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Journal of Baltic Studies


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Our Muslims The Lithuanian


Tatars and the Russian imperial
government
Theodore R. Weeks

Southern Illinois University , Carbondale


Published online: 01 Mar 2007.

To cite this article: Theodore R. Weeks (1999) Our Muslims The Lithuanian Tatars
and the Russian imperial government, Journal of Baltic Studies, 30:1, 5-17, DOI:
10.1080/01629779800000201
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01629779800000201

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'OUR MUSLIMS' - THE LITHUANIAN TATARS AND THE


RUSSIAN IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT

Theodore R. Weeks, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

n 1897, according to official figures, Muslims made up some eleven


.percent of the population of the Russian Empire, that is to say, nearly
double the percentage of the better known (both then and now) Jewish
minority (Obshchii svod 1: 250-1). In recent years scholarly and general
interest in the "Muslim minority" (to use a convenient, though
misleading and analytically unhelpful term) has grown significantly; the
present paper aims to discuss one small and little-known segment of the
Empire's Muslim population, that is, the so-called Lithuanian Tatars. ~
As many recent studies have pointed out, the Empire's "nationality
policy" did not follow any one consistent line. Certainly, anyone trying
to find a single and integrated "Muslim policy" will seek in vain. But
even given the diversity of Muslims living under Russian rule, the
Lithuanian Tatars represent an exceptional group. Their small numbers,
geographical location, language, culture, and "political situation" in a
region dominated by Polish-Russian strife all contributed to make the
Lithuanian Tatars a most unusual Muslim population, and one generally
unknown outside of the region.
The Lithuanian Tatars trace their ancestry back to the fourteenth
century, when the Grand Dukes invited Tatar warriors and their families
to settle in the Grand Duchy. Of particular significance here were the
Grand Duchy's wars with Muscovy, during which Tatar and Lithuanian
rulers allied against the Muscovites (Martin 207-19). In the late
fourteenth century the Tatars were themselves riven by internal strife,
making settlement in the distant Lithuanian lands seem attractive. In this
context Grand Duke Vytautas (Witold) encouraged the first major
settlement of Tatars on his lands in the 1380s. One Russian writer of the
early twentieth century wrote that the first Tatar to voluntarily settle in
"Litva" was the Khan of the Golden Order Tokhtamysh who fled here
from the overlordship of Tamerlane in 1396 (Shimelevich 63). Tatars
continued to migrate to Lithuania until the early sixteenth century,
playing a significant military role within the Grand Duchy, rather like
that of the Cossacks in the Russian Empire (Lasocki 372-5). While this
military role would diminish over time, even in the eighteenth century
Tatars served in military units in the Commonwealth and Lithuanian

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JBS, Vol XXX, No 1 (Spring 1999)

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Theodore R. Weeks

Tatar generals were not unknown even in the Russian Imperial Army
(Kryczyfiski 1-42 and Strynklewlcz-Korzon).

. 2
In the late eighteenth century the once mighty Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth was partitioned between its three more powerful
neighbours, Prussia, Russia, and the Habsburg Empire Lithuania came
under the Romanov scepter and the Lithuanian Tatars found themselves
subjects of the Orthodox Tsar (Bairagauskait6 574-7). While initially the
Russian authorities promised to retain the status quo in the newlyacquired lands, the imposition of a centralized (at least, in principle),
autocratic power over the former Grand Duchy necessarily had a strong
impact on the population there, whether Slavic or Lithuanian peasants,
Jews or Tatars. While the exact legal status (soslovie) of the Lithuanian
Tatars is the subject of historical debate, it seems clear that some of
them, at least, continued to own landed estates, even estates peopled
with Christian serfs (Rychlikowa 77-122) After the Insurrection of
1863, Tatars were not subject to the anti-Polish laws promulgated in the
mid- and late-1860s and indeed were in certain ways favoured by the
authorities in their attempt to diminish Polish cultural and economic

