Baysangur of Benoi detachment and many others are dissatisfied with Kadyrov. Recently, the press carried information that at their congress members of the Benoi teip announced that they had withdrawn their support of Kadyrov and deprived him of the right to speak in their name. I doubt very much that this is a consolidated opinion of the entire teip—Kadyrov will easily enlist support of other Benoi people who will speak “in the name of the teip.” In addition, it is for 5 or 6 years now that the so-called Council of the Benoi teip has been unable to get together: its members flatly refused to speak to each other. This can be said of all other teips members of which early in the 1990s tried to climb high with the help of their teip members.
It was in the latter half of the 1990s, between the two wars, that the teips started loosing their influence in a very obvious way. The republic was engulfed in a crime wave typical of all post-war societies. Five years before that nobody could have imagined a possibility of hostage taking. The nation proud of its tradition of hospitality (at all times guests were sacred and immune) was suddenly confronted with this disgraceful phenomenon. It turned out that relatives could not protect each other: in the three years after the first war 630 people were kidnapped in the republic, some 80 percent of them were Chechens. Children were snatched from all teips even those that were regarded as large ones. The teip was impotent in the face of crime. To make things worse several women, including married women, were taken hostage. In Chechnia blood feud had been never extended to women while mothers or sisters could stop even the fiercest of clashes. The cult of woman was the most revered in the Caucasus. In the period between the two wars women became a commodity in political and criminal squabbles. The government responded with setting up public committees and departments; people demanded that it should stop the wave of crimes: a sign that the people were turning from the teips to the state.
It should be said that hostage taking was regarded as the worst of all possible crimes and shocked those who recently had been proud of the teips’ social role. Being aware of their impotence people turned to the state for protection. They wanted the state to tighten the laws and to severely punish the criminals.
The above shows that politically-wise the teip structure was helpless, therefore all attempts to elect a teip-based parliament are doomed. The Chechens have obviously left behind this stage of their social and political development: on the republican level they elect the best person rather than a teip member. This was clearly demonstrated by the 1997 presidential and parliamentary elections in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria prepared with support of international organizations and conducted under a close scrutiny of foreign observers. Indeed, how can teip-based parliamentary elections be organized? For example, members of the Gendergenoi teip live in the Nozhai-Iurt, Gudermess, Urus-Martan, Achkhoi-Martan, Nadterechniy, Shelkovskaia, and Shali districts, in each of the villages of these districts, and look at themselves as a gar or nek. The question is: Will they be able to agree on a single candidate? One tends to ask oneself: What sort of parliament will they form? It will reflect the purely local interests of teips rather than the interests of the entire people and the republic. A teip-based parliament is nothing more than a populist slogan of certain politicians acting in Chechnia and striving to seize power and enlist supporters.
The teips have become so large that one of the main bans—a marriage within the same teip—has become a thing of the past. Islam allows marriages among first cousins, which is practiced in Daghestan. In Chechnia marriages inside the teip were strictly banned. Today, they are permitted among members of different gars or neks but not within them. People with the same ancestors traced down to the 9th to 11th generation are considered to be close relatives.
Each nek is composed of extended families, up to several dozens, connected by blood kinship. They are called dja—an extended family with a grandfather, sons and grandsons. The question about belonging to a dja is answered with the grandfather’s name. The closest families, father and children, are regarded as a nuclear family and the basic cell of the Chechen society.
Each village is divided into quarters populated with members of one teip. In the early 1990s the pattern started crumbling: teips were extending and their members had to settle in the outskirts where there were no teip quarters. Obviously, the system of quarters within settlements is weakening.
Attempts to Use Teips for Political Purposes
Every valley village is settled by members of dozens of teips that belong to different tukhums. As highlanders were moving down to the valleys they formed community of neighbors. The teip structure is being replaced with a rural community. During the 1997 parliamentary elections it demonstrated its progressive nature: deputies were elected not for their teip affiliation. For example, the Avtury constituency comprised two villages (Avtury and Mesker-Iurt) whose candidates were competing for a seat in the parliament. Voting showed that many of the Mesker-Iurt voters preferred the candidate from the neighboring Avtury village.
There were many attempts to revive the teip system in the post-Soviet period. Certain politicians relied on their relatives to determine the republic’s politics: a wave of teip congresses swept Chechnia. Teip members came to the teip village to demonstrate their unity and political weight. The Tsentoroi, Benoi, Alleroi, Gendergenoi and others hold teip congresses while Cheberloi, Orstkhoi, Terloi and others tried to demonstrate their unity on the tukhum level.
Teips were setting up foundations to pave the road to power for their members; they funded education and helped the poorest members as well as supported those who stayed behind in the teip villages up in the mountains. This looked like an auction of votes.
