History of Lakia

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The Laks, self-designation — Lak. Native language — Lak. Historical capital of Laks is Kumukh — one of the ancient cultural and religions centres of Lakia. The History of the Lak people encompasses the Lak peoples' ethnic history and their history within the states of Dagestan.

Persian invasions in the 5th-6th centuries[edit]

Main article: Sassanid Empire

In the 6th century Sassanid Empire after a long war took over the Eastern and North-Eastern Caucasus. In 552 the Khazars invaded Caucasus and occupied the northern plains of Dagestan. The reigning shah of Persia Khosrau I Anushirvan began the construction of Derbent fortress to protect his possessions from the new wave of nomads. Khosrau I appointed a ruler in Kumukh as in many other possessions.[1]

Arab invasions in the 7th-8th centuries[edit]

Main article: Arab-Khazar Wars

In the 7th-8th centuries Arab conquerors persistently strived to gain a foothold in Dagestan with the aim of political hegemony in the North-Eastern Caucasus. Upon completion of a long war in the 730-740 Arab armies led initially by Maslamah and then by Marwan captured mountainous Dagestan. During the Arab invasions and later there had been in Dagestan such principalities as Tabasaran, Dargin, Lak and Avar.[2][3][4]

The state of shamkhals in the 8th-17th centuries[edit]

In the middle of the 8th century Kumukh joined the Arab Caliphate. In Kumukh Arabs built a mosque and appointed a ruler with the title "shamkhal".[5][6] In 1239 Mongolo-Tatars captured Kumukh. In the 13th centuries shamkhals of Kumukh accepted Islam. In 1396 Tamerlane waged a war on shamkhal of Gazi-Kumukh. In the 15th century the political influence of shamkhal increased in the region. In 1642 shamkhalate disintegrated into independent principalities.

The state of khans in the 17th-19th centuries[edit]

Main article: Gazikumukh Khanate

In 1642 Laks formed the Gazikumukh Khanate. The state was ruled by the supreme council that was attended by the viziers, chief qadis, warlords and the ruler. The rulers of Kazi-Kumukh took an active part in anti-Iranian movement in Shirvan and Dagestan. In 1725 Surkhay-khan I received the title of khan of Shirvan and Kazi-Kumukh. In 1734-1741 Kazi-Kumukh had been invaded by the Persians thrice. In 1738 Murtazali-khan at the head of Dagestani army defeated the Persians in Djaria and in 1741 in Andalal. Later khanate fought with Russia. In 1820 general Madatov captured Kazi-Kumukh.

Rebellion of 1877[edit]

Main article: History of Dagestan

In 1877 with the beginning of Russian-Turkish war, Chechens, Ingush and Dagestani peoples with support of Turkey organized a revolt. Laks captured a fortress outside Kazi-Kumukh. The re-establishment of Kazikumukh Khanate was proclaimed. Jafar-Bek the son of Aglar-khan was elected a ruler who directed his army from Kazi-Kumukh to help the insurgents in Kaitag and Tabasaran. There were such religious figures of the revolt as Hasan Al-Kadarski, Kazi-Muhammad and Haji-Muhammad of Sogratl, Qadi of Tsudakhar, Kazi-Ahmed and Abdul of Kazi-Kumukh. Small armies besieged Russian fortresses in Gunib and Levashi, but after heavy fights were thrown back by Russian troops moved in from North Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Middle Asia and Volga region.[7]

After the capture of Tsudakhar, Kazi-Kumukh, Sogratl and the execution of "instigators" of the revolt many were deported to distant provinces of Russian empire. Some captives managed to escape to Iran, England and the Ottoman Empire.[8]

Revolution of 1917[edit]

Main article: Russian Revolution

In 1920 the Soviet rule was established. In 28.10.1922 Kazi-Kumukh district was renamed into Lak district. In 29.03.1935 it was divided into Lak district and Kuli district. Collectivization and "socialist construction in the area of national culture development" was then carried out. In 1937 in a number of villages operated cells of SVB — "Union of militant atheists": in Khosrekh - 25, Vikhli - 16. In 1940 in 5 out of 14 villages of Kuli district the mosque buildings were demolished.

In 1930 Ali Kayaev, a Muslim reformer of Dagestan and native of Kumukh, was arrested and exiled to Southern Ural. He was accused of participating in counter-revolutionary organization.[9] In 1934 Ali Kayaev returned from exile and worked in a Research Institute of Dagestan.

Building of local industry began in the Lak district. The mechanized mills and enterprises were built for processing raw materials. A small hydroelectric power plant supplied electricity. Primary school education was made compulsory. Mass edition of books and newspapers in Lak language was initiated.

Second World War[edit]

Main article: World War II

In the summer of 1944 to the lowlands of Dagestan, instead of Chechens deported on February 23, part of Laks was forcefully resettled from 43 mountainous villages and their houses demolished: 26 villages partly and 18 fully. Among them Archuta, Akhar, Bartni, Varay, Viltakh, Duchi, Kurkhi, Marki, Nitsovkra, Sundaralu, Turchi, Tukhchar, Charavali, Chayakh, Shushiya, Khalapki and Khanar. Ethnic Avars and Kumyks were too subjected to forceful resettlement.[10][11]

The Second World War brought Laks 6 Heroes of the USSR (one twice). Six warriors – Ahmed Khan Sultan, Buganov Gadji, Kuznetsov Ramazan, Makaev Tsakhay, Suleymanov Rizvan and Suleymanov Yakov were given the high rank of Hero of Soviet Union. Ahmed Khan Sultan was given this rank twice. Kamalov Gasan-Gusain became national hero of Italy and Kushayev Gusain of France. Eight Laks reached the rank of military generals – Khalilov Michael, Suleymanov Ahmed, Khalilov Salikh, Khalilov Vyacheslav, Pirmagomedov Isa, Magomedov Efendi, Kunbuttaev Lev and Shtanchaev Imanali.

