The eastern branch has taken on the customs, language and religion of Bashkirs, with whom their fusion is still more complete.
With Turkish (the present Bashkirs); the Bulgars, whose origin still remains doubtful, on the middle Volga and Kama; and to the S.E.
(2) The Bashkirs, who inhabit the slopes of the S.
(4) The Meshcheryaks, a tribe of Finnish origin who formerly inhabited the basin of the Oka, and, driven thence during the 15th century by the Russian colonists, immigrated into Ufa and Perm, where they now live among the Baskhirs, having adopted their religion and customs. (5) The Teptyars, also of Finnish origin, settled among the Tatars and Bashkirs in Samara and Vyatka.
The Bashkirs, Meshcheryaks and Teptyars rendered able service to the Russian government against the Khirgiz, and until 1863 they constituted a separate Cossack army.
Provinces of the Volga (Nizhniy-Novgorod, Simbirsk, Samara, Penza and Saratov) the Great Russians prevail, the remainder being chiefly Mordvinians, Tatars, Chuvashes and Bashkirs, Germans in Samara and Saratov, and Little Russians in the last named.
Ural governments (Uralsk, Orenburg, Ufa) the admixture of Turko-Tatars - of Kirghiz in Uralsk, Bashkirs in Orenburg and Ufa, and less important races - becomes considerable.
The Tatars, Bashkirs and Kirghiz are Mahommedans; but the last-named have to a great extent maintained along with Mahommedanism their old Shamanism.
In the case of Kazan and Astrakhan the annexation was effected without any great effort in 1552-54, and two years later the Bashkirs, who had likewise formed part of the great Mongol empire, consented to pay tribute.
The Bashkirs who live between the Kama, Ural and Volga are possibly of Finnish origin, but now speak a Tatar language and have become Mahommedans.