Photo Source: Artur Bolzhurov - Pexels
Send Joshua Project a map of this people group.
|Christian Adherents:||3.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|Affinity Bloc:||Turkic Peoples|
There were several explorers and traders who had contact with the Bashkir, but in 922 an Arab ambassador wrote the first profile of this nomadic people group. Some were beekeepers, but most were pastoralists who raised horses, cattle and sheep. They were noted for being tough and warlike.
The Bashkirs have been dominated by more powerful peoples for centuries. By 1236, Ghenghis Khan and the Mongols incorporated their land. In the past, Bashkir villages were divided into "patrilineal" (male-dominated) tribes. The Bashkirs ran their affairs, regulated disputes, and sought help within these tribal clan structures. This strong tribal structure allowed them to successfully hold off Russian occupation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. However, near the end of the eighteenth century, they were defeated.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, there was a great influx of Tatars, Russians, and other groups into the Bashkir homeland. The newcomers began "buying" or seizing the pastoral land, severely damaging the economy of the Bashkirs. Suddenly, the Bashkirs, who had lived for generations as shepherds, were forced to give up their nomadic way of life and become farmers.
Though most Bashkirs live in their homeland that is now in southwestern Russia, others have fled to other countries like Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.
Though the Bashkirs were traditionally nomadic herdsmen, most are farmers today, though they still raise livestock. Today they grow wheat, oats, sunflowers, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, and potatoes with modern equipment.
Much of the tribe's social significance has been lost. Today, the village itself is regarded as the key to their social structure. Some of the Bashkir groups have lost all memory of their tribal clan origin. The village is their community today. Nevertheless, they still express their sense of kinship and loyalty to kinsmen. About half of the Bashkirs live in cities, the other half live in rural areas. Bashkir marriage ceremonies usually take place in their homes. However, a mullah (Muslim leader) usually participates in the marriage agreement. Young newlyweds live with the husband's parents until they are ready to form their own family. Polygyny (the practice of having more than one wife at a time) is a thing of the past.
Bashkir cuisine is heavy on dairy products. Their traditional dish is bishbarmaq, with includes boiled meat and a type of noodle covered with herbs, onions, and cheese.
The Bashkirs love their folklore, which is usually about their early history. It includes aspects of worldly wisdom, morals and social aspirations. These are in the form of mythology, fairy tales and legends. They are especially fond of poetry.
The Bashkir people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
In most of the Muslim world, common people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well they live on a daily basis. For that reason, some Muslims appease spirits using charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces. More orthodox Muslims consider these practices heretical and un-Islamic.
These people need to realize that they cannot please God without being empowered by the Holy Spirit. They cannot have the Holy Spirit without Jesus Christ.
Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Bashkir communities in both Russia and Tajikistan.
Pray for the Bashkir people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Pray for Holy Spirit anointed believers from the Bashkir people to change their society from within.
Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers disciples to make more disciples.