Office Administration Materials On Study Of Russian State Religious Policy


In modern conditions, interest in the history of culture and religion of Russian peoples is growing. The 19th century is of interest when studying the previous experience of religious policy, when important social economic and political changes took place in the state, including national politics and governance. Under these conditions, religious policy was the most important, integral and connecting link of both domestic and foreign policy of Russia. One of the significant factors for the Kalmyks incorporation into the all-Russian social political system was a religious policy that was carried out in two main areas. It was reflected in office administration documents, served as the source base of the presented research. They were mainly deposited in funds whose founders were the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of State Property, the Russian State Historical Archive (hereinafter - RSHA) and the local authorities funds of the National Archives of the Republic of Kalmykia (hereinafter - NARK). A large array of office administration documentation is stored in these archives as an activity result of regional management bodies and their interaction with central authorities. This set of documents of various types reflected the content and nature of the government religious policy towards the Kalmyks. The entire office administration documentation being of interest is conditionally divided into three subgroups. The article discusses its individual types, their content and nature. Scientific novelty of the research is undoubted, since the raised problem has not previously been the object of a special study.

Keywords: Kalmyksteppereligiouspolicyadministrationorganizational


In modern conditions of religious freedom, the rise of national self-consciousness, the revival of religious life in the country, interest in the history of culture and religion of the Russian peoples is growing. The religious factor can contribute to both stabilization and destabilization of the political situation; therefore, the study of prior experience of religious policy, in particular the period of the Russian Empire, is necessary for building adequate relations between church institutions and the state, church organizations and society. It should be noted that the 19th century for the Russian state became the time of serious testing of the public administration effectiveness, the viability of its imperial model, when issues of interfaith relations were largely associated with the integration of the annexed peoples into the empire in the transformed and multinational Russian state. Under these conditions, religious policy was the most important, integral and connecting link of both domestic and foreign policy of the Russian state.

The Kalmyks were one of the peoples who voluntarily became the part of the Russian state at the beginning of the 17th century. The entry of the Kalmyks was a rather complicated historical process and, in our opinion, went through several stages: the entry itself, followed by the period of incorporation into the system of Russian statehood; finally, administrative processes that represent the result and ultimate goal of incorporation. These processes were accompanied by the following trends: the gradual unification of the legal status of the inhabited territorial units, the establishment of a single standard of citizenship and, accordingly, a single management system and the introduction of the Kalmyks into the all-Russian social cultural environment. One of the significant factors of incorporation in the Volga nomadic Kalmyks was the religious policy, which was carried out in two main directions: the establishment of full control over the Lamaist church by the state and the policy of the Kalmyks Christianization. In the 19th century, the main pivotal axis of the administrative vertical relationship was designated - the center and the periphery, which relations in the national regions began to be built first within the framework of bailiffs, and then of guardianship. At the beginning of the 19th century, the issues of agrarian, ethno-confessional and class nature were referred from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the created Ministry of Internal Affairs and were transferred to the Kalmyks administration. After the Ministry of State Property establishment in 1837, the Kalmyk administration was essentially put in dual subordination to both ministries. Under the “Regulations on the management of the Kalmyk people” of 1847, the Kalmyks were left under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of State Property. In the process of implementation of these and subsequent acts, the guardianship system was being improved, which had assumed, along with the provincial organs, the main “burden” of the local government by the national region. The role of representatives of the local administrative system was great: in addition to management activities, they had to implement police supervision, monitor rational land use, control tax collection and fulfillment of duties, etc. In the functioning process of regional administrations and their interaction with central authorities, a large array of manufacturing documentation arose, reflecting the specifics of management activities in the national region and features of local manufacturing organization. The rich office administration complex on the posed question is concentrated in the central and regional archives of the country.

