Total population
(505,000 (est. 14.2% of the population of Republic of Dagestan); unknown number of Kumyks living outside of Dagestan)
Regions with significant populations
 Russia 503,060[1]
 Ukraine 718[2]
Kumyk, Russian
primarily Islam
Related ethnic groups
Crimean Tatars, Balkars, Karachays, Nogais, Volga Tatars

Kumyks (Kumyk: къумукълар, qumuqlar, Russian: кумыки) are a Turkic people living in the Kumyk plateau in north Dagestan and south Terek, and the lands bordering the Caspian Sea. They comprise 14% of the population of the Russian republic of Dagestan. They speak the Kumyk language.

A Kumyk family

Notable Kumyks: Ilyas Bekbulatov, Hadise, Nariman Israpilov, Rustam Khabilov, Bakhtiyar Akhmedov, Saypulla Absaidov, Magomet-Gasan Abushev, Marid Mutalimov, Muslim Salikhov, Marat Gafurov, Nasrulla Nasrullayev, Zapir Rasulov, Haidar Bammate, Najmuddin Bammate, Temirbulat (Timour) Bammate, Djalaluddin Korkmasov etc.


Some historians have speculated that the Kumyks may be descendants of the Khazars, such as the Hungarian historian Ármin Vámbéry, who believed that they settled in their present territory during the flourishing period of the Khazar Khaganate in the 8th century.

During the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries CE the Kumyks had an independent kingdom, based at Tarki, and ruled by a leader called a Shamkhal.

The Russians built forts in their territory in 1559 and under Peter I. The upper terraces of the Kumyk plateau, which the Kumyks occupy (leaving its lower parts to the Nogais) are very fertile.

In recent years Kumyk nationalists such as Salau Aliev have agitated for Kumyk dominance within Daghestan, citing Khazar history as their inspiration. This is part of a wider trend in Dagestan of the non-dominant but still major groups (such as Kumyks, Lezgins, Laks, etc.) producing ideological backlashes to the near-institutionalized dominance of Avars, Dargins and Russians in Dagestan (together, Avars, Dargins and Russians form a weak majority of the population, but their dominance is widely resented by others).


Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

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Coordinates: 42°23′14″N 47°59′12″E / 42.3873°N 47.9867°E / 42.3873; 47.9867

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