Military Review

Abrek rebel Mashuko. The beginning of the uprising


Mount Mashuk

Pyatigorsk is spread between several isolated mountains. The mountain bearing the name Mashuk was compared by Lermontov with a shaggy hat. She will play a tragic role in the life of the great writer and poet. It is on the slope of Mashuk Lermontov that he will be mortally wounded. Mount Mashuk itself is quite modest, its height is about 990 meters, but история the names of the peaks are unusually rich.

There are several versions about the origin of the name of the mountain. Here the myths intertwined about a certain beautiful girl, of course, shedding tears on the slopes of this mountain, about the belonging of this locality to the Mashukov family, since this is a fairly common surname in this land, etc. One can only rarely hear that Mount Mashuk, according to one version, bears its name in memory of a very specific person - the rebel and the abrek Mashuko (Machuk Khubiev). His rebellion against the mountain princes, the local aristocracy and the Crimean-Turkish invaders failed, and he was meanly killed on a mountain road, having been ambushed.

There are several versions of Mashuko’s life. These versions differ not only in facts, but also in historical periods in which these facts were supposed to take place. One version believes that Mashuko raised a rebellion in the early years of the 18th century during the total occupation of Kabarda by the Crimean Khanate, resulting in the Battle of Kanzhal in 1708. This version is very controversial, because most of the nobility of that time, led by Kurgoko Atazhukin, was herself far from pro-Crimean (hence pro-Turkish) views.

According to other, more solid versions, Mashuko rebelled already 12 years after the Battle of Kanzhal, but for the same reasons: the next occupation of Kabarda by the Crimean Khanate and this time the promotion of this occupation by some Kabardian princes. That is why the author will focus on the latest version.

Unrealized results of the Battle of Kanzhal

The defeat of the Crimean-Turkish invaders in the Kanzhal of 1708, although significantly weakened the Crimean Khanate and caused the rise of the popular movement, did not become the liberation of Kabarda from the Turkish yoke. First, the Kabardian leader Kurgoko Atazhukin died in 1709 and did not manage to realize the potential of victory in the battle with the invaders to rally all the princes of Kabarda. Secondly, as soon as he closed his eyes, a deep split among the Kabardians themselves had already begun to brew.

Abrek rebel Mashuko. The beginning of the uprising

Kurgoko Atazhukin, hero of the Battle of Kanzhal

By 1720, two princely coalitions had been created: pro-Turkish and independent, perceived as pro-Russian. After the next invasion, they received the names of Baksan and Kashhatau (Kashhatav). The Baksan coalition, led by the senior prince (wali) of Kabarda, Islambek Misostov, was in pro-Turkish (i.e. pro-Crimean) positions, fearing revenge from the Crimea and Port. The Kashkhatau coalition was in the minority and decided to continue to uphold the independence of Kabarda, but with a lean towards Russia. This coalition was led by the princes Kaitukins and Bekmurzins.

The invasion of Saadat Giray (Saadet IV Gerai) and the beginning of civil strife

At the end of 1719 - beginning of 1720, the new Khan of Crimea Saadat Giray, who ascended the throne in 1717, sent a message to Kabarda demanding to end all relations with Russia, return to the power of the Crimea and the Port and continue to pay tribute accordingly including people. Initially, the Kabardian princes refused, despite the views of the pro-Turkish forces.

Saadat began to gather troops, hoping to return the humility of Kabarda, thereby establishing himself on the throne. In the spring of 1720, the 40th army of Saadat Giray, traditionally strengthened by the Nogais and Ottomans, invaded the territory of modern Kuban and moved south to Kabarda. The news of the huge army instantly spread throughout the Caucasus.

Being completely confident in his own victory and heard about a split among the Kabardian princes, the Crimean khan again sent a message to the princes. This time, he demanded not just submission, but also the issuance of 4000 "embers" (prisoners who would become slaves) and compensation for all military trophies that were captured by Kabardians from the Crimeans when the latter tried to return Kabarda to submission. In addition, of course, Kabarda again came under the power of the Crimea and was obliged to pay tribute.

