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The regional interactive encyclopedic portal «Bashkortostan»
Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan State autonomous institution of science of the Republic of Bashkortostan Bashkir encyclopedia


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VOLOST, an administrative and territory unit in Russia between 11th — early 20th centuries. This term refers to a form of the rural population’s self­organization.

On the territory of the historical territory of Bashkortostan V. began to form after the accession of Bashkortostan to Russia. V. were created on the basis of ethnicity: the Bashkirs were organized into the Bashkir V., peasants immigrants (ref. Migration Movement) — into dvortsovaya (palace) V., which since the end of the 18th century were called udyelnaya V., monastic V., and economic V. (since 1765), etc. In the 19th century, there was a unification, that made V. more like administrative territory units rather than ethnic units. The Bashkir V. were created on the basis of ancestral lands of independent tribes or clans (ref. Tribal organization of the Bashkir) and were simultaneously tribal and ancestral lands (Aymaks and Tubas) and administrative territory units. They were headed by starostas, since 1736 — by starshinas. Administration of V. was provided by komandas (teams) of starshinas, whose territories were called Aymaks and Tubas (at the end of the 18th century there were more than 110 komandas). In the 1st half of the 18th century, there were 42 Bashkir tribal volosts and up to 75 administrative and territory volosts. At the end of the 18th century, in Orenburg Gub. there were 127 Bashkir administrative and territory V. In the 1840s — in Orenburg Gub. — 146, in Vyatka Gub. — 3, and in Perm Gub. — 26. At the end of the 19th century, there were 88 V. in Orenburg Gub. and 176 V. in Ufa Gub. In 1926, 111 V. were accounted for in 8 cantons in the BASSR territory (ref. Annex). Between the end of the 18th — early 20th centuries, when determining the boundaries of the Bashkir lands during the Gen. and Special Land Surveys, the Bashkir volosts comprised the basis for allocation of dacha territories. As an ancestral unit, the Bashkir volosts existed before the adoption of the Decree on Land dated October 27th 1917. As an administrative and territory unit it existed until 1930 (ref. Administrative and Territorial System).

Publication date: 18.05.2020
Last updated: 18.05.2020