3
power in the region. But we must remember that by the second half of
the nineteenth century -- the time upon which this paper will focus -- the
Lithuanian Tatars were in no way a monolithic, unified ethnic group
socially or economically A short "anthropological" description of the
Lithuanian Tatars will make this clear
As we have seen, the Lithuanian Tatars traced their ancestry back to
Central Asia By the nineteenth century, however, they had lost much o f
their original distinctive culture and had assimilated many elements from
the surrounding Polish and Belarusian cultures. To quote from the
introduction to an early pamphlet, "The Lithuanian Tatars, though by
language and appearance ["z mowy i gtowy"] have become true denizens
[krajowcy] in Lithuania, nonetheless their origins and religion set them
apart from the surrounding population, and aside from this they also
have their own legends, customs [obrzgdy] and even their own history in
this region [kraj]" (Kruman 3-4). To start with, certain surnames in
Lithuania harked back to Tatar roots, even when their bearers had often
long since been totally absorbed into the surrounding Catholic milieu. 4
Many Tatar families of noble origin proudly preserved the distinctive
coats o f arms (which, following Muslim tradition, lacked pictorial
elements)f They also left their mark on their land in the form of place
names derived from their original Turkic tongue, such as Sorok Tatar,
Kyrldar, and Kolnolar. Frequently street names attest to earlier
settlements of Tatars (e.g., Ulica Tatarska in Slonim, Tatan/ gatv6 in

Lithuanian Tatars

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Vilnius). 6

From an anthropological point of view, Tatars exhibited little


physical difference from the surrounding population. To quote one
commentator of the early twentieth century: "Lithuanian Tatars do not
constitute a special ethnic group in the region (krai), living separate from
others. Rather, they live in close contact with (vperemeshku) Belarusians
and Lithuanians and differ from them hardly at all." Indeed, few called
themselves "Tatars," preferring instead the designation "Muslim
szlachta" (or nobility) (Dobrianskii 17). We need not concern ourselves
today with Kryczyfiski's detailed statistics on skull-shapes (! 17), and his
generalities about their psychological make-up ("The simple Tatar is not
inclined to be astonished." 120) may be somewhat suspect. But the
photographs he includes of Tatar schoolchildren and parents from
Murawszczyzna and Lostai (after 120) show people quite
indistinguishable in physical type from Poles, Lithuanians, or
Belarusians. Tuhan-Baranowski suggests one reason why this might be
the case: "Marriages between [male] Muslims and [female] Christians
[already before 1700] exerted an influence on [future] generations. This
fact explains above all the circumstance that Tatars quickly forgot their
language and began to speak among themselves in Polish" (TuhanBaranowski 58). Conversions to Catholicism (or to other Christian
denominations) were however unusual and when they occurred were
generally linked with marriages into the nobility. 7 In general, despite
their linguistic and cultural assimilation, the Lithuanian Tatars retained a
high degree of ethnic solidarity which expressed itself, inter alia, in
endogamy (Kryczyfiski 126, 133).
Certain professions were considered typically Tatar. As we have
seen, the Tatars came to Lithuania primarily as a military caste, and this
tradition continued into the nineteenth century not only in the direct
military field, but also in those professions having to do with
horsemanship. Hence Tatars were predominant in carting OCurma~two),
but also in two other fields: gardening and tanning hides (TalkoHryncewicz 63-4). By the early twentieth century, however, the numbers
of Tatars engaged in these last two occupations had declined
significantly, in great part because of competition from local Jews
(Kryczyfiski 151-61). As we will see below from official sources, many
Tatars also worked the land as peasant agriculturalists or served in the
Russian civil service or military.
Lithuanian Tatars were Sunni Muslims. However, by the nineteenth
century their general knowledge of the sacral Arabic language had
declined almost to nil and they were compelled to rely on translations of