The very first presidential elections showed that these efforts were in vain: people preferred Djokhar Dudaev, one of the “lamro” (a highlander) and member of the Ialkharoi teip, not the most numerous or the best-known one, part of the Orstkhoi tukhum, generally believed to be of Ingush origin. People were not guided by his teip affiliation or the fact that he belonged to highlanders or to valley Chechens. They voted for a strong politician able to stand opposed to the Russian Federation.
Later, it was more than once that local politicians found themselves confronted with the same problem: teip support was obviously not enough to climb up the republican ladder. The teip congresses mentioned above and their permanent executive committees were regarded as remnants of the past. Candidates no longer wanted to be associated with them: the Chechens tended to negatively assess an involvement in teip structures. It was commonly believed that such people would concentrate on the interests of their teips, therefore the rest of the people did not vote for them.
The fourth myth: all Chechens are divided into “the people of the valley” and “highlanders.” There are no valley teips. I have written above that an eponymous mountain is taken to be the best proof of any teip’s ethnic purity, therefore the fourth myth is unfounded.
True, there is a commonly accepted opinion that seven out of nine tukhums are “lamro:” Akkii, Chantii, Cheberloi, Mial’khii, Orstkhoi, Sharoi, and Terloi. Each of the tukhums has accents of its own and vocabulary that uses the words no longer used in the written (literary) Chechen language. In addition, all those who having moved down from the mountains started using the literary Chechen are considered to be valley people. In this way, an absolute majority of members of the mountain tukhums (irrespective of their teip affiliation) look at themselves as valley Chechens: the division is purely geographic and has nothing to do with teips. As such it cannot be used in political games since members of the same teip cannot be set against each other.
The Benoi village founded back in the 17th century by settlers from the mountain village of Benoi stands on the Terek bank. Naturally enough, all those who live in the mountains of the Nozhai-Iurt District and those who live in the valley belong to the same teip and disregard their homes’ geographic location.
The Statehood as Society Sees It
Finally the fifth myth says that Chechens do not recognize the state and state administration.
Their rejection of the state in the form of czarist administration and the Soviet empire should not be taken for something historically inherent in the Chechens. In fact, during the 1990s people often condemned their state leaders’ inefficiency, demanded that they should take decisive measures against those who were destabilizing the situation and did not allow the state to fill in the vacuum left by the Soviet Union.
Numerous political parties and movements were formed in the hope of forcing the republican leadership to strengthen centralized power though they could not agree on the content of this power. Despite this there was a common agreement that what was needed was a state ruled by law. This thesis figured prominently in all charters and programs of parties and politicians of all ranks and frames of mind. Even the most superficial analysis of contemporary Chechen society shows that in the recent years its teip structure has changed radically.
When talking about the need to revive the institution of teip Chechens confirm the truth: teips belong to the past. Today, a village community is coming to the fore in which kindred relationships with other teips are much closer than among our ancestors. This does not mean that Chechens will reject the teip: today this institution deals with everyday problems such as marriages, burials, blood feud, conflicts over land, etc.
All those who are involved in the Chechen problems should take account of the finest features of the present-day society in Chechnia rather than borrow ideas about the republic from historical works especially those written in the 19th century. Today, Chechens settle problems according to their traditions but never lose sight of the present situation in the republic. We should never forget history yet the present day should receive our full attention.
1 The author deliberately ignores the work by U. Laudaev called “Chechenskoe plemia” (The Chechen Tribe) that appeared in the Sbornik svedenii o kavkazskikh narodakh (Issue VI, 1872) and clearly betrayed its author’s belonging to the Russian administration in Chechnia and being, therefore, obviously biased.
2 See: M. Mamakaev, Chechenskiy teip (rod) v period ego razlozhenia, Grozny, 1973.
3 See: A. Suleimanov, Toponimia Checheno-Ingushetii, Checheno-Ingushskoe Book Publishers, Grozny, 1985 (new edition).
4 See: S.-M. Khasiev, “O sotsial’nom soderzhanii instituta ‘taip’ chechentsev (XIX-nachalo XX v.),” in: Voprosy politicheskogo i ekonomicheskogo razvitia Checheno-Ingushetii (XVIII-nachalo XX v.), Grozny, 1986.
5 See: Kh. Khizriev, “Zaterechnye chechentsy,” Ichkeria, No. 57, 1997.
6 See: A. Zelkina, “Islam v Chechne do rossiiskogo zavoevania,” in: Chechnia i Rossia: obshchestva i gosudarstva, Polinform-Talburi Publishers, Moscow, 1999.