Tengrism in Hungary

(the article by Yerlan Yespenbetov)

Jó napot kívánok! I am Yerlan Yespenbetov  and the CEO  of the Tengri football club and the www.Tengrism.kz  international web-portal for the study of the history, culture of nomadic peoples and Tengrism.

Since childhood I have been playing football and for as long as I can remember for some reason I have always supported Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Croatia. One day in 1996 after watching a documentary about the Golden Team of Hungary in football (Aranycsapat) I began to study everything related to the history of the Hungarian people. My childhood idols were the Hungarian players Ferenc Puskas, Sandor Kocis, Nandor Hidegkuti, Ferenc Deak  as well as Davor Šuker, Hristo Stoichkov and Gheorghe Haji. Exploring the culture I was very glad when I found out that the Hungarians, Bulgarians, Romanians have Central Asian roots and since then I consider them my tribesmen.At the moment I have only been to Bulgaria but in the near future I am going to visit Budapest and Karcag. Today I would like to publish my article about Tengrism in Hungary. I am also a Tengrian from Kazakhstan and want to learn more about the Tengrism of other peoples. Hope you find it interesting!


Deak Ferenc
Puskas Ferenc
Kocsis Sandor Peter
Hidegkuti Nándor

The Development of the football club

Together with my friend Chingiz I have founded an amateur football team and a school called Ojet  and already in 2021 we renamed it Tengri. Our club represents the Tengrians not only of Kazakhstan but of the whole world! Any Tengrian can come to see us and become part of our team! To do this write to us at kaztengrism@gmail.com


We really hope that someday we will be able to create a strong team like Aranycsapat and possibly win the Champions League  and the players of our team will become world champions. Of course these are just dreams but sometimes miracles happen in this life!

Tengri World Cup

In the near future we plan to hold the annual football tournament Tengri World Cup

The History of Hungary

In ancient times Pannonia (the territory of Hungary) was a province of the Roman Empire later split into the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. Then the entire Pannonian plain was captured by the Turkic tribes of the Huns of Attila who became one of the reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire and the Great Migration of Nations. Later after the collapse of the Hunnic union its peoples became part of the Avar State. After the Avar Khaganate was defeated  these lands entered the sphere of influence of Great Moravia. By the middle of the 5th century the Slavs occupied the territory north of the Danube and in particular were located in the Middle Danube Plain. They penetrated into this territory which was part of ancient Pannonia through early infiltration as part of the barbarian peoples along with the Huns, Goths, Avars, etc. By the 7th century Pannonia was already an area with a predominantly Slavic ethnic group.


(The Hungarian conquest of the homeland)

The ancestors of the Hungarians – the Magyars – are a union of Turkic and Ugric tribes that roamed the Eurasian Steppe (Great Steppe). The defeat from Khazaria contributed to the resettlement of the Magyars in the Dnieper steppes, from where they  as part of the ancient Hungarian confederation of tribes invaded the Middle Danube most likely crushing Great Moravia. This period in the history of Hungary is known as the era of the conquest of the homeland on the Danube covering the second half of the 9th century until 896  when the ancient Hungarian confederation of tribes led by Arpad and Kursan moved from the Northern Black Sea region to the territory of modern Hungary.

In 899 the Magyars defeated the army of King Berengar I of Italy at the Battle of the Brenta River and invaded the northern regions of Italy plundering the environs of the cities of Treviso, Vicenza, Verona, Brescia, Bergamo and Milan. In 901 they again attacked Italy. In 902 they fought with Northern Moravia. Almost every year in the 900s they carried out military raids against the Catholic West and the Byzantine East.

According to modern sources, researchers count 45 (according to Kalman Nagy) or 47 (according to György Sabados) military raids in different parts of Europe. Of these 8 (17.5%) were unsuccessful (901, 913, 933, 943, 948, 951, 955, 970) and 37 ended in success (82.5%).

Having been defeated by the armored knights of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I  the Hungarians stopped their nomadic lifestyle and created their own feudal society in which the aristocratic elite was in power. Numerous tribes living on the territory of modern Hungary including the Kipchaks and Cumans were integrated into Hungarian society as were a large number of Slavic, German and Italian mercenaries who became part of the feudal aristocracy.