Saadat Giray at the same time showed a political trick. He perfectly understood that the defeat in the Battle of Kanzhal continues to inspire the highlanders to resist, so it was urgently needed to deepen the disconnection among the Kabardians themselves. So, the Crimean Khan declared the head of the Baksan coalition, Islamamb Misostov, the senior prince of Kabarda. Despite the fact that by that time Saadat had wiped out dozens of mountain villages from the face of the earth, Misostov eagerly grabbed this confirmation of his authority.

Nogayets and Crimean Tatar

Moreover, the new Vali of Kabarda, Islambek Misostov, having gathered his warriors, joined the Crimean Khan to punish the rebels Kaitukins and Bekmurzins, who were now perceived by them as rebels against his own power. Realizing in advance where the political wind blew, the rebel princes fled with their soldiers to the mountains in the tract Kashhatau, which gave its name to the coalition. At the same time, Misostov lingered for a while in Baksan, and his coalition got its name - Baksanskaya. The situation of political strife was so difficult that the coalitions alternately secretly sent ambassadors to Russia, so various sources still do not have a single answer, which of these parties was truly pro-Russian.

As a result, the foundation was laid not only for the enslaving dependence of Kabarda on the Crimea and the Port, but also for the brutal internal strife. The once powerful princes Kaitukins and Bekmurzins, who controlled half of the Kabardian territory, even began to be referred to as “abregs,” i.e. abreks. But, of course, the princes also had princely princely, so they were considered some outcasts for political reasons, and not robbers from a mountain road.

While the pans are fighting, at the lackeys forelocks crack

Alas, the proverb deduced above is common to all of humanity. The princes who went over to the side of the val Islambek Misostov decided to satisfy the demands of the invaders, naturally, at the expense of their own population. And this concerned not only the property of the highlanders of Kabarda, but also their children, who were to be in orderly lines to actually go to the slave markets in Crimea. In fact, a wave of genocide has begun. Entire villages fell into desolation, someone, without waiting for a “trip” to the Crimea, burned his home and fled to the mountains.

Of course, a major peasant uprising soon broke out. According to the mountain hierarchy of the Northwest Caucasus, the peasants (among the Circassians - tfokotli) were at the very bottom. Slaves could be placed below them, but slaves (unouts) were practically not considered for people - they were just property, which, by the whims of nature, had the skill to reproduce its own kind. In this case, the children of slaves became the same property of the owner as their parents.

From above, peasants were under pressure from almost the rest of society: Valia, the younger princes and the aristocracy, which, in turn, itself had its close associates, endowed with much greater rights than ordinary residents. Thus, under the circumstances, the peasantry had nothing to lose.

At this moment, Mashuk enters the historical arena. The origin of this hero, as befits the Caucasus, is sheltered by many legends and myths. According to one of the first Kabardian historians and philologists Shore Nogmov (“The History of the Adychean people, compiled according to the traditions of the Kabardians”), Mashuk was a simple “serf” from Kabardians.

According to other data cited by historian, philologist and ethnographer Alexander Ibragimovich Musukaev in his works, Mashuk (Mashuko) was an unsurpassed master of weapons. At the same time, he fled to the region of modern Pyatigorsk from Kabardian villages due to blood feud. However, the rebellion does not stop in the end from hiding precisely from blood feud.

There is another version, according to which Mashuk was a Karachai, and his name was Mechuk, which was later transferred to the Kabardian style. And there was Mechuk from the Khubiyev clan.

Kabardian military aristocracy

One way or another, but the rebellion of Mashuko took on the character of a forest fire. From under the feet of the nobility they knocked out one of the main sources of income - peasant products and, most importantly, peasant souls. The slave trade was so profitable that it flourished on the Black Sea until the middle of the 19th century, when the Russian Empire burned all the slave trade bases and the slave traders themselves, who periodically drowned alive in the sea, with hot iron.

Of course, the mountain aristocracy first responded to the uprising in a characteristic way for themselves - the destruction of the enemy. However, the Kabardian rebels used the tactics of the Abreks, in fact the guerrilla tactics of sudden rapid raids and the same rapid retreat to pre-prepared paths. In the mountains, which the local population knew like the back of their hand, the role of the number of soldiers of Islamamb Misostov and his Crimean "overlords" was significantly reduced. The uprising continued to grow.

