Cold steel of Vainakhs

Until recently Chechen weapon has not been given as much as attention. In any case, the public. Hurt and hinder policy, which are not needed, and sometimes harmful Vainakh historical achievements … And the history of the Vainakh bladed weapons amazing and diverse! Wars and raids, invasions and campaigns gave rise to a wave of mutual borrowing and improvements, ongoing dynamics in the development of cold steel, its design and technology. And here lies the great mystery! It Chechen edged weapon was and is the best in the Caucasus. And everybody knew it. Then, according to the instructions of party bodies, and through the efforts of the Chechen weapon carelessly “pushed” towards the security forces, graciously giving place Kubachi …

In the tradition of the most ancient in the Caucasus nation preserved information that the cold steel mountainous Chechen society Chatou, Shara, Maiste, Malhesty was the most popular in Georgia among Khevsurs, Tush and other nations. No less popular checkers and daggers Chechens were among the Cossacks. A particular success enjoyed blades villages of Great and Small Atagi Dzhugurty, Dargo, Daykur-Aul (Old Yurt). In the epics, legends, oral stories of the Chechens and Ingush speaks of the miracle-swords (gorda, galakh, gives din tour), saber (tour), saber (gIorda, tour gIama) dagger (shappa) that can cut the sword of the enemy, horse with rider, strike sparks from a stone. Tour – the most-used name of Vainakh sword come down to us, in spite of the modification of the blades. Pam – also the name of an ancient sword, was to become the most in relation to the large daggers, swords and checkers. In the Caucasus fell a lot of blades with the West and the East. Pilgrims from the North Caucasus, the Great Silk Road merchants imported a variety of weapons. They also contributed to export local Blades, protective equipment, enjoyed great demand everywhere … A variety of weapons hit! In the Caucasus, even now you can see the sabers, swords with innumerable inscriptions, drawings and Stamp: Hungarian, Turkish, zolingenskimi, Iranian, zlatoustskimi and others have survived numerous titles Bladestorm: misar bolatan tour – Egyptian Damascus saber;. Shemarov bolatan tour – Damascus, the Syrian Damascus saber; turkoyn Gerze – Turkish weapons; g1azhariyn tour – Iranian saber. However, most of the weapons preserved in private collections and in museums of local arms production Caucasus. The difference between swords, sabers, daggers from each other, a plurality of types of marks or names of artists shows that in Chechnya, there was developed a cottage industry, a hereditary family fishing, where craftsmen from generation to generation were engaged in manufacturing weapons, improving their skills and technology. The Chechens, like many people, from ancient times to the blacksmith and farrier work is treated with respect. The man who was driving a fire and know the ordinances of iron – the god and the king in the village! Work blacksmith among Chechens considered prestigious. His work is at all times in addition to the usual curiosity admired – of going into the mountains, search and delivery of ore, smelting of metal, a permanent job at the fire contributed to the creation Demystified and all sorts of superstitious rumors around a blacksmith. Until the XV-XVI century, the Chechens and Ingush are mainly used its own raw materials, iron mining in the mountains, as evidenced by archaeologists. They have achieved great knowledge in metal processing, developed crafts, and took over the mastering more advanced technologies. Certain proof of this are the Chechen (Vainakh) name ore, metal species, their elements and the necessary resources to handle it, for example:

ore (iron) – Acho;

iron – Echigo;

Steel – Bolat;

iron – chuyna;

Hammer – varzap;

striker – varzap-ho;

Anvil – nuyzha;

furnace (smelting) – kyurk (Echigo Lalo);

chisel – da1om;

tool for making long – something;

tab for the manufacture of an ax, including combat – to alot;!

mites – Morse, etc…

As the importation of damask, damask from the East, as well as high-quality steel from Russian masters moved on imported raw materials. Steel is likely to come in the form of ingots or small bands. Subsequently widely used wagon springs. metal processing methods, its hardening (dahchor), of course, were the secrets of Chechen armourers. In folk memory preserved many names of bolats, some of which later became male names:

– TsIoka bopat (Schokbolat) – “like a leopard damask” (patterned, striped).

– Haza Bolat (Hazbolat) – “beautiful damask”, marked the beginning of a well-known name in the Caucasus – Hazbulat.

– Sema Bolat (Sambolat) – “waking damask” name – Samba Lat.

– Jam Bolat (Dzhambolat) – Jam dzhamag – battle-ax, “damask for battle-ax”, the name – Dzhambulat.

– Iarzha Bolat (Arbolat) – “black damask” name – Arbulat, Arbolat.

– Tovsh Bolat (Tovbolat) – “prominent damask”, “solid damask” name – Tovbulatov, Tovbolat.