Problem Statement

The history of Kalmyk Buddhism in Russian historiography is reflected in numerous studies of the pre-revolutionary, Soviet and modern periods. The beginning of a comprehensive study of the Kalmyks history and beliefs was laid by scientists of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (Rychkov, 1762; Lepyokhin, 1771; Gmelin, 1777; Pallas, 1809). Many researchers of the 19th century also showed interest in studying the religious life of the Kalmyk people (Nebolsin, 1852; Nefedjev, 1834). A historiographical analysis of pre-revolutionary works on the history of Buddhism in Kalmykia is contained in the works of G. Sh. Dordzhieva (Dordzhieva, 1995; Dordzhieva, 2012) and E. P. Bakaeva (Bakaeva, 2014). In the 1970s Soviet Kalmyk historians have again drawn attention to the history of Kalmyk Buddhism. The first formulation of such a problem as the Lamaist church of Kalmykia in the system of Russian statehood was carried out in an article by L. S. Burchinova (Burchinova, 1977). The article by I. I. Orekhov is devoted to lamaist clergy at the beginning of the 20th century. (Orekhov, 1977). The article by G.O. Avlyaev considers the creation history, administrative system and economic activity of the Kalmyk Khuruls in the 19th century. (Avlyaev, 1977). Fundamental research on Kalmyk Buddhism appeared in the late 1980s – 1990s of the 20th century. (Ubushieva, 1986; Bakaeva, 1994; Nadneeva, 1994; Dordzhieva, 1995). A number of works on the history of Kalmyk Buddhism have been published in the last decade (Bakaeva, 2000; Bakaeva, 2010). The Fund of the Kalmyk People Management in the Kalmyk source study was first studied by L.S. Burchinova, she raised the question of the indicators reliability in the reporting documentation of local authorities in terms of source analysis (Burchinova, 1980). The issues of attracting the Kalmyk clergy to taxation on the basis of 1892 reform are examined in the work of A.N. Komandzhaev, N.P. Matsakova (Komandzhaev & Matsakova, 2011). Thus, the topic under consideration did not become the object of a special study, although its various aspects were reflected in historical and source studies. The significance of religious policy for understanding the features of many processes that took place in the period under review was underestimated by researchers.

Purpose of the Study

This article sets the goal of presenting an overview of the materials of state and subordinate institutions, allowing for the reconstruction implementation of the Russian state religious policy regarding the Lamaist church of Kalmyks in the 19th century. The term “Lamaist church” is used in the article. Adherents of the Tibet-Mongolian form of Buddhism were considered Lamaits, Kalmyks belonged to them in pre-revolutionary Russia, their church was called Lamaist, the same term was also used in office administration documentation.

Research Methods

The study is based on the use of general scientific methods of analysis, synthesis and generalization, as well as the principles of objectivity and historicism. Scientific objectivity involves the consideration of the office administration complex in all its diversity, the comprehensiveness of its analysis, which enables to solve the problem of the completeness and accuracy of office administration documents. In accordance with the principle of historicism, the analysis of sources was carried out in the context of the historical situation of the period under consideration. From the complex of special historical methods, comparative, historical typological and chronological methods are applied. The comparative method made it possible to compare various documents, the historical-typological method was used in the classification of the reviewed documentation, and the sequence of events and changes in the office administration was reviewed owing to the chronological method. Taken together, these methods allowed us to trace the formation of documentary office administration complexes, the nomenclature, types and features of their constituent materials, and on this basis, by comparing sources, to identify the general directions, nature and outcomes of religious policies pursued by the government to determine legal status of Lamaist church in the system of all-Russian statehood. Hermeneutic methods of working with texts were used to identify, select and classify them, their objectivity, internal and external analysis, and source synthesis. (Burchinova, 1977)


The study has showed that the office administration documentation has the greatest informative value on the history of religious policy regarding the Lamaist church of the Kalmyks. Its main array is contained in the Russian and regional archives - the Russian State Historical Archive and the National Archive of the Republic of Kalmykia.

Attention is attracted by the materials of the Fund for the Department of Spiritual Affairs of Foreign Confessions and the Zemsky Department Fund of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the first archive, as well as the Chancellery Fund of the Minister of Agriculture, in which materials of previous institutions of the Ministry of State Property were deposited.

The Department of Spiritual Affairs of Foreign Confessions was joined as a branch to the Ministry of Internal Affairs on February 2, 1832. The Department was in charge of all confessions affairs - Roman Catholic, Greek-Uniate, Protestant, Armenian-Gregorian, Judean, Mohammedan, Lamaist, as well as Old Believers and sectarians, except the Orthodox, which were common in the Russian Empire and the Poland Kingdom. Internal office administration of this department was deposited in the 821fund, reg. 8, dated from 1833 to 1914. The registry includes clerical 8 materials on the history of Jewish, Mohammedan and Lamaist confessions about the construction of mosques and houses of worship, the opening of the religious institutions, about spiritual matters governing bodies, etc.

