Our subscriber Itsyal Kudyai, Erzya, wrote a material for the Free Idel-Ural on whether to use the word “Mordovian”.
Many times I came across disputes regarding the word “Mordovian”, which the Moscow authorities called us, Erzya, and also Moksha. Some debaters believe that this is an official ethnonym, while others, including myself, believe that this is an insult to two peoples. Why did it happen? This issue is very deep and interesting. Let’s open the Pandora’s box of Mordvinism.
Let’s talk about historical maps. As we can see, on some maps in the territories of Erzyan Mastor and the Moksha state, the word “Mordva” was written, even if these maps were written in Latin and not in Russian. It happened so because most historians like Jordan made a mistake by creating their own word to unite two peoples different in language and anthropology. They simply took the root “mord”, which according to some sources means “person”, and perhaps came from another word that means “eating people” – most likely this is an Iranian borrowing, which for some reason is applied to us and the Mokshans, thereby having slandered our peoples, because in the folklore there is not and was not a single mention of cannibalism or the brutal murder of anyone other than the enemies who attacked our lands.
We talked about the formation of this word. Now we will talk about why it is an insult. When this word fell into the hands of the Muscovite kingdom, the Muscovites began to use it and promote it to the world, calling it the “official ethnonym”, which is by no means even one iota true. What should we do? If a person calls himself Mordovian, then he first needs to find out who his ancestors were, based on their last names. If the ancestor was an Erzya, then a man is with our blood, and if a Moksha, then he is with Moksha blood. If a person speaks the “Mordovian” language, then find out which words he uses more often – Erzya or Moksha. The Mordovian language group also does not exist, because the languages are too different to belong to the same group. Of course, we have common words, but basically the Mokshas use their own words, and we Erzyans use ours.
Let’s get back to talking about maps. What do we see? There is no Mordva here, but due to some misunderstanding, Erdzyamas and Erdzyans are written. This misunderstanding can most likely be explained by the fact that then people did not know how to write the word correctly.
Unfortunately, I found only one such map (of course, you can gloat over this, but the maps written by Jordan and other ignorant people, with the word “Mordovian”, I think, can be considered fake). But judge for yourself – if this is an official ethnonym, then how did I get an old map where the word “mordva” is not used in general?
So, we discussed the word Mordovian and historical maps. What does the author of this simple article want? He wants this word to not exist in general, since it is defective and harmful for the Erzya and Moksha peoples. When a person considers himself a Mordovian, he denies his being an Erzya or Moksha. He abandons his Ancestors. This word is just a tool for the empire. And as long as many Erzyas and Mokshas call themselves Mordovians, as long as other peoples do the same, the struggle with the empire will be hard and difficult.
But when the Erzyas are able to overcome the propaganda of Mordvinism among themselves, this will destroy Moscow imperialism in their memory.
Let the reader of this article think a hundred times before calling us and the Mokshas the word “Mordovian”.