Photos of Akhvakh Region

I found photos from Akhvakh region. There is also photos from Karata Village. To see all photos click here.


Lezginka is a folk dance of Caucasusian People. It takes its names from the Lezgin people. Caucasian Avars, Azerbaijanis, Circassians, Abkhazians, Mountain Jews, Ossetians, the Russian Kuban and Terek Cossacks and many other tribes have their own versions. will be made by Nurmagomedov. will contain all about MSN Messenger, WindowsLive Messenger, Avatars, WindowsLive Messenger Hacks, WindowsLive Messenger Skins and lastes news about It will also contain special skins made by Nurmagomedov. will be the best site about WindowsLive Messenger and tools. Just wait for a week to open.

Imam Shamil

Imam Shamil was born in 1797 in the small village of Gimry which is in current-day Dagestan, Russia. He was Avar like Nurmagomedov Family. His father was a free landlord, and this position allowed Shamil and close friends Ghazi Mullah to study many subjects including Arabic and logic. Shamil also joined the Naqshbandi Mujaddidy Khalidiya Sufi order, and established himself as a well-respected and educated man among other Muslims of the Caucasus.

Shamil was born at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding into the territories of the Ottoman Empire and Persia (see Russo-Persian War (1804-1813) and Russo-Turkish War). Following the Russian invasion, many Caucasian nations united in resistance to harsh Tsarist rule in what became known as the Caucasian War. Some of the earlier leaders of Caucasian resistance were Sheikh Mansur, and Ghazi Mollah. Shamil was actually childhood friends with Mollah, and would become his disciple.

In 1834, Ghazi Mollah died at the battle of Ghimri, and Shamil took his place as the premier leader of the Caucasian resistance and the Imam of the Naqshbandi Mujadidyi Khalidiya Tariqat. In 1839 (June-August), Shamil and his followers, numbering about 4000 men, women and children found themselves under siege in their mountain stronghold of Akhoulgo, nestled in the bend of the Andee Koisou River, about ten miles east of Gimry. This epic siege of the war lasted eighty days, resulting finally in a Russian victory. The Russians suffered about 3000 casualties in taking the stronghold, while the rebels were almost entirely slaughtered after extremely bitter fighting where typical of the war, no quarter was either asked or given. Shamil and a small party of his closest followers, including some family miraculously managed to escape down the cliffs and through the Russian siege lines during the final days at Akhoulgo. Following his escape he once again set about regaining his following and resisting the Russian occupation. Shamil was effective at uniting the many, frequently quarreling, Caucasian tribes to fight against the Russians. He made effective use of guerrilla warfare tactics and the resistance continued under his leadership until 1859. On August 25, 1859 Shamil and his family surrendered to Russian forces and were jailed in the Dagestan aoul of Gunib.

After his capture, Shamil was sent to Saint Petersburg to meet the Emperor Alexander II. Afterwards he was exiled to Kaluga, then a small town near Moscow. After several years in Kaluga he complained to the authorities about the climate and in December, 1868 Shamil received the permission to move to Kiev, a commercial center of the Empire's southwest. In Kiev he was afforded a mansion at the Aleksandrovskaya Street. The Imperial authorities ordered the Kievan superintendent to keep Shamil under "strict but not overly burdensome surveillance" and allotted the city a significant sum for the needs of the exilee. Shamil seemed to have liked his luxurious detainment as well as the city as confirmed the letters he sent from Kiev.

In 1869 he was given a permission to take Hajj to the holy city of Mecca. He traveled there by ship from Kiev through Odessa and Istanbul. He died in Medina in 1871 while visiting the city, and was buried in the Jannatul Baqi which is also the site where many important personalities from Islamic history are buried. His two sons (Cemaleddin and Muhammed Şefi) became officers in the Russian army, while two other sons (Muhammed Gazi and Muhammed Kamil) served in the Turkish army.

Shamil continues to be revered in the Caucasus for his resistance to the Russians, and is held up as a role-model by those leading the current fight against Russian control of the region.