The Zemsky department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was created for the land device and the peasantry public administration of post-reform Russia. Its predecessor was the Zemsky department of the Central Statistical Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which was organized on March 4, 1858 and existed until July 27, 1861. The Zemsky department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was abolished on December 16, 1917. In 1903, office administration materials were transferred to 1291 Fund “Zemsky Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs”, registry 85 from the Department of State Land Property, which structurally became the part of the 8th office administration. The chronological framework covers the years of 1872-1903. The 8th office administration resolved cases of land organization and land use of the Kyrgyzes, Bashkirs, Kalmyks and other peoples inhabiting Siberia, the Urals and Steppe region, the Jewish colonists of the Yekaterinoslav and Kherson provinces.

The Chancellery of the Minister of State Property was established in 1837 for the production of common affairs that were subject to the direct permission of the minister, requiring the interaction of several departments or beyond the competence of each structural part of the ministry. From 1866 to 1893, the Department of General Affairs was formed, and among a number of its functions was “guardianship over the peoples of certain localities”, including the Kalmyks. After the transformation of the MSP, and then renaming to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Chancellery structure and functions had not changed.

The Council of the Kalmyk administration, the Horde peoples Department of the Astrakhan Chamber of State Property, the Administration of the Kalmyk people were local governments at different times. The most voluminous was the I-9 Fund of the Kalmyk people administration. The activity of the founder, whose name was assigned to the Fund, chronologically goes beyond the period, since the institution itself was organized in 1867 and existed until 1917. However, when organizing this institution, it accumulated the office administration material of its predecessors, as documents of I-9 Fund are contained for the period 1836–1917, in 13 inventories with a total of 6179 cases. The immediate predecessor of this local government was the Horde peoples Department of the Astrakhan Chamber of State Property, created in 1848 and existed until 1866. Office administration materials were included in the I-6 Fund; the volume of the fund was 89 units chr., recorded in one inventory. The Horde peoples Department emerged as a reorganization result of the previously functioning establishment of the Kalmyk Administration Council. The materials of this institution constituted the I-3 Fund of the Astrakhan Kalmyk Administration Council, which chronological framework covers the period from 1836 to 1849. This Fund has 5 registries, in which 373 units chr. are numbered. In order to establish government control over the Kalmyk clergy according to the Regulation of 1834 in 1836, Lamai religious government was organized, which was an independent institution, but was subordinate to the Kalmyk Administration Council. According to the Regulation of 1847, the authority of the Lamai spiritual government was entrusted to the Lama of the Kalmyk people and his Chancellery. The Lamai spiritual government was abolished on October 1, 1848. At present, the materials of these institutions are constituted by the I-42 Fund of NARK, thus consisting of two founders - the Lamai religious government (1836–1848) and the Lama Chancellery of the Kalmyk people (since 1848). The Fund has 54 storage units, which are dated from 1836 to 1898.

The study of the above funds materials in the framework of this study made it possible for the first time to attempt to classify sources for religious situation in Kalmykia in the 19th century. Based on the informative value of sources, it can be divided into three subgroups: organizational and regulatory, accounting and reporting.

