This book just went right to the top of my must-read list:
Chencinerâ€™s study of 109 mountain women in Daghestan reveals a vast assemblage of signs, many shared with Turkic people, with Ossetians, with Hungarians and Sarmatians. Crosses, Stars of David and seven-branched trees (transposed into menorah) are seen not as the identity marks of either Judaism or Christianity but as part of an ancient Mesopotamian-derived cornucopia of protective symbolism. In Daghestan, the tattoos were made by elder women on girls, usually at the time of their coming of age….
AND …we can only be grateful for an author who does not tuck his debt to his vital local sources within a sentence or two, in â€œacknowledgementsâ€, but names all 109 mountain women under their nineteen different villages.