– Be Bolat (Bebolat) – “special damask”, Chechen Bebolat name (can be heard “and” written “e”) Russian pronounced Bay-Bulat.

The old Cossack song has the words: “Blade basalts, damask Atagi …”. We will return to this song … All of this together suggests the once well-developed arms and Smithy fishery Chechens. By the way, the word “damask” Chechens are also called high-quality steel, not inferior Bulat …

Dagger “Kama” – shalta, perhaps, the most ancient edged weapon Chechens. Needless Circassian word is not caught on, because it was his own. And much older … Proof of this are the numerous archaeological finds in the country.

The people daggers were divided into two types: a blade and a burnished mirror blade, ie blade, polished to a shine… Until the XIX century Chechen daggers differed increasingly larger sizes. They have a ribbed surface and were similar to the swords of Roman legionaries and gladiators – Gladius, but with a more elongated tip. Their width reaches the width of four fingers (7-9 cm), length – 60 cm, which corresponds to the size of gladius. Doly (bora, harsh, SEC) in the early daggers were often absent or only one. These daggers, swords, even in the old days were called – chIabdar. From the middle of the XIX century and especially towards the end of the Caucasian War daggers modified. Large samples Daggers (also called in “benoevski” people)

They began to force lighter and more graceful daggers, with the presence of one, two or more Dolov.

Doly Vainakh, Chechen daggers in particular – a special conversation! They are very often carried out by the so-called “Lezgin” sample. Those. fraction on one side of the blade was above the other on a dale. This allowed us to flatten the blade and at the same time to facilitate it. At the same time this type of blade created a particular style, the owner spoke of the love of quality weapons, as well as on the ability to use it … The blade of the dagger gradually became more refined and polished, acquiring rapid rapacity almost dueling weapons. Perhaps it was with the cessation of active hostilities, the trend of fashion. At the same time, as a rule, maintain a high quality blade. No wonder daggers with a very thin and elongated tip relates to the early models were called antimail and widely used in battles. They can be found to this day …

Every man in Chechnya was a dagger. Its quality finish and characterized by the owner, it was very important in an extremely tightly structured highlander society …

Belonging to a national costume dagger, compulsory wearing a Circassian from 14-15 years have contributed to the preservation of the quality of the blades, to improve finishing their scabbards and handles. The weapon was core value and the richness of the mountaineer. Checkers Gourde, Ters-Maiman, CALDA and daggers best masters valued very highly. Their value amounted to, respectively, the value of the house, the best horse, dozens of sheep. The main decoration of the guest rooms was a Chechen arms. On the walls, the carpets were hung swords, sabers, daggers, guns and pistols. And now, in some houses can be seen hanging on the carpet or grandfather’s gun dagger with type-setting belt. Famous Chechen nabobs Imam Shamil – Baysangur Benoevsky, Shoa-un (Shuaibov-mall) Tsontaroevsky, Talkhigov, Eski, Oak Batukov, Idil, Avturinsky Ahmad, Yusuf Haji, Botha and many others had wonderful blades in gorgeous rims. Generally Chechens to arms treated very carefully. Give a dagger, sword or share them to symbolize friendship, peace.

Chechen weapon until the end of the third quarter of the XIX century did not differ in appearance gloss, front, elegance design. Often horsemen, Merrie Men prefer modest and partially decorated weapons. Silver was expensive, it was used sparingly. Silver hilt often prefer to handle the tour of the horn, buffalo, wood. Expensive and prestigious ivory, ivory began to use more in the second half of the XIX century. It is known that for a dagger, partly decorated with silver, not to levy taxes (zyakat). However, for the dagger, which had solid silver scabbard and hilt, sunset was paid to the poor! The weapon was proud Chechen. Of great importance was the combat blade quality, and the high quality of the Chechen blades were recognized. Constant combat the practice contributed to the broad development of military craft, and the art of war. Chechen bombs, daggers in great demand among the Cossacks. Their quality Cossacks set an example to other blades, which was confirmed by the elders and Cossack villages Shelkovskoy area during their survey in 1972. Some blades Chechen gunsmiths cut the blacksmith tongs, ripped his cloak, cut off the head of a bull. There were many cases when a lightning strike burka, reinforced vertically on the ground, cut through, but did not believe it until someone in the crowd did not show her the second half. The existence of unique strength blades testified researcher GA Nativity scene: “… In the department of the Sunzha I could see the knife blade unknown artist … he, on the one hand the ordinary, the other jagged as a saw, which is free can be very strong steel saw. Hardening of the dagger was so good that did not yield bench tools, and the owner even think to remove burrs, the blade had to let go, to the detriment of its strength. Such blades there is now a very rare … “. Weapons for the mountaineer was a symbol of freedom, honor and dignity. Therefore, the wizard can not risk their good name and well-being, and sometimes life … They are very responsible attitude to the quality of the blades. Otherwise gunsmiths risked honor and a name that could be mocked, to become a household name among the people. And if you fail in the battle sword? …

