The Culture of Terek Cossacks

Home life for the Terek Cossacks was formed under the influence of customs of the local population which was primarily formed of Chechens, Ingush, Kabardin, and Kumyk. In rural areas, Cossacks built huts usually having the name Sakila. In the villages adjacent to Vladikavkaz, the Cossacks huts differed slightly from the people of other ethnicities. The Cossacks had two rooms, followed by a decoration room. All in All, the Cossacks make their homes in the Chechen traditions.
Traditionally, each Cossack home had an arsenal of weapons. On the wall hung a holster for a pistol, a dagger in a leather or silver sheath, on a belt with silver buckles, a revolver, Berdan rifle or shotgun, and a few pieces of daggers in a simple sheath. Weapons for the Cossacks, as well as the other ethnic groups in the area, was an important part of life. The Cossacks often appreciated the skills of the Chechen gunsmiths, and blacksmiths, they even included certain masters by their names in Cossack songs.
The clothing was also very similar, as adapted by the Cossacks to the local way of life. Men wore a Caucsian cloak, tunic, along with the Circasian belts, daggers, and cartridge belts of metal or silver tips. For holidays, the Cossacks would wear clothing of different colors and rich materials to celebrations.
Terek Cossacks entered into a number of Chechen national cuisine dishes: zhizhig-galnash, tortillas stuffed with cheese and vegetables, unleavened bread, pasta and more. Mountaineers also appreciated some Russian products, including those that are suitable for food during the winter months, dried fish and sauerkraut.

Mountain musical instruments and dancing, of course, entered the life of the Terek Cossacks. On zurna, flute, pondur played by men and women on an accordion. The circular and temperamental dance "Lezginka Naurskaya" became the national dance of the Terek Cossacks. An important part of life for the Cossacks was the participation in Jighitovka competitions, during which they demonstrated courage, resourcefulness and horsemanship
Multinational region will inevitably impact on the mutual linguistic borrowings. In the process of communication and the Cossacks, and the Highlanders have expanded their vocabulary.
Terek Cossacks since the mid-16th century have established good relations with the Chechens. For a long time the Mountaineers and Cossacks lived peacefully and help each other in everything and relatives together. Among the many testimonies about this - the story of the Chechen historian Umalat Laudaeva of their relatives from the village Chervlennaya. In this village Chechens fled from the village of Guni, the current Vedeno district.
After living there for a long time, gunoevtsy intermarried with the Cossacks, though never forgotten his ancestral home and were always happy to meet with fellow countrymen. One of the lovers of antiquity, wrote: "Among the Terek Cossacks ... even in the type of their appearance discernible features in common with the mountaineers; especially characteristic of these traits in Cossack: along with the face of the Great beauty, round, rosy, we meet the oblong pale, oval face with Chechen blood. "

Many of the Terek Cossacks were Kunakov (friends) with the Chechens. They were proud of this friendship and loyalty which passed from generation to generation. Mixed family appeared not only in the Cossack villages, but also in the mountain villages. So, during the Caucasian war, Russian soldiers, sometimes under certain circumstances, went into the mountains. There they married Chechen, Ingush, Circassian, kumychkah, and even Cossack women and acquired their farms and begin a new peaceful life.
Centuries passed and the interpenetration of Russian customs and traditions of the mountain. As a result, different nations have come to common family and social conditions.

Article written by Vis-Haji Aslahanov