Known Laks[edit]

  • Musa Manarov – Cosmonaut, Colonel of Soviet Air Force, spent 541 days in space.
  • Ahmed Khan Sultan – Pilot of Soviet Union.
  • Shirvani MuradovGold medalist in Freestyle Wrestling, Beijing 2008.
  • Islam Makhachev (Russian: Ислам Рамазанович Махачев; born October 27, 1991 in Dagestan) is a Lak mixed martial artist, judoka and sambist, a multiple Combat Sambo World Champion,[4] and who is currently fighting in the lightweight divis
  • Omari Akhmedov (Russian: Омари Ахмедов; born October 12, 1987 in Kizlyar) is a Russian of Lak descent born in Dagestan, professional mixed martial artist who competes in the Welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
  • Khachilaev Nadirshah Mugadovich – former head of Muslim Union of Russia. MP to State Duma of Russia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ М. Т. Гаджимурадов, Л. П. Магомедов. История Дагестана. М. 2007. С. 47.
  2. ^ Б. Г. Алиев. Очерки истории Дагестана. Махачкала: Даггиз. 1957. Т. 1. С. 45, 51, 76; Гасанов М. Р. Дагестан и народы Кавказа в V—XV веках (некоторые вопросы этнической общности расселения и взаимоотношений). — Махачкала, 2008.
  3. ^ Halifa ibn Hayyat informs that Marwan fought and conquered Gumik and Khunzakh. See: Бейлис В. М. Сообщения Халифы ибн Хаййата ал-Усфури об арабо-хазарских войнах в VII — первой половине VIII в. // Древнейшие государства Восточной Европы. 1998. М.,2000. С. 43.
  4. ^ Р. Маршаев, Б. Бутаев. История лакцев. Махачкала, 1992.
  5. ^ Derbent-nameh informs: "After Abu Muslim strengthened Derbent in the best way, he went with the army to Kumuk. Beks of Kumuk waged battles, bloody fights, but in the end kumuk beks were defeated, many infidels died. When Kumuk was taken, those who became Muslims were left with their property and those who refused to accept Islam were slaughtered and plundered. At the top of the city [Kumuk] a Juma mosque was constructed. In few blocks mosques were made. The ruler of Kumuk became the sepahsalar of Abu Muslim — the grandson of Abdallah, the son of Abdalmuttalib from the tribe of Quraysh" (Kaz: "appointed for them a ruler and commander [named] Shakhbal, the son of Abdullah, son of Abbas"). See: A. Р. Шихсаидов. Ислам в средневековом Дагестане (VII—XV вв.). Махачкала, 1969 г., с. 97—98.
  6. ^ A. K. Bakikhanov wrote: "In 115 (734) Hisham for the management of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Shirvan appointed his brother Abu Muslim and gave him 24,000 Syrians and Arabs that he may put in order the affairs of Dagestan. It can be assumed that this Abu Muslim is the very Maslama whom we discussed earlier. Probably copyists distorted his name or Abu Muslim — is his kunya, the nickname given by the Arabs to honorable persons. Be that as it may, Abu Muslim arrived in Derbent to rebuild the walls and ramparts of the fortress ... Arranging so the affairs of Derbend, Abu Muslim went to Kumuk. The emirs and the residents of that region after several battles asked for mercy and accepted Islam. The main mosque and other buildings constructed in Kumuk by him are still there today. He left here a ruler Shakhbal ibn Abdallah ibn Qasim Ibn Abdallah Ibn Abbas (uncle of the Prophet Muhammad) and appointed with him a qadi to teach the people the rites of the new faith". Abu Muslim "ordered [Shakhbal, Maisum, Utsmi] to take defence by the united forces in the event of Khazar envasion and to prevent the Khazar traders from approaching Derbent .. Following these instructions of Abu Muslim, caliph Hisham himself arrived in Derbent". See: А. К. Бакиханов. Гюлистан и Ирам. Период второй 644-1258 г.
  7. ^ А. Каяев. Из истории восстания 1877 года. «Литературный Дагестан» 1990. № 2. С. 81.
  8. ^ А. Г. Булатова. Лакцы (XIX — нач. XX вв.). Историко-этнографические очерки. — Махачкала, 2000.
  9. ^ А. Р. Наврузов. Газета "Джаридату Дагистан" (1913-1918). Тематическая характеристика статей: Образование и Просвещение. Учеб.-метод. пособие. Часть 1 / Федеральное агентство по образованию, ДГУ – Махачкала, ИПЦ ДГУ, 2007.
  10. ^ ГУ ЦГА РД. Ф. р-168. Оп. 35. Д. 21. Л. 189, 191.
  11. ^ М. Р. Курбанов, Ж. М. Курбанов. Дагестан: депортация и репрессии. — Махачкала, 2001.