Photos of Village Karata

Karata-Akhvakv Region-Dagestan
Nurmagomedov's Village : )

KarataAs you know Nurmagomedov Family comes from village Karata in Akhvakh region of Dagestan. It's 4 hours away from Mahachkala. Karata is center of Akhvakh region and biggest village there. In Karata speaks Karatian Language. It's like Akhvakh language but a little diffrents. First photo is taken from Nurmagomedov Nurmagomed's (biggest) grinder. Grinder is very old place and wracked.


Second photo is near the grinder. There is a river down the grinder. This river waters come from mountans of Akhvakh region. And there's a brigde over the river. The brigde is very old but very strong. Maybe the oldest building in Karata.

The mountains of Ahkvakh region. It's belong to neigbour village of Karata.

The most beautiful cow in Karata :) Maybe in Akhvakh region also :P

That's a little part photos of Karata. What a beauty Nurmagomedov's have :)

Mahachkala (Makhachkala)

Mahachkala — city in Russia, capital of Dagestan. The population of city — 466,3 thousand person. (2006), agglomerations — 760 thousand person. (2005).

Mahachkala is located on western Caspian sea, on a narrow strip of Seaside lowland, at bottom of mountain Tarkitau, near foothills of the Big Caucasus, in 2166 km from Moscow.

The chapter(head) of administration of city — Said Dzhaparovich Amirov.


The settlement has been based(founded,established) in 1844 as Russian military strengthening Peter which among mountaineers was known under name Anji-Kala (an earthen fortress). In 1857 settlement has received the status of city and the name Port which has been connected with a legend that during the Persian campaign 1722 in this place camp of an army of Peter I. In 1870 the artificial harbour and port has been constructed. After connection of city by railways with Vladikavkaz and Baku (1894-96) turnover of goods of port has considerably increased.

In the end XIX — the beginning of XX centuries in port have been constructed oil refining and underwater factories, making paper and tobacco factories, railway workshops.

In 1921 city has received a modern name Mahachkala in honour of Dagestan revolutionary Makhacha Dakhadaeva (1882—1918). The name is formed as a result of merge of words «Mahach» and «Kala» (« city, a fortress »).

With 1921 on 1990 Mahachkala was capital Dagestan ????, then republics Dagestans. Mahachkala has strongly suffered during earthquake on May, 14th 1970.


Mechanical engineering and metal working: manufacture the equipment, separators, multiple dredges, devices, the equipment for the food-processing industry, etc.

Chemical and light industry (including fish, canning, wine). Manufacture of building materials: fiber glass, a silicate brick, ferro-concrete designs.

The trading port of Mahachkala carries out cargoes, basically the mineral oil acting from Baku, Krasnovodsk, Astrakhan, etc.

Architecture, sights

In 5-6 km from Mahachkala, on mountain Tarkitau, — settlement Tarki on which place, under the legend, in VII-X centuries existed Caspisian the city of Semender, approximately up to 723 was capital Khazarskogo Jamaat, then — aul Tarkş with 3 mosques, above there was a fortress Rough (1821; the observation post strengthened by a stone laying) was kept.

Nurmagomedov Family Roots

Nurmagomedov Amirali (1990)& Nurmagomedov Arsen (1987)
Nurmagomedov Nurmagomed (1961)
Nurmagomedov Magomedrasul (1923-2007)
Nurmagomedov Nurmagomed (1867-1951)
Nurmagomedov Kvadimagomed (1900)*
Nurmagomedov Magomed (1850)*
Nurmagomedov Kvukyulav (1800)*
Nurmagomedov Khuchulav(1750)*
Nurmagomedov Kvukyulav(1700)*
Nurmagomedov Makhach(1650)*
Nurmagomedov Shikali(1600)*
Nurmagomedov Magomed(1550)*

The Akhvakhs

The self-designation of the Akhvakhs is ashvado, and their language ashvalkhi mitskhtskhi. Their closest neighbours and linguistic relatives, the Avars, call them ghakhyevalá, hence the internationally known designation. The Akhvakh language belongs to the Andi subgroup of the Avar-Ando-Dido or northwestern group of the Dagestan languages and is divided into two dialects: North-Akhvakh and South-Akhvakh. The first is homogeneous, while the latter is further divided into the Tlyanub and Tsegob subdialects. The difference between the South-Avar and North-Avar is rather considerable and users of the two dialects prefer communicating in the Avar language. The ancient layers of the vocabulary have been preserved quite well, even though complemented by numerous Arabic, Avar and Russian loans. As the Akhvakh language has not been studied much, the first publications date from the 1940s.

