Symbol representing a group of Eurasian nomads / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A tamga or tamgha (from Old Turkic: 𐱃𐰢𐰍𐰀, romanized: tamga, lit. 'stamp, seal'; Turkish: damga; Azerbaijani: damğa; Mongolian: tamga; Adyghe: тамыгъэ, romanized: tamığə; Kabardian: дамыгъэ, romanized: damığə) was an abstract seal or stamp used by Eurasian nomads and by cultures influenced by them. The tamga was normally the emblem of a particular tribe, clan or family. They were common among the Eurasian nomads throughout Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages. As clan and family identifiers, the collection and systematic comparison of tamgas is regarded to provide insights into relations between families, individuals and ethnic groups in the steppe territory.
Similar tamga-like symbols were sometimes adopted by sedentary peoples adjacent to the Pontic–Caspian steppe both in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
It has been speculated that Turkic tamgas represent one of the sources of the Old Turkic script of the 6th–10th centuries, but since the mid-20th century, this hypothesis is widely rejected as being unverifiable.