By about 1000 Hungary had become a powerful European power successfully resisting German and Byzantine expansion.

the magyars in Kyiv
The Eurasian map. 900 год

The Great Steppe

The Eurasian Steppe (Great Steppe) is a vast steppe region located in the center of the Eurasian continent. It extends from Eastern Europe almost to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The Great Steppe has been inhabited since ancient times by Turkic, Ugric and Mongolian nomadic peoples and contributed to the interaction of these peoples with European ones.

The appearance of magyars

The ancestors of the Magyars were a union of tribes of different origin and therefore their appearance was heterogeneous, from typical Caucasians to representatives of the Turanian race.

The Turanian race is an anthropological term for one of the transitional races between Mongoloids and Caucasoids which developed in the process of their miscegenation.

Distributed mainly in the west of South Siberia and Central Asia, it is especially characteristic of the Kazakhs, Bashkirs, Nogais and Kyrgyz. Turanids are of mixed origin. For such a judgment there are enough anthropological data on ancient eras. The first skulls with signs of mixing of Caucasoids and Mongoloids in the Eurasian steppes are fairly accurately dated to the middle of the 1st millennium BC. e., but basically the formation of the South Siberian racial type fell on the period of the Middle Ages (IV – XV centuries AD) which is associated with the expansion of the Turkic and Mongolian tribes that took place in several stages from the territory of Central Asia and Siberia to the south and west. Starting from this moment it is possible to draw a continuous line of succession to the modern groups of the South Siberian racial type.


the Hungarian language

The Hungarian language (magyar, magyar nyelv from the self-name of the Hungarians – magyarok) is the language of the Hungarians  belonging to the Finno-Ugric family of languages ​​(Uralic languages) within which it together with the Mansi and Khanty languages constitutes the Ugric group.

In Europe its distantly related languages ​​are Finnish and Estonian but until the end of the 19th century  the fact that the Hungarian language belonged to Finno-Ugric was questioned. On the other hand more common roots are found in the languages ​​of the Finno-Ugric peoples living on the territory of Russia – Komi, Mari, Mordovian and Udmurt.

In addition to Hungary the language is spoken in Ukraine (Transcarpathian region), Serbia (Vojvodina), Romania (Transylvania), Slovakia; to a lesser extent – in Croatia, Slovenia and Austria.

During the unification of the Hungarian people the new community used the Ugric lexical base but this language contained a large number of Turkic words and its grammatical structure was mainly Turkic. This mixed Turkic-Ugric community consisted of free people whose way of life was typical of the steppe nomads. Despite the fact that the Magyars have long been Europeans they retain not only their ancestral language but also many customs and characteristics that put them in a special position compared to their neighbors.

the Turkic words in Hungarian

Rise of the Kingdom of Hungary

In 1000  the tribal prince Vaik adopted Catholicism the name Istvan (Stefan) and the title of king. Istvan I (1000-1038) finally turned the Magyar union of tribes into a medieval European kingdom divided the country into committees headed by royal officials – ishpans. He zealously promoted Catholicism suppressed a rebellion in Transylvania introduced a code of laws, abolished slavery, won the war with Poland for Slovakia. His nephew Peter Orseolo (1038-1041, 1044-1046) the son of the Doge of Venice flooded the country with Germans and Italians which caused discontent among most Hungarians. The noble nobleman Shamuel Aba (1041-1044) who relied on pagans and the poorest peasants  rebelled against him and seized the throne  brutally cracking down on representatives of the nobility. However he failed to win the war with the powerful German king Henry III the Black (in 1042-1044). Having been defeated  Shamuel Aba was overthrown and executed.


The Arpads (Hungarian Árpádok, Croatian Arpadovići, Slovak Arpádovci) are a dynasty of princes (since 1000 – kings) of Hungary which ruled from the end of the 9th century to 1301. In the Middle Ages  the dynasty was often referred to as the “House of the Holy Kings”.

Arpad (Hungarian Árpád; 845 - 907) - the ruler of the Hungarians (nagyfeyedel). Founder of the Arpad dynasty.

