Adyghe people

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization estimates that there are as many as 3.7 million “ethnic Circassians” in the diaspora outside the Circassian republics (meaning that only one in seven “ethnic Circassians” is a speaker of the Circassian language), of whom about 2 million live in the Republic of Turkey, 700,000 in the Russian Federation, about 150,000 in the Middle East, and about 50,000 in western countries (Europe and USA).

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Flag of Adygea.svg
Flag of Adygea
Total population
7-9 million est. worldwide (including Circassian diaspora)[1] other sources state 5.5-8.9 million (90% in the diaspora)[2]
Regions with significant populations
Turkey 140,000 – 2,000,000 [3][1][4][5]
Russia 709,003 [1]
Syria 150,000
Jordan 100,000
Germany 40,000 [6]
Libya 35,000 [7]
Iraq 30,000 [8]
United States 25,000 [1]
Israel 3,595 [6]
Ukraine 1,010 [9]
Bulgaria 573 (1992) [10]
Netherlands 500 [6]
Circassian and the language of the country of birth (e.g. Turkish, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.)
Predominantly Sunni Muslim
Related ethnic groups
Abkhazians (Abaza, Abazin) and Ubykh

The Adyghe or Adygs (Adyghe: Адыгэ or Adǝgă, Arabic: شركس/جركس‎, Jarkas/Sharkas, Persian: چرکس‎, Charkas), also often known as Circassians or Cherkess,[11][12][13] are a North Caucasian ethnic group[14][15][16] who were displaced in the course of the Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the 19th century, especially after the Russian–Circassian War of 1862.

Adyghe people mainly speak Circassian (called Adyghe and it has 12 dialects out of which 4 are mostly used. The Abzakh & Shapsogh dialects in the west, the Bjadogh in the South west (the Black Sea shore), and the Kabardin (Kabartai) in the Center. Predominant religions include Sunni Islam and Russian Orthodox Christianity. There remain about 700,000 speakers of Circassian in Adygea (Adygeans), Karachay–Cherkessia (just Circassians) and Kabardino-Balkaria (Kabards), as well as a number in the Russian Federation outside these republics.

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization estimates that there are as many as 3.7 million “ethnic Circassians” in the diaspora outside the Circassian republics (meaning that only one in seven “ethnic Circassians” is a speaker of the Circassian language), of whom about 2 million live in the Republic of Turkey, 700,000 in the Russian Federation, about 150,000 in the Middle East, and about 50,000 in western countries (Europe and USA).


  • 1 Name
  • 2 History
    • 2.1 Origins
    • 2.2 Mamluk period
    • 2.3 Russian conquest of the Caucasus and the exile of the Adygs
    • 2.4 The Adyghes in the Middle East in modern times
  • 3 Culture
    • 3.1 Religion
    • 3.2 Language
    • 3.3 Adyghe Xabze
    • 3.4 Traditional clothing
    • 3.5 Traditional cuisine
    • 3.6 Traditional Carpets (Khilim) (woven)
  • 4 The twelve Adyghe tribes
  • 5 The Adyghe diaspora
  • 6 Controversy surrounding alleged desecration of Adyghe mass graves
  • 7 Depictions in popular culture
  • 8 Gallery
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links


The Adyghe people call and distinguish themselves from other peoples of the Caucasus by the name Attéghéi or Adyghe.

The usual[clarification needed] etymology presented for the name is Circassian[disambiguation needed] atté “height” to signify a mountaineer or a highlander, and ghéi “sea”, signifying “a people dwelling and inhabiting a mountainous country, a region near the sea coast, or between two seas”.[17][18][19]

A common exonym for the Adyghe is Circassians, a term which occasionally applied to a broader group of peoples in the North Caucasus. The name Circassian is of Italian origin and came from the medieval Genoese merchants and travelers who first gave currency to the name.[20][21][22]

The exonym Cherkess is applied to the Adyghe by the Turkic peoples (principally Kyrgyz,[20] Tatar[23][24][25][26] and Turkish[27]) and the Russians. The name Cherkess was usually explained to mean “Warrior Cutter” or “Soldier Cutter” from the Turkic words: cheri (soldier) and kesmek (to cut), so that Cherkess – a synonym for a soldier cutter. By others, the name is supposed to refer to the predatory habits among Adyghe tribes and Abazin. The Russians gave the collective name of Cherkess to all the mountaineers of Circassia who are divided into many tribes.[28]