To be continued ...
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  1. cost
    cost April 26 2020 05: 44 New
    Adygs (Kabardins and Circassians) have long been considered trendsetters in the North Caucasus, and therefore their traditional costume had a noticeable effect on the clothing of neighboring peoples.
    The Circassian coat also served as outerwear. She was sewn of cloth, most often black, brown or gray, sometimes white. Prior to the abolition of serfdom, white Circassians and burkas were entitled to wear only princes and nobles. Noble Kabardians, in order to prove their daring, often went in a torn Circassian.
    Under a Circassian coat, over a pectoral shirt, they wore a beshmet - a caftan with a high standing collar, long and narrow sleeves. Representatives of the upper classes sewed beshmets from cotton, silk or fine woolen cloth, peasants from home cloth
    The princes and nobles wore red morocco shoes decorated with galloons and gold, and the peasants wore rough rawhide shoes. It is no accident that in folk songs the struggle of peasants with feudal lords is called the struggle of "rawhide shoes with morocco".
    Illustration of the East wind to the article. There is a clear aristocrat in yellow silk beshmet and red morocco shoes
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka April 26 2020 06: 27 New
      Thanks to the author and Rich the first for the love of their small homeland, the second for valuable additions to the article!
      1. cost
        cost April 26 2020 06: 38 New
        Good morning, Vladislav wink

        So we are both Caucasians with the East wind - he is from the Kuban, I am Tersky from Podkumka
        1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
          Kote Pan Kokhanka April 26 2020 07: 05 New
          I already appreciated it!
          A small mountain under 1000 meters high! Where are we to the sinful Uralians, where the highest mountain of my Shungut region is not higher than 750! And my native Sholum (on the slope of which I live) is only 472 meters above sea level !!!
          So there are mountains, but there are mountains !!!
          Regards, Vlad!
          1. Catfish
            Catfish April 26 2020 08: 35 New
            Vlad, you’ll all laugh, but I’m also Caucasian, I was born in Pyatigorsk. smile drinks
            1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
              Kote Pan Kokhanka April 26 2020 10: 28 New
              Quote: Sea Cat
              Vlad, you’ll all laugh, but I’m also Caucasian, I was born in Pyatigorsk. smile drinks

              I won’t! Just understand the phenomenon of why the feline mountaineers are so attracted to the blue and blue sea !!! drinks
              1. Catfish
                Catfish April 26 2020 10: 35 New
                And mountain cats, unlike the flat ones, appreciate the beauty of the sea landscape and love to swim.
                In addition, diving yourself for a fish is a pleasure, the water in the sea is clear, it is difficult to miss. ))) drinks
            2. Senior seaman
              Senior seaman April 26 2020 12: 25 New