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Theodore R. Weeks

and commentaries on the Quran in Polish (and, at times, Belarusian). 8


Nonetheless, they continued to teach their children Muslim prayers even
though they would then send them to government schools, there being no
well-developed Muslim educational institutions in the region (TalkoHryncewicz 76). The Lithuanian Muslims had their own mosques,
usually small wooden structures. These were remarkable in their lack of
minarets, so the faithful were called to prayer in front of the mosque
itself (Kryczyriski 188). Lithuanian Tatars also selected their own
religious leaders, often from outside the region. 9 Their level of religious
sophistication was unsurprisingly low: "Because of the lack of
theological schools, the ignorance of the liturgical Arabic language and
living so far from the centers of Muslim culture, the Lithuanian Tatars
know the fundaments of their religion only superficially" (Kryczyriski
173). As might be expected of a small minority group surrounded by two
often less-than-tolerant and combative Christian denominations, Islam in
Lithuania was of a gentle and tolerant nature (Talko-Hryncewicz 57-8).
The tenets of Islam were also reflected in behaviour and material
culture. Tatar dwellings differed little from those of their Christian
neighbours, but lacked icons or images of any kind, these being replaced
by decorative muhiry (quotations from the Quran). Major festivals such
as Ramazan-bajram and Kurban-bajram were celebrated, though only
very few strictly followed the fasts during Ramadan (Kryczyfiski 164,
179-81). The Muslim prohibition against the consumption of pork
continued to be observed, but the Lithuanian Tatars did not refrain from
drinking alcohol, "sometimes to excess. ''l Muslim influences could also
be seen in the celebration of weddings, funerals, and -- most distinctively
-- ritual circumcision of boys, siunniet. Tatar gravestones were often
inscribed in Arabic and Turkish as well as Polish and Belarusian (after
1863, in Russian), and folk beliefs in evil spirits and faith healing bore,
according to Kryczyfiski, similarities with similar folkways among other
Turkic peoples, tl Muslim girls in the Lithuanian region enjoyed singing
folk songs, but these songs were essentially identical to those of their
Christian neighbours (Shimelevich 71).
In the second half of the nineteenth century, to sum up, the
Lithuanian Tatars formed a small minority, differing from their Polish,
Lithuanian, and Belarusian neighbours mainly in faith and certain
specific customs. Unlike the Jews, the Lithuanian Tatars did not differ
from their neighbours in language or dress. Furthermore, Lithuanian
Tatars had more contact with their Christian neighbours and were not
burdened by the general hostility that local peasants felt toward Jews.
Also unlike Jews, Tatars could be found at all levels of society, from the

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Lithuanian Tatars

landowning nobility to the impoverished peasantry. Finally, the relative


lack of cultural and linguistic distance between the Lithuanian Tatars
and their Christian neighbors, combined with the Tatars' small numbers,
made it possible for the Russian authorities to look favourably upon
these non-Christians as loyal servants of the Tsar, in effect, "our
Muslims."
In the early 1860s, Lithuanian Tatars are often mentioned -- albeit
fleetingly -- in the annual reports of the governors of Grodno, Vil'na,
Minsk, and Kovno provinces. 12 Throughout the region, the number of
Muslims remained small and totalled, according to official figures, not
quite 7000.13 These numbers are given, along with statistics on Jews,
under the rubric "inorodtsy" or "aliens. ''14 Another source, not official
but drawing on government statistics (for 1855), gave slightly smaller
figures: 2330 Tatars in Vil'na province, 415 in Kovno, 694 in Grodno,
1586 in Minsk provinces (Mukhlinskii 42-3). To be sure, these figures
must be treated with some caution as we know very well that Russian
provincial authorities seldom followed precise statistical methods. Still,
these figures do give a rough indication of the numbers of Tatars
resident in these provinces.
On the whole the governors say little about the Muslim population
during the years preceding the 1863 uprising. Far more interesting -- and
disturbing -- for the local authorities were the activities of the Polish and
Catholic (the two terms are usually used interchangeably) population
during these years] s Still, in great contrast to the governors' reports on
Poles or Jews -- the other two large non-Russian (using their categories)
ethnicities -- when the Tatars are mentioned, it is nearly always in a
positive or at least neutral vein. For instance, in 1855 the Grodno
governor wrote that some 1100 Tatars inhabited his province and that
"while they remain noble families, almost all of them are occupied in
peasant work. ''I6 A few years later it was reported from the same
province that after completing secondary school young Tatars often
gladly went into government service, in particular in the army. t7 A year
later the same governor remarked that, "By the way, it is hardly possible
to call them aliens [inorodtsy] because while preserving only their
Muslim faith, they have completely lost their ethnicity [narodnost'] and
language and have fused [slilis '] with the local population, enjoying the
rights o f nobility and even owning inhabited estates. ''~8 That is to say,
these Muslims not only owned land; they also held serfs. While not
entirely unheard of, it was certainly unusual for non-Christians to hold
Christian serfs in the Russian Empire.
Even more enthusiastic about the Tatars was the governor of Minsk