Circassian dolmen near the Zhane river

The Adyghe people originate in the North Caucasus region, an area they are belived to have occupied as early as the Stone Age period, with traces of them dating back as far as 8000 BC.[citation needed] In about 4000 BC the Maykop culture existed in the North Caucasus region, which influenced all subsequent cultures in the North Caucasus region as well as other parts of the region which is now southern Russia. Archaeological findings, mainly of dolmens in North-West Caucasus region, indicate the existence of a megalithic culture in the region.[29] The Adyghe kingdom was established in c. 400 BC.[29] After 460 AD news of “Utige” begins to feature in connection to a state established around Phanagoria which grew into Old Great Bulgaria. After the collapse of this state under pressure from the Khazars, it seems the Adyghe people were never politically united, a fact which reduced their influence in the area and their ability to withstand periodic invasions from groups like the Mongols, Avars, Pechenegs, Huns, and Khazars.

Genetically, the Adyghe population has shared ancestry with European, Central as well as South Asian populations.[30]

Mamluk period

Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri, the second last of the Mamluk Sultans, was of Adyghe origin

Most of the Mamluks were originally Adyghe and Turkish slaves who were gathered by the Arab sultans to serve their kingdoms as a military force. Others, however, say that the Mamluks were mostly Cumans and Kipchaks. During the 13th century, the Mamluks seized power in Cairo, and as a result the Mamluk kingdom became the most influential kingdom in the Muslim world. The majority of the leaders of the Mamluk kingdom were of Adyghe origin.

Even after Egypt was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, the Adyghes continued to rule in Egypt until the 18th century.

With the rise of Muhammad Ali Pasha, almost all the senior Mamluks were killed and the remaining Mamluks fled to Sudan.

Today, several thousand Adyghes reside in Egypt and they are the descendants of these Mamluks. Until the rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, the Adyghes were an elite group in the country.

Russian conquest of the Caucasus and the exile of the Adygs

Main article: Ethnic cleansing of Circassians

Map of the expulsion of Circassians to the Ottoman Empire

The Adyghe people converted to Christianity prior to the 5th century.[citation needed] In the 15th century, under the influence of the Tatars of Crimea and Ottoman clerics, the Adygs converted to Islam.[citation needed]

Between the late 18th and early-to-mid-19th centuries the Adyghe people lost their independence as they were slowly conquered by Russia in a series of wars and campaigns. During this period, the Adyghe plight achieved a certain celebrity status in the West, but pledges of assistance were never fulfilled. After the Crimean War, Russia turned her attention to the Caucasus in earnest, starting with the peoples of Chechnya and Dagestan. In 1859, the Russians had finished defeating Imam Shamil in the eastern Caucasus, and turned their attention westward. Eventually, the long lasting Russian–Circassian War ended with the victory for the russians.

 The Adyghe forces, which was finalized with the signing of loyalty oaths by Adyghe leaders on 2 June 1864 (21 May, O.S.).

The Conquest of the Caucasus by the Russian Empire in the 19th century during the Russian-Circassian War, led to the destruction and killing of many Adygs—towards the end of the conflict, the Russian General Yevdokimov was tasked with driving the remaining Circassian inhabitants out of the region, primarily into the Ottoman Empire. This policy was enforced by mobile columns of Russian riflemen and Cossack cavalry.[31][32][33] “In a series of sweeping military campaigns lasting from 1860 to 1864… the northwest Caucasus and the Black Sea coast were virtually emptied of Muslim villagers. Columns of the displaced were marched either to the Kuban [River] plains or toward the coast for transport to the Ottoman Empire… One after another, entire Circassian tribal groups were dispersed, resettled, or killed en masse”[33] This expulsion, along with the actions of the Russian military in acquiring Circassian land,[34] has given rise to a movement among descendants of the expelled ethnicities for international recognition that genocide was perpetrated.[35] In 1840, Karl Friedrich Neumann estimated the Circassian casualties to be around one and a half million.[36] Some sources state that hundreds of thousands of others died during the exodus.[37] Several historians use the term ‘Circassian massacres’[38] for the consequences of Russian actions in the region.[39]

Like other ethnic minorities under Russian rule, the Adygs who remained in the Russian Empire borders were subjected to policies of mass resettlement.

