the elected chief of a Cossack village or military force.
Contemporary Examples

The decision maker turned out to be a gray-haired Cossack ataman, or commander, in a traditional sheepskin hat.
Held at Gunpoint by Ukraine Rebels Anna Nemtsova May 30, 2014

Historical Examples

“ataman” or “hetman” is also the name of the elected elder of the stanitsa, the unit of Cossack administration.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 13, Slice 4 Various

In a moment we found ourselves surrounded by them, while a path in front was stopped by the ataman.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 Various

If he is successful he takes the ataman place, and holds it until some one else dislodges him.
Tramping with Tramps Josiah Flynt

If I had not entered into conversation with the ataman, we should have been riddled with balls at the first movement.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 Various

ataman Semianoff had for some time been kept by the Japanese in reserve for such an occasion.
With the “Die-Hards” in Siberia John Ward

The son of the head man of our village (the ataman), took his place next to him with a harmonica.
Our Little Cossack Cousin F. A. Postnikov

They live there in dirty little cabins and underground caves, a close community with its ataman and common funds.
Tramping with Tramps Josiah Flynt

The title of “ataman” or “hetman of all the Cossacks” is held by the Cesarevitch.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 13, Slice 4 Various

The common saying, “Bear patiently, Cossack; you will one day be ataman!”
Russia Donald Mackenzie Wallace

noun (pl) -mans
an elected leader of the Cossacks; hetman


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