              Some Caucasians around :)))
              However, I am also from this squad. Now I live in the Kuban, and spent half my childhood with my grandmother in North Ossetia
          2. Wild cat
            Wild cat April 26 2020 23: 19 New
            So next to Mashuk
            Beshtau with 1406 m above sea level))
            1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
              Kote Pan Kokhanka April 27 2020 05: 00 New
              Feline arrived!
              Regards, Vlad!
  2. cost
    cost April 26 2020 06: 07 New
    Thanks, Dear Author. Interesting article. Thanks to her, I learned a lot. Prior to this, Mashuko knew practically nothing about the uprising, albeit from those lands. For some reason, the locals are more aware of the Chegem uprising of Damalei and the Beshtamak peasant uprising of Kepov, supported by the Terek Cossacks and Russia. Kabardinians even have such a song
    Song of Damalei
    He collects people from pastures and fields,
    He leads to the battles of peasant people.
    Fright and confusion in the prince’s camp,
    Peasants come with a great war.
    Princes and nobles flee from the rebels,
    And they hide, in awe, in the forest more often.
  3. knn54
    knn54 April 26 2020 09: 22 New
    Regarding the Battle of Kanjal, 1708/1709, the French Consul Xaverio Glavani wrote in 1724: “The district of Cabarte is larger and more powerful than all the rest; there are 3000 dwellings in it ... ”“ A cabinet can exhibit 5000 soldiers. ”
    It is easy to calculate that the total number of Kabardians did not exceed 30000 people.
    Now about the Forge. I look forward to continuing.
    About abreks.Although about "bloodsuckers" .Although about "political" I had a strong opinion since my childhood. When my great-grandfather told the story of the great-great-grandfather who went through the Western Caucasus in Lermontov’s detachment. There were a lot of abreks in it. Local residents were more afraid of their own than the Cossacks.
    In Soviet times, such people (remember Datu Tutashkhia) were presented as fighters for class justice.
    For the narrative Thanks.
  4. Simon
    Simon April 26 2020 10: 04 New
    Interesting historical data on the struggle of the Caucasian peoples against the Crimean khans, Turkish vassals. Good article.
  5. Aviator_
    Aviator_ April 26 2020 10: 33 New
    Informative article. Only "mashuk" in the Turkic languages ​​means a cat.
    1. cost
      cost April 26 2020 10: 47 New
      The locals associate the name of the mountain with the old Kabardian legend of the beautiful girl Mashuko, weeping with mineral tears about the bridegroom of Beshtau, who was killed by old Elbrus.
      Kabardian cat will be - to Jed
      it will be in Circassian - kyetu (western Shapsug dialect)
      1. Aviator_
        Aviator_ April 26 2020 11: 02 New
        Uzbek is mashuk, Tatar is mashuk, and Chechen is also a close sound. In the Caucasus, each gorge has its own language, but Turkic is decently distributed. With L.N. Tolstoy, who fought there 170 years ago, all Chechens are called Tatars.
        1. cost
          cost April 26 2020 11: 05 New
          In Turkmen, as far as I remember, a cat is a scribbler, or a scribbler (app).
          With L.N. Tolstoy, who fought there 170 years ago, all Chechens are called Tatars.

          Well, this is due to illiteracy, the Chechens - “Nokhchi-Vainakhs”, but the Tatars (with a big stretch) can be called the Turk Balkar
          1. Aviator_
            Aviator_ April 26 2020 12: 31 New
            The Chechens called the Tatars Tolstoy solely because of the similarity of the language; the artillery lieutenant was not a philologist. I have no doubt that peoples closer to the Tatars live there. And as for the name of the mountain - naturally, if non-Turkic tribes live around for several hundred years, then they will introduce the old Turkic name of the mountain into their folklore.
            1. cost
              cost April 26 2020 12: 45 New
              I found a cool article on the internet yes ! "How to pronounce the word" Cat "in various languages"
              1. Aviator_
                Aviator_ April 26 2020 12: 53 New
                Thanks for the link. There are inaccuracies - Ukraine is represented only by the eastern dialect, and in Transcarpathia the cat is Matsur, the cat is the Machka. Surely in other places there are different interpretations. But what is Uzbek in Mashuk is absolutely certain, that is exactly how the surprised Uzbek screamed at the control, when my friends wanted to take their cat to Russia from Tashkent in their hand luggage. In the end, he left, furry, now he is driving mice to Bykovo near Moscow.
              2. Kote Pan Kokhanka
                Kote Pan Kokhanka April 26 2020 13: 49 New
                Quote: Rich
                I found a cool article on the internet yes ! "How to pronounce the word" Cat "in various languages"

                Thank you!
        2. Kote Pan Kokhanka
          Kote Pan Kokhanka April 26 2020 12: 28 New
          What a twist!
          It turns out Mashuk - Koshatkin stone !!!!
          1. Aviator_
            Aviator_ April 26 2020 12: 35 New
            The feline stone will be "Mashuk Tash", literally. Or "Tash Mashuk"
      2. 26rus
        26rus April 26 2020 11: 04 New
        The names of other surrounding mountains are associated with this legend - Bull, Camel, Snake (Snake), Leo (Razvalka), Dagger, Ring.