The most important group of office administration documentation is organizational and regulatory documentation (charters, rules, obligations, contracts, decisions, resolutions, orders, instructions, circulars, regulations, instructions, mandates, protocols and verbatim records of collegial body meetings, current correspondence). The correspondence of higher authorities with their subordinates is of particular interest, for instance, documents of various structural units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in particular the Department of Spiritual Affairs of Foreign Confessions. The materials of this Fund represent the current correspondence of the Ministry of Internal Affairs with the provincial administration, petitions of gelyungs and noyons on the restoration of closed khuruls, on the laymen admission to the clergy, on exemption from paying a nomad tent fee, etc. In 1291 Fund, the petition of baksha and the heads of the Alexander Khuruls as Nimgir Tseren Ubushiev, Tapki Kyukeev, Jimba Deremchiev and Zodbo Gah Ubushiev dated November 27, 1892 were revealed, addressed to the Minister of State Property. It stated that the Chief Trustee refused to satisfy the petition of the above-mentioned people for exemption from the nomad tent fee of 82 dwellings and 36 tents, part of which belonged to the clergy, which had already been imposed with fee, and part of the tent, which belonged to khuruls, where young children-pupils lived in summer. According to the intercessors, the refusal of Principal Trustee is against the law, firstly, due to its exact content the family and the person were charged with the 6-roubles nomad tent fee; no matter how many nomad tents they had for their convenience, the family and the person would have to pay separately for each nomad tent, forming part of its home, for the bedroom, nursery, prayer, cabinets and others and independently for the kitchen and for all the economic and the merchants, for all their nomad tents ... therefore those spiritual individuals who had the facilities except for houses, nomad tents would have to pay on a par with those who have a house or one nomad tent, that costs 6 roubles. Secondly, according to the content of the same [law], the temple nomad tents, khurulnaya were not charged with nomad tent fee and if it was given as a shelter for young children-pupils in summer, this circumstance is not sufficient to tax those nomad tents; all the more the fathers of these boys had been taxed (RSHA). Based on the approval of the Chief Trustee that mentioned 42 nomad tents supposedly engaged by khurul schools, they actually served “for the residence of non-members of the Kalmyk clergy and arbitrarily khurul pupils created by them”, the Department of General Affairs refused to satisfy the petition (Komandzhaev & Matsakova, 2011).

The process of establishing administrative control over the number of Lamaite clergy and the number of the Khuruls in the Volga nomadic of the Kalmyks was reflected, in particular, in the correspondence of higher authorities with subordinates, for example, between the Kalmyk Administration Council and the created Lamai Spiritual Administration (Lepyokhin, 1881). On October 28, 1836, the Council requested the following information from Lama Namkaev: about the existing rules in the Lamaic religion, regulating the number of clergy in relation to the population; on the number of clergy - gelyungs, getsulys and mandzhiks one khurul; of determining the number of clergy in accordance with the number of khuruls and nomad tents (200 tents are necessary for gelyungs, getsulys and mandzhiks) (NARK). Based on the Lama response 30 from November 1836 the Kalmyks according to the Lamai faith customs and rules did not have clear determination about the amount of people in one khurul and about the amount of gelyungs, getsulys and mandzhiks in one khurul. 200 tents were necessary to identify 50 clerics in one khurul: 25 gelyungs, 10 getsulys, 15 mandzhiks (NARK). The Council asked Lam to provide additional information about the basis for the transfer of clergy from one rank to another: from mandzhiks to getsulys, from getsulys to gelyungs. The Lamai Spiritual Administration, in a letter dated from December 1, 1836, replied that the transition to the spiritual rank of mandzhiks to gelyungs or getsulys took place in the spring, having notified the zaisang, and it was reported to the Lama with his permission. The Lama felt “in the fullness of cognition and dignity of each”. Written acts were not issued. A person who had ordained priesthood was obliged to stay with the khurul, to succeed in the sciences, rejecting sinful deeds (NARK). On December 7, 1836, the Council requested the Lamai Spiritual Administration to notify about the required number according to the Lamaic religion of clerics for both large and small khuruls, whether their unification, reduction of the number were possible, about the required quantitative composition in each ulus of large and small khuruls (NARK).

Such kind of documentation as disposal is an important source in the study of the problem. For instance, in 1849, Lama received an disposal from the Astrakhan Chamber of State Property to submit a report no later than January 10, 1850. The report should have been drawn up according to the previous model. Also forms of statements were attached. There were five of them: 1. The statement of the khuruls and clergy number in the Kalmyk people for 1849; 2. The statement of khurul buildings number; 3. The statement of outstanding cases by the Lama Administration of the Kalmyk people lasted more than 3 years; 4. The statement of affairs and papers movement by the Lama Administration of the Kalmyk people for 1849; 5. The statement of voluntary donations in favor of the khuruls by the Kalmyk people, 1849 (NARK).

