What was the life of the Arabs at the Royal court

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Since the second half of the XVII century in the Russian Imperial Palace began to appear, the servants of the Arabs. They were sent as a gift to the Russian monarchs of the Eastern lords, brought from Europe the court nobles. And by the beginning of the next century dark-skinned servants of the exotic an essential attribute of the Royal court. Who were they and how did you feel in the capital of the Russian Empire, the fates migrating from the hot edges in the distant, cold and largely incomprehensible to them country?

Who are the Arap and as they appeared at the Royal court. About Arap

Portrait, some researchers attributed as a portrait of Abram Petrovich Hannibal (great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin). According to other studies this is a portrait of I. I. Meller-Zakomelsky. Artist unknown./Photo: cdn.turkaramamotoru.amarapali in Russia has long been called dark-skinned people, the natives of hot countries, often in Africa. They were known as Negroes and Ethiopians. Handsome, physically fit, foreigners came to the court of Russian rulers. Taking the oath of allegiance to Russia, crossed to the Christian faith (if belonging to any particular faith) and submitting to the Ministry of the Imperial court a petition, Arap could enter into service at the yard.Over time, they created a special position – «the Arabs of the Supreme court.» The privileged position of the Palace Arapov made this position very attractive. Not surprisingly, among savvy Russian has a huge number of people wanting to get to this place. The applicants tried to change the appearance to «black». For this purpose we used a variety of colors, the most popular of which was an ordinary carbon black. Resorted to such tricks, and some nobles. Seeking to emphasize their wealth, but not having enough money to get servants real black, they make up «under the Ethiopians» his servants-the Slavs, owing to what quite often got into funny situations.

How many received «the Arabs of the Supreme court» for faithful service

Peter the great with a black page. German watercolour, circa 1707./Photo: factinate.comtemporary servants attached to the Imperial Palace a unique charm and flavor. So we were determined to Arap on special, preferential terms. Huge sums from the state Treasury was allocated to their shape amazing luxury and glamour. This tradition was started by Peter I, Arapov courtiers dressed up in coats, waistcoats, and red cloth pants with braid. And when Alexander III ceremonial uniforms Arapov was the most expensive of all court servants and was estimated at a few hundred rubles. In the wardrobe of every such servant was casual, output, vajaina, ceremonial and mourning.»The Arabs of the Imperial court» was a privileged caste of employees receiving salary in cash, and quite high. So, at the beginning of the last century wages «older Arab» was 800 rubles a year, «younger» – 600, which was much higher than the salary of the Ministerial officer of the Imperial court. In addition, they relied gifts for Christmas and Easter, a government apartment and a special meal.

What positions trust the Arabs at the Royal court

Initially, the role of black people during the times of emperors and their families was negligible. The kids were amused by empresses and court ladies, adults showed as an exotic accessory of the interior. They were then instructed to open and close the doors of the Palace halls during ceremonies and balls, to be present at the coronation of the highest persons, to wait at table during large receptions in honor of foreign guests to accompany the visiting dignitaries in the office of the monarch, to carry on duty at the door to his quarters.Imputed Arap and very delicate function. For example, according to contemporaries, suffering from problems with intestines to Alexander II, doctors recommended that Smoking a hookah while visiting the toilet. To serve the Emperor in such a secluded area was the responsibility of the audited moor.


A brilliant career, an Arab, Maria – native of the Cape Verde Islands

In 1878, far from a Portuguese colony, located West of the African coast, arrived in Russia Georges Maria. The boy was twenty years old when his homeland – Cape Verde Islands (now Republic of Cape Verde) – abolished slavery. In Russia, George got the place of «Arab Supreme court» and became known as Georgy Nikolaevich. Took Russian citizenship, he served faithfully to the new homeland, as evidenced by numerous awards. Took part in the celebrations on the occasion of the accession to the throne of Alexander III and Nicholas II.George professed Orthodoxy and life partner chose a Russian girl – Ekaterina S. Lapshin. After checking the political reliability of brides Palace police and Gomarsall part received permission to join in marriage. For diligent service and merit George Maria was awarded the title of hereditary honorary citizen. It happened in 1910, when the couple Maria had nine children. After the death of George N. his family left occupied official quarters, and appointed salaries from the funds of the office of His Majesty: 200 rubles annually, a widow, and 200 – allowance for children up to the age of twenty.

As was the fate of the «Arabs of the Supreme court» after the revolution of 1917

Maria Georgy Nikolaevich (now in St. Petersburg live with his descendants in the sixth generation)./Photo:cdni.rbth.samachar of 1917 radically changed the seemingly strong position of court Arapov. Sunk into Oblivion by the Russian Empire, and with it the position of the «Arab Supreme court». Skinned Palace servants had not been subjected to persecution by Soviet authorities, but, having lost its full of pomp, the service was confused, confused and gradually as it melted into the whirl of new life. The memory of these people still remained: one of the ceremonial halls of the Winter Palace is called the Arab.Information on future destiny exotic Ministers remained slightly. About the heirs of George, Maria knows that in 1917 they became citizens of Soviet Russia. Sons Victor, Sergei, Nicholas and George worked at the Leningrad plant. In 1941, they are a weapon in the hands of steel to defend the homeland. Nicholas fought in the marine corps and died at Sinyavino heights. George met the victorious spring, and returned to his hometown. The granddaughter of a native of the Cape Verde Islands Ekaterina Nikolaevna survived the siege, a teenager was awarded the medal «For defense of Leningrad», after the war, received higher education and went to work in the Himiko-pharmaceutical Institute, which then came to her daughter. Today Russia is home to the sixth generation of Maria.

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