17 Ethnic Diversity of the Russian Empire

Ethnic Diversity of the Russian Empire

Posted on June 19, 2012 by team

People of the Russian Empire on the unique photographs of S. M. Prokudin-Gorsky.

Avars in Dagestan, April, 1904

Avars from Arakani settlement

Azerbaijani. They had been called “the Tatars of Baku” before the revolution

The whole photo

Armenians, 1912

Bashkir, 1910

Bashkir woman wearing a national costume

Belorussian woman

Greeks collecting tea, 1912

Georgians in holiday dresses

Georgian tomato seller, 1912

Jews: teacher and pupils in Samarkand, 1911

Cossack, 1911, Turkmenistan

Nomad Kazakhs, 1911

Karelians, 1916

Chinese. They were not rare in the Russian Empire too. Tea factory in Chakva.


Hungry steppe of 1911

Kurd woman with children, 1912

Kurds of the Batumi region

Lezghin, Dagestan, 1904

Russians, 1909

Tajiks, 1911, Samarkand

Tatars, 1910, the Chelyabinsk region

Turks, 1912. Many of them lived in the Batumi region that became a part of Russia in 1878. They tried to live separately and didn’t want adopt anything strange from Russians hoping to return back.

Turkmen, 1911

Uzbeks, 1907, Samarkand

Ukrainian woman, Kursk province, 1904

Ukrainian woman, Kursk province

Finns, 1903

via oldcolor

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17 Responses to “Ethnic Diversity of the Russian Empire”

  1. skopeil says:

    amazing photos..

  2. Daniel says:

    I wondered how successful the Soviets were in achieving assimilation. Not very, apparently. In the United States, after one generation of native born, you would not be able to tell them apart.

    • -Zlodey- says:

      We don have such goal as assimilation at all. Russians always let other nations keep their culture, language and traditions alive instead of europeans and americans.
      Maybe thats biggest mistake, but russians managed to make live in peace all these nations for centuries without assimilation.
      Now, after USSR fall, many of these friendly before nations got their own nazis and became enemies. In the name of freedom and democracy, off cource.

    • Ron says:

      Our original waves of immigrants were easily assimilated because they were largely composed of Europeans from eastern and western Europe.
      African Americans have interbred to a small degree, but the divisions between white and black Americans are largely intact, and other groups, such as Mexicans, show signs that they will never be assimilated.

  3. sst says:

    How come such awesome color photos in 1900s?

  4. banditrider says:

    Lovely old photo’s. This the interesting stuff. Got to love the sheep with the psychedelic coloured head. :)

  5. sauron says:

    Were those photos originally in color? They look quite vivid for photos from that time period.

  6. vla says:

    finn “like a sir”

  7. turist says:

    The photo labeled “Nomad Kazakhs, 1911″ is noted as being actually Kyrgyz elsewhere in this site and others.

    • A-Star says:

      Original article explains that kazakhs were officially called as kyrgyzs till 1936. Therefore, little historical research was made and some author’s subscripts were corrected.

  8. Robert says:

    here you can find tons of them:

  9. richard says:

    Amazing work!

  10. innamazing says:

    simply wonderful. i love this.

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