The important variety of organizational and regulatory documentation is decisions made by both central and regional government bodies. For example, after a break of more than 30 years on the basis of the “Regulation on the Administration of the Kalmyk People” on November 24, 1834, Jimbe-Gabung Namkaev was elected the Lama of the Kalmyk people. On June 15, 1836, the Russian government approved him for the post of the Chairman of the Lamai Spiritual Administration, which he held until 1847. It should be noted that two candidates were proposed for this position: 1. from the owners of Hosheutovsky Ulus were Serebdzhaba Tyumen and Tseren-Norbo Tyumen, Maloderbetovsky ulus - Dedzhit Zambo Tundutov and Menko-Ochir Tundutov, small landowner of Bolshederbetovsky ulus - Tsoi Arshiev, Jimbe-Gabung Namkaev was proposed by the zaisang of Erketenevsky ulus - Utu Nasun and Zambo, a man with great knowledge, consisted in the rank of baksha for more than 10 years; 2. from Torgoutovsky owner Tseren-Ubashi and the zaisang of the government-owned Bagatsokhurovsky ulus - Sama baksha. The Astrakhan military governor decided to support the candidacy proposed by Tyumen and Tundutov (RSHA). Thus, the last word turned out to be the head of the provincial administration in this issue.

In particular, a number of identified documents allow us to conclude that the decisions taken by the Lamai Spiritual Administration were implemented through the Council, and in case of disagreement or doubt, the issues were considered by the Astrakhan military governor, and he made the final decision. For example, the functions of the Lamai Spiritual Administration included the consideration of cases “about the spouses disagreement, about the indecent actions to spiritual title of the clergy, about the misappropriation of the spiritual title”. So, according to the decision of the Lamaic Spiritual Administration, geljung Zodbo Mengunov was punished with 21 hits by jaktar and left to work in the kitchen for 49 days for beating the Kalmyks of the Yandykovsky ulus of Samtan Mukhurov and Tsorik Termkheev. The Council asked the Lamaic Spiritual Administration to deprive him of his spiritual title. The final decision accepted by the Council is unknown.

Accounting documentation include questionnaires, journals, registers, lists, timesheets, tariffs, balance sheets, and other meeting logs, information about prayer buildings, the number of khuruls , the size of their economy. The result of the above correspondence between the Council of the Kalmyk Administration and the Lamai Spiritual Administration was the introduction of the latter of a new proposal on the new staff of the Kalmyk clergy. According to the staffing timetable presented on December 8, 1836, the Administration recognized the most acceptable division of khuruls into large and small. The division into large and small khuruls, as E.P. Bakaeva noted is a characteristic feature of the Kalmyk church and the consequence of administrative control over it by government institutions (Bakaeva, 1994).

According to this schedule, the big khurul consisted of: 1. Baksha (chief) - 1 person; 2. gebkui (ruler) - 1 person; 3. Gunzud (starting service) - 1 person; 4. Nirva (treasurer or purser) - 1 person; 5. Geik (gebkui assistant) - 1 person; 6. Darga (nirva assistant) - 1 person; 7. Tsavrucha (holy water feeder) –– 1 person; 8. Burkhachi - 1 person; 9. Zama (cook) - 2 people; 10. Servants - 2 people. Playing instruments - on 2 bishkurs (short pipes) - 2 people; on 2 buris (long pipes) - 4 people; on 2 dungs (sink) - 2 people; on 2 ganglins (tibial fife) - 2 people; on 2 khonkhu (bells) - 2 people; on 10 kenkerges (drum) - 10 people; on 2 collets (copper dishes) - 2 people; on 2 selniks (smaller copper dishes ) - 2 people; readers - 10 people. Total number was 50 clerics (NARK).

The structure of the small khurul consisted of: 1. Baksha (chief) - 1 person; 2. gebkui (ruler) - 1 person; 3. Gunzud (starting service) - 1 person; 4. Geik (gebkui assistant) - 1 person; 5. Nirva (treasurer or purser) - 1 person; 6. Burkhachi - 1 person; 7. Tsavrucha (holy water feeder) - 1 person; 8. Zama (cook) - 2 people; 10. Servants - 2 people. Playing instruments - on 2 bishkurs (short pipes) - 2 people; on 2 dungs (sink) - 2 people; on 2 selniks (smaller copper dishes) - 2 people; on 1 kenkerge (drum) - 1 person; on 1 khonkhu (bell) - 1 person; on dengsh - 1 person; readers - 5 people. Total number was 25 clerics (NARK).