Arpad was the son of the gyula (voivode) Almos. I believe that most likely they were of Turkic origin. In 889 Árpád inherited his father’s title. Until 904  according to the tradition borrowed by the Hungarians from the Khazars he shared power with the co-ruler Kursan  who bore the title of kendyu.


Arpad led the Hungarians during the raid on the Great Moravian state (892) the war with the Bulgarians on the side of Byzantium (894-896), the campaign in Lombardy at the request of the East Frankish king Arnulf.

Under his leadership, the ancient Hungarian confederation of tribes was resettled to their current territory the so-called “Era of the conquest of the homeland on the Danube” when in 896 the Hungarians  ousted by the Pechenegs  crossed the Carpathians and settled in the Middle Danube. In 900-901 the Hungarians led by Arpad  finally defeated the Blaten principality. After that, Arpad ordered the commander Yukhutum to conquer Transylvania where the Hungarians were supported by the Székelys  the descendants of the Huns.

According to the tradition reflected by Konstantin Porphyrogenitus, Arpad had 4 sons: Tarkapus (Tarkhosh, Tarkchau), Ielakh (Yulee, Elek), Iutotsus (Yutash), Zsolt (Zaltas) and according to other sources also the son of Liyuntik (Levente).

St. Istvan I the Saint (Istvan the Great; also Stephen; Hung. (Szent) I. István, lat. Sanctus Stephanus; c. nagyfejedelem, since 997) and the first king of the Kingdom of Hungary (since 1000/1001) from the Arpad dynasty. For the Christianization of the Hungarians he was canonized as a saint. Revered by Catholics and Orthodox. He finally united the Hungarian tribes under his rule becoming the sole ruler.

The Mongol (turkic) invasion of Hungary

The Mongol Empire or Chinggisid Empire is a union of various tribes mostly of Turkic origin (90%). The very name "Mongol" comes from the Turkic "Mengi el" is an eternal country.

The first invasion was part of the Western campaign of the Mongols (1241-42). Long before the Mongols  occupying the territory of Hungary, the Middle Danube Lowland attracted the attention of various nomadic peoples (Huns, Avars, Hungarians) who wanted to settle in close proximity to European states with a settled population. It was in this region (bypassing the Carpathians through Wallachia or forcing them through various mountain passes) that the main blow of the Mongol troops was directed.


Batu had plans to conquer the Kingdom of Hungary from the very beginning of the western campaign. Even during the campaign of 1236, he sent a message to Bela IV, in which he offered the king to submit and complained that he was forced to send ambassadors to him “for the thirtieth time” and still has not received an answer. In the same letter Batu offered Bela IV to expel from their lands the Polovtsians defeated by the Mongols whom the king shortly before had taken under his protection. Since both of these proposals were also ignored, war with Hungary became inevitable.


The battle took place on April 11 near the Chaio River and ended in a crushing defeat for the troops of Bela IV. As a result, the defeated king of the Hungarians fled under the protection of the Austrian Duke Frederick II, and the entire transdanubian part of the Hungarian kingdom was under the rule of the Mongols. The Mongols appointed a Baskak in Hungary. The minting of coins there began to be carried out on behalf of the great khan. In general, the Mongols established complete control over Hungary although they were unable to take several fortresses. Therefore subsequent kings began the intensive construction of new fortifications.

The Cumans

Kotyan (Hungarian Kötöny - Köten; ? - 1241, Pest) - Polovtsian khan from the Terter dynasty (Terter-oba, Durut), who gave the famous khans Iskal and Bolush, who led the first Cuman (Polovtsian) campaigns against the Russian principalities.

In 1237 (according to other sources – in 1239) Batu Kotyan  defeated by the Mongols, fled with 40 thousand of his fellow tribesmen to Hungary  where King Bela IV graciously accepted him into citizenship and gave them land for settlement. In exchange for granting Kotyan and his people Hungarian citizenship  the Polovtsy  who previously combined Eastern Christianity with the worship of the supreme god Tengri  adopted Catholicism. It is officially known from historical sources that Kotyan was baptized according to the Latin rite in 1239. One of Kotyan’s daughters known as Elizabeth of Cuman was engaged (and subsequently married) to the son of Bela IV who later became Stefan (Istvan) V of Hungary.