10

Theodore R. Weeks

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province. Writing about the inorodtsy ("aliens") in the province in his


1857 report, he mentioned "Tatars and Jews ["Evrei ill Zhidy"].
According to his report over two thousand Tatars made their homes in
Minsk province. His description of Tatars and the biased contrast he
draws between them and the local Jews is typical and deserves to be
quoted:
The Tatars are honest, calm [spokoiny] and diligent. Some of them
serve in the military and in the civil service, but the largest part of them
are occupied in agriculture [khlebopashestvom i ogorodnichestvom],
the tanning of leather and other useful labors. The Jews, however, are
pushy, wily, avaricious, and sly. They are engaged exclusively in trade,
as middlemen, suppliers, and on government contracts. Only a few of
them work as artisans and even fewer in agriculture. 19
During the 1863 Insurrection the Tatars apparently laid low. 2 In any
case, they are rarely mentioned either in contemporary accounts or in the
historiography. 21 What does seem clear, however, is that the Tatars did
not support the uprising in any active form. By remaining aloof from the
"revolutionary activities" of their Polish (and, to some extent,
Lithuanian) neighbours, the Lithuanian Tatars won the respect and
gratitude of the Russian authorities. In the ensuing decades this memory
of Tatar loyalty would be reflected in official Russian attitudes and
policies toward them.
Polish commentators and historians have frequently commented that
after 1863 the Russian government favoured the Tatars over local
Poles. 2~ According to one historian writing in the twentieth century, at
first the Tatars "who had also taken part in the Insurrection" were also
hit by repression measures, were forbidden to purchase estates, forced to
pay special levies for the benefit of local Orthodox churches, and could
no longer use the Polish language on their gravestones. After a few
years, however, these restrictions were abolished. 23 Lasocki does not cite
specific sources for his claim, though he does mention TalkoHryncewicz as evidence for his statement that the repressive measures
against the Tatars were done away with quite soon after the restoration
of order. Writing in the 1890s, Talko-Hryncewicz argued that the
mildness of the Russian authorities toward the Tatars was part and parcel
of the program ofrussification pursued after 1863. As Poles were pushed
out of official jobs in these provinces, Tatars were actively recruited to
take their places. In particular, to quote Talko-Hryncewicz, "during
certain years, the police recruited primarily among the Muslims" (TalkoHryncewicz 78-9). Despite this fact, drawing from personal experience

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Lithuanian Tatars

11

Talko-Hryncewicz asserted that these Tatar servitors of the Russian


crown were neither particularly zealous in carrying out restrictions nor
in enforcing the ban on Polish in official places (Polish was, after all, the
mother tongue of these Tatar chinovniki). Speaking o f his experiences in
the 1890s, Talko-Hryncewicz concluded: "each time I could attest that
not only among the Tatar population as a whole, but also among Muslim
bureaucrats there were many honest elements who remained devoted to
their former Polish motherland [dawnej swej polskiej macierzy
, ,
.~
,~4
oaaanyc n l. On the whole, Lasocki and Talko-Hryncewicz's remarks about
Russian policy and the Lithuanian Tatars after 1863 seem valid, but the
motivations they ascribe to Russian officialdom must be somewhat
modified. First of all, it seems highly questionable that Tatars
participated in any significant numbers in the uprisings. In any case,
Tatar participation in the "mutiny" is not mentioned in any of the
governors' reports from these provinces (Grodno, Kovno, Minsk, Vil'na)
for the year 1863. 25 Nor are Tatars mentioned in the extensive reports,
laws, and administrative measures issued by the governor general of
Vilna (the infamous M. N. Murav'ev, "the Hangman") or in the so-called
"Western committee" (Zapadnyi komitet) in St. Petersburg. 26 To be sure,
we are faced with a complicated and fundamentally insolvable
conceptual difficulty: it may well be that when the rubric "rebellious
Poles" as used by Russian officialdom harboured a certain number of
Tatars. Certainly Russian officialdom was not known for its precision in
matters of ethnicity, and smaller groups such as Tatars (or even
Lithuanians) often disappeared entirely from the official view, blotted
out completely by the looming Polish menace (even Jews disappear
almost entirely in these reports). Still, it is important to recognize that
from the official view, the Tatars were not implicated in the disorders of
1863. Hence it stands to reason that the Russian government would
reward these apparently loyal elements in the aftermath of the
insurrection.
Among the most notorious restrictions on Poles in the Western
provinces was the law of 10 December 1865 which forbade them from
acquiring land in any way other than direct inheritance. 27 Only after the
promulgation of the law did the issue of the Lithuanian Tatars arise -once again we see that the government did not have the Tatars foremost
in its mind. How were these Polish-speaking, though not Catholic,
nobles to be treated? (Non-noble Tatars were in this context not
considered.) Two reports to the committee considered the Lithuanian
Tatars' past and present legal and social position in the Northwest

