BEYOND THE SEA OF SAND

In early 18th century, after a conflict with the regime of tsar, several thousands of Cossacks escaped from Russian Don. They named themselves Nekrasov Cossacks in the name of their leader Ignat Nekrasov. For over two centuries they lived in the territory of then Osman Empire (modern Turkey). In the middle of XX century their descendants realised the dream of their ancestors and returned to their Motherland — they were 999 people. The one-thousand’s young Nekrasov Cossack was born on the ship on their way — Semyon Babayev. All of them came to live in the South of Russia in Stavropol Region.

The main condition for their return was the right to practice their own faith. Up until now Nekrasov Cossacks honour their rituals, keep the tradition of a male choir in the church. Their songs keep an Eastern flavour: Turkish songs fusioned with Russian ones. In their modern day life Cossacks have also kept a part of Turkish traditions: they like to sit on carpets crossing their legs and drink coffee, as well as cook Turkish dishes.

One of the legends is the search for the City Of Ignat — a place believed to be founded by the original Nekrasov Cossacks «Beyond the sea of sand». It has never been put on a map. The city lived in the Cossacks themselves as their dream of a world free and just.