However the Hungarian aristocracy mindful of the former changeability of Khan Kotyan  treated the Polovtsy with great distrust. Literally on the eve of the Mongol invasion of Hungary  the conspiring nobles killed Kotyan and his sons in Pest (suspecting most likely unfoundedly  that Kotyan might defect to Batu). After the death of their beloved ruler most of the Polovtsy (Kumans, Kuns) renounced Catholicism and went into citizenship to the Bulgarian Tsar Koloman I. Some of the Polovtsy (including Elizabeth of Kuman) remained in Hungary.

Ladislaus IV of Hungary

IV. (Kun) László
Ladislaus depicted in apparel favored by the Cumans (from the Illuminated Chronicle)

King of Hungary from August 6, 1272 (until 1277 under the regency of his mother Elizabeth of Cuman, then – alone) until his death.

The young king tried to cope with the feudal anarchy that reigned in the country subordinating semi-independent magnates and bishops to the royal power by force of arms. In the war for the unification of Hungary, he tried to win over to his side the Cuman tribes – the Polovtsy, expelled from the steppes of the Northern Black Sea region by the Mongol invasion and settled on the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary. Despite the help of the Polovtsy he lost the war with the magnates.

The Hungarians called the Kuns the steppe nomads – the Polovtsy, who moved to Hungary under the pressure of the Genghisides and were taken into service by King Bela IV. In order to strengthen the alliance with the Polovtsians, Bela married his son Istvan V to a noble Polovtsy. Thus, King Laszlo IV received the nickname Kun due to his origin. His mother’s name was also Erzhebet Kun – “Elizabeth Kumanskaya” or “Polovtsian Elizaveta” (she received the name Elizabeth at baptism, shortly before the wedding). But Laszlo IV also earned his nickname by the fact that he always preferred the society of the Polovtsians to the society of the Magyars.

He preferred smoked horse meat to the delights of French cuisine and was a lover of hunting. At that time, everything Kipchak became fashionable, yurts began to be erected again all over the Hungarian plain. Not just for the origin and love for everything Kipchak, King Laszlo was nicknamed Kun. During the wars for the restoration of the Hungarian state unity, it was the Cumans who formed the core of the royal army, and the king’s personal guard consisted only of the steppes. Such a close rapprochement with the nomads, of course, could not but cause discontent among the Hungarian aristocracy. Sometimes well justified. Here the Kipchaks led the same nomadic way of life. They raided, captured women and expanded their holdings.

The king was declared a pagan, a legate sent by the Pope threatened a crusade, and an ultimatum was delivered to the Kipchaks. The nomads had to accept Christianity. And a few dozen more points – the Kipchaks could become subjects of the barons, they had to serve in the army, lead a settled life and abandon yurts.

“They will comply with all Christian customs, with the exception of shaving the beard, cutting the hair and wearing clothes of their cut, to which customs the venerable father, Mr. legate, for the sake of our urgent requests, agreed with gentle fatherly kindness not to force them to change against their will.” Laszlo IV, Medieval Laws of the Kingdom of Hungary (Decreta regni medievalis Hungariae).

Laszlo Kun was forced to adopt new laws, but he was in no hurry to fulfill the requirements. The most important condition – to change religion – was nevertheless fulfilled, but in its own way. They prayed in Kipchak.

The so-called “Polovtsian Laws” adopted by the assembly demanded that the Polovtsians stop wandering and settle in a reservation specially designated for them.

King Laszlo was forced to agree with the adoption of these laws, but he was in no hurry to put them into practice, realizing that they would lead the country to disaster. Seeing the unwillingness of the king to obey the instructions of the church, in October 1279 the legate Philip imposed an interdict on the king and on the entire Hungarian kingdom. Angry Laszlo gave the legate into the hands of the Polovtsians. In response, the governor of Transylvania, Finta Aba, captured the king. As a result of peace negotiations, both the legate and the king received freedom, and the king demanded that the Polovtsy immediately abandon their nomadic lifestyle. The Polovtsians responded with an uprising and sacking the eastern regions of Hungary. Having turned the former support of the Hungarian throne – the Polovtsians – into rebels, and having destroyed by interdict everything that the king managed to do to restore the Hungarian state, the legate Philip left the country.

