The etchnic culture of Azerbaijan
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Church Chotaari in Nijh 
Udins' Cross
The remains of vallums of the ancient Gabalah 
Temple on the mountain Komrat
Settlement Nijh  
Settlement Nijh 
Settlement Nijh 
Settlement Nijh 
Settlement Nijh 
Settlement Nijh
(Gabalah area)


The settlement Nijh is located in 40 km to the South - West from the regional center Gabalah. About 4000 representatives of the Udin ethnos live in this habitation. The first authentic data about the Udins appeared 2.500 years ago. Herodot, the ancient Greek author of the V-th century B.C., tells in his "History" about ancestors of this tribe -the Uties. They are mentioned in "Geography" by the ancient Greek writer of the I-st century B.C. Strabon in the description of the Caspian Sea and the Caucasian Albania. For the first time the ethnic term udines appears in "Natural history" by the Romanian author of the I-st century A.C. Plyniy the senior. Various tribes including the Uds is informed in "Geography" by the ancient Greek writer of the II-nd century A.C. Ptolemy to live on the Caspian sea. The Udins belong to those to 26 Albanian tribes that are founders of the Albanian empire and relate to a number of ancestors of modern Azerbaijan people.

The most detailed proves about the Udins are in "the Albans' Histoy" by the local author Moisej Utijsky who lived in the VIII-th century and belonged by its own words to the Udins' tribe. He also informs on the mythical ancestor of 26 Albanian tribes Aran: "The tribes of the Utiy, Gardman, Tsavdey, Gargar princedoms sprang from his (Aran's) son".

After the Arabian gain of Azerbaijan in the VII-th century and inclusion of the whole country into structure of Arabian caliphate, the overwhelming number of local indigenous population including the Udins, e accepted islam. But their part retained the former belief owing to what in the VII-th century by will of the Arabian caliphate it appeared to be included in structure of the Armenian Gregorian church, which from the VI-th century would undertake attempts to violently subordinate the autocephalous Albanian church. However, even after the VIII-th century the Albanian Catholicon and its office were preserved, the process of active deetnization and armenization of the Albani-Christians happened. As a result, in a zone of Nagorny Karabakh they have completely lost the language and culture. In a zone of Gabalah and Oguz the Udins have managed to keep the originality of the native language up to now (however, unwritten), though they experienced strong influence of the church alien to them.

The culmination in destiny of the Udins-Christians after their transfer to a bosom of the Armenian Church became 1836-th year, when a Saint Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian government decided to liquidate a throne and a chancellery of the Albanian Catholicos.

During centuries-old formation of Azerbaijani people, especially after distribution of islam and Turkic language in Azerbaijan, autochthonous tribes have merged in uniform ethnos - the Azerbaijanians. But the Udins-Christians were saved as a national minority with own language, material and spiritual culture, ethnopsychology. The Udin language entered the Caucasian language family, and the Udins belong to ancestors of the modern Azerbaijani people. The Udins profess Christianity. The Udins living in the area of Oguz, are orthodox. The Udins have kept ancient ceremonies and customs up to now. Ceremonies of holidays represent mixture of the Udin pagan and Christian cults.

In 1854 first in Nijh the Udin School opened, and then in Vartashen a rural school with teaching in Russian became operated. Among teachers there were local residents - the udins. For continuation of education the Udins went to study in Moscow, Kozlov (commercial school), Gory (theological seminary), and Tbilisi (an average business school). In 1931-1933 years the Udins' training was in the native language, from 1937 in Azerbaijan - in the Azerbaijani and Russian languages, in Georgia - in the Georgian one. They continued education preferably in High schools and technical schools of Baku, Tbilisi, cities of Russia. Even knowing the Armenian language, neither in the past, nor subsequently, down to our days, the Udins wished to receive education at schools, colleges, technical schools or High schools of Armenia.



        © Musigi Dunyasi