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REH Lexicon

"His only weapon was a broad curved Cherkess knife in an ivory sheath girdled high on the left hip, kozak fashion."

-A Witch Shall be Born

In numerous of Howard's Conan stories—many of which are oriental adventures projected backward on an ancient fantasy setting—the Kozak figure prominently as Howard's version of the Cossak, which, as you can see from the word origin note below, Howard devolved to reflect and ancestral people of the Cossacks.


[ˈkäsˌak, ˈkäsək]


Cossacks (plural noun)

1. a member of a people of southern Russia and Ukraine, noted for their horsemanship and military skill.

a member of a Cossack military unit.


1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the Cossacks.


late 16th cent.: from Russian kazak from Turkic,‘vagabond, nomad’; later influenced by French Cosaque (see also Kazakh).

The historical Cossacks were famed for harrying Napoleon's beaten army all the way back to Paris and finally fought against the Soviets in WWII, and having retreated into American Occupied territory, were surrendered to the gulag system by the Americans.

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ShepOctober 27, 2017 1:15 AM UTC