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State secretary, professional administrator.

The dyak (state secretary) spearheaded Muscovy's bureaucratic transformation from the late 1400s into the Petrine era. Moscow professional administrators, seventeenth-century dyaks guaranteed daily chancellery operation, served in the governing tribunals, and supervised the clerks. Dyaks authorized document compilation, verified and signed documents after clerks drafted them, and sometimes wrote up documents.

Technical expertise was the dyak's sine qua non. Talent and experience governed promotion and retention of dyaks. Of appanage slave origin, the dyaks were docile, functionally literate, efficient paperwork organizers, and artificers of chancellery document style and formulae. Less than eight hundred dyaks served in seventeenth-century chancelleries, annually between 1646 and 1686; forty-six (or 6%) of all dyaks achieved Boyar Duma rank. The decrees of 1640 and 1658 formally converted dyaks and clerks into an administrative caste by guaranteeing that only their scions could become professional administrators. Dyaks' sons began as clerks, but father-son dyak lineages were uncommon, as few clerks ever became dyaks.

Almost half of the chancellery dyaks (some Moscow dyaks received no administrative postings) worked in one chancellery. Dyaks worked on average 3.5 years per state chancellery, their average earnings decreasing from one hundred rubles in the 1620s to less than ninety rubles in the 1680s. They could also receive land allotments as pay. In contrast, counselor state secretaries could earn two hundred rubles in the 1620s, and their salaries nearly doubled in the 1680s.

Seventeenth-century dyaks' social position declined, although their technical skills did not. Dyaks served also in provincial administrative offices, and numbered between 33 to 45 percent of their chancellery brethren. Few ever entered capital service.

See also: boyar duma; chancellery system; podyachy


Brown, Peter B. (1978). "Early Modern Russian Bureaucracy: The Evolution of the Chancellery System from Ivan III to Peter the Great, 14781717." Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago.

Plavsic, Borovoi. (1980). "Seventeenth-Century Chanceries and Their Staffs." In Russian Officialdom: The Bureaucratization of Russian Society from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century, eds. Walter McKenzie Pintner and Don Karl Rowney. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Peter B. Brown

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Dyak or Dayak (both: dī´ăk), name applied to one of the groups of indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, numbering about 2 million. The Dyaks have maintained their customs and mode of life largely uninfluenced by modern civilization. The group is generally divided into the Sea Dyaks, or Iban, who inhabit the coastal areas and rivers; the Land Dyaks of SW Borneo; the Bahau of central and E Borneo; and the Ngadju of S Borneo. In Dyak communities, a few enormous longhouses provide dwelling places for a whole village. Each longhouse has a chief. In clearings made in the jungle, rice, yams, sugarcane, and other crops are grown cooperatively by the people of the entire community. Fishing and hunting (with blowguns and poison darts) supplement the food supply. Dyaks have highly complex animistic and shamanistic religious cults. Intertribal warfare has persisted, with headhunting as an important feature. In the second half of the 20th cent, Indonesia encouraged immigration to Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) from other areas of Indonesia, especially Madura. Tensions between the immigrants and the indigenous Dyaks have led to recurrent violence by Dyak tribesmen.

See B. Sandin, The Sea Dayaks of Borneo before White Rajah Rule (1968); D. Freeman, Report on the Iban (2d ed. 1970); R. Pringle, Rajahs and Rebels (1970).

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Dayak: see Dyak.