The Kryz people are one of the ancient ethnic groups that inhabited the north-eastern part of the Republic of Azerbaijan, belonging to the Shahdag peoples.
When we pay attention to the ethnic history of the Kryz people, whose ancestors are Albanians, to their ancient beliefs, family life, customs and traditions, it is noticeable that the history of this ethnic group goes back to ancient times. Kryztsy have their own language, their own customs and culture.
The peoples who are the national ethnic representatives of Azerbaijan, called the Shahdag group, are settled mainly in the northern region of Azerbaijan – in the Guba, Khachmas and Ismailli districts.
The Kryz people who moved from the Guba district founded their villages in Khachmas and called them by their own names, that is, by the name of a chosen, respected person among the people. In the Kryz language, the word village or village is called “oba”. And it is not by chance that in the Khachmas district, most of the villages where the Kryz people live are designated by the word “oba”.
The formation of Kryz villages in the Khachmas district began mainly from the end of the XVIII century. And at the end of the XIX century, the influx of people to the plain increased even more.
The villages (oba) in which the majority of Kryz residents live are Haji Gazma, Hajiahmed oba, Ahmed oba, Haji-Gurban oba, Manchar oba, Sharif oba, Uzun oba, Majid oba, Yatag oba, Tikanli oba, Nagy oba, Hajibdurrahim oba, Sibir oba, Palchig oba, Chinar tala, Molla oba, Agashirin oba, Pirgulu oba, Hajimammad oba, Agaverdi oba, Idris oba, Farzali oba, Najaf oba, Shumagir, Digah oba.
In addition to these villages, the Kryz people live in the cities of Baku and Sumgait, as well as in several villages of the Ismailli and Gabala districts.
Residents of Kryz speak their native language – Kryz. However, the Kryz people who have moved to other villages rarely speak this language. This is the main factor that leads to the loss of the Kryz language.
There are various assumptions about the origin of the word ”Kryz (Qrız)”. For example, the author of the book “Qrız və qrızlılar” Shahmurad Kryzli noted that the word ”Karis”, used in Arabic in the meanings of” brave “and” persistent”, subsequently underwent phonetic changes and is pronounced as”Kryz (Qrız)”.
The author of the book “Qrızlar və qrız dili” Shikhbala Kryzli, taking as a basis the element “Q” in the word Qrız, noted that its meaning is height, elevation, openness, and the component rıts means smoothness, silkiness.
Despite the fact that some customs inherent in the Kryz people are identical with the customs of the Azerbaijanis, they still have some specific features associated with family and household rituals and ritual traditions.
Until the beginning of the XX century, there was a custom in the Crimea to enter into endogamous marriages – marriages with relatives, tribes or a social group. And although such a custom of marriage prevails now, it is not as important as in ancient times.
In Kryz, a wedding, mourning, engagement, etc. other ceremonies are held in their own way. There are such customs as riding a wedding horse, throwing a hammer, wrestling, various tournaments, etc.
Since ancient times, due to the natural and geographical conditions and habitat, the inhabitants of Kryz have been engaged in cattle breeding, mainly sheep breeding. Therefore, more meat and dairy products are used in the kitchen of Kryztsy.
While the horse and bull were used as vehicles. There is even information about the presence of a horse grave in Kryz. The grave of this horse is currently located in the cemetery of the village of Kryz. This horse, which brought its owner to Mecca three times for pilgrimage, was wrapped up and buried by its owner after death.
They also engaged in agriculture and grew cereals such as barley, wheat and rye. The Kryzans called it “sil-sil” because the wheat grains they grew in the mountains were arranged in a row like teeth. And “sil” in kryzk means a tooth.
Carpet and carpet weaving is widely developed here. The most popular types of carpets woven on the Roof are ”Selim Agaj“ and ”Gosha Gollar”. The masters of Kryz were also famous for weaving mafraj, heiba, palace, socks, khurjun and sumag khonchali.
The predominance of animal products in Kryz is obvious in the Kryz cuisine, where meat and dairy products are used much more often. The main dishes are “jurbur”, “jirim”, boiled meat, “birgan”, kumba and other dishes made from dried meat and beans. Beef or lamb is cleaned, salted and dried. Dried meat is stored as a winter preparation and is used during cooking.
The Kryz people, who have lived on an equal footing with the Azerbaijanis for centuries, have always considered themselves an integral part of the unified Azerbaijani people.