The Akhvakhs live in the northwestern part of Dagestan, in the mountains between the Andi-Koisu and Avar-Koisu rivers. Between the territories of other nations their habitat represents two small enclaves that could perhaps conventionally be called the northern and the southern territories. The former is situated in the Akhvakh District and consists of five villages: Tad-Magitl, Kvankero, Logonitl, Kuydab-Roso and Izani. The southern territory comprises three villages: Ratlub, Tsegob and Tlyanub. Administratively they belong to the Sovetsky District. One Akhvakh village called Akhvakh-Dere is found in the Zakataly District of Azerbaijan. The southern villages are surrounded by Avar settlements, the northern ones border on Avar areas to the east and south, and on Tindi areas to the north.

Population. As a separate nation the Akhvakhs have been counted only since the 1926 census. The data from the 1950s and 1960s has been taken from academic publications and is approximate.

Anthropologically the Akhvakhs belong to the Caucasian type of the Balkano-Caucasian race. They are characterized by a relatively light skin, tall stature, a broad face and a massive skull. Some features, however, echo the Caspian type and sometimes they are considered a transitional type between the Caucasian and the Caspian anthropological types.

The religion of the Akhvakhs is Sunnite Islam, introduced in Dagestan by the 8th-century Arab invaders and becoming really influential following the raid of Timur in the 14th century. The consolidation of Islam was inhibited by the simultaneous advance of Christianity from the west. Alongside the weakening of the Georgian state, however, the base for Christianity shrank and Islam prevailed. As people living in a natural state the Akhvakhs also nurtured many pagan beliefs which in an adapted from Islam persist until today.

Ethnoculturally the Akhvakhs are connected to the Avars and other Ando-Dido peoples. Common traits can be observed both in the material and spiritual spheres while local peculiarities are few (waxen water jugs, certain elements in the national dress). The only cultural feature distinguishing the Akhvakhs from the Avars is their language, but this was already restricted to domestic use by the beginning of the 20th century while the rest of the communication, even inside the villages, proceeded in the Avar language.

The history of the Akhvakhs coincides to a large extent with that of the Avars as their territories are in close proximity. Since the 7th century the region has suffered from foreign invasions. In Avaria the 8th--14th century period can be considered the era of Arabs and Mongol-Tatars, the 15th--18th centuries were characterized by hostile contacts with Turkish and Persian invaders, to be followed by a Russian period beginning in the 19th century. During the 15th--18th centuries the Akhvakh people were subjects of the Avar Khanate, but the subordination was rather nominal as geographical isolation prevented the Khan from exercising his power on the Akhvakh territories. By the 17th century the Akhvakhs had developed two small administrative structures, the so-called free communities of Ratlu-Akhvakh and Tsunta-Akhvakh. The development of the communities, however, was hindered by incessant domestic troubles and warring. Historical records tell of the wars waged by the Akhvakhs against the Bagulals and the Karatas. Even a military union was concluded between the Karata and the Gidatl community against the Akhvakhs. In 1806 the territory of the Akhvakhs was united with Russia, but, as this could not end the wars either, the regular functioning of the Russian administrative and executive organs was achieved only by 1860--1870.

The economy was shaped by the natural conditions. The mountain pastures created ideal conditions for seasonal livestock breeding. Sheep were raised, as well as cattle and horses. Domestic fowl (poultry) were kept. Wool and cheese were exchanged for grain produced on flatter lands. Land cultivation, despite its high level, had an auxiliary role. As arable lands were scarce they had to be created artificially. The solution was found in terraced fields supplied by a good irrigation system. The main crops were wheat and rye, later potatoes and vegetables were added. On the sunny slopes horticulture and viticulture were practised. The incorporation of Avaria into Russia meant access to the Russian market which, in its turn, boosted the local economy. Monetary and commercial relations developed, creating material differentiation within the society. On the other hand subordination to Russia meant being subjected to the colonial policy of the central authority, a policy took little heed of the wishes of the local peoples.

