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Family meal of Nogais as evident model of etiquette behavior (XIX - the beginning of the 20th century)

UDK 94 (470.67)

family meal of Nogais as evident model

ETIQUETTE BEHAVIOUR (XIX - the BEGINNING of the 20th century)

© 2008 of M.B. Gimbatov

Institute of history, archeology and ethnography of the Dagestan scientific center RAS, 367030, Makhachkala, M. Yaragsky St., 75, Gimbatova@list. gi

Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of Dagestan Scientific Centre RAS, 367030, Makhachkala, M. Yaragskiy St., 75, Gimbatova@list. ru

The culture of behavior and etiquette of Nogais are investigated during a family meal, their ethnospecific features are revealed.

This article explores the behavior culture and etiquette of Nogays at their family table, and it also shows their ethnospecific peculiarities.

The etiquette, standards of behavior are an integral part of traditional and household culture of any ethnic group. Promptly happening changes lead to deleting, and sometimes and to total disappearance of many traditions that can lead to depersonalization of mankind. A.K. Bayburin and A.L. Toporkov note that "full-blooded existence of mankind just and is provided with a variety of cultures..." [1, page 4].

The research of features of traditional and household culture of the people, its etiquette and standards of behavior will solve a number of problems. First of all, will meet desire of the people to know the history and traditions, caused by growth of its culture, ethnic consciousness and also will help establishment of constructive dialogue between representatives of different cultures, will solve a xenophobia problem.

It is brightest and original etiquette it is shown during a meal. The meal is not a just collective consumption of food, but some kind of indicator of level of traditional and household culture of ethnic group. In this plan to appropriate provide S.A. Arutyunov's statement that "any joint meal, whether it be a family lunch or a meal of the people who united for performance of a labor task, or the meal of fellow travelers, not to mention meals which celebrate any events which are beyond everyday life, is not simply collectively organized saturation. Anyway it at the same time action with a certain contents. At least this contents it includes statement of what the audience accepts and divides defined, established by tradition of this ethnic group, the minimum ethical and esthetic standards of behavior and consequently, belong to one cultural community and shows a certain minimum of benevolence to each other" [2, page 3].

It would be desirable to stop in more detail on a family meal of Nogais in which gender and age stratification, etiquette and culture of behavior of participants of a feast are accurately traced, to present them traditions and customs, the relation to food, standards of behavior at a table,

who sometimes are beyond etiquette, but give the fullest picture of development of traditional culture of the Nogai society during the studied period.

At Nogais, as well as other Turkic-speaking people of Dagestan, in XIX - the beginning of the 20th century in a power supply system two main types of meals were allocated: house, or family, and public (ritual and festive) [3, page 73].

For a joint meal the family gathered in uyken-uy (letters. in the big house) three times a day - in the morning, before work, for breakfast - "erteng the expert", during the lunchtime - "to an uyla the expert of a zamana" and in the evening for dinner - "keshka the expert" [3, page 212]. Washing of hands was an indispensable condition to start a meal. As S.V. Farforovsky noted, Nogais "at the center surely have a washstand which was put about fire, for water warming up. They wash with this water hands before food and after it and make ablution before a Mohammedan prayer" [4, page 17]. The tradition of washing of hands before food and after it has, apparently, also a certain pragmatical sense: being in the main weight nomads, Nogais at meal time did not use forks and spoons.

Food was eaten sometimes serially, sometimes at the same time, but taking into account gender and age group. The table etiquette assumed a rassazhivaniye of family members strictly by rules. Everyone had a certain place which in its absence nobody took. According to an etiquette proksemika, during a family meal a place of honor - "тоьр" - the head of the family borrowed, the right side from it traditionally was considered as men's, left - women's. On the right adult sons, at the left - the daughter-in-law together with the children, sometimes and with adult sons and daughters sat down.

