Who are the Izvatas?

Formation of the Izvatas. Izhemskaya slobodka

The Izhma Komi (an endonym – Izvatas) is an ethnographic group of the Komi people. The name “Izvatas” is translated from the Komi language as “people living in the basin of the Izhma (Izva) River”. As an ethnic group, the Izvatas began to form in the second half of the 16th century as a result of the interethnic mixing of the Komi (mainly the Udora Komi and the Vym Komi), the Russians (mainly the Novgorodians, natives of Arkhangelsk and Ust-Tsilma) and the Nenets in the northwestern part of the modern Komi Republic on the banks of the Izhma river, the left tributary of the Pechora river. The formation of the Izvatas is associated with the migration of the Komi to the north due to limited food resources in the southern regions. The center of the formation of the future ethnic group was Izhemskaya slobodka, founded in 1567.

The village of Izhma is growing rapidly, and already in 1646 there are 65 peasant households in the village. The first Izvatas had the following surnames: Smetanin, Filippov, Istomin, Khozyainov, Terentyev, Kanev, Anofriev, Vokuev, Durkin, Vityazev, Artemyev, Nechaev, Rochev, etc. Many of these are still among the most common in Izhemsky district.

The village of Izhma in 1930s. The source of the photo.

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