A living Galgai. This is the title of my new book about the beauty of the mountainous region of the Republic of Ingushetia.

Chapter 1. Galgai

In 1944, the stone villages of mountainous Ingushetia were deserted forever. The last inhabitants of the towers were taken to the plain; those who could not walk were burned in their own homes. This is how the centuries-old history of ancient Galgai ended.

This photo album is an invitation to return for a moment to the life of stone mountain villages. To show how harmoniously the life and crafts of the ancient Ingush fit into the ascetic and unpredictable landscape. To be surprised at the precision with which the harsh living conditions honed the peculiarities of the beliefs and cultural traditions of the Galgai people, formed a man of his word and honor, able not only to survive, but also to enjoy being. This is an attempt to understand that people, having left the towers, did not leave them. Because these ancient stone statues are a symbol of the still living people, their faith, essence, and as a result, unity.

There was no written language in Ingushetia until it became part of Russia (251 years ago). Therefore, it is possible to reconstruct the features of the daily life of the ancient Ingush only based on the analysis of their oral folk art: legends, tales, songs, riddles, proverbs and sayings. They are the basis of the text.

According to one hypothesis, it was from the crypts that the Ingush sanctuaries developed. The proof of this is the existence of transitional forms between the crypt and the temple, the so-called "crypts with a memorial chamber". Such "transitional forms" of sanctuaries are similar to rectangular crypts with a gable roof, but unlike them they have a high basement and an extensive chamber above it.

In the basement, under the chamber, there are bunks for the dead. The memorial chamber is much larger than in an ordinary crypt. Apparently, it served not only for commemorations, but also for rituals. Wooden bowls and clay jars with offerings were placed in the niches of the crypts. Signs are carved on the stone benches of some sanctuaries (for example, in the villages of Erzya and Birk): four rows of dashes, with one or two crosses in the middle or on one side. It is assumed that these are calendars compiled according to an incomprehensible principle, which were used to count religious holidays or memorial days.

Safety was the main criterion when choosing a place to settle. First of all, stone villages served as fortifications. As a rule, the towers of another village are perfectly visible from one village.

If the enemy approached one of the villages, its inhabitants could notify the whole district about it by lighting bonfires on the towers. Such a fiery telegraph quickly transmitted bad news to the most remote mountainous areas.

At sunset in the mountains

You can read the rest of the chapters about the history and customs of this beautiful region in the book "Living Galgai", which is sold in the shops of the republic, as well as by me personally vk.com/valery_egorov


March 18, 2024 04:35 am



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February 3, 2023 11:35 pm
Interesting! Thanks.