KUMYKS, a people of Turkish stock in Caucasia, occupying the Kumyk plateau in north Daghestan and south Terek, and the lands bordering the Caspian. It is supposed that Ptolemy knew them under the name of Kami and Kamaks. Various explorers see in them descendants of the Khazars. A. Vambery supposes that they settled in their present quarters during the flourishing period of the Khazar kingdom in the 8th century. It is certain that some Kabardians also settled later. The Russians built forts in their territory in 1559 and under Peter I. Having long been more civilized than the surrounding Caucasian mountaineers, the Kumyks have always enjoyed some respect among them. The upper terraces of the Kumyk plateau, which the Kumyks occupy, leaving its lower parts to the Nogai Tatars, are very fertile.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)