It has long been believed that the Polovtsian is the enemy of the Russian land, since representatives of this tribe were seen in repeated raids on the lands of our state. However, historians know episodes of the neighboring existence of the Polovtsian tribes and Slavs, as well as their joint campaigns against, for example, the Hungarians, the Volga Bulgars, the Mongols, etc. the history of the Polovtsian people.
Were the ancestors of the Cumans Chinese?
The meaning of the word "Polovtsian" in the Old Russian language indicates that the Slavs called people either who came from the steppes (from the word "field"), or who had a yellowish skin tone (from the word "polov" - "yellow").
Indeed, the ancestors of the Polovtsy were nomads living in the steppes between the Eastern Tien Shan and the Mongolian Altai, whom the Chinese called the Seyanto people. In that area there was an ancient state, formed in 630, which, however, was quickly destroyed by the Uighurs and the same Chinese. After that, the inhabitants of these places changed their generic name "Syrs" to "Kipchaks", which meant "unhappy, ill-fated", and went to the Irtysh and to the easternsteppes of Kazakhstan.
Interpretations of the nineteenth century and the opinion of D. Sakharov
The meaning and interpretation of the word "Polovtsian" is also interpreted by some experts as derived from the word "fishing", which means hunting (in the sense of property and people), as well as from the word "full" - captivity, where the representatives of the Slavs were taken.
In the nineteenth century (in particular, E. Skrizhinskaya and A. Kunik) identified the name of these tribes with the root "pol", meaning half. As the above researchers suggested, the inhabitants of ancient Kyiv, located on the right bank of the Dnieper, called the nomads who came from the other side of the river, "from this floor." Academician D. Likhachev generally considered all the proposed versions unconvincing. He thought that the mystery of the origin of the name of this tribe would never be solved, since the Cuman Kipchaks left a minimal amount of their own written documents.
The Cumans are not a separate tribe
Today it is believed that the Polovtsian is a representative of a conglomeration of nomadic tribes, and these data are based on the fact that in the eleventh century AD, the Kipchak people were conquered by the Mongol-speaking tribes of Kumosi-Kimaks, and then migrated to the west along with representatives of the Mongoloid tribes - Kidans. By the end of the thirties of the eleventh century, this combination of peoples captured the steppes between the Volga and the Irtysh and approached the borders of the ancient Russian state.
"Yellow" people came to the borders of Russia
About who the Polovtsy are from the point of view of documentary Russian history, for the first time gaveclarifications Hypatiev Chronicle in 1055. According to this manuscript, “light, yellow” people came to the borders of the Pereslavl kingdom, which made it possible to assign the generalized name “Polovtsy” to the Kipchaks and Mongoloid tribes.
Newly arrived peoples settled in the Sea of Azov, the course of the Lower and Northern Don, where stone "women" were found, which, as scientists believe, were installed by nomadic tribes in memory of their ancestors.
Who are the Cumans of those times in terms of religious teachings? It is believed that among this nomadic tribe, the cult of ancestors was originally practiced, which was realized through the installation of stone statues on high sections of the steppe, on watersheds in special sanctuaries. At the same time, direct burials were not always nearby. In the Polovtsian graves, the burial of the deceased was often common along with household items and the carcass (stuffed animal) of his war horse.
Two thousand stone idols and a minimum of writing
A mound was piled up over the grave of people outstanding by the standards of the Polovtsians. In later periods, when the Kipchaks were conquered by the Muslims, some of the pagan monuments were destroyed. To date, about 2,000 stone "babes" (from "balbal" - "ancestors") have been preserved on the territory of modern Russia, which are still considered to have the power to increase the fertility of the earth and restore nature. These monuments survived many centuries, including the period of Christianization of the Polovtsians. Pagans, Muslims, Christians - that's who the Polovtsians are in different periodsdevelopment of this body of peoples.
They shot down birds with an arrow on the fly
After the appearance on the territory of the steppes of Eastern Europe in the XI century AD. The Polovtsy did not stop in this area and continued to settle further, since this was facilitated by the presence of such a powerful means of transportation of that time as a horse, and good weapons in the form of a bow.
Polovtsian is first of all a warrior. The children of these tribes were taught horseback riding and combat techniques from an early age, so that later they would join the koshun, a militia from the same clan. Dozens of people or three or four hundred could enter the koshun, who attacked the enemy like an avalanche, surrounded him with a ring and covered him with arrows. In addition to complex, technically advanced bows for that time, the Polovtsy possessed sabers, blades, and spears. They wore armor in the form of rectangular iron plates. Their martial prowess was so high that a rider could shoot down any flying bird while galloping with a bow.
Camp kitchen… under saddle
Who are the Cumans in terms of their way of life? These peoples were typical nomads, very unpretentious even by the standards of that time. Initially, they lived in covered wagons or felt yurts, fed on milk, cheese and raw meat, which was softened under the saddle of a horse. From raids they brought loot and captives, gradually adopting knowledge, habits and customs from other cultures. Despite the fact that the exact origin of the word has not been foundthe definition of what Polovtsian means was felt by many peoples of that time.
The Polovtsy had someone to adopt cultural traditions from, since the nomadic tribes of the Kipchaks in the twelfth century reached the Ciscaucasian steppes (the headquarters of the Polovtsian khans was on the Sunzha River), visited Pomorie, Surozh and Korsun, Pomorie, Tmutarakan, committed a total of about 46 raids on Russia, in which they often won, but were also defeated. In particular, around 1100 AD. about 45,000 Kipchaks were forced out by the Russians to Georgian lands, where they mixed with local peoples.
The Polovtsian habits of grabbing everything and everyone who came to hand led to the fact that by a certain time, part of the nomadic peoples learned to build dwellings for the winter, where stoves were even equipped in the likeness of Russian heating elements. Primitive leather garments were decorated with ribbons on the sleeves, like the Byzantine nobles, signs of organization appeared among the tribes.
Polovtsian kingdoms were no less than European ones
By the time of their conquest by the Mongol-Tatar troops in the XIII century, the hordes of the Polovtsy were associations, the strongest of which were the Don and Transnistrian. In those days, the Polovtsian was a representative of the people who lived in a territory that was not inferior in size to European kingdoms. These quasi-state formations prevented the passage of caravans on the way "from the Varangians to the Greeks", carried out independent raids on Russia and were active until the 90s of the twelfth century, after whichthe Kipchaks fought mainly in Russian squads during the inter-princely strife of that time.
So how can you answer the question of who the Cumans are? From ancient history, we can conclude that this people, despite some primitiveness, played an important role in shaping the political map of the world of that time and in the formation of various nationalities, including modern ones.