The Ottoman Empire, which ruled most of the area south of Russia considered the Adyghe warriors to be courageous and well-experienced, and as a result encouraged them to settle in various near-border settlements of the Ottoman empire in order to strengthen the empire’s borders.

  • An Adyghe strike on a Russian Military Fort built over a Shapsugian village that aimed to free the Circassian Coast from the occupiers during the Russian-Circassian War, 22 March 1840

  • Conference of Circassian princes in 1839–40

  • Adygs in Caucasus, 1847

  • The mountaineers leave the aul, P. N. Gruzinsky, 1872

The Adyghes in the Middle East in modern times

Adygs from the Adyghe village of Kfar Kama in Israel

The Adyghes who were settled by the Ottomans in various near-border settlements across the empire, ended up living across many different territories in the Middle East who belonged at the time to the Ottoman Empire and which are located nowadays in the following countries:

  • Turkey, the country which contains today the largest adyghe population in the world. The Adygs settled in three main regions in Turkey—the region of Trabzon, located along the shores of the Black Sea, the region near the city of Ankara, the region near the city of Kayseri, and in the western part of the country near the region of Istanbul, this specific region experienced a severe earthquake in 1999. Many Adygs played key roles in the Ottoman army and also participated in the Turkish War of Independence.
  • Syria. Most of the Adygs who immigrated to Syria settled in the Golan Heights. Prior to the Six Day War, the Adygs people were the majority group in the Golan Heights region – their number at that time is estimated at 30,000. The most prominent settlement in the Golan was the town of Quneitra. The total number of Circassians in Syria is estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000.[40] The Syrian Circassians are exploring returning back to Circassia as tensions between the Bashar al-Assad regime and opposition forces escalates. Circassians from different parts of Syria like Damascus have moved back to the Golan Heights, believed to be safer. Some refugees have been reportedly killed by shelling. Circassians have been lobbying the Russian and Israeli governments to help evacuate refugees from Syria. Some visas were issued by Russia. [41]
  • Jordan. The Adygs had a major role in the history of the Kingdom of Jordan.[42][43] They make up around 1% to 2% of the total population. Over the years various Adygs have served in distinguished roles in the kingdom of Jordan. An Adyghe has served before as a prime minister (Sa`id al-Mufti), ministers (commonly at least 1 minister should represent the Circassians in each cabinet), high rank officers, etc., and due to their important role in the history of Jordan it is Adyghe who form the Hashemites Honor guard at the Royal palaces, and they represented Jordan in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2010 joining other Honor guards such as The Airborne Ceremonial Unit.[44][45]
  • Israel. The Adygs initially settled in three places—in Kfar Kama, Rehaniya and in the region of Hadera. Due to a Malaria epidemic, the Adyghe settlement near Hadera was eventually abandoned. Though Sunni Muslim, Adygs are seen as a loyal minority within Israel, who serve in the armed forces.[46][47]


Adyghe society prior to the Russian invasion was highly stratified. While a few tribes in the mountainous regions of Adygeya were fairly egalitarian, most were broken into strict castes. The highest was the caste of the “princes”, followed by a caste of lesser nobility, and then commoners, serfs, and slaves. In the decades before Russian rule, two tribes overthrew their traditional rulers and set up democratic processes, but this social experiment was cut short by the end of Adyghe independence.

The main Adyghe tribes are: Abzekh, Adamey, Bzhedugh, Hakuch, Hatukuay, Kabardey, Kemirgoy, Makhosh, Natekuay, Shapsigh (Shapsugh), Yegerikuay, Besleney. Most Adyghe living in Caucasia are Bzhedugh, Kabarday and Kemirgoy, while the majority in diaspora are Abzekh and Shapsigh (Shapsugh). Standard Adyghe language is based on Kemirgoy dialect.


The mosque of Abu Darwish (Adyghe descendent), one of the oldest mosques in Amman and considered as a major landmark

The ethnic religion of Circassians (Adyghes) was Habze—a philosophical and religious system of personal values and the relationship between an individual to others, to the world around him, and to the Higher Mind. In essence, it represents monotheism with a much-defined system of worshipping One God—the Mighty Tha (Tha, Thashxue). During the time of the settlement of Greek cities/colonies on the coast of the Black Sea there was an intermingling of cultures. Circassian mythology has noticeable aspects from Greek mythology. In return, there is evidence that Greek mythology also borrowed from Circassian legends. In the 6th century, under Byzantine influence, many Adyghes were Christianised, but under the growing influence of the Ottomans, many of them became Muslims. Throughout Circassian history the ethnic religion of Circassians has interacted with Christianity and Islam.