Soviet power that was officially established in Dagestan on January 20, 1920 and immediately faced serious consolidation problems. First, it was necessary to do away with the territorial isolation of the mountain villages. Secondly, a schooling system had to be introduced that would spread Soviet ideology alongside intensified central propaganda. All this was meant to change the national ideology and mentality of the Akhvakh people. Results, however, being slowish to appear pre-war campaigns (collectivization, anti-Islam struggle) were carried out with violence and bloodshed. During collectivization many Akhvakh nationalist were killed.

Radical changes in the mentality and everyday life of the Akhvakhs emerged only after World War II, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s and especially amongst the younger generation. This was expressed in the different attitudes towards folk customs towards their observance and preservation. Since then the young have tended more and more to adopt Soviet ways and European urban clothing. The old customs, when observed, are not observed from any inner compulsion, but rather out of mere inertia or respect for the older generation. The traditions are falling into oblivion. The most acute problem for the Akhvakhs is connected with their mother tongue. At school the first five forms are taught in Avar, and from then on, in Russian. No subjects are taught in Akhvakh. The norms of endogamy that previously used to regulate the family relations have receded, and the number of mixed marriages is growing.

My lands. Dagestan!

The Republic of Dagestan older spelling Daghestan, is a federal subject of the Russian Federation. Capital of Dagestan is Mahachkala.


The republic is situated in the North Caucasus mountains. It is the southernmost part of Russia.
Area: 50,300 km²
internal: Republic of Kalmykia (N), Chechen Republic (W), and Stavropol Krai (NW)
international: Azerbaijan (S), Georgia (SW)
water: Caspian Sea (E)
Highest point: Bazardyuzi Mountain (4,466 m)
Maximum N->S distance: 400 kilometers (249 mi)
Maximum E->W distance: 200 kilometers (124 mi)

Ethnic groups

The people of Dagestan include a large variety of ethnic groups. According to the 2002 Census, Northeast Caucasians (including Avars, Dargins and Lezgins) make up 75% of the population of Dagestan. Kumyks and Nogais make up 16%, Russians 5% and Azeris 4%. Other ethnic groups each account for less than 0.5% of the total population. With such ethnic diversity, 90.4% of the population are Muslims.There are also forty or so tiny groups such as the Hinukh, numbering 200, or the Akhwakh, who are members of a complex family of indigenous Caucasians. Notable are also the Hunzib or Khunzal people who live in only four towns in the interior.

The lingua franca in Dagestan is Russian. Over thirty local languages are also commonly spoken.

History Of Dagestan

The oldest records about the region refer to the state of Caucasian Albania in the south, with its capital at Derbent and other important centres at Chola, Toprakh Qala, and Urtseki. The northern parts were held by a confederation of pagan tribes. In the first few centuries AD, Caucasian Albania continued to rule over what is present day Azerbaijan and the area occupied by the present day Lezghians. It was fought over in classical times by Rome and the Persian Sassanids and was early converted to Christianity.

In the fifth century AD, the Sassanids gained the upper hand and constructed a strong citadel at Derbent, known henceforward as the Caspian Gates, while the northern part of Dagestan was overrun by the Huns, followed by the Eurasian Avars. It is not clear whether the latter were instrumental in the rise of the Christian kingdom in Central Dagestan highlands. Known as Sarir, this Avar-dominated state maintained a precarious existence in the shadow of Khazaria and the Caliphate until the ninth century, when it managed to assert its supremacy in the region.

In 664, the Persians were succeeded in Derbent by the Arabs who clashed with the Khazars over control of Dagestan. Although the local population rose against the Arabs of Derbent in 905 and 913, Islam was eventually adopted in urban centres, such as Samandar and Kubachi (Zerechgeran), from where it steadily penetrated into the highlands. By the 15th century, Albanian Christianity had died away, leaving a tenth-century church at Datuna as the sole monument to its existence.

Due to Muslim pressure and internal disunity, Sarir disintegrated in the early twelfth century, giving way to the Khanate of Avaristan, a long-lived Muslim state which relied on the alliance with the Golden Horde and braved the devastating Mongol invasions of 1222 and 1239, followed by Tamerlane's raid in 1389.