Meeting of King Laszlo IV Kun of Hungary and King Rudolf I of Habsburg of Germany after the Battle of the Moravian Field. Copy from a painting by Mor Tan.

King Laszlo was forced to turn against his recent allies, the Cumans, and defeated them in Serbia at Slankemen. Power in the capital Buda was seized by Finta Aba. To overthrow him the king had to make peace with his long-time enemies Kyosegi. In 1281 Laszlo appointed Ivan Kőszegi to the position of nador (royal palatine). Fint managed to defeat and in 1282 Laszlo finally defeated the Polovtsy on the territory of Chongrad county. Part of the Polovtsians left Hungary for the Balkans.


Despite the external victory Laszlo came to the conclusion that his kingdom was dead since nothing could be opposed to the separatism of the powerful magnates. Laszlo left the capital his wife and went to the humbled Polovtsy now really having fully adopted their language and customs. Laszlo felt calm and confident only surrounded by spiritually close nomads next to his Polovtsian concubines – Edua, Kepchech and Mandula. He no longer dealt with state affairs solving exclusively personal problems.


In February 1285 the Tatar army invaded Hungary  led by the temnik Nogai and the Khan of the Golden Horde Tula-Buga. The Mongols ravaged Eastern Hungary and reached Pest. The authority of the king by this time had fallen so much that many Hungarians easily believed the ridiculous rumors that Laszlo himself invited the Mongols to the country …


 Although the king managed to defend Pest, the state fell into complete decline. The son of Rudolf Habsburg, Albrecht I, captured the North-Western counties. In 1286 Laszlo arrested his wife Elisabeth of Anjou and in 1287 he stole his sister Elizabeth from the monastery and married her to the Czech magnate Zawisz from Falkenstein. For this sacrilege the Archbishop of Esztergom Lodomer again excommunicated the king from the church.

Pope Nicholas IV was thinking about organizing a Crusade against Hungary in order to transfer power to Laszlo’s nephew Charles Martell of Anjou. In the summer of 1289, Laszlo tried to make peace with his legal wife and the archbishop. But it didn’t last long. Realizing that the royal power in Hungary had become a fiction  Laszlo returned to the Polovtsy…



The kingdom of Hungary lay in ruins. And one could speak of an unprecedented economic and cultural decline. However it was during the reign of Laszlo Kun that the royal chaplain Shimon Kezai compiled the monumental work Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum (“Acts of the Huns and Hungarians”).


Ironically  King Laszlo fell at the hands of the Polovtsy mentally close to him. On a summer night on July 10, 1290, three noble Polovtsy – Arbots, Tertel and Kemenets – broke into the tent with their people to the sleeping Laszlo and hacked him to death. According to one version it was revenge on the king for the “Polovtsian laws” and the suppression of the Polovtsian uprising; according to another, the Cumans acted as mercenaries, bribed by the Bihar magnate Kopas Borsha.


Tengrism  (Tengrismuz) is an open holistic worldview of the nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples of Eurasia which has developed on the principle of religious ideas and teachings about a single Creator Heaven – Tengri.

Belief in the “eternal blue sky” of Tengri united a huge number of peoples from the Pacific Ocean to Eastern Europe. In addition to the Turks, the Mongolian, Finno-Ugric, and Manchu peoples believed in it. Tengrism also has a direct connection with the beliefs of the ancient Slavs, Germans, Celts, Etruscans and many others.

"Tengrism is a faith without sacred books, without prophets, without temples, without heresies, without the horrors of hell and the delights of paradise. The whole world is our temple and hell and paradise are here on Earth. Tengri bequeathed only to protect nature - the native steppe, forests and mountains, birds and animals and this was in the interests of the nomads themselves. And therefore historians do not know of a single case when nomads would forcibly convert other peoples to Tengrism"

Radik Temirgaliyev

Tengri is the original omniscient omnipotent entity preceding the world, the creator of the Sky-Cosmos – the Universe, everything material and non-material, living and non-living, the source of being.