Women with the husbands, as a rule, did not sit down at a meal, and settled closer to a door. Still A. Rudanovsky noted, "that at Nogais the most honourable and prestigious place was always allocated to seniors, and the most inconvenient - to young snokha" [5]. It should be noted that similar rules of a rassazhivaniye during a meal with

division into the men's and women's parties are inherent in those people which strictly observed custom of avoiding, to especially Turkic-speaking people of Russia.

Thus, the places located closer to the owner, less prestigious were considered as prestigious - is closer to an exit.

In wider plan a rassazhivaniye - the evident model of gender and age and social stratification of collective, and "top" and the right side, as a rule, mean higher prestigiousness, and "bottom" and the left side - lower [1, page 137-138].

Nogais had also certain etiquette poses of sitting at a table. So, men needed to squat crosslegged, to women - to crush under itself one leg, and the second, having bent in a knee, to put before itself. To sit it was thought not only indecent differently, but also anti-etiquette. In separate families men, after them - women ate in the beginning [6, page 39]. Among Nogais was many men who lived till an extreme old age and not seeing how their wives eat as they drink water [7, l. 36]. Similar food avoiding was observed at Kumyks, Adyghe [8, page 114-115]. We are inclined to connect food avoiding with manifestation of sensitivity and modesty and, of course, with culture of behavior and etiquette.

Meal started only after reading by the head of family of the corresponding prayer and pronouncing a traditional phrase: "For the sake of Allah mercy and merciful!". According to etiquette, the head of the family touched food with the first. It was necessary to take food surely right hand as it was considered as ritually clean. Participants of a family meal were obliged to follow certain rules of conduct. So, for example, to begin to eat followed surely from near edge of a dish. It was necessary to take from the general ware what is most closer located (a piece of meat, cheese, etc.). Is followed a table slowly and accurately, without causing inconveniences to people around. Rules of conduct at a table found reflection and in the Nogai proverbs. So, Nogais say: "Az ashagan a basin ashar" (Who eats a little, that purely eats), "Az Asha, kop a shayna - tuyilmessin" (You eat a little, chew long - will not choke) [9]. A. Pavlov wrote about Nogais: "During a lunch they are not hasty in food, are moderate in consumption of food, are clean" [10, page 28]. N.F. Dubrovin noted that "the Nogai can be one and even several days is very stood in food" [11, page 266]. Nogais have an expression: "Alta ouch ash bolsan yes, at the adetin a mutpa" (Even if half a year you will starve, do not forget precepts of the father).

Certain rules existed at distribution of meat food between participants of a meal. At Nogais, as well as at other people which are engaged in cattle breeding strictly established connection between the status of participants of a feast and parts of the served meat food was observed. So, as the most prestigious parts of mutton ink are considered: ouch a hook - the head (its right side), kun a hook - shovels or tesikl - pelvic bones - them excreted for the head of the family and the senior participants of a feast, a part of brisket and pulp from a leg - for the main hostess. Following good pieces

were considered: - Horta a dignity, a part of legs - ER basar, quarrystone, edges - a kabyrga, intending to sons, brisket - tos, heart - yurek, kidneys - buyrek daughters got femoral parts. Other pieces (cervical part, the most lower parts of legs) were considered as less prestigious, they intended for snokh and younger participants of a meal [6, page 38].

Nogais have a legend as the young daughter-in-law, having violated rules of etiquette, ate the meat intending to the senior family members. "Somehow in family killed a ram, and the mother-in-law charged to the young daughter-in-law and to make a lunch. The daughter-in-law brought meat on a tray and put it before the mother-in-law who had to distribute it between family members, having allocated the best pieces to seniors. It turned out that there are no such pieces any more. The senior family members decided that meat was eaten by the daughter-in-law. Having heard it, the daughter-in-law answered: "I only ate bir asykla (part of a leg), bir tesikl (pelvic bone), bir aybagjar (the right side of the head intending to the father-in-law), bir kun a hook (shovel)" [7, l. 37]. The legend confirms the put-forward thesis about communication of participants of a feast with the served meat food.