3 large and 5 small khuruls were left in Erketenevsky, Bagatsokhurovsky, Yandykovsky, Ikitsokhurovsky, Khoshoutovsky; 3 large and 3 small khuruls were left in Kharakhusovsko-Erdenievsky and Bolshederbetovsky; 3 small khuruls – in Erketenevsky; 9 and 15, respectively in Maloderbetovsky. The total number was 30 large and 46 small khuruls. In this case, 50 clerics were defined in a big khurul (25 gelyungs, 10 getsulys, 15 mandzhiks) and 25 clerics in a small khurul (12 gelyungs, 5 getsulys and 8 mandzhiks). The staff schedule of the Kalmyk clergy was clearly defined by the Lamai Spiritual Administration. For 30 big khuruls, 50 people in each number amounted to 1,500 people, for 46 small khuruls with 25 people in each – 1,150 people, respectively. The total number of the clergy was 2,650 in 1836 (NARK).

Reporting documentation (returns, reviews, reports, summaries, despatches, presentations) is distinguished by a high degree of completeness and accuracy. Reports and notifications about the opening of the Lamai Spiritual Administration are of great interest. For instance, on the basis of 17th paragraph “Regulation on the management of the Kalmyk people” on November 24, 1834, the approved Lama of the Kalmyk people Jimbe Gabung Namkhaev informed the Astrakhan military governor on September 27, 1836 that the staff of the Lamai Spiritual Administration had been elected in the presence of the Chief Kalmyk Trustee and 17 gelyungs having arrived from different uluses. It included gelyungs, the representatives of 4 uluses: from Maloderbetovsky - Lushurbagsha, Bagatsokhurovsky - Tsyuryum Denzen, Khosheutovsky - Tsyuryum Dordzhy, Kharakhusovsky - Gelik (NARK). The collegiate registrar Alexei Efimov Beskharchenko was elected as a secretary (RSHA). Major-General Timiryazev in a reply from October 27, 1836, reported on the approval of the Lamai Spiritual Administration and requested to notify him about the opening time of the Lamai Spiritual Administration, and also suggested that the government staff to be sworn in according to the rites of the Lamaic faith (NARK). Opening notification of the Lamai Spiritual Administration was sent to the Astrakhan governor, the provincial government of Astrakhan (Nefedjev, 1834), Kalmyk Administrative Council, the Zargo court, Iki-khuruls: Maloderbetovsky, Bolshederbetovsky, Ikitsokhurovsky, Bagatsokhurovsky, Yandykovsky, Kharakhusovsky, Erketenevsky, Erdeni Tsagan-Kichikovsky and Khoshoutovsky. Iki-khuruls, in turn, were instructed to bring to the attention of the bug khuruls (NARK). The opening and the first meeting of the presence of the Lamai Spiritual Administration were held on October 28, 1836, on Wednesday, at 11 o'clock, midnight (NARK).

Much attention is drawn to the Lamai Spiritual Administration reports. For instance, on December 31, 1837 the Lamai Spiritual Administration report was presented to the Council of Astrakhan Kalmyk management on the Kalmyk clergy amount: 1302 gelyungs, 530 getsulys, 818 mandzhiks were left at 76 khuruls; the total number was only 2650 people against 5270 in 105 khuruls (NARK). In fact, the number of clerics was reduced by 2 times, and the number of khurul by 1/3, which is the result and measures reflection of the Russian government to reduce the Buddhist clergy.

The consolidated annual report of the Chief Trustee of the Kalmyk people sent to the Astrakhan governor and the reports of the Lama of Kalmyk people provided to the Chief Trustee of the Kalmyk people have significant informative value.

According to the Regulation of 1847 the Lama had to submit an annual report to the Chief Trustee to enter its data into the consolidated annual report of the Ministry of State Property. The Lama report had the name “Summary Report on the Kalmyk Spiritual Administration of the Astrakhan province for such a year” and was usually written on four sheets of a handwritten text, which were filled with beautiful even handwriting on both sides. Qualitative paper and ink were used for the report. A report sheet was divided into two parts: on the left - the text in the “todo bichig” (Kalmyk script “Clear Writing”), on the right - in Russian (Nebolsin, 1852). The Lama of the Kalmyk people accompanied the report with a letter, also written in two languages. The report consisted of two sections. The “Khuruly” section contained a description and data on the number of large and small khuruls for the reporting period. The “Clergy” section included the manning timetable, that is, the number of clergymen and the enumeration of posts. There were statements in the form of a table as applications containing ulus information on the deceased and dropout people among the clergy, as well as quantitative data of the khuruls and clergy (NARK).

