Reviews

In this collective volume dedicated to Tatar ethnography and ethnic history the Kazan historians Damir Iskhakov and Iskander Izmailov trace the ethnic and political history of the Tatars beginning with the formation of the Türk Kaghanate in Mongolia in 552 down to the establishment of the Mongol World Empire and the Ulus of Jöchi in the first half of the thirteenth century.  They also document the “establishment” of the “Tatar ethnos during the era of the Golden Horde until its disintegration at the beginning of the fifteenth century.  The authors consider that the “Tatar ethnos” came into being as a result of ethnic and political consolidation of various communities within the Golden Horde, which they considered to be above all dominated by Turkic Muslim nomads referred to in Islamic sources of the period as “Tatars.”  They also argue that the Golden Horde could be considered in political terms a “Tatar state” because these “Tatars” dominated the military and feudal elite of the state.  The authors also examine the cultural influence of indigenous sedentary Muslim and Turkic communities, centred in the Volga-Ural region, specifically the Volga Bulgharians who found themselves integrated into the Golden Horde.

Allen J. Frank, Takoma Park, MD
CER: I-3.2.B-199