Christianity reached and spread throughout the Caucasus and was first introduced between the 4th century[48] and the 6th century[49] under Greek Byzantine influence and later through the Georgians between the 10th century and the 13th century. During that period, Circassians began to accept Christianity as their national religion, but did not fully adopt Christianity as elements of their ancient indigenous pagan beliefs still survived.

Islam penetrated the northeastern region of the Caucasus, principally Dagestan, as early as the 7th century, but was first introduced to the Circassians between the 16th century and in the middle of the 19th century under the influence of the Crimean Tatars and the Ottoman Turks. It was only after the Russian conquest of the Caucasus when Circassians as well as other peoples of the Caucasus were forced out of their ancestral homeland and settled in different regions of the Ottoman Empire did they begin to fully accept and adopt Islam as their national religion.

The Naqshbandi tariqa of Sufi Islam was also introduced to the Circassians in the late 18th century under the influence of Sheikh Mansur who was the first to preach the Naqshbandi tariqa in the northeastern region of the Caucasus and later through Imam Shamil in the middle of the 19th century.

Today, the majority of Circassians are predominantly Sunni Muslim and adhere to the Hanafi school of thought, or law, the largest and oldest school of Islamic law in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam.


Main article: Adyghe language

Today most Adyghe speak Russian, English, Turkish, Arabic, French, German, and/or the original Adyghe language.

The majority of the Circassian people speak the Adyghe language, when the Kabarday tribe speaks the Adyghe language in the Kabardian dialect. The language has a number of dialects spoken by the different Circassian tribes and the pronunciation of words is slightly different in each place in the world. The Adyghe language belongs to the family of Northwest Caucasian languages. It is spoken among all the Circassian communities around the world, with c. 125,000 speakers who live in the Russian Federation, some of whom live in the Republic of Adygea where the Adyghe language is defined as the official language. The world’s largest Adyghe-speaking community is the Circassian community in Turkey—it has c. 150,000 Adyghe speakers.

Adyghe Xabze

Adyghe Xabze (Adyghe: Адыгэ Хабзэ) is the epitome of Circassian culture and tradition. It is their code of honour and is based on mutual respect and above all requires responsibility, discipline and self-control. Adyghe Xabze functions as the Circassian unwritten law yet was highly regulated and adhered to in the past. The Code requires that all Circassians are taught courage, reliability and generosity. Greed, desire for possessions, wealth and ostentation are considered disgraceful (“Yemiku”) by the Xabze code. In accordance with Xabze, hospitality was and is particularly pronounced among the Circassians. A guest is not only a guest of the host family, but equally a guest of the whole village and clan. Even enemies are regarded as guests if they enter the home and being hospitable to them as one would with any other guest is a sacred duty.

Circassians consider the host to be like a slave to the guest in that the host is expected to tend to the guest’s every need and want. A guest must never be permitted to labour in any way, this is considered a major disgrace on the host.

Every Circassian arises when someone enters the room, providing a place for the person entering and allowing the newcomer to speak before everyone else during the conversation. In the presence of elders and women respectful conversation and conduct is essential. Disputes are stopped in the presence of women and domestic disputes are never continued in the presence of guests. A woman can request disputing families to reconcile and they must comply with her request. A key figure in Circassian culture is the person known as the “T’hamade” (Adyghe: Тхьэмадэ- Тхьэматэ), who is often an elder but also the person who carries the responsibility for functions like weddings or circumcision parties. This person must always comply with all the rules of Xabze in all areas of his life.

Circassian Xabze is well known amongst their neighboring communities.

Traditional clothing

Traditional Adyghe clothing

The Adyghe traditional clothing (Adyghe: Адыгэ Щыгъыныхэр) refers to the historical clothing worn by the Adyghe people. The traditional female clothing (Adyghe: Бзылъфыгъэ Шъуашэр) was very diverse and highly decorated and mainly depends on the region, class of family, occasions, and tribes. The traditional female costume is composed of a dress (Adyghe: Джанэр), coat (Adyghe: Сае), shirt, pant (Adyghe: Джэнэк1акор ), vest (Adyghe: К1эк1), lamb leather bra (Adyghe: Шъохътан), a variety of hats (Adyghe: Пэ1охэр), shoes, and belts (Adyghe: Бгырыпхыхэр). Holiday dresses are made of expensive fabrics such as silk and velvet. The traditional colors of females clothing rarely includes blue, green or bright-colored tones, instead mostly white, red, black and brown shades wear.

