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Aksubayevsky Rayon 


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Administrative center: Aksubayevo
Area: 1440.1 sq. km
Population: 31.500

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Between Volga and Ural Mountains, on the Maly Cheremshan and Sulcha rivers that flow into the greater Kama, fertile lands of Aksubayevsky rayon are spread out. Dense forests along the picturesque banks of small rivers, where all the animals live free and easy, numerous rivers and tributaries, out which start from eternally running springs– it is truly a land of plenty, with a rich history of its own…

Geologists are sure to tell you that the rayon’s territory is formed out of carbonate clays with limestone, sandstone and brown-grey sands interlays, and that brick clay is an important mineral resource in the rayon. Those involved in oil extraction undoubtedly will hold the ground that it is oil which is the most vital mineral. Indeed, there are six oil-fields discovered in this rayon, namely Eryklinskoye, Syncheleevskoye, Dyomkinskoye, Myudovskoye, Ibraikinskoye, Ivinskoye.

Biologists and ecologists, in their turn, might praise the local forests and steppes, stressing the fact there are moose, wild boar, wolf, fox, hare, squirrel, lynx and marten (stone and forest species) living there in abundance. If we take birds the species diversity includes wood-grouse, black-grouse, partridge, heron, crane, and the spotted eagle (all in all over 100 bird species), and in the rivers, beaver, musquash, mink and great number of fish. First settlers in these lands were hunters, cattle-breeders and farmers who came 30.000 years ago.

Numerous barrows (people today call them cones) prove the fact. One of those barrows may be found at the entrance to Aksubayevo on the side of Chistopol. Also the log culture monuments (2nd millennium B.C. end) as Novouzeyevsky burial site, Starotimoshkinsky barrow, Nizhnebalandinskoe and Belovskoye villages are found here. In the 8th century CE all Zakamye regions were populated by Imenkovskye tribes. The archeological monument which belongs to the above tribal culture is considered to be Tatar Suncheleevsky site of ancient settlement called Kyz Tau (literally Maiden Hill). Eleven ancient settlement sites, 67 ancient villages, one burial site, 5 grave stones and one buried treasure are archeological artifacts that go back to the Bolgar period. Scientists have found the remains of small towns in the vicinity of modern villages. All archeological sites considered, there are 185 of them in Aksubayevsky rayon: their types include ancient settlements, Bolgar period-related ancient cities, grave stones and barrows.

But the maps of the old Bolgar state do not feature Aksubayevo. Back then dense forests surrounded the place, and along the banks of the Malaya Sulcha there were meadows and glades. One of the versions suggests that the name Aksubayevo is derived from the name of Chuvash prince’s son — Aksapay, who settled there in days of yore. During Aksapay’s lifetime, one row of houses was built along the river, and another one up the hill from the river, forming a corner. And they started calling it Knyazkin Ugol (Prince’s Corner). An ancient name is not forgotten, but lives on today. Old residents even point at the place where Aksapay’s mansion supposedly stood.

The mansion had a big courtyard where cattle were bred. Aksapay’s horses were especially famed and Aksapay trained them for harness. Everyone who used to be part of prince’s armed retinue was called princelings by the local citizens. The prince’s associates were referred to as “princeling’s man”, “princeling’s worker”, “princeling’s relatives”. Still the surname Knyazkovy (i.e. “those related to prince”) is preserved among the Aksubayevo citizens. It stems from the prince and his people in attendance. Nevertheless prince Aksapay himself did not have any children. And also the prince’s name is kept in geographic names of the rayon: Aksapayeva Roscha (Aksapay’s Grove), Aksapaeva Polyana (Aksapay’s Glade).

The second version links the proper name’s origins with the name of the river Aksu. There was such a river in the Middle Ages and it flew into Sulcha river, but later it dried up.

The third version is of linguistic character. “Ak-su-bai” can be translated as “rich in white water”. “Ak su” means white water (water in Aksubayevo really has white residue), “bai” is translated as “rich man”

In the very first (yet among all those discovered) historical document linked with Aksubayevo it was written that the Chuvash had comprised the population of that village. The Russians were resettled here later from Pichkassy village of Spassky uyezd. After that the population accepted Christian faith, they started building church, Russian officials appeared in Aksubayevo.

NB The poet Khasan Tufan, a native of Staraya Kiremet, thus recalled his childhood: “Wherever I was, I listened to and remembered folk songs, proverbs and sayings. I remember we had a competition between the boys — the winner had to memorize more rhymes than others. We kept score on the bathhouse wall with a piece of coal. Nobody could beat me, as I knew more than seven hundred verses”.

In 1749 a church was built near the village on the bank of a small lake. All the peasants, including the Chuvash and those resettled Russians from nearby villages became part of the parish. In the village centre the open-air market started. In the 17th century Aksubayevo village was part of Staroibraikinskaya volost in Chistopolsky uezd, Kazan province. At the end of 18th century the volost centre was moved from Staroye Ibraikino to Aksubayevo and Aksubayevskaya volost was formed.

Aksubayevo became motherland for many outstanding people: writers and poets Najil Dumavi, Polorusov-Shelebi, Khasan Tufan, Efrem Almiev, Gaziz Kashapov, Michail Egorov (Seniel), state official Rais Belyaev, philosopher and enlightener Galiasgar Gafurov, who were all born there. The famous Tatar poet Khasan Tufan thus wrote of his native lands:

I was not born a poet,

My verse is a sum of what I have lived through,

The grief, hope and acts of my ancestors

Live on in my soul and ask to be expressed

Aksubayevo museum of local studies is the best option to get acquainted with the rayon’s history. It has documents, photos, apparel and daily life objects of Tatars and Chuvashes. Its numismatic collection is also great.

The geological collection of the museum was started with Aksubayevo bitumen, the vertical cut of which is among the museum’s exhibits, too. Here are the sites in the rayon featured on the Regional List of historical, cultural and architectural monuments: a) The Church of the Theotokos of Kazan in Dmitrievka village (built in 1887 with the money donated by the local landowner N.A. Zhukova); b) former vocational school (opened in 1910 by landowner V.V. Markovnikov),

boys in this establishment were taught blacksmithing, metalwork, or could become turners; c) mosques in Novoye Uzeevo, Novoye Ibraikino and Stary Tatarsky Adam villages (built in 1910 — 1913); d) State Bank building and e) monument to the poet Polorusov-Shelebi in his native lands in Belovka village.

Today the citizens of Aksubayevo work as grain-growers and cattle-breeders. They cultivate rye, wheat, beetroot and potato. Cattle-breeding, especially pigs and dairy and beef production are the leading branches, too.

As for cultural development, there are 28 village houses and 30 clubs, including the rayon-level club. There is a centralized library system which consists of 39 libraries, and children’s school of arts. There are four people theatres in the rayon, and also people’s and ballroom dance ensemble, Chuvash folklore ensemble “Uyav”. National centres of Russian, Tatar and Chuvash culture play an important role in breeding tolerance and sustainable development of Aksubayevo.