Summary reports of the Lama of the Kalmyk people were identified in 1849, 1879 and 1884. The formulary analysis of the consolidated annual report of the Kalmyk Administration showed that the annual report logbook of the Kalmyk Administration Council for 1840 was clearly divided into two parts - a test and a tabular one, containing statistical statements. The external report analysis demonstrated that the descriptive part for 1840 consisted of three sections and the conclusion: “General Orders”, “Trusteeship over the Kalmyks”, “Movement of Affairs”. In turn, each section included paragraphs. The “Trusteeship over the Kalmyks” included one of the sections with religion information, and the tabular part comprised the statement №15 “The statistical data for 1840 by the Kalmyk people management”, which included numerical indexes for the following items: “The number of houses”, “The amount of occupied land”, “Khuruls”, “Income from the people”, “Faith”, “Economic life”, “Mores” (NARK). The logbook changes appeared in connection with the reorganization of the Kalmyk Administration Council into the Horde peoples Department in 1849. They were expressed in the fact that the descriptive section of the report consisted not of three sections, but of three parts: “On the management of state property”, “Trusteeship over the Kalmyks” and “The Administration staff and actions”. Information about religion was included in the second part, “Trusteeship over the Kalmyks”, in Section II, “Measures for Improving Morality,” the paragraph “Religion, Churches and Clergy”. This paragraph was divided into two subparagraphs: a) Orthodox , b) Buddhist, or Lamaic. The second part, tabular statement had the name “Statement of the khuruls and clergy number in the Kalmyk uluses for 1849” (NARK). Most likely, a report logbook and attached statements were developed with the formation of the Lama Chancellery of the Kalmyk people. “A statement about the number of khuruls and clergy in the Kalmyk uluses for 1849” was taken from the Summary Report of the Lama of the Kalmyk people. As a result, the reports of the Horde peoples Department for 1849-1866 are of the same type, as well as the report logbook of the Kalmyk people Administration: only the location of the material and the amount of information have changed, information about religion began to be included in the “Population” section. Subsequently, the content of the “Population” over time was replenished by including the data on khurul students (RSHA).

On the one hand, it can be affirmed that the Lama Summary Report of the Kalmyk people is the most informative and complete in its content, and the information included in the consolidated annual report is generalizing. On the other hand, the consolidated annual reports have been fully preserved, which cannot be said about the Lama Summary Report of the Kalmyk people. Accordingly, the dynamics of the clergy number of uluses (gelyungs, getsulys, mandzhiks, khurul students, etc.) was reflected due to consolidated annual reports of the Kalmyk Administration for each year.


The conducted source study analysis allows us to conclude that the office administration documents of the reviewed RSHA and NARK Funds are diverse both in viewing and content relation. The organizational regulatory, accounting and reporting documentation of the studied Funds gives the opportunity to the researcher to examine the Russian state religious policy regarding the Kalmyk Lamaist church in detail, as well as evaluate the Lamai Spiritual Administration activity and the Lama of the Kalmyk people, determine the legal status of the Lamaist church, management structure and order of the Kalmyks spiritual affairs. (Bakaeva, 2010; Bakaeva, 2014).)

So far, these types of historical sources have not been subjected to a detailed source study analysis: the composition and content have not been analyzed, methods and techniques for working with them have not been developed, and the question of the completeness and representativeness of these sources has not been raised. Thereby, a number of materials from these Funds have been used in the works of some researchers on the history of Kalmykia, religious policy office administration documents, both entirely and separately in groups, have not been specifically studied and special publications on the subject are missing.


The article was prepared within the framework of the research project of FSBEI HE “KalmSU” internal university grant on the theme “Economic traditions of the Kalmyks: historical experience and modernity”


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Okonova, L. V., Amaeva, D. V., & Matsakova, N. P. (2019). Office Administration Materials On Study Of Russian State Religious Policy. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2356-2366). Future Academy.