Ancient Beliefs, Rites and Religions of the Peoples of Daghestan

Radzhabov O. R, Lobacheva Z. N, Mamayeva M. A, Magomedova U. G, Merimova A. A, Bagliyeva Z. Z, Bigayeva Z. S

Abstract


 Modern achievements of historical science made it possible for the composite author of the article to see into the ancient customs and beliefs of the peoples of Daghestan and reflect  an objective picture of the multiform process and the issues of continuity of cultural-historical development.   The study of beliefs and rites on the basis of ethnographical materials of Daghestan where paganism had held sway over the mountain dwellers’ world outlook  for a long time elucidates the history of the early  primitive forms of religions - totemism, fetishism, animism, magic, the processes of forming syncretic beliefs and the original modes of life, spiritual culture and  social and ethnic life of the peoples of Daghestan. The analysis and interpretation of the extant beliefs, rites and customs allow revealing the reasons of their coexisting with conceptions of later religions. Islam that has been practised widely in Daghestan since the seventh century comprises a variety of ancient beliefs. But its strengthening as an official religion was much later when it had gained the upper hand over prevailing paganism and Christianity. Islam in Daghestan became a fusion of premonotheistical beliefs and Islamic norms, ideas and rites. It is in effect a belief in two different religions where since olden times the native elements of culture, that is, paganism, have had the role of cementing the spiritual life of the peoples of Daghestan.

 The paper makes an attempt at covering a variety of problems of ancient culture of Daghestan, turning away from stereotypes while studying the religious beliefs and finding new approach to understanding of the specific character of the archaic stratum of beliefs, as along with Islam, they were ideological basis in making up and development of the peoples of Daghestan.    

Keywords


: Ancient beliefs, Islam, vestige, the peoples of Daghestan, paganism, rites, cult, deity, totem, fetish, Zoroastrism, animism, magic, nature worshipping, sepulchre, feasts, customs, Christianity, Judaism.

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