As the Mongol authority gradually eroded, new centres of power emerged in Kaitagi and Tarki. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, legal traditions were codified, mountainous communities (djamaats) obtained a considerable degree of autonomy, while the Kumyk potentates (shamhals) asked for the Tsar's protection. Russians intensified their hold in the region in the eighteenth century, when Peter the Great annexed maritime Dagestan in the course of the First Russo-Persian War. Although the territories were returned to Persia in 1735, the next bout of hostilities resulted in the Russian capture of Derbent in 1796.

The eighteenth century also saw the resurgence of the Khanate of Avaristan, which managed to repulse the attacks of Nadir Shah of Persia and impose tribute on Shirvan and Georgia. In 1803 the khanate voluntarily submitted to Russian authority, but it took Persia a decade to recognize all of Dagestan as the Russian possession (Treaty of Gulistan).

The Russian administration, however, disappointed and embittered the highlanders. The institution of heavy taxation, coupled with the expropriation of estates and the construction of fortresses (including Makhachkala), electrified highlanders into rising under the aegis of the radical Muslim Imamate of Dagestan, led by Ghazi Mohammed (1828-32), Gamzat-bek (1832-34) and Shamil (1834-59). This Caucasian War raged until 1864, when Shamil was captured and the Khanate of Avaristan was abolished.

Dagestan and Chechnya profited from the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878, to rise against Imperial Russia for the last time. During the Russian Civil War, the region became part of the short-lived Republic of the Mountaineers of the North Caucasus. After more than three years of fighting White movement reactionaries and local nationalists, the Dagestan ASSR was proclaimed on 20 January 1921. Nevertheless, Stalin's industrialization largely bypassed Dagestan and the economy stagnated, making the republic the poorest region in Russia.

In 1999, a group of Muslim fundamentalists from Chechnya under Shamil Basayev, together with local converts and exiles from the 1998 uprising attempt, staged an abortive insurrection in Dagestan in which hundreds of combatants and civilians died. Russian forces subsequently reinvaded Chechnya later that year.


The village of Tindi, in Daghestan, in the late 1890s. The photograph was taken by M. de Déchy, who returned from the area with large collections of plants, fossils, and photographs.

As of 2000, the economy of Dagestan consisted of the following sectors:
24% industry
35% agriculture
26% construction
9% Trade and services
5% Transport and communications
1% Other sectors

Important industries include food processing, power generation, oil drilling, machine building, chemicals, and instrument making. Dagestan's major exports are oil and fuel. Important agricultural products include fish from the Caspian Sea, wine and brandy, and various garden fruits.

Dagestan has economic cooperation with Iran.

Dagestan continues to be the least urbanized republic in the Caucasus


93% percent of Dagestan's population is Muslim, with Christians accounting for the remaining 7%.

As with much of the Caucasus region, Dagestan's native Islam consists of Sufi orders that have been in place for centuries. Resul Magomedov, who is a contemporary writer of Daghestan, writes about Islamic contribution to themselves; “Before Islam, all Daghestan tribes were broke off in respect of language, religion, ethnic structure and geography like all other Caucasian peoples. This situation caused severe hostility and conflicts. After all native tribes became Muslims, a unity in belief could be sustained among Daghestan tribes which also stopped ethnic conflicts among them. If these conflicts continued, our homeland would face great disasters. This unity could only be established by medressehs spread out all the country. The scientists, scholars, imams graduated from these medressehs had an important role in stopping these conflicts in this multinational region and they helped tribes to establish friendly relations. Islam should also serve such a goal today.”

There is a millennia-old presence of a Jewish community, the "Mountain Jews," in Dagestan. Their influx from Babylonia and Persia occurred from the seventh century B.C. to the sixth century A.D.


