The population of the Republic of Mordovia is more than 30 nationalities. Most of them are Russians, Mordvins, Tatars.

Mordva (self-name mokserzyat, Erzya-mokshot) is one of the archaeogenetic peoples of the Old World, originating from their origins to the ancient world. The earliest written mention of him (mards) is contained in the "History" of Herodotus (5th century BC), who considered the Mards to be one of the Persian nomadic tribes. And although the Mordovian (Erzya and Moksha) languages ​​belong to the Finno-Ugric (wider-Ural), rather than the Indo-European language family, which includes the Persian (Iranian) language, they still retain a lot of persism (Azor - master, ruler, cheese - gold , this - silver, tarvas - sickle, etc.), indicating the ancient Persian-Mordovian ties. In the Western European medieval sources, the Mordvins appear under exoethonyms Mordens, Merdas, Merdinis, Merdium, Mordani, Mordua, Morduinus, and her country as Mordia, Regnum Morduanorum.

In ancient Russian sources (chronicles) the mention of the Mordva appears from the 11th-13th centuries, where, along with this writing, the ethnonym "Mordvichi" ("Mordvinian princes with Mordvici") still occurs. Pseudo-patronymic design of ethnonyms on-ichi was widely used in ancient Russian sources (compare: dregovichi, krivichi, nemchichi, Rusichi, etc.). As for the country of Mordovia (Mordovia), it is called in the annals Mordovian land. It is established that the ethnonym "Mordva" basically goes back to the Iranian-Scythian languages ​​(compare: the Iranian mard is a man, the Tajik march is a man). In Mordovian languages, this word has been preserved for the designation of the husband, the spouse - mirde. In the Russian word "Mordva", the particle has a tinge of collectivity. It can be compared with the ethnonyms of Lithuania, Drehwa, Tatar. In Russian sources until the XII century. Including Mordva only appears under this ethnonym.

Mordva as an ethnos consists of two subethnoses - erzi and moksha (self-name). In the Republic of Mordovia, moksha is mainly settled in the western regions, and the Erzya is settled in the eastern regions. Ethnographic groups are also small in size: the Tengushevskaya Mordva, sometimes called Shokshi (the village and the Shokshe tributary of the same name as the Moksha tributary), which resides mainly in the Tengushevsky district of Mordovia, and the Karatai Mordva, sometimes called karatai (on the Mordovian Karatai village ) in the Kamsko-Ustinsky district of Tatarstan. Being Erzyan, the Tengushev group of Mordvinians was partially assimilated by moksha, and the Karatai group, which some researchers consider Mokshan, others - Erzyan, the third - Erzya Mokshan, was strongly influenced by the Tatars, lost its native language by going to Tatar.

Mordva is mostly Orthodox, in the 1990s. Lutherans appeared (Moksha-Erzya Lutheran Church). The Mordvins are dominated by two variants of the European race: light, massive, broad-faced (in erzi) and dark, gracile, narrow-faced (in Moksha).

Moksha (moksat, m. Mokshot) is a subethnos (along with herzias) in the ethnostructure of the Mordovian ethnos (people). The sub-ethnonym moksha is ethymologically derived from the Moksha hydronym, which in turn is related to the Sanskrit term mokcha, meaning spilling, flowing, liberation. According to archaeologists and linguists, separate groups of Indo-European tribes lived in the Volga-Oka interfluve, later the ethnic territory of the Mordva, leaving here a memory of themselves and in hydronymy, but long before our time they were assimilated in the local Finno-Ugric environment. The earliest written information on Moksha came to us in the notes of the Flemish traveler of the 13th century. Guillaume Rubruk and in the composition "Jami-at-tavarih" ("Collection of chronicles" in Persian) by an Iranian historian and statesman Rashid-ad-Din, dated the beginning of the XIV century. In Russian sources, "mokshana", "moksha" is first mentioned in the "Books of Letter and Measure" by the scribes D. Pushechnikov and A. Kostyaev for 1624-1626.

If the number of Mordovians (both moksha and erzi) was determined by several censuses (All-Russian and All-Union), then the number of moksha and erzi separately was not determined. For the first time, according to the All-Russia Population Census of 2002, information was received on the number of people in Mordovia, where 47,200 moksha called themselves and 79 thousand people as Erzey. Most of the Mordovian nationality of the Republic of Mordovia in the survey called themselves Mordvinians. Moksha accounts for a third of the Mordovian population.

Erzya (m., E. Ezzyat) is a subethnos (along with moksha) in the ethnostructure of the Mordovian ethnos (people), accounting for about two-thirds of its number. One of the earliest written news of the Erz (aris) came to us in the epistle of Khagan Khazaria Joseph (10th century) to the Jewish dignitary at the court of the Spanish Caliphs Abd-al-Rahman III and Hakam II Hasdai Ibn-Shafrut, which lists the peoples who lived on the river Itil (Volga) and paid tribute to Khazaria. However, there is an opinion that this is not the first written testimony about Erz, but that they are contained in the works of the ancient Greek geographers Strabo (aorsy) and Ptolemy (arsiata). About the people of Arsaia (Ersaia), whose king is "in Arsa (Ersa)", where black sable, black foxes and lead are exported, the Arab geographer and traveler Ibn-Haukal (X century) reported. About Erzyan (arjan), as well as about moksha, he wrote at the beginning of the XIV century. Iranian scientist Rashid-ad-Din. Erzyan (Ryan) mentioned the Nogai prince Yusuf in the letter sent to them in Moscow in 1549.