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12

Theodore R. Weeks

provinces. Both were exceedingly favorable to the Tatars. The first


detailed their legal status in the pre-reform period, pointing out that they
had been permitted to possess Christian serfs and to hire Christians.
Side-stepping the issue of Polish culture, the report claimed that the
Lithuanian Muslims had preserved their faith and culture, as well as
"love for truth and an unshakable devotion to the legal [Russian]
Government." At the same time, some administrators and courts
(subednye vlasti) in the Western Provinces had applied the restrictions of
10 December 1865 to the Tatars, a practice which the report criticized as
unjustified and contrary to the spirit of this law. 28
The other report was if anything even more pro-Tatar. Not only in
1863, it claimed, but already during the uprising o f 1831 had the
Lithuanian Tatars shown their "unwavering loyalty to the legal Ruler
[gosudar']." Furthermore, in the thirty years since 1831, Lithuanian
Tatars had provided the Russian Empire with five generals, and more
than one hundred officers. Earlier rulings by the Western Committee had
set down that the restrictions issued in the years after 1863 neither aimed
to punish the Tatars nor in any way were designed with them in mind,
hence the law of 10 December 1865 should also not be applied to them. 29
Following these reports, the Committee of Ministers decided not
only that the law o f 10 December 1865 could not be applied to the
Lithuanian Tatars, but that they were also entitled to the same privileges
in acquiring land in the region as were Orthodox and Protestant
landowners. The sole difference here was that Tatars could not use these
privileges to acquire at a low price those estates that were under an order
of obligatory sale ("podlezhashchie [...] obiazatel'noi prodazbe," i.e.
estates having belonged to participants in the insurrection that were now
being sold at very favourable prices -- but primarily to Russian
landowners). 3 It may well be that the reversal in policy seen by the
Polish historians cited above -- that at first Tatar landlords were
punished, but then rewarded -- came out of this particular decision. From
the Russian point o f view, however, this was no "reversal" at all, but
merely a correcting, a making more precise of a definition. Once the
Lithuanian Tatars were legally defined as "ours" -- that is, not Poles -they could be, indeed had to be, rewarded as practically the only reliable
and loyal local element among the nobility.
What does the Russian government's treatment of the Lithuanian
Tatars tell us about the Russian Empire in the last half-century of its
existence and about its "nationality policy"? First of all, it reminds us of
the great amount of imprecision and haziness in the official mind
regarding ethnicity, in particular when this involved small, "ahistorical"

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Lithuanian Tatars

13

groups. It would seem that the Russian authorities could only deal with
one "national question" at a time; hence, at a time when the Polish threat
seemed overwhelming, all other ethnicities and religions -- Muslims,
Lithuanians, Jews -- either disappeared or were mentioned only as
potential (or real) allies either of the "legal government" (i.e., the
Russians) or the rebels. Furthermore, the Lithuanian Tatars who
combined Polish language and cultural elements with a separate
ethnicity and religion could be categorized at first with the rebels and
then, upon closer reflection, with the loyalists. Further research may
possibly ascertain just how correct either of these categories were.
Secondly, the Russian authorities' benevolent attitude toward the
Tatars shows that there was no "Muslim policy" and that in fighting the
Catholic Poles, even favouring non-Christians was a possibility.
Certainly official discussions of the "Lithuanian Muslims" evince no
fear of the threat of Islam -- though a pervasive fear and loathing of
"militant Catholicism" and "Jesuitism" comes up again and again. The
small numbers of Tatars in Lithuania and the non-threatening,
"Europeanized" form that their religious practices took combined to
make these Muslims preferable, from the official Russian point of view,
to the local Catholics. In this sense the Russian authorities might well
have referred to the Tatars as "our Muslims. ''3~

