|Regions with significant populations|
|Russia :||160,000 (1897) ~ 242,600 (1926)|
|Mishar dialect of Tatar, Russian|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Kazan Tatars, Kryashens|
The Mishar Tatars (self definition?, ) are a subgroup of the Volga Tatars of Tatars and the indigenous people of the Mordovia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Chuvashia of Russian Federation, Penza, Ulyanovsk, Orenburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Volgograd, Saratov Oblasts of Russia and immigrant minority of Finland. The majority of Finnish Tatars are Mishar Tatars. The Mishar Tatar dialect is one of the two Volga Tatar dialects.
The origin of the Mishar Tatars remains a point of controversy. Some scientists of the 19th and 20th c., based on equivalency of the Turkic ethnonym Madjar (variants: Majgar, Mojar, Mishar, Mochar) with the Hungarian self-name Magyar, associated them with Hungarian speaking Magyars and came to a conclusion that Turkic-speaking Mishars were formed by a Turkization of those Hungarians who remained in the region after their main part left to the West in the 8th c.
Some contemporary researchers assume that they are descendants of Cuman-Kipchak tribes who mixed with the Burtas in the Middle Oka River area and Meschiora. The origin of Mishar Tatars of Mishar Yurt are Meshchera (Meshcherian), a Mordvinic languages-speaking Moksha Mordvins of Mukhsha Ulus who came under Tatar influence and adopted the language and the Sunni Muslim religion. According to Ercan Alkaya, the Mishars originated from the assimilation of the Burtas, Finno-Ugric, and Magyar tribes of Old Kipchak nation. He opposes to those scholars, who thought that the Mishars were Tatarized Mordva, or that they came from the Meshchyora nation of Finnish origin living on the bank of the river Uka (Oka) long ago.