Similar rules of distribution of meat between participants of a feast, characteristic of nomads cattle-farmers, existed and at Adyghe probably they adopted them at the closest neighbors - the Kuban Nogais as at other North Caucasian and Dagestan people of strict distribution of meat to prestigious and less prestigious pieces it is not observed.

Nogais consider especially honourable part the head of an animal. The head since the most ancient times was comprehended as the most important part of a body and the person, and an animal. The pastoral people have a head of the killed of an animal the most prestigious part of ink which relied the highest figure in social hierarchy or to the guest of honor [12, page 77].

The right of the section of the head belonged to the head of family. This part of a family meal also contained various etiquette moments. To receive a meat share from the head it was honourable and it is prestigious. In memory of one our informant data on an order of sharing of the head between participants of a meal remained. He told how his father, having separated an ear from the head, gave him to the eldest son and at the same time said: "Here to you ear. Eat it that your good hearing became even better". Gave to other son an eye and at the same time wished that his eye distinguished color of the bird soaring highly in the sky. The head of the family gave to the following language with a wish to be eloquent [13]. It should be noted that Nogais did not eat a brain of an animal. Any wishful thinking stated during a meal bore not only etiquette loading, but also created the favorable atmosphere at a table.

Archaic sources have also some other rules of the address with meat food. At Nogais, as well as at other people which are engaged in cattle breeding, carcass of an animal was not cut, and dismembered on joints. It was not allowed to break bones and at meal time. Custom to keep and put together bones of the eaten animal it is connected with ancient ideas of that,

that it revives or in the form of an issue, or any way, but for this purpose it is necessary that all bones were intact [12, page 161].

During a meal the participants of a feast strictly followed rules of etiquette. Was considered as indecent to choose to itself the best piece if it was in close proximity to one of messmates, to bite off from the whole flat cake, to dip the taken a bite bread in the general bowl with sweets or gravies. Indecent was to watch the neighbor at meal time, to bite off and put back in the general dish not pleasant piece of bread, meat. From family members, not to mention the guest, it was required that in case of need the foreign subject which accidentally got to a dish was removed imperceptibly for other messmates. Also other people of Dagestan followed the same rules [14, page 10].

Greed, immoderation in food were condemned. Nogais said: "Kursak toyyp, colzas toymay" (The stomach is full - eyes were not sated), "Yaman tamak yarla an eter" (The insatiable stomach - will ruin), "Tamak ushin a tavga the miner" (Insatiable because of a stomach will climb up the mountain).

Was inadmissible at meal time to pick teeth, a nose, to scratch the head, to clean the food remains under nails. Also was considered as ugly to champ at a table. Champing made a remark: "Iyt iyt ayaktan sharpyldap of an isheda, Sep iyt a tuvylsha, sharp-sharp etip" (The dog from the bowl eats, champing, you not a dog to champ). Also indecent was considered to involve lips food. Seniors made a remark of this kind: "Tue tuvylsan Bork Bork to an ish-pega. Not barkyldaysyn tuedy bolyp, kazandaga sorpaday bolyp!" (You are not a camel to involve food lips. That you gurgle as a camel, as soup in a cauldron). Stirring food in a drinking bowl long and inaccurately said: "Donjyz bylgap ashaysyn!" (You eat, as a pig, stirring up food). However to chew soft bones, to scratch out a knife the meat remains from a bone, to beat out or exhaust marrow for nomads cattle-farmers was in the nature of things, it is equal how to make an eructation after a meal as a sign of saturation [15]. "In general a ryganiye after a meal - the obligatory devoirs showing completeness of saturation", - S.V. Farforovsky wrote about Nogais [4, page 12]. However, it was characteristic of ordinary nomads and inadmissible in families of the Nogai nobility. In this plan B.M. Alimova's statement is quite fair that "behavioural aspects of food (ways of meal and ethical standards of family meals, the mode and a food allowance of family) varied depending on her social prosperity, from the presence absence fact on a family meal of strangers (the relative, the fellow villager, the neighbor), etc." [3, page 74]. For designation of satiety during a meal also kinesichesky receptions were used. At Nogais it was possible to refuse an additional portion, having closed from above a bowl a palm. The similar gestures meaning saturation exist at many people of the world. So,

for example, Kazakhs have a person, refusing food, overturned ware upside down.