Avar language

The modern Avar language (self-designation магӀарул мацӀ [maʕarul maʦʼ] "language of the mountains" or Авар мацӀ [awar maʦʼ] "Avar language") belongs to the Avar-Andi-Tsez subgroup of the Alarodian Northeast-Caucasian (or Nakh-Dagestani) language family.
Geographic distribution

It is spoken mainly in the eastern and southern parts of the Russian Caucasus republic of Dagestan, and the Balaken, Zakatala north-west region of Azerbaijan. Some population of Avars live in other regions of Russia. There are also small communities of speakers living in the Russian republics of Chechnya and Kalmykia; in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Jordan, and the Marmara Sea region of Turkey. It has more than 1,400,000 speakers worldwide.

Official status

It is one of six literary languages of Dagestan, where it is spoken not only by Avars, but also serves as the language of communication between different groups.


There are two main dialect groups: the northern (Avar literature), which includes Khunzakh, Kazbek, Gunib, Gumbet and others; and the southern (sub dialects), which includes Andalal, Gidatl', Antsukh, Charoda, Tlyarata, Cumada, Cunta and others. Avar has fifteen spoken dialects, which by many linguists are considered separate languages: Avar, Bagulal, Chamalal, Budukh, Botlikh, Andi, Godoberi, Tindi, Karati, Akhvakh, Tsez (also known as Dido), Khwarshi, Hinukh, Hunzib and Bezhta, each named after its speaking tribe.

Writing system

The Avar language has been written since the 15th century, in the old Georgian alphabet. From the 17th century onwards it was written in a modified Arabic script known as Ajam, which is still known today. As part of Soviet language planning policies the Ajam was replaced by a Latin alphabet in 1928, which was in turn replaced by the current Cyrillic alphabet in 1938. It is essentially the Russian alphabet plus one additional letter named palochka (Ӏ). As that letter is undisplayable on most computers, it is routinely replaced with capital Latin letter I (palochka has no uppercase form).

OrthographyА а Б б В в Г г Гъ гъ Гь гь ГI гI Д д
Е е Ё ё Ж ж З з И и Й й К к Къ къ
Кь кь КI кI КIкI кIкI Кк кк Л л М м Н н О о
П п Р р С с Т т ТI тI У у Ф ф Х х
Хх хх Хъ хъ Хь хь ХI хI Ц ц Цц цц ЦI цI ЦIцI цIцI
Ч ч ЧI чI ЧIчI чIчI Ш ш Щ щ Ъ ъ Ы ы Ь ь
Э э Ю ю Я я


The literary language is based on the болмацӀ (bolmacʼ) — bo = "army" or "country", and macʼ = "language" — the common language used between speakers of different dialects and languages. The bolmacʼ in turn was mainly derived from the dialect of Khunzakh, the capital and cultural centre of the Avar region, with some influence from the southern dialects. Nowadays the literary language is influencing the dialects, levelling out their differences.

The most famous figure of modern Avar literature is Rasul Gamzatov (died November 3, 2003), the People's Poet of Dagestan. Translations of his works into Russian have gained him a wide audience all over the former Soviet Union.

Hello! ВорчӀами! Worčʼami!
How do you do? Щиб хӀal бугеб? Ššib ħal bugeb?
What is your name? Дуда цӀар щиб? Duda cʼar ššib?
How old are you? Чан сон дур бугеб? Čan son dur bugeb?
Where are you going? Киве мун унев вугев? Kiwe mun unew wugew?
Sorry! ТӀаса лъугьа! Tʼasa łuha!
The bottle broke. Васас шиша бекана. Wasas šiša bekana.


Where comes Nurmagomedov's?

Nurmagomedov's are Akhvakh's. A group of Caucasian Avars (Maarulaw). Karata its their village which is the center of Akhvakh Avars. Akhvakh's have their own language. They speaking Akhakh language with each other. And there is a common language which all Avars speak.

Caucasian Avars are a modern people of Caucasus, mainly of Dagestan, in which they are the predominant group. The Caucasian Avar language belongs to the Northeast Caucasian language family (also known as Nakh-Dagestanian).

They populate most of the mountain part of Dagestan, and partly also plains (Buynakskiy, Khasav'yurtovskiy and other regions). They also live in Chechnya, Kalmykia and other subjects of Russia, as well as Azerbaijan (mainly, the Balakan and Zagatala regions), Georgia (Kvareli Avars) and Turkey.

