The Buzava is a sub-ethnic group of Kalmyks, which was formed later than others. They are descendants of those Kalmyks who left the rest of the Kalmyks and migrated to the Salsk steppe and the Don region to become Cossacks. This migration started in the seventeenth century and continued until the 1760s. In the first half of the nineteenth century there was another movement of people in that direction. Having settled down, these Buddhist Kalmyks came to be known as Don's Kalmyk-Cossacks or Buzava. According to some Kalmyk scholars, the ethnonym buzava derives from two words bu ‘rifle’ and zava ‘showed’ (i.e. ‘those who showed rifles’), alluding to the military occupation of this group. According to yet another version, the ethnonym derives from the expression ‘based’, or ‘settled’ Kalmyks.

The ethnic composition of the Buzava has been mixed, consisting of the following clans or lineages: Baga-Bural, Baga-Tsookhor, Bargas, Bartskhas, Bisyankin, Burgud, Bushkhud, Cheslyankin, Zamud, Zalkhus, Kyuvyud, Iki Tshookhor, Kevtyul, Kyuures, Maanin Zet, Mangat, Merket, Mongol, Noogan Namchad, Nomchi, Nyar, Nyuursyud, Sokhad, Telyanken, Tugtun, Tyachud, Ukralachin, Uldechiner, Uchkyud, Kharada, Khoo Bukhas, Khotkhod Khoshud, Kood, Shavad, Shara Mongol, Sharyad, Khavchin, Shevnr, Tsarmud, Tsoros, Erketen, Bambar, Burut, Chonos, Keke-Nurinkhed, and others.

On this page, you can watch videos about the Buzava, their constituent lineages, stories, legends, and much more.

Anatoliy Safinov, About Kalmyk Groups

Anatoliy tells a story about the origin of the Baga Derbet and Iki Derbet clans. He also contends that Amursana (a Kalmyk nobility) gathered various Kalmyk groups and resettled them in the land of the Derbets which had good soil and rich vegetation. Anatoliy also recounts the names of several families of the Buzava clan. In the past, many Buzavas were livestock breeders.


Garya Naminov, About the Kalmyk Groups


Ksenia Konchieva, The Development of Otok (Clans) in Kalmykia


Sanj Khoyt, About the Buzava