Kumyk in Kazakhstan






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Kumyk are located primarily in the Daghestan Republic, a region of southwestern Russia that borders the Caspian Sea. Some also live in the Caucasus Mountains regions of Chechnya, Ingush, and Ossetia and in countries nearby. The climate for this area provides hot, dry summers, rainy autumns, and cool winters. The Kumyk are one of the indigenous peoples of Daghestan, where they are called "dwellers of the lowlands."

During the tenth century, some Turkic-speaking tribes migrated into the Daghestan area, resulting in an intermingling of their languages. Today, the Kumyk speak a Turkic language that includes some elements of the Bulgar, Khazar, and Oghuz Turk languages.

During the 1400's and 1500's, the Kumyk gained political power and formed their own state, Shamkhalat of Tarki. In 1867, Shamkhalat came under Russian administration. Today, the Kumyk enjoy full Russian citizenship and are found in all income brackets.

What are Their Lives Like?

For several hundred years, the Kumyk economy has been based primarily on agriculture. Even today, most of the Kumyk are farmers. They use crop rotation and artificial irrigation, both of which are profitable techniques. They raise sheep and cattle for milk and meat, horses, and water buffalo are also raised. Fishing is also important.

Today, the Kumyk who are not farmers work in many of the same fields and occupations as other groups. About one-third of Kumyk work in industry. Wool and cotton textiles, wood and metal items, leather, pottery, and woven rugs are among the products manufactured. A very important trade route passes through the Kumykia region, since it was once the main provisional center for many regions of Daghestan.

Most of the Kumyk live in villages. Their homes are usually one of three types of dwellings. The first is a one-story house built on a low foundation. These are the most common and are found in the lowland areas. The second is a one-and-a-half-story house built on a high stone foundation. These homes are found primarily in the foothill regions. The third is a two-story house.

Traditionally, most homes were built with their windows, porches, and doors facing South or Southeast, to catch more of the sun's heat during the cold winter months. Today, most homes are warmed by the use of steam heat, and gas and coal stoves are used for the preparation of foods.

A favorite Kumyk national dish is khinkal, dumplings boiled in meat bouillon, served with sour cream gravy and garlic. The Kumyk also eat grape or cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and sausage, rice porridge, soups, pies, breads, and pastries.

The Kumyk are an artistic people, decorating their homes with clay and wood carvings and inscriptions. Their songs and dances are accompanied by stringed instruments called kumuzes, wind instruments, and accordions. Their traditional clothes and weapons were decorated with gold and silver trim. Today, many of the urban Kumyk wear European dress rather than the traditional tunic-shaped shirt and pants, and the quilted coats.

In times past, the women alone had the responsibility of rearing the children and showing them affection. Today, those Kumyk who continue to follow these customs will not allow a man to help rear his children or show them fatherly love.

What are Their Beliefs?

The Kumyk are virtually all Muslim. However, some of their Islamic beliefs exist alongside some of their traditional pagan beliefs. For instance, ritual dances are offered to the dead. Ritual dances are also performed at the dedication of a horse.

What are Their Needs?

There are only a few known believers among the Kumyk. The New Testament has been translated into the Kumyk language. Christian broadcasts are unavailable to the Kumyk. Prayer is the key to seeing them reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go and share Christ with the Kumyk.
* Ask God to anoint the few Kumyk believers to share the Gospel with their friends and families.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the father heart of God to those Kumyk who have never known a father's love.
* Pray that God will raise up teams of intercessors to faithfully stand in the gap for the Kumyk.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Kumyk.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Kumyk
People Name in Country Kumyk
Population in Kazakhstan 700
World Population 420,000
Countries 5
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Khaidak, Khaidaq, Khasav, Kumuk
Affinity Bloc Eurasian Peoples
People Cluster Caucasus
People Name General Kumyk
Ethnic Code MSY41z
People ID 12848
Country Kazakhstan
Region Central Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 42  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kumyk (700)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Kumyk 700
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2007)
New Testament Yes   (2007)
Complete Bible No
Audio Bible Online
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Kumyk
General Four Spiritual Laws

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Photo Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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