Notes
Research for this article was supported in part by a grant from the International Research
and Exchanges Board (IREX) with funds provided by the National Endowment for the
Humanities, and the United States Department of State which administers the Title VIII
Program. Writing and revision was aided by a short-term grant from the Kennan Institute
for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
in Washington, DC. The author alone bears responsibility for the views expressed here.
I.

Ibid. As will be seen, the adjective, "Lithuanian," is used here in an entirely

2.

geographical -- and not ethnic -- sense.


For more details on the early history of the Lithuanian Tatars, see Kryczynski 1-42.
Specifically on the (mainly early) history of Tatars in the Minsk region see

3.

A recent, extremely thorough work on the Lithuanian Tatars in the nineteenth

Strynkiewicz-Korzon.
century, taking into account legal, administrative, religious, and cultural factors, is:
Baira~auskait6, Lietuvos Totoriai XIX am~uje. For non-Lithuanophones, some of
Dr. Baira~auskait~'s principal arguments are summed up in her pamphlet The

Theodore R. Weeks

14

Lithuanian Tatars in the Nineteenth Century and her "Sytuacja prawna."


4.

Kryczyfiski mentions as Tatar names, for example, Korycki, Utanow, Korycki (74),
Baranowski (76), Pufiski (77), as well as Talkowski, Sieniawski, and Pop{awski

5.

(115).
Kryczyfiski 84-92 - particularly interesting are the plates showing various coats of

arms (herby). On this topic, see also Dziadulewicz. Information on Lithuanian-Tatar


families was also collected by the Russian authorities, in particular in reference to

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questions of whether they should be considered noble or not. See, for example,
Lithuanian Central State Historical Archive (Lietuvos Centrinis Valstybinis Istorijos
Archyvas, Vilnius [LVIA]), f. 391, ap. 4, b. 125: "Alfavitnyi spisok tatarskikh rodov
utverzhdennykh i neutverzhdennykh v dvorianstve." In this list from the early
6.

nineteenth century, 111 families are listed.


Kryczyfiski 92-104. The suffix "-lar" in Tatar (and modern Turkish) indicates the

7.

plural.
In any case, the Russian authorities did not look with favour upon conversions to
Catholicism. See, for example, LVIA, f. 378, BS 1852, b. 2038: "Po otnosheniiu
Ministra Vnutrennikh Del otnositel'no iz'iavleniia zhelaniia magometanami

8.

Mil'kamanovichami priniat' khristianskuiu rimsko-katolicheskuiu veru."


Tuhan-Baranowski 58: "Quickly [the Lithuanian Tatars] ceased to understand the
word of the Quran and were forced to translate it and explicate it in Polish. The
manuscripts of these Polish Qurans, written in Arabic script, are still extant in
significant numbers in Lithuania." On the first translations into Polish of the Quran,
see Baira~auskait6, "Permasis Korano vertimas."

9.

On the selection of Muslim clerics by the Lithuanian Tatars and the Russian
government's regulations on this process, see LV1A, f. 378, BS 1849, b. 1747 and
ibid, BS 1851, b. 2233.

10. Talko-Hryncewicz 76. Shimelevich claimed that the Lithuanian Tatars strictly kept
Muslim fasts but does not specifically comment on alcohol consumption (69).
11. Kryczyfiski 241-258 (ceremonies), 262-280 (cemeteries), 281-308 (magic and folkhealing).
12. For convenience and clarity, I will use the Russian form of the names of these
provinces. This does not, of course, imply any endorsement of Russian national
pretensions to this territory.
13. The exact number by province was: Kovno - 536, Minsk - 2653, Grodno - 1169, and
Vil'na - 2605. These numbers are obtained from annual reports (otchety) from these
provinces. Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Istoricheskii Arkhiv, (RGIA) St. Petersburg,
f. 1281, op. 6, 1863, d. 32, 1. 14v (Vil'na 1862); ibid, d. 42, I. 7v (Grodno 1861);
ibid, d. 11, 1.9 (Minsk 1861); ibid, d. 36, 1. 12v (Kovno 1862).
14. For a discussion of this highly imprecise term, see Slocum 173-190.
15. For a few examples of the local authorities' concern about the activities of the
Catholic population in 1863, see LVIA, f. 378, PS 1863, b. 13; ibid, b. 1785; and

Lithuanian Tatars

15

RGIA, f. 821, op. 150, d. 223.