The Russians. Mordovian ties with Rus began much earlier than the formation of the Kiev state. They can be judged on the basis of the find of the ancient Slavic openwork pendant, decorated with a chamfered enamel, from the territory of the ancient Mordovian parking near the village of Tikhiy Ugolok in the basin of the river. Tsny, dated IV-VI centuries, as well as dishes, reminiscent of the ceramics of ancient Slavic settlements. Undoubtedly, the reverse effect of Mordovians on their neighbors, which is well traced in the collections obtained from the ancient monuments of certain regions of Russia.

Linguistic data also testify to the antiquity of the Mordvinian-Slavic relations. For example, the Erzya word "pondo" - pood, most likely, was borrowed from the Eastern Slavs at a time when new vowels appeared in their speech, which preceded the first monuments of the East Slavic letter, ie. not later than the thirteenth century. Russian, including Old Russian, borrowing in Mordovian languages ​​occupy the first place in number.

Slavic-Russian-Mordvinian ethno-cultural interrelations can be traced not only in the language, but also in the material, spiritual culture, social and family life of the Mordva. Ancient borrowings from the Eastern Slavs are, for example, held Mordovian holidays - Christmas carols, Pancake week, bratchins, a number of wedding, religious rites, games. So, speaking of the brotherhood that existed among the Mordva, ME Evseev wrote: "In ancient times, the brotherhoods were in great distribution among the Russians. About them it is mentioned in Russian annals and bylinas. Mordva, no doubt, borrowed this holiday from the Russians: she also kept the name of the holiday Russian - brother. "

The similarity of the anthropological appearance of the Mordovians and Russians (especially the eastern ones) is a consequence, first of all, of the ancient community of anthropological types on the basis of which their formation was based, and, secondly, the subsequent process of their convergence and confusion.

Closer links with Mordovian land were established during the period of the existence of Kievan Rus, which is reported, in particular, in the Tale of Bygone Years (XII century) and in the "The Word of the Ruin of the Russian Land" (first third of the 13th century). The inclusion of Mordovia (the "Mordovian land") in the orbit of the Russian statehood in its various forms (Kievan Rus, a number of Russian principalities in the period of feudal disunity, Moscow Rus, Russia) did not happen overnight. It was a process that lasted for centuries, in which three main stages can be distinguished. The first of them began a thousand years ago and it can be conditionally called Kiev (X-XII centuries), the second - Vladimir-Nizhny Novgorod-Ryazan-Moscow (XIII - XV centuries), the third - Moscow (XVI century). Each of them has its own peculiarities, as well as some common features characteristic of the era of feudalism. In general, it can be said without exaggeration that the Mordva has taken a significant part in the creation of not only the Russian statehood, initially polyethnic, but also the Russian ethnos itself as one of the ethnic superstrates.

Famous Russian publicist of the late XIX - early XX century. NN Ogloblin, having traveled through the Mordvin land, wrote: "A small comparatively Mordovian tribe has brilliantly proved during its centuries of cohabitation with the huge Russian tribe and its historical vitality and its ability to cultural development. And if this is so, then the Mordva has proved its historical right to an original life among and near the Russian people. "

The Tatars. The ancestors of the Tatars had long inhabited the territory of the Republic of Mordovia. The penetration of the Turkic tribes (Volga Bulgars, Burtases) into the territory of the Mordovian territory, which began in the 1st millennium AD. e., occurred over the centuries. It is believed that the Burtases, which experienced the impact of the Volga Bulgars, from the XI-XII centuries. - Kipchaks (Polovtsians), have become the ethnic basis of Tatar-Mishars.

At the beginning of the XIV century. people from the Golden Horde created an ulus center in Narovchat. A large number of Tatar settlements appeared in the 16th century. in connection with the construction in 1536 of the city of Temnikov - the most important military-strategic point on the south-eastern border of the Russian state. The Russian government widely attracted Temnikovski Tatars to carry out security services on zasechnyh lines. Among them were princes and murzas, whose land plots were exempted from tarkhan letters from payment of cash and in kind taxes, transport duties. This contributed to the creation of Tatar settlements along the system of zasechnyh features in the Mordovian region. Thus, servicemen of the Tatars at the Temnikovskoye zasechnaya line were founded in the 16th century. villages Akceevo and Bolshoy Tatar Karaevo, in the XVII century. - Upper Pishlyay, Big Shustruy, Small Shustrui. In the XVII century. Serving Temnikovskim Tatars on Kerensky zasechnaya line was founded with. Gorenka. In 1642 from Temnikov were transferred 40 murz and service Tatars, turned to the Cossack service at the Saransk-Atamarskaya zasechnaya line. They were given four estates, on which the Tatar settlements of Lyambir, Shcherbakovo, Cheremishevo and Penzyatka settled. In addition to them in the XVII century. servicemen of the Temnikov Tatars who received landed dachas in Saransk district, the villages of Krivozerye, Belozerye, and Altars were founded. Temnikovski Tatars, who served on the Insara-Potizhsky zasechnaya line, at the same time, the villages of Yandovische, Upper Urledim and Tatar Shebdas were founded. In 1631, at the behest of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich, Tatar prince Uraz Tonkacheyev, who was in his service, was granted land on which arose. Tatarskaya Pishla and the village of Uruzaevka (the modern town of Ruzaevka). Part of the settlements in which the Tatars now live, were named in the XVII century. from the names of the service Tatars (Aksenovo, Old Allagulovo, Nasakan-Potma, Vacheevka, Inyut, Enakovo, Engurazovo, Ideevo, Tatar Akashevo, Tatar Tuevevo, Shurbino). In 2002, more than 60 Tatar settlements were recorded in the Republic of Moldova.

Settlement of Ethnic Groups


National composition of the population by rayon