It was not accepted to leave food in a cup, but also to clean its bottom was considered as pieces of bread as indecent. Old men in this case said: "Ashap toyma-gan a jalap toymas" (If ate and did not gorge on, then, licking, you will not be sated). Our informant told us that his grandfather in one of private conversations told him one instructive parable: "In one aul there lived a woman who was famous for the economy and ability to keep ware clean. Somehow guests came to her and saw the mountain of dirty ware at the woman. Amazed, they suddenly took an interest in what business. The hostess, without hesitation, answered: "Yes a dog that licked to me ware, сдохла". And the person cleaning the plate at meal time is compared to a dog that licks the bowl" [16].

It was not accepted to eat up for someone food. So, old men said: "Who will eat up bread of another, that takes away his happiness. Who will not eat up the bread, that leaves the happiness". In the people still there is an opinion that the person is born with a piece of bread, i.e. Allah sends the person with the share of happiness - bread and when it comes to an end, the person dies. In this case in the people say: "Yryska bitken. Shyoryog of bit-ken" (Food reached a limit. Bread came to an end) [17].

In the majority of cultures there is a respectful, religious relation to food. At farmers, for example, bread was considered as a sacral product, cattle-farmers have a meat of pets.

In general Nogais very much make thrifty use of food. If the grain crumb falls, it is necessary to lift it, to kiss and eat. Nogais equate food to the Quran, the oath on it was considered as same strong, as the oath sworn on the Quran. It was not allowed to step on food, to neglect it. The Nogai proverb says: "Asta Korlama kustyrar" (Do not neglect food, and that will pull out), "Asta Korlagan - ash an oler" (Who neglected food, that hungry will die). Inadmissible was to express discontent concerning quality of any given dish, even to hint at it. Only the head of the family could state a similar remark to the wife or the daughter and that provided that none of strangers were near [18].

During a meal inadmissible was considered to carry on a foreign talk. The violator of these rules was expected by a remark of the head of family. At many people the feast represented a peculiar pause during ordinary life. So, at Russians the silence or a decent talk at a table were perceived as sign of pious, devout behavior [1, page 145].

Upon termination of a meal said the phrase eulogizing supreme for the sent food. In the traditional and household culture of Nogais thanked for food Allah, but not the owner as it is accepted now. The typical phrases said by the owner upon completion of a meal demonstrate to it: "Allah Bereket bersin" (Let Allah will send grace). Attendees supplemented: "Amen, I am Alla" (Yes there will be so, Allah).

Here it is appropriate to provide A.K. Bayburin and A.L. Toporkov's statement that "eventually the meal represents exchange good luck: for food which proceeds from the Lord the messmates render to him gratitude and express the respect" [1, page 145].

Upon termination of a meal on etiquette the head of family, then all others got up the first because of a table.

So, a family meal - evident model of etiquette behavior of people during a feast, and in wider plan - an indicator of the general level of culture. The deviation from the standard norms and rules of a feast surely involved condemnation of family members, societies. In family, but not in society, studied rules of table etiquette, culture of behavior at a table.

Our research showed that in table etiquette of Nogais the tyurko-Mongolian traditions generally prevail, and some Dagestan and North Caucasian elements taking place are apprehended by Nogais as a result of ethnocultural interaction.


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15. PZ. Written down at A.A. Chatyrbayeva. 1932, page of Regional public institution-zer of Kizlyarsky District of RD, in 2006
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18. PZ. Written down at A.A. Mezhitov. 1922, the village Terek - whether - Mekteb of the Nogai region of RD, in 2005

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