Ingush. Early 20th century.
|Regions with significant populations|
|Predominantly Sunni Islam (Shafii Madhhab)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Chechens, Bats, Kists and other Northeast Caucasian peoples|
The Ingush (, Ingush: ?II, Ghalghaj, pronounced ['lj]) are a Northeast Caucasian native ethnic group of the North Caucasus, mostly inhabiting their native Ingushetia, a federal republic of Russian Federation. The Ingush are predominantly Sunni Muslims and speak the Ingush language, a Northeast Caucasian language that is closely related to Chechen; the two form a dialect continuum. The Ingush and Chechen peoples are collectively known as the Vainakh, although the genetics of Ingush and the Chechen indicate a split about 13,000-17,000 Ybp.
According to Leonti Mroveli, Caucas (Kavkasos) is the legendary ancestor of the Ingush. Vakhtang VI of Kartli, as well as his son Vakhushti of the Bagrationi dynasty, refer to them as Dzurdzuks.
Many Georgian, Greek and German chroniclers also use the term Kists or Ghlighvi. The ancient Greek historian Strabo wrote about the Gargars, while American cartographer Joseph Hutchins Colton labeled the people as Gelians.
The Ingush are the first and main builders of towers in the Caucasus, famously known for having battle towers with pyramidal roofs.
They refer to themselves as Ghalghai, which can be translated as "people of towers".
The Ingush came under Russian rule in 1810, but under Soviet rule during World War II they were falsely accused of collaborating with the Nazis and thus, the entire population was deported to the Kazakh and Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republics. The Ingush were rehabilitated in the 1950's, after the death of Joseph Stalin, and allowed to return home in 1957, though by that time western Ingush lands had been ceded to North Ossetia.
The Ingush possess a varied culture of traditions, legends, epics, tales, songs, proverbs, and sayings. Music, songs and dance are particularly highly regarded. Popular musical instruments include the dachick-panderr (a kind of balalaika), kekhat ponder (accordion, generally played by girls), mirz ponder (a three-stringed violin), zurna (a type of oboe), tambourine, and drums.
|"||The Caucasus populations exhibit, on average, less variability than other populations for the eight Alu insertion poly-morphisms analysed here. The average heterozygosity is less than that for any other region of the world, with the exception of Sahul. Within the Caucasus, Ingushians have much lower levels of variability than any of the other populations. The Ingushians also showed unusual patterns of mtDNA variation when compared with other Caucasus populations (Nasidze and Stoneking, submitted), which indicates that some feature of the Ingushian population history, or of this particular sample of Ingushians, must be responsible for their different patterns of genetic variation at both mtDNA and the Alu insertion loci.||"|
|-- European Journal of Human Genetics, 2001|
According to one test by Nasidze in 2003 (analyzed further in 2004), the Y-chromosome structure of the Ingush greatly resembled that of neighboring Caucasian populations (especially Chechens, their linguistic and cultural brethren).
There has been only one notable study on the Ingush Y chromosome. These following statistics should not be regarded as final, as Nasidze's test had a notably low sample data for the Ingush. However, they do give an idea of the main haplogroups of the Ingush.
In the mtDNA, the Ingush formed a more clearly distinct population, with distance from other populations. The closest in an analysis by Nasidze were Chechens, Kabardins and Adyghe (Circassians), but these were all much closer to other populations than they were to the Ingush.