Traditional Dagestani lezginka | Flickr 

Lezginka can be a solo, couple or group dance. Men and women are dressed in traditional costumes; men wear a sword adorned on their side and women in long, flowing dresses. The man, imitating an eagle, dances in quick, concise steps; falling to his knees and leaping up quickly. The woman dances quietly, taking light, small steps—giving the appearance of her floating around the floor. When the dance is performed in pairs, the couples do not touch; the woman acknowledges the man, and dances discreetly about him.

Dagestan, meaning “land of mountains” in the Turkic languages, contains a population consisting of many nationalities, including Avars, Lezgi, Noghay, Kumuck, and Tabasarans. Pictured here is a Sunni Muslim man of undetermined nationality wearing traditional dress and headgear, with a sheathed dagger at his side.

Portrait of a Dagestani Couple by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. Dagestani Types, ca. 1907-1915. Digital color rendering. Prints and Photographs Division

A couple in traditional dress poses for a portrait in the mountainous interior region of Gunib on the north slope of the Caucasus Mountains in what is today the Dagestan Republic of the Russian Federation.

The text on the scythe reads ‘Glory to the Soviet Communist Party!’.
The text at the bottom reads ‘And Lenin is still a young bloody devil. October is still ahead!’ (A parody of a popular Soviet song, the real lyric is: ‘And Lenin is so young and youthful. October is still ahead.’) Dates on the heads ‘1887’ the year of Lenin’s birth.‘1917’ the year of the October Revolution.

Military Unit 48868, 25 Strelbishchenskaya Street, Leningrad. 1976. Hip.

The tattoo of a Dagestani soldier from an engineering battalion


Our Lord does not do anything unnecessarily. There is a reason, and Allah’s reason is always the best reason. Whatever happens to you, it is a blessing. Our Grandsheykh Abdullah Dagestani (rahmatullah aleyh) is saying, ‘whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, it is a blessing.

Hoja Lokman Effendi (Hazretleri)


Swam again somewhere where there’s no beach but some rocks (so it’s dangerous when there’s lots of current). There was lots of current. Yegor cut his feet on the rocks.

At the pharmacy a woman of Georgian origin gave us a passionate speech about Russia.
‘Russia… it might have made a few mistakes, who hasn’t? There was some disagreement between Georgia and Russia a few years ago…’

(Yeah, a war.)

'What is happening in Ukraine is terrible. Those poor refugees…'

In the afternoon I went to Derbent in a car driven by a man who didn’t stop when a cop ordered him to. He’s some sort of informant. I covered up to enter the courtyard of a mosque.

Later, had dinner with 5 middle-aged Dagestani men in a place I thought was a restaurant / hotel by the sea but was later told is a brothel. Saw a meteorite.

When we drove back to Makhatchkala at a mad pace in the night we saw the remains of what must have been a fatal car crash. One car smashed against a tree. Another one completely destroyed.