These are completely 2 different concepts. Shamanism is a part of esoteric knowledge that characterizes the ability to contact spirits or higher powers (this is the ability of a person to make contact with spirits and get what they want or need from them).

Tengrism had a huge impact on the culture, customs and traditions not only of the Hungarians  but also of other Turkic, Mongolian and Ugric peoples. The Path of Tengri is a set of ideas about the world, about life, that exist among all nomadic peoples.

Many customs and rituals that have been passed down from generation to generation and have survived to this day are associated with the ancient beliefs of the nomadic peoples of the Great Steppe. At one time Tengrianism was divided into several occult pagan religions: shamanism, polydoxia, totemism, ancestor worship and animism.

Tengrians of Kazakhstan

Tengrism is based on Tengri – the sky but in a broader sense, embodying everything that exists, being everything and the cause of everything. Tengri is ubiquitous and therefore no specific place (temples, mosques or churches) was required for ceremonies and rituals. To pray to Tengri  it is enough to go out into an open field.

Balbal - a stone pillar usually installed in a chain at the burial mound in the vast territory of Eurasia. In the Turkic Khaganate balbals were installed in front of a stone statue depicting a person's face.
Tengrism was the state religion of many great empires of Eurasia such as: the States of the Sakas, Sarmatians, Uysuns, Kangly, Huns, Avar, Turkic, Turgesh, Kirghiz, Uighur Khaganates, the Bulgarian and Hungarian Khanates and the Empire of Genghis Khan

During the heyday of the Turkic empire, a huge number of states fell under the economic, cultural and military influence of the nomadic peoples of the Great Steppe who lived along the Tengri route. In 1320 the Khan of the Golden Horde Uzbek  declared Islam the state religion. During the reign of Uzbek, the gathering of Russian principalities under the rule of Ivan Kalita began which ultimately led to the withdrawal of the Principality of Moscow (later the Great) and then the whole of Russia  from the citizenship of the khans of the Golden Horde. He executed about 120 people who did not agree to deviate from the laws of Tengri and Genghis Khan (Yasa,Ұly zhasak).

It was from the reign of this khan that the weakening of the influence of the Turks on the world stage began which were greatly depleted by fratricidal civil wars and the subsequent division into small khanates and uluses. Nomadic peoples gradually began to accept Islam. However, the nomadic peoples who lived in Eastern Europe (Bulgarians, Hungarians) and the European part of modern Russia (Chuvash, Tatars, etc.) underwent christianization while other peoples in the territory of present-day China and Mongolia fell under the influence of Buddhism.

Our time

With gaining independence the nomadic peoples began to gradually revive the primordial faith of the Ancestors. More and more scientists began to study the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Great Steppe and now Tengrism has a great chance for a revival.

Residents of many European countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine) with Turkic ancestors began to revive their Asian roots and actively participate in all events and kurultais of the nomadic peoples of the Great Steppe.

Hungarian Tengrism

From the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries throughout the Age of Enlightenment and especially Romanticism the study of the ancient religion of the Hungarians was associated with discussions about their ethnogenesis and the nature of their language. This search for the origins of the Hungarians continued to be productive well into the twentieth century especially as a means of creating a strong national identity. The topic of a national Hungarian religion was also dear to the Hungarian Turanian circles in the 1930s and 1940s who were looking for evidence demonstrating the kinship between the Hungarian and Turkic peoples and in general the origin of these “Turanian” populations in Central Asia.


The Protestant priest Bela Murakosi, writing in 1921, predicted that Turanism with its anti-Western inclinations and infatuation with the Orient  would take a religious direction in an attempt to revive “ancient paganism.” When Hungary was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945 many Turanists emigrated to Western countries and continued to work on their ideas there to re-introduce them in Hungary starting in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


Taltosism is Hungarian shamanism practiced by the Taltos. Hungarian chronicles of the 13th century still report on “wizards” (taltos) who practiced their rites for the benefit of society. Hungarian Taltozism persisted until World War II in the countryside where some people were still considered Taltoz by the locals although they only practiced weather magic.