The traditional male costume (Adyghe: Адыгэ хъулъфыгъэ шъуашэр) includes a coat with wide sleeves, shirt, pants, a dagger, sword, and a variety of hats and shoes. Traditionally, young men in the warriors times wore coat with short sleeves—in order to feel more comfortable in combats. Different colors of clothing for males were strictly used to distinguish between different social classes, for example white is usually worn by princes, red by nobles, gray, brown, and black by peasants (blue, green and the other colors were rarely worn). A compulsory item in the traditional male costume is a dagger and a sword. The traditional Adyghean sword is called Shashka. It is a special kind of sabre; a very sharp, single-edged, single-handed, and guardless sword. Although the sword is used by most of Russian and Ukrainian Cossacks, the typically Adyghean form of the sabre is longer than the Cossack type, and in fact the word Shashka came from the Adyghe word “Sashkhwa” (Adyghe: Сашьхъуэ) which means “long knife”.

Traditional cuisine

Circassian Traditional house and traditional cuisine

Haliva (хьэлжъо), one of the prominent traditional Adyghe snacks

The Adyghe Cuisine is rich with different type dishes,[50][51] in the summer, the traditional dishes consumed by the Adyghe people were mainly dairy products and vegetable dishes. In the winter and spring it was mainly flour and meat dishes. An example of the latter is known as ficcin.

The Circassian cheese considered one of the famous type of Cheeses in the North Caucasus and world wide.

A popular traditional dish is chicken or turkey with sauce, seasoned with crushed garlic and red pepper. Mutton and beef are served boiled, usually with a seasoning of sour milk with crushed garlic and salt.

Variants of pasta are found. A type of ravioli may be encountered, which is filled with potato or beef.

On holidays the Adyghe people traditionally make Haliva (Adyghe: хьэлжъо) (fried triangular pasties with mainly Circassian cheese or potato), from toasted millet or wheat flour in syrup, baked cakes and pies.

In the Levant there is a famous Circassian dish which called Tajen Alsharkaseiah.[52]

Traditional Carpets (Khilim) (woven)

A Circassian Sipahi in the Ottoman Army.

The Adyghes were famous in making carpets (Adyghe: П1уаблэхэр) or rugs worldwide for thousands of years, and they made most of their carpets from pampas grass Cortaderia selloana (Adyghe: 1ут1эн, Arabic: نبات الحلفا‎) like other Caucasian nations.

Making carpets was very hard work in which collecting raw materials is restricted to a specific period of time within the year. The raw materials were dried, and based on the intended colors, different methods of drying were applied. For example, when dried in the shade, its color changed to a beautiful light gold color. If it were dried in direct sun light then it would have a silver color, and if they wanted to have a dark color for the carpets, the raw materials were put in a pool of water and covered by poplar leaves (Adyghe: Ек1эпц1э, Arabic: شجر الحور‎).

The carpets were adorned with images of birds, beloved animals (horses), and plants, and the image of the sun was widely used.

The carpets were used for different reasons due to their characteristic resistance to humidity and cold, and in retaining heat. Also, there was a tradition in Circassian homes to have two carpets hanging in the guest room, one used to hang over rifles (Adyghe: Шхончымрэ) and pistols (Adyghe: Къэлаеымрэ), and the other used to hang over musical instruments.

The carpets were used to pray upon, and it was necessary for every Circassian girl to make three carpets before marriage; a big carpet, a small carpet, and the last for praying as a Prayer rug. These carpets would give the grooms an impression as to the success of their brides in their homes after marriage.[53]

The twelve Adyghe tribes

The twelve stars present the twelve Adyghe tribes. The flag was designer by David Urquhart.