In addition to weapons, production of knives (Urs) was developed in Chechnya, the Chechen URS – a knife. This name is still preserved among Khevsurs – distant relatives of Chechens and Ingush. Den said: “Caucasian knives have a reputation for a good hardening and strength, and therefore eagerly bought up even the Russian population, they often prefer to import cheap goods.” Until recently (1980), some descendants of gunsmiths aul Dargo produced fine household and hunting knives, which are essentially the same, and only occasionally daggers … It should be noted that the production of knives in the Caucasus has always been widely developed. As a general rule, early daggers almost all had narrow, long, sometimes slightly curved underdagger knives without dogs, is located just under the knife, on the back side in special depressions on the sheath. All these products are sold at fairs and markets. In “Essays on the history of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic” reads: “Only on Amir Adzhiyurtovsky  yard for three months in 1847 mountaineers, including Chechens, sold daggers, rifles, pistols, rifle locks at 8,445 rubles. … Besides there are a lot of weapons sold … belts, products made of copper and iron, as well as rugs, carpets, agricultural products. ” Currently, little remained of the Chechen blades. Most of them lost in the permanent removal of weapons of imperial administration and the Soviet government. Along with preserved a small part of weapons among the family heirlooms in Chechnya, there is still hope for his safety in the Chechen families who fled their homeland after the Caucasian War .. I must say that in complex, difficult conditions Stalinist relocations to foreign lands, even at extreme deprivation Chechens Ingush not parted with antiquated weapons and would save him …

That’s all of us, the modern lovers and researchers should not forget the issue of identity and talent Vainakh masters of their undoubted merit in the development of edged weapons in the Caucasus – endlessly silent about their role has not come out … We re-acquainted with Chechnya.


“In Chechnya – Blades are excellent for sticks, the best artists formerly lived in yataga (Atagi)”

Gen. DV Passek. 1841.

Major centers of the North Caucasus for the production of cold arms have always been famous villages large and small Atagi. They are located in the foothills. Aul Large Atagi is located 20 km from Grozny. There is a legend about how the old master of the Lesser Atagi forged sword famous abreks Vara (it must be said – one of the main judges of bladed weapons) blade was made by the new technology, and its quality has surpassed all expectations.

The blow Checkers anvil ledge was cut, and the barrel is cut in half! The blade is not was not a single notch. Then the master, foreseeing some terrible weapon this blade can be in the hands of the enemy, destroy his sword, and swore never to make such blades … It is difficult to understand worldly and simple logic of legend, but folklore can not argue … One who lived in the second half of the XIX century atagi master gunsmiths named Telhig particularly distinguished. For the manufacture of dagger blades he used English needles for sewing machines! The great thing was that the needle is clearly visible on the surface of the blade, as if they had been varnished. The blade had a high strength and good quality … still alive Alavdi Khamzatov, born in 1924, told me that his ancestors had been a gunsmith. Blades Khamzatov not decorated, and passed the master designers, including and Kubachi. His stamp had no optional etching applied to the master’s name, pattern, or the inscription sayings from the Koran. This was done in the following way – ready blade covered with beeswax, then hard and sharp object, such as sewing, applied to the text or image, carefully scraping wax from the slot. After that, around the text or picture poured sand to keep the poured acid on the drawing. Depending on the time delay reaches the desired depth of drawing or writing. Waste from the red-hot iron collected from the anvil, used for rubbing the blade, as they do not leave streaks and create good gloss, a kind of steel wool … Handles made of horn, bone, wood made themselves. Also manufactures and simple sheath covered with black leather. Charcoal, pulverized, and diluted oil rubbed into the long handle of buffalo horn to impart black colors. Such treatment allows to preserve black handle for many years. However, there were many blades have long been manufactured in strict form without ornament with 1-3 dales across the blade length … In Atagi and manufactured blades for the Terek Cossack Army. Blades enjoyed fame, willingly bought up by Russian officers. It is known that atagi blades were sung in songs and Greben Terek Cossacks. These checkers are affectionately called “ataginka” … still curious fact that is well known atagintsy. Near the Big aul Atagi farm a gunsmith named Bazalay Ali, manufactures excellent blades (mid XVIII-first half of XIX century). Farm name was called master – Bazalay. And the old Cossack song “Blade basalts, damask Atagi …”. Coincidence, or the true name of the first master, who started the famous daggers “bazalay”? Time for new disputes …

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