Moscow White Turmani
(Moscovski bela Turmani)

Moscow White Turmani

By K.D. Spurling

The Moscow White Turmani (Moscovski bela Turmani) is an obscure breed of Russian origin even tho it is believed to be the ancestor of the Orlov White Turmani which were created by the Counts Ivan and Alexeis Orlov in the early 19th Century. The tale is told by the old Moscow breeders that the Moscow White Turman originated through the cultivation of over-white Moscow Red Turmani (Moscovski KrasnoPegije Turmani) in and around the vicinity of Moscow, starting with the earliest of Turmani breeders some 600 to 700 years ago.

As is indicated by the name "bela", this Turmani race is always self white. The head is square shaped with rounding edges; the frontal rising like a wall behind the short, blunt downset beak with a fine cere. The eyes are bull in color and surrounded by a pale, double tiered cere. The neck is medium long; thick at its base and tapers neatly towards the head. The back is long; and sweeps into the long tail of 12 to 16 retrices, slightly spread open and dropping off the rump at a precise angle to the floor. The wings are long and are carried below the tail with the tips just touching the ground. The breed is plainheaded and clean legged, its toes thick and substantial as in all Turmani breeds.

A century ago, in the time of the Bojaren, the Moscow Whites were popular with the extensive cult of Turmani breeders within a 100 mile radius of Moscow, but like most Russian breeds of animals, was severely damaged and nearly plunged into extinction by the Bolshevik Revolution that uprooted the Bojaren and destroyed 1000 years of Russian animal breeding.

Today (2000), the breed is rare within even the confines of Moscow proper and is practically unknown elsewhere in the Russian expanse, let alone outside of Russia. The breed's value within the Russian Turmani cult is rivaled only by the very finest specimens of the Moscow Gray Turmans (Serije Turmani), and even mediocre specimens of Moscow Whites will often fetch upwards of $1000 American currency per bird. Top specimens have often sold for as much as $25,000 a pair among Russia's wealthy fanciers.

The breed is not cultivated outside of Russia, let alone known but by the most astute students of the Russian Turmani.

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