Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bashkirs (properly Bashkurds), a Finnish people of East Russia between the Volga and the Ural rivers. During their long subjection to the Kapchak Tatars they became largely assimilated to the Turki type, and at present speak a Turki dialect. But their Finnish origin is betrayed by their red beards, and by the names Istaki (Ostiak) and Sari Ishtek (Red Ostiaks) applied to them by the surrounding Finnish peoples, the Ostiaks of the east Ural slopes being pure Finns. About the middle of the last century the Bashkirs were organised, like the Cossacks, as a frontier militia against the incursions of the nomad Kirghiz; but under Russian rule they have remained Mohammedans, and even partly still nomads. Total population over 500,000, of whom 360,000 are in Orenburg, the rest in the governments of Perm, Ufa, Viatka, and Samara.