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The Dargwa or Dargin people (Dargwa: дарганти, darganti; Russian: даргинцы, dargintsy) are a Northeast Caucasian native ethnic group originating in the North Caucasus, and who make up the second largest ethnic group in the Russian republic of Dagestan. They speak the Dargwa language. The ethnic group comprises, however, all speakers of the Dargin languages; Dargwa is simply the standard variety.

Дарганти Darganti
Total population
700,000 (est.)
Regions with significant populations
 Russia 589,386[2]
Levashinsky District70,704
Akushinsky District53,558
Dakhadayevsky District36,709
Kaytagsky District31,368
Sergokalinsky District27,133
Related ethnic groups
Adyghe, Circassians, Chechens

According to the 2002 Census, Dargins make up 16.5% of the population of Dagestan, with 425,526 people. They are concentrated in the Kaytagsky District, Dakhadayevsky District, Levashinsky District, Akushinsky District and Sergokalinsky Districts.

The Dargins have lived in their present-day location for many centuries. They formed the state of Kaitag in the Middle Ages and Renaissance until Russian conquest. Today, the Dargins are one of the most powerful in Dagestan (an amalgamation of many of the historical peoples in the region), and the second most numerous behind the Avars.


Dargins are anthropologically related to the Northcaucasian race. Regarding the origin of the Northcaucasian race, two hypotheses were put forward — the autochthonous one (developed in the works of M.G. Abdushelishvili, V. P. Alekseev, etc.) and the migration one (proposed by G. F. Debets).


A democratic state that existed in 15-19th centuries. Akusha-Dargo was famous for religious, minorities, women and social rights. It had democractic elections. Slavehood was forbidden. There was division of powers and secret ballot voting with referendum right.


The Infrastructure/Architecture of the Dargin people was extremely well developed compared to their neighbors throughout history. The folk masters of this art displayed a very high level of achievement in building and ornamenting towers and fortresses, building the ensembles of buildings, mosques, bridges, and building irrigation constructions at springs and wells. The artistry of the Dargins is clearly shown in their decorative and applied art: in the creations of the Kubachi silversmiths; in the work of stonecutters, toolmakers, woodworkers, and ceramic and tile workers; in weaving, leatherwork, and furwork; and in spirited folk dance and vocal music. Dargins are known for their Kaitag textiles, from Kaytagsky District. Spiritual and religious center of Dargin nation was Akusha-Dargo. The head judicial court of all Dargins was also in Akusha. Other famous Dargin cities were Levashi, Mekegi, Kubachi and Kadar.

Prior to Russia's annexation of Dargi regions, Dargi medicine was a combination of folk and Eastern medicine. Folk healers (khakim) achieved considerable success in the treatment of wounds, bruises, broken bones, and dislocations and even in trephination; they were also skilled in phytotherapy and treatment of various internal diseases. The best-known healers were Murtuzali Haji of Butri, who studied medicine in Cairo for five years, worked with the Russian surgeon N. I. Pirogov, and was given a set of surgical instruments by him; Taimaz of Urakhi; Mohammed Haji of Khajalmakhi; Davud Haji of Akusha'; Alisultan Haji of Urkarakh; and others. Medical service was instituted only in 1894, with nine doctors and twelve nurses for all of Dagestan, a ratio of one medical practitioner to 60,000 persons. Now there is a paramedical station in every settled place, or a regional doctor, or a regional, district, or interdistrict hospital and a first-aid service with its own transport, including air transport.

Dargin WomenEdit

Unlike other nations in the past Dargin women had numerous rights and privileges. Dargin women could vote, manage and own business and property, obtain political positions. Noble Dargin women received professional military education and were good at fighting with sword and gun. Dargin women were literate and majority of them owned personal weapon. The emancipation of women in 20th century in most of the world affected Dargin women a little as they had most of rights and freedoms by that time.

Fight for woman rightsEdit

Before upraisal of feminist movement in the West the first battle for woman rights happened in Dargo-Persian war. On occupied territories Persian administration cancelled all woman rights and privileges and turned them into slaves. Dargin women actively joined the rebellion as the loss of Akusha-Dargo meant for them not only the loss of national but also social independence. While fight for social and political rights in the West was a civil fight, for Dargin women it was military warfare. Technically women rebellion in Dargo-Persian war is the only war of women for their social and political rights in history. Battle of Kaitag in 1744 was the 1st military victory of women in history against the invaders and oppressors.

Famous DarginsEdit

  • Ilyas Umakhanov, the deputy of Russian Senate.
  • Magomed-Ali Magomedov, ex-president of Dagestan.
  • Magomedsalam Magomedov, ex-president of Dagestan.
  • Rinat Karimov, singer.
  • Patimat Kagirova, singer.
  • Rabadonov Murtuzali, rector of Dagestan State University.


  1. ^ Russian Census of 2002 Archived October 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine(in Russian)
  2. ^ Russian Census 2010: Population by ethnicity Archived April 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  3. ^ "About number and composition population of Ukraine by data All-Ukrainian census of the population 2001". Ukraine Census 2001. State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 17 December 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012.