The earliest mention
of the Avars in European history at their current location
is from Priscus who declares that in 463 AD. Throughout their
history they maintained their heritage and mixed with the
local ethnic tribes as well.
By 1801, they voluntarily
submitted to Russian authority. Yet the Russian administration
disappointed and embittered freedom-loving highlanders. The
institution of heavy taxation, coupled with the expropriation
of estates and the construction of fortresses, electrified
the Avar population into rise.
The Caucasian War raged until 1864, when the Avarian Khanate
was abolished and the Avarian District was instituted instead.
One portion of the Avars refused to collaborate with Russians
and migrated to Turkey, where their descendants live to this
day. Although the population was decimated through war and
emigration, the Avars retained their position as the dominant
ethnic group in Dagestan during the Soviet period. After World
War II, many Avars left the barren highlands for the fertile
plains closer to the Caspian shore.
The symboles used in the Avar textile and rug weavings are
all derived from the old Avarian symboles carved in stones
and other artworks.