16. RGIA, f. 1281,op. 6, 1856, d. 67,1. 11v-12.
17. RGIA, f. 1281, op. 6, 1862, d. 42 (Grodno 1861), 1.8.
18. Ibid, 1863, d. 60, I. 5.

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19. RGIA, f. 1281, op. 6, 1858, d. 76, I. 8 (Minsk 1857).


20. A recent, somewhat popularizing, Polish work claims that the Tatars sympathized
with, but did not actively participate in, the Insurrection of 1863. Borawski and
Dubifiski 133. Baira~auskait6 points out that while both the insurgents and the
Russian authorities wooed the Tatars during the events of 1863-1864, "The majority
of Tatars [...] were rather indifferent to the uprisings [also in 1831]" (Lithuanian
Tatars 32).
21. The literature on 1863 is enormous. On the insurrection in the Northwest provinces,
see, inter alia, Gieysztor, Liaskovskii, and Smirnov.
22. To quote only one very recent example: "In order to spoil their [Tatars'] relations
with the Poles, the tsarist authorities opened up for the Tatars military and civilian
careers" (Borawski and Dubiiiski 134-5).
23. Lasocki 376: "Po powstaniu styczniowym 1863 r., Tatar6w, kt6rzy r6wnie~ wzi~li w
tym powstaniu udzial, spotkaly r6ine represje: pozbawiono ich prawa nabywania
maja~tk6w, odebrano broil, naloiono kontrybucj, zabroniono umieszcza~ polskie
napisy na nagrobkach, kazano ptacii na budow cerkwi prawoslawnych, itd. Po
kilku latach zarz,ldzenia te zostaly odwolane."
24. Talko-Hryncewicz 80. The author illustrates his remarks quite literally with a plate
(81) showing one A. Piotrowski who was the director of the Russian theater in
Kowno in 1867.
25. RGIA, f. 1267, op.l, 1864, d. 6, 11. 171-263 (Grodno 1863); ibid, d. 4 (Vil'na
1863); ibid, d. 7 (Minsk 1863); RGIA, f.1281, op. 6, 1864, d. 44 (Kovno 1863).
26. For the reports and administrative orders of the Zapadnyi komitet, see RGIA, f.
1267, op. 1, 1861, d. 1 and ibid, d. 3. Fond 1267 at RGIA contains the archive of
the committee. For M. N. Murav'ev's reports on his policies and the rationale
behind them, see RGIA, f. 908, op. 1, d. 171 ("Doneseniia vilenskogo generalgubernatora M. N. Murav'eva P. A. Valuevu i shefu zhandarmov Vas. Andr.
Dolgorukovu"); RG1A, f. 1622, op. 1, d. 719 (M. N. Murav'ev's report for 18631864); and "Zapiska o nekotorykh voprosakh po ustroistvu Severo-Zapadnogo
kraia" (a memorandum given by Murav'ev to the Tsar on 14 May 1864)
(Sheremetev).
27. These restrictions were in place not only in the six Lithuanian and Belarusian
provinces, but also in the three "Southwest" or Ukrainian gubernii of Kiev, Podolia,
and Volhynia.
28. RGIA, f. 1284, op. 189, 1865, d. 4, 11. 72-5.
29. Ibid, 11.76-82.
30. lbid, 11. 89-90 ("Vypiska iz zhurnalov Komiteta Ministrov 4go i 18go Iiulia 1867

Theodore R. Weeks

16

goda").
31. Thousands of Tatars continue to live in Lithuania (most notably in and around the
town of Trakai) and in Belarus. On their present culture, see the quarterly Bairam
and Dumin and Kanapatski.

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