In 2002, the Avars, who assimilated some peoples speaking related languages, numbered about 800,000, of which 757,000 live in Russia and more than 700,000 in Dagestan. 32% of them live in the cities (2001 number).

According to the head of the Soviet archaeological-ethnographic expedition of 1945 - 1948, Caucasian Avars migrated to their present location from Khwarezm, which was originally populated by the Alarodian Hurrians from Subartu (which was to the south of Transcaucasian Iberia)[1]. The earliest mention of the Avars in European History at their current location is from Priscus who declares that in 463 AD a mixed Saragur, Urog and Unogur embassy asked Byzantium for an alliance having been dislodged by Sabirs in 461 due to the Avars' drive towards the west[2]. It is not clear whether and in what way the contemporary Avars are related to these early Eurasian Avars of the Dark Ages. According to Omeljan Pritsak and some other scholars, this Avar invasion of the Caucasus resulted in the establishment of the Avar ruling dynasty in Sarir, a Christian state in Dagestani Highlands, where the Caucasian Avars now live. With the mediation of Sarosios in 567, the Göktürks requested Byzantium to distinguish the Avars of Pannonia as "Pseudo-Avars" as opposed to the true Avars of the east who had come under the Göktürk hegemony.

During the Khazar wars against the Caliphate in the 7th century, the Avars sided with Khazaria. Surakat, is mentioned as their Khagan around 729/30 AD followed by Andunik-Nutsal, at the time of Abu Muslima, then Dugry-Nutsal. Sarir suffered a partial eclipse after the Arabs gained the upper hand, but managed to reassert its influence in the region in the 9th century, when it conflicted with the weakened Khazars and conducted a friendly policy towards the neighbouring Christian states of Georgia and Alania.

In the early 12th century Sarir disintegrated, only to be succeeded by the Khanate of Avaristan, a predominantly Muslim polity. The only extant monument of Sarir architecture is a 10th-century church at the village of Datuna. The Mongol invasions seem not to have affected the Avar territory and the alliance with the Golden Horde enabled the Avar khans to increase their prosperity.

The 15th century saw the decline of the Horde and the rise of the Kumyk shamkhalate at Tarki, with whom the Avars could not compete until the 18th century, when they increased their prestige by routing the army of Nadir Shah at Andalal. In the wake of this triumph, Umma Khan of the Avars (reigned 1774-1801) managed to exact tribute from most states of the Caucasus, including Shirvan and Georgia.

Two years after Umma Khan's death in 1801, the khanate voluntarily submitted to Russian authority. Yet the Russian administration disappointed and embittered freedom-loving highlanders. The institution of heavy taxation, coupled with the expropriation of estates and the construction of fortresses, electrified the Avar population into rising under the aegis of the radical Muslim Imamate of Dagestan, led by Ghazi Mohammed (1828-32), Gamzat-bek (1832-34) and Shamil (1834-59).

This Caucasian War raged until 1864, when the Avarian Khanate was abolished and the Avarian District was instituted instead. One portion of the Avars refused to collaborate with Russians and migrated to Turkey, where their descendants live to this day. Although the population was decimated through war and emigration, the Avars retained their position as the dominant ethnic group in Dagestan during the Soviet period. After World War II, many Avars left the barren highlands for the fertile plains closer to the Caspian shore.

Famous Avars

The most prominent figures in Avar history were Umma Khan, Hadji Murat, and Imam Shamil. The most celebrated poet writing in the Avar language was Rasul Gamzatov (1923-2003). In Azerbaijan, there is an ethnic Avar Member of the Parliament (MP), Mrs. Rabiyat Aslanova (first term: 2000-2005, second term: 2005-2010).

Famous Avar artists include Khalil-bek Musayasul, whose drawings were shown at the New York Metropolitan Museum[citation needed], and Kamil Aliev (a distant cousin of Musayasul[citation needed]) who is noted for his ornamental carpet work[4].

A famous Avar Sportstar is Magomed "The Propeller" Magomedov. Born June 4, 1982 he is a Thaiboxer and the WMC Light Heavyweight World Muay Thai champion. Another famous sportsman of Avar origin is a heavy-weight boxer Sultan Ibragimov, a current WBO champion.