The main Adyghe tribes are:

  • Abdzakh (Adyghe: Абдзах)
  • Baslaney (Adyghe: Бэслэней)
  • Bzhedug (Adyghe: Бжъэдыгъу)
  • Yegeruqay (Adyghe: Еджэркъуай)
  • Zhaney (Adyghe: Жанэ)
  • Kabardai (Adyghe: Къэбэрдэй)
  • Mamkhegh (Adyghe: Мамхыгъ)
  • Natukhai (Adyghe: Нэтыхъуай, Нэтыхъуадж)
  • Temirgoy (Adyghe: Кlэмгуй)
  • Ubykh (Adyghe: Убых)-Extinct Lang.
  • Shapsogh (Adyghe: Шапсыгъ)
  • Hatukai (Adyghe: Хьатыкъуай)

Other Adyghe tribes :

  • Adamiy (Adyghe: Адэмый)
  • Mequash (Adyghe: Мыхъош)
  • Hakuts (Adyghe: ХьакӀуцу)

The Adyghe diaspora

Main articles: Circassian diaspora, Circassians in Turkey, and Circassians in Israel

Adyghe horsemanship in Transjordan, April 1921

Adyghe have lived outside the Caucasus region since the Middle Ages. They were particularly well represented in the Mamluks of Turkey and Egypt. In fact, the Burji dynasty which ruled Egypt from 1382 to 1517 was founded by Adyghe Mamluks.

Much of Adyghe culture was disrupted after their conquest by Russia in 1864. This led to a diaspora of the peoples of the northwest Caucasus, known as Muhajirism, mostly to various parts of the Ottoman Empire. And it was depicted in the Circassian Folklore (know to Circassians as Ghebzah) with the name (istambelak’kwa).

The largest Adyghe diaspora community today is in Turkey, especially in Samsun, Kahramanmaraş, Kayseri, Bandırma and Düzce.

Significant communities live in Jordan,[54][55] Iraq,[8][54] Syria (in Beer ajam and many other villages),[54] Lebanon,[56] Egypt, Israel (in the villages of Kfar Kama and Rehaniya—for more information see Circassians in Israel),[54] Libya,[57] and Macedonia.[58][dubious – discuss] A number of Adyghe were introduced to Bulgaria in 1864-1865 but most fled after it became separate from the Ottoman Empire in 1878. On May 20, 2011 the Georgian parliament voted in a 95 to 0 declaration that Russia had committed genocide when it engaged in massacres against Circassians in the 19th Century.[59]

A great number of Adyghe people have also immigrated to the United States and settled in Upstate New York, California, and New Jersey.

The small community from Kosovo expatriated to Adygea in 1998.

Out of 1,010 Adyghe people living in Ukraine (473 Kabardins, 338 Adygeis and 199 Cherkesses – after the existing Soviet division of Adyghe people into 3 groups) only 181 (17,9 %) declared fluency in the native language. 96 (9,5 %) declared Ukrainian as native language and 697 (69 %) marked “other language” as their native and most likely the latter is Russian, though none openly declared it.[60]. The major Adyghe community in Ukraine is in Odessa.

The total number of Adyghe people worldwide is estimated at 6 million.

Controversy surrounding alleged desecration of Adyghe mass graves

[icon] This section requires expansion. (August 2011)
Main articles: 2014 Winter Olympics#Circassians and 2014 Winter Olympics

The Olympic facilities in Sochi (once the Circassian capital)[2] are being built in areas that are claimed to contain mass graves of Adyghe who were killed during ethnic cleansing by Russia in military campaigns lasting from 1860 to 1864.[citation needed]

Adyghe organizations in Russia and the Adyghe diaspora around the world have requested that the construction at the site would stop and that the Olympics games would not be held at the site of the Adyghe genocide to prevent the desecration of the Adyghe graves.[citation needed] According to Iyad Youghar, who heads the lobby group International Circassian Council: “we want the athletes to know that if they compete here they will be skiing on the bones of our relatives.”[2]

Depictions in popular culture

[icon] This section requires expansion. (August 2011)

Over the years, Adyghes have been featured in various popular books and films:

  • The 1962 Academy Award-winning British film Lawrence of Arabia included a scene in which the British title character (Peter O’Toole) is captured by Turkish officers at the city of Daraa. His blue eyes and fair skin are remarked upon, leading to the question “Are you Circassian?”, to which he replies “Yes, effendi”.[61]
  • In the 1840 Russian novel “A Hero of Our Time” the narrator tells the story of a beautiful Adyghe princess named ‘Bela’, whom a character abducts from her family.
  • In “Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar” the author who was the Princess of Zanzibar was half Circassian and half Arab, narrates about the many Circassian Secondary Wives of the Sultan of Zanzibar.
  • In a 2005 episode of the BBC drama Spooks lead character Adam Carter pretends to be a Circassian from Aleppo in order to infiltrate a people-smuggling route.
  • The 2010 Jordanian film Cherkess, which takes place in 1900, depicts a unique encounter between the local Bedouin tribes and the Adyghe immigrants, in the region known today as Jordan, during the period in which this region was under Ottoman rule.[62]
  • Sarema is the Circassian heroine and title character in the 1897 opera of that name by the Austrian composer Alexander Zemlinsky (1871–1942).