Contemporary Hungarian religious scholars, above all the academia revolving around Mihaly Hoppal have acquired an important role in the international study of shamanism.

In Hungarian ethnological discourse taltos and shamans in general are presented as those whose socio-religious role is to heal, prophesy and preserve the integrity of cultural traditions connecting the past and present and thus projecting into the future integrating man and society, mankind and gods. According to Hoppal shamanism is portrayed as “a bridge and a symbol because it links the traditions of the past to the present and anchors the traditions of the future.” The tasks of the shaman are “to lead the community, to guard the ethnic consciousness, to be a (sacrificial) priest.”

The name “Taltos” may be related to the verb “talt”, which means “to open wide”; those. they “opened themselves to the world.” More likely, however, is its relationship to Ugric words such as the northern Mansi tūltėn “light” and the Vasyugan Khanty tolten “with magical powers”. Another hypothesis suggests the origin from the Turkic talt “unconscious”.

Yotengrit Egyház

Yotengrit Church ( Yotengrit Egyház ) whose full name is the Church of the Ancient Spirit of the Endless Sea (Tengervégtelen Ős-Szellem Egyháza ) was founded around 2007 by Imre Mate. The organization called him bácsa (“master”) and he emigrated to Germany in 1956 during the revolution against the communist government of the Hungarian People’s Republic. While in Germany he worked as a businessman and poet but returned to Hungary in the 2000s to spend his final years in Bagyogszovat.


He founded the Yotengrit Church as a representative of the ancient Hungarian religion, the so-called “Büyun religion” handed down in the unwritten tradition of the Tudo (“knowers”) people along the Rába River. Mate published a series of nine books called Yotengrit in which he explained theology and linguistic etymology. In recent years the Yotengrit Church has become one of the most influential organizations of the Hungarian Native Faith.


The theology of the Yotengrit Church emphasizes the concept of a primordial God called Yotengrit, Tengrit or Tengri  who represents all deities in their still indivisible state. In Hungarian the related word tenger means “sea” and represents such primordial non-differentiation. The primordial God then manifests as the duality of male and female: Ukko the mother goddess whose forehead is adorned with the moon and who is identified as the Boldogassoni (“Blessed Lady”) of Christianized folk beliefs; and Gonyuz the sun-faced god-father.


During the founding of the church Imre Mate proclaimed the importance of a comprehensive concept of God:


It is very important in this Hungarian religion that God is a very abstract concept; spiritual strength. You can’t just pass him off as someone else; whenever he was passed off as Genoese, Ukko or Boldogassoni, it was always the product of the human imagination.


At the same time the theology emphasizes the Hungarian national god Ma-Tun, the deified hero of a folk tale called Fehérlófia (“Son of the white horse”) who was originally the ancestor of the totem animal. Ma-Tun is identified with the historical figure Maodu, the founder of the first empire of the Huns. The Yotengrit Church is politically neutral but as Mate stated  its teachings can be “a source of reasonable, non-aggression national politics.”

Solyomfi Nagy Zoltan


The drum circle Firebird Taltos (Tűzmadár Táltos Dobkör) was founded in 2006 by Zoltan Nagy Solomfi who was also the executive director of the Jotengryt church when it was registered with the government and he later left the Jotengryt church. The goal of the group is to revive the ancient Hungarian spirituality, transfer it to society in modern forms, help people understand themselves and thus heal the world tree which manifests itself through people.

The theology of the Drum Circle “is based on the ancient Hungarian concept of the world which is One (God), including all things.” Solomphi teaches that there are two worlds: one is the “manifested world” represented by the world tree, and the other is the “unmanifested, formless space” that contains the “general consciousness” of humanity.


The drum circle emphasizes practice over doctrine, including drumming, breathing, and vocal techniques. The purpose of these practices is to expand your consciousness to understand the actions of the One, becoming like the One. The group practices ritual ceremonies of birth, initiation, marriage, death, and the celebrations of the Yearly Circle. The Ancient Spring School (Ősforrás Iskola), affiliated with the church, organizes camps and pilgrimages.

