The history of the name “Chita”
Бобрешова Мария Валерьевна, ученица 10 класса
The city of Chita is an administrative centre of the Zabaikalsky Krai, located at the confluence of the Chita and Ingoda. The place where Chita is situated was inhabited from ancient times. Archeological excavations, the ancient people`s settlements, the workshop in Titovskaya sopka prove this. The ancient “chitinets” lived here since the dawn of humanity.
During the two centuries ethnographers and historians proposing a different point of view have been trying to decipher the word “Chita”. The famous local historian of the XIX century M.A.Zenzinov explained the name of the Chita from orochensky “chita” – “a birch bark mat”. Thus, “Chita” is translated into "birch bark" in Evenki-Russian dictionary.
N.G.Kiriukhin suggested that the original name came from the own name of the Evenki - prince Chita Matuganov. But it is hardly true because in the valley of the river Chita the leader of the orochens moved with his own relatives only in the second half of the XVIII century, whereas the word “Chita” was already long been known. Other historians give an explanation of the name of the Chita as "well", "lake river" or "blue clay". By the way, the word “Chita” is translated into the Italian language means "city".
It is possible that the name originated from the Evenki`s words "chate", "chat", "chatul", which are translated as "black earth", "coal". Among other researchers, ethnographer V.F.Balabanov agrees with this. In his book "In the wilds of the names" he says that in the ancient times the people saw the outlets of coal on the banks of the Chita and found the coalfields under it.
But as the researchers of the region argue for many years, one thing is certain – the river Chita gave the name of the future city.
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