  • A group of Adyghe children in traditional clothes

  • A Painting from 1830 of an Adyghe warrior

  • Adyghe traditional dagger dance

  • Circassianmen.jpg

    Adyghe warriors

  • Circassianwoman.jpg

    Adyghe woman

  • Adyghes in the French mandate legion in Syria

  • A Painting from 1843 of an Adyghe warrior by Sir William Allan

  • An Adyghe warrior

  • Adyghe traditional dance group from the Caucasus region performing in Kfar Kama, Israel

  • The fall of Damascus to the Allies, late June 1941. A car carrying the Free French commanders, General Georges Catroux and Major-General Paul Louis Le Gentilhomme, enters the city. They are escorted by Vichy French Circassian cavalry (Gardes Tcherkess).

See also

  • Nart saga
  • Circassian beauties
  • Circassian nationalism
  • Circassian music
  • Adyghe Autonomous Oblast
  • Deportation of Circassians
  • Ethnic Cleansing of Circassians


  1. ^ a b c d Circassia, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
  2. ^ a b c “Circassians: Home thoughts from abroad: Circassians mourn the past—and organise for the future”, The Economist, dated 26 May 2012.
  3. ^ KONDA Research and Consultancy: Identity Groups Used in the Survey: Circassian 0.19%. The same calculation reveals that … the number of those of Caucassian origin may be (Circassian 0.19%, Georgian 0.08% and Chechnian 0.004%) 210,000.
  4. ^ “Türkiyedeki Kürtlerin Sayısı!” (in Turkish). Milliyet. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  5. ^ [ “Circassian Diaspora in Turkey: Stereotypes, Prejudices and Ethnic Relations”] (in English).
  6. ^ a b c Zhemukhov, Sufian, Circassian World: Responses to the New Challenges
  7. ^ Via Jamestown Foundation
  8. ^ a b Adyghe by country
  9. ^ &n_page=1 All Ukrainian Census 2001
  10. ^ Prepared by Antoniy Galabov National Report Bulgaria p. 20. Council of Europe
  11. ^ Gammer, Mos%u030Ce (2004), The Caspian Region: a Re-emerging Region, London: Routledge, p. 67
  12. ^ Hogeweg, Lotte (2009), Cross-linguistic Semantics of Tense, Aspect and Modality, Amsterdam: J Benjamins, p. 55
  13. ^ Lamb, Sydney M; E Douglas, Mitchell (1991), Sprung from Some Common Source: Investigations into the Prehistory of Languages, Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, p. 237
  14. ^ Adams, Charles J; Hallaq, Wael B; Little, Donald P (1991), Islamic Studies Presented to Charles J Adams, Leiden: Brill, p. 194
  15. ^ One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups, Questia Online Library, 25 August 2010, p. 12
  16. ^ Pendergast, Sara; Pendergast, Tom (2002), Worldmark Encyclopedia of National Economies, Detroit: Gale, p. 241
  17. ^ Spencer, Edmund, Travels in the Western Caucasus, including a Tour through Imeritia, Mingrelia, Turkey, Moldavia, Galicia, Silesia, and Moravia in 1836. London: H. Colburn, 1838, p. 6
  18. ^ Loewe, Louis. A Dictionary of the Circassian Language: in Two Parts: English-Circassian-Turkish, and Circassian-English-Turkish. London: Bell, 1854, p. 5
  19. ^ The Home Friend: a Weekly Miscellany of Amusement and Instruction. London: Printed for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1854. Pp. 314
  20. ^ a b Latham, R. G. Descriptive Ethnology. London: J. Van Voorst, 1859. Pp. 50
  21. ^ Latham, R. G. Elements of Comparative Philology. London: Walton and Maberly, 1862. Pp. 279
  22. ^ Latham, R. G. The Nationalities of Europe: Vol. 1-2. London, 1863. Pp. 307
  23. ^ Klaproth, Julius Von, Frederic Shoberl (translator). Travels in the Caucasus and Georgia: Performed in the Years 1807 and 1808, by Command of the Russian Government. London: Printed for Henry Colburn, and Sold by G. Goldie, Edinburgh, and J. Cumming, Dublin, 1814. Pp. 310