The Taltos who adhere to Turanist theories  sometimes openly declare their affiliation with Tengrism (a Turkic ethnic religion). Not only Zoltan Solomfi but also other Taltozes are usually characterized by the use of the Turkic name Tengri instead of the Hungarian term Isten.


In 2012 a 9-meter Yelet fa (tree of life) was donated by Hungarian indigenous faith groups to the Tengrists of Kazakhstan. In the same year Ojun Adygzi Si-Oglu, a shaman from Tuva was invited to the Hungarian parliament building to perform a ritual dance around the Hungarian crown for the benefit of the Hungarian people.

Mándoky Kongur István

(1944 -1992)

Hungarian scientist, Turkologist, Doctor of Philology, Professor.

Surname and name at birth – Mandoki Istvan in adulthood took the original surname of his family Kongur according to some sources, shortly before his death he changed his name to Atlan.

As a child  he studied the Kazakh language with a Soviet Kazakh soldier. He graduated from the Karcag Agricultural College (according to other sources, a vocational secondary school of agriculture), and in 1968 – the Faculty of Philology (according to other sources, the Faculty of History and Philology) of the University of Budapest where he studied with Professor Gyula Nemeth. After graduating from the university he worked there as an assistant at the department of Turkology.

In 1970, he defended his thesis on the topic “Language Studies of the Dobruja Tatars”. In 1974 he traveled around Mongolia recording various folklore and ethnographic data. In 1976 he visited Almaty in 1980 – Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. In 1981 he defended his doctoral dissertation on the topic “Documentary sources on the language of the Cumans of Hungary”.

Father - Mandoki Kulan Shandor, mother - Karasi Kochkar Yerzhebet, both by origin Kuns (Kypchaks of Hungary). Wife - Mandoki Ongaisha Maksumkyzy - a Kazakh from the Adai clan, son - Atlan Mandoki.

He studied Turkic-speaking ethnic groups in Europe. Participated in expeditions to Anatolia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Mongolia.

The founder of European Kypchak studies. The main scientific interests are Kypchak-Turkic philology, the ancient history of the Magyars, ethnography and ethnic history of the Kuns (Kipchaks of Hungary), Kazakh-Kun parallels of language and ethnography. He has published more than forty scientific articles in Hungarian, German, French, Kazakh and other languages. The main scientific work “Remains of the Kun (Kypchak) language in (in the Magyar vocabulary, written monuments, toponyms) Hungary” (A kun nyelv magyarországi emlékei, 1975).

Polyglot. He spoke more than thirty European languages, except for his native Hungarian, German, French, English, Romanian and practically all Turkic languages. Kazakh mastered in childhood. He translated works of folklore and literature of the Turkic-speaking peoples into Hungarian. He translated B. Momyshuly’s book “Ushkan Uya” (“Our Family”).

He died on August 22, 1992 in Makhachkala, was buried at the Kensai cemetery in Alma-Ata on September 3, 1992
  • For his work on the study of the culture of the Turkic peoples he was awarded the Postumus Prize of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1993).

  • Documentary films “Istvan Konyr Mandoki” (dir. Mirgalym Esyrkepov, scriptwriter Yernar Masalim), Kazakhstan, 2015), “Kypchak Pioneer” (dir. Shomfay Kara David, Hungary, 2017) are dedicated to the scientist

  • School No. 154 and one of the streets in (Alatau and Medeu districts) of Alma-Ata are named after Mandoki.

  • The Kyrgyz Scientific Academy posthumously awarded Mandoki the honorary title of Doctor of Philology.

  • In Budapest in house number 52 along Bela Bartok Street, where the scientist lived, a memorial plaque was installed.

  • At the end of September 2014, an international forum dedicated to the memory of the scientist was held in Astana.

  • The book “Tispen tugan Қonyr baksy – Lonely tree” (author Yernar Masalim) was written about the scientist’s life.

  • A street in Almaty is named after Istvan Konyr.

His wife Onaisha Mandoki has been living in Hungary for about 40 years and has been teaching the Kazakh language to local residents for several decades.

List of Tengrians

Zoltan Solyomfi

Solyomfi Nagi Zoltan

Andras Biro


Interesting fact: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban inspired me to create my own Tengri football club and I would really like to meet him someday!