Learn more about Ingush people
|Regions with significant populations||Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan|
|Religion|| Sunni Islam <tr>
<th style="background-color:#fee8ab;">Related ethnic groups</th> <td style="background-color:#fff6d9;">Chechens, Bats, Kists</td>
The Ingush are a highland people of the North Caucasus, mostly inhabiting the Russian republic of Ingushetia. They refer to themselves as Ghalghaai (Galgai). The Ingush are predominantly Sufi Muslim and speak the Ingush language which has a very high degree of mutual intelligibility with neighboring Chechen.
- 10,000-8,000 BC migration of proto-Ingush people to the slopes of the Caucasus from the Fertile Crescent (domestication of animals, and irrigation are used).
- 6000-4000 BC Neolithic era. Pottery is known to the region. Old settlements near Ali-Yurt and Magas, discovered in the modern times, revealed tools made out of stone: stone axes, polished stones, stone knives, stones with holes drilled in them, clay dishes etc. Settlements made out of clay bricks in the plains. In the mountains there were discovered settlements made out of stone surrounded by walls (some of them dated back 8000 BC).
The history of the Ingush is closely related to that of the Chechens. The ancestors of both peoples were tribes known as the Nakhcho, first mentioned in Armenian sources dating from the 7th century, who originally lived in the Caucasus mountains. They began to settle the northern Caucausian lowlands in the 15th and 16th century. During the late 16th century, much of the population converted to Islam. The tribes split up in the 18th century into the present Chechen and Ingush peoples.
They came under Russian rule in 1810, but during World War II they were accused of collaborating with the Nazis and the entire Ingush population was deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia with great loss of life - an estimated two thirds. They were rehabilitated in the 1950s, after the death of Stalin, and were allowed to return home in 1957.
However, much of Ingushetia's territory had been settled by Ossetians and part of the region had been transferred to North Ossetia. The returning Ingush faced considerable animosity from the Ossetians. Violence flared in late October 1992, when tens of thousands of Ingush were forced from their homes in the Prigorodny District of North Ossetia.
The Ingush possess a rich and varied culture of traditions, legends, epics, tales, songs, proverbs, and sayings. Music, songs and dance are particularly highly regarded. Popular musical instruments include the dekhch-pandr (a kind of balalaika), kekhat pondur (accordion, generally played by girls), a three-stringed violin, zurna (a type of clarinet), tambourine, and drums.