  24. ^ The British Review, and London Critical Journal. Vol. 6. London: Thoemmes, 1815. Pp. 469
  25. ^ Taitbout, De Marigny. Three Voyages in the Black Sea to the Coast of Circassia. London, 1837. Pp. 5-6
  26. ^ Charnock, Richard Stephen. Local Etymology; a Derivative Dictionary of Geographical Names. London: Houlston and Wright, 1859. Pp 69
  27. ^ Guthrie, William, James Ferguson, and John Knox. A New Geographical, Historical and Commercial Grammar and Present State of the Several Kingdoms of the World … Philadelphia: Johnson & Warner, 1815. Pp. 549
  28. ^ Golovin, Ivan. The Caucasus. London, 1854. Pp. 81
  29. ^ a b “המרכז למורשת הצ’רקסית בכפר קמא”. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  30. ^ Li,, Jun; Devin M. Absher, Hua Tang, Audrey M. Southwick, Amanda M. Casto, Sohini Ramachandran, Howard M. Cann, Gregory S. Barsh, Marcus Feldman, Luigi L. Cavalli-Sforza, Richard M. Myers (2008), “Worldwide Human Relationships Inferred from Genome-Wide Patterns of Variation”, Science 319 (5866): 1100–1104, Bibcode 2008Sci…319.1100L, doi:10.1126/science.1153717, PMID 18292342.
  31. ^ Levene 2005:297
  32. ^ Richmond, “4”
  33. ^ a b King 2008:94–6.
  34. ^ Shenfield, Stephen D. 1999. The Circassians: a forgotten genocide?. In Levene, Mark and Penny Roberts, eds., The massacre in history. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books. Series: War and Genocide; 1. 149–62.
  35. ^ UNPO 2006.
  36. ^ Neumann 1840
  37. ^ Shenfield 1999
  38. ^ Levene 2005:299
  39. ^ Levene 2005:302
  40. ^ Long Lost Brethren
  41. ^ [1]
  42. ^ Via Youtube (Jordanian Television)
  43. ^ Via Jordan News Agency (PETRA)
  44. ^ “Jordan at the Tattoo | Edinburgh Military Tattoo”. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  45. ^ Via EchoesfromJordan Website
  46. ^ “Caucasus Foundation”. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  47. ^ “Israel’s Ethnic Communities”. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  48. ^ The Penny Magazine. London: Charles Knight, 1838. p. 138
  49. ^ Minahan, James. One Europe, Many Nations: a Historical Dictionary of European National Groups. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000. p. 354
  50. ^ Circassian Cousine by YouTube
  51. ^ (English Language)
  52. ^ Via Youtube (Arabic Language)
  53. ^ “Адыгэ 1оры1уатэм ухэзгъэгъозэн тхылъ “, Ехъул1э Ат1ыф ,Нахэхэр (129-132) ,гощын (1), Адыгэ ш1уш1э Хасэ, Йордания ,2009. (Arabic Language)”
  54. ^ a b c d Significant numbers of Adyghe speakers reside in Turkey, Jordan
  55. ^ His Majesty King Abullah II and the Circassians ,Via YouTube
  56. ^ Circassians in Diaspora(Lebanon) via Youtube
  57. ^ Al-Gaddafi speech about the Circassians- Via YouTube
  58. ^ Adyghe – ethnologue
  59. ^ Ellen Barry, “Georgia Says Russia Committed Genocide in 19th Century” New York Times, May 20, 2011
  60. ^ &n_page=1 All Ukrainian Census 2001
  61. ^ Via YouTube
  62. ^
  • Journal of a residence in Circassia during the years 1837, 1838, and 1839 – Bell, James Stanislaus (English)
  • Amjad Jaimoukha, The Circassians: A Handbook, New York: Palgrave, 2001; London: Routledge Curzon, 2001. ISBN 978-0-312-23994-7
  • Jaimoukha, Amjad, Circassian Culture and Folklore: Hospitality Traditions, Cuisine, Festivals & Music (Kabardian, Cherkess, Adigean, Shapsugh & Diaspora), Bennett and Bloom, 2010.

Author: aira

Medya Takip, Yazı işleri sorumlusu

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