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Encyclopedia > Circassians

Circassians is a term derived from the Turkic Cherkess (Çerkes), and is not the self-designation of any people. It has sometimes been applied indiscriminately to all the peoples of the North Caucasus. Most specifically, the term can apply only to the Adyghe people. Today a significant number of "Circassians" live in diaspora, primarily due to the Muhajirism, an exodus of Muslim population from Caucasus since 1863 after the successful Russian invasion of the Caucasus. The Turkic languages constitute a language family of some thirty languages, spoken across a vast area from Eastern Europe to Siberia and Western China with an estimated 140 million native speakers and tens of millions of second-language speakers. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... The Adyghe or Adygs are a people of the northwest Caucasus region, principally inhabiting Adygeya (23 %) (now a constituent republic of the Russian Federation) and Karachay-Cherkessia (11 %) (where they are named as Cherkes). Shapsug National District, an autonomous district founded for Shapsigh (or Shapsugh) tribe living on the Black... The term: diaspora (in Greek, διασπορά – a scattering or sowing of seeds) is used (without capitalization) to refer to any people or ethnic population forced or induced to leave their traditional ethnic homelands; being dispersed throughout other parts of the world, and the ensuing developments in their dispersal and culture. ... Muhajirism was the emigration of Muslim indigenous peoples of the Caucasus into the Ottoman Empire and Middle East following the Caucasian War. ... It has been suggested that Pharaoh of the Exodus be merged into this article or section. ... A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Turkish: Müslüman, Persian and Urdu: مسلمان, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of Islam. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar). ... Construction of the Georgian Military Road through disputed territories was a key factor in the eventual Russian success. ...

More commonly it has referred to all the peoples of the Northwest Caucasus:

to the exclusion of the eastern Chechens and the peoples of Dagestan. The Adyghe or Adygs are a people of the northwest Caucasus region, principally inhabiting Adygeya (23 %) (now a constituent republic of the Russian Federation) and Karachay-Cherkessia (11 %) (where they are named as Cherkes). Shapsug National District, an autonomous district founded for Shapsigh (or Shapsugh) tribe living on the Black... Circassia, also known as Cherkessia in Russian, is a region in Caucasia. ... Kabarda, Kabard or Kabarid are simply alternative ways of referring to the Kabar people of the northern Caucasus more commonly known by the plural term Kabardin (or Kebertei as they term themselves). ... The Abkhaz or Abkhazians are a caucasian ethnic group, mainly living in Abkhazia, and distinct from Georgians. ... The Abazins (self-designation: Abaza) are a people who live mostly in Karachay-Cherkessia and Adygeya of Russia. ... The Ubykh people are a group who spoke the Northwest Caucasian Ubykh language, up until 1992. ... // Geography The Chechen people are mainly inhabitants of Chechnya, which is internationally recognized as part of Russia. ... The Republic of Dagestan IPA: (Russian: ), older spelling Daghestan, is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). ...

The term's vagueness stems largely from the fact that the northern Caucasus was a remote and relatively unknown area for Westerners and Turks, who often did not distinguish carefully between similar groups living there.


Circassian diaspora

Middle East

Various communities of Caucasian origin living in the Middle East, notably Jordan and Syria, are known as Circassians, and a suburb of Damascus settled by these people is called Al-Tcharkassiyya. Modern Amman was reborn after Circassians settled there in 1878. Other important Jordanian towns re-established by Circassians in 1878 were Jerash and Wadi Seer. A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Damascus at sunset Damascus ( translit: Also commonly: الشام ash-Shām) is the largest city of Syria and is also the capital. ... For other meanings, see Amman (disambiguation) and Ammann. ... The oval forum and main street of Roman Jerash, with modern Jerash rising behind them Map of the Decapolis showing location of Gerasa (Jerash) Jerash (ancient Antioch-on-the-Chrysorhoas, also known as Gerasa) was a city of the Graceo-Roman Decapolis, its ruins now located in the Gilead region...

During the French Mandate period in Syria, in the 1930s, some Circassians in the mostly Circassian town of Al-Quneitra tried to convince the French authorities to create a Circassian national home for them in the Golan Heights, but failed in their attempt. The objective was to group there large numbers of Circassians already living in Turkey and in various Middle Eastern countries. The French Mandate of Syria was a League of Nations Mandate created after the First World War when the Ottoman Empire was split by the Treaty of Versailles. ... The town of Al-Qunaytirah in September 2001 Quneitra or Al Qunaytirah (Arabic القنيطرة) is a city of southwestern Syria that is now largely abandoned. ... Sites on the Golan in blue are Israeli settlement communities. ...

In Israel, there are also a few thousand Circassians, living mostly in Kfar-Kama (2,000) and Reyhaniye (1,000).[1]. The Circassians in Israel enjoy full civil rights and virtual cultural autonomy (although most of the primary education is conducted in Arabic) and, like the Druzes, something of a status aparte. At their leader's request -- again, like Druz -- male Circassians perform military service, while females do not. Kfar-Kama is located in the Galilee, Israel. ... Druze star The Druze or Druz (also known as Druse; Arabic: derzī or durzī درزي, pl. ...

The Balkans

Circassians (черкези) were introduced to the territory of modern Bulgaria during the Ottoman rule of the country, mostly in 18641865 [2] to serve as bashi-bazouks. They are known to have pillaged many villages in the 19th century and to have taken an active part in the suppression of the Bulgarian uprisings. After 1878, when Bulgaria became a separate state, most Circassians fled from the country to Turkey fearing a Bulgarian retribution. Today only some 1,300 people identify as Circassians in Bulgaria. // Early centuries of Ottoman rule Organisation of Ottoman Bulgaria The Ottomans reorganised the Bulgarian territories as the Beyerlik of Rumili, ruled by a Beylerbey at Sofia. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... A bashi-bazouk (in Turkish başıbozuk, meaning disorganized, leaderless) was an irregular soldier of the Ottoman army. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...

Another small minority of Circassians lived since the late 1880's in Kosovo Polje, which was given mention by Noel Malcolm in his seminal work about that province, but they were repatriated to the Republic of Adygea, in Southern Russia in the late 1990's[3]. Year 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ... Kosovo (Serbian: Косово и Метохија or Kosovo i Metohija, also Космет or Kosmet; Albanian: Kosovë or Kosova) is a province in southern Serbia which has been under United Nations administration since 1999. ... The Republic of Adygea (Russian: ; Adyghe: ) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic) enclaved within Krasnodar Krai. ... 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Around 1600, several emigrants from the Caucasus region, of somewhat noble blood, settled in the then Principality of Moldavia, and became under the name "Cerchez" (pronounced [Cherkez] in Romanian) one of its 72 boyar families. In time they were assimilated into the general population. However one of the last descendants of this family, Mihail Christodulo Cerchez, was a Romanian national hero in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 (Osman Paşa, the Turkish commander of the Pleven garrison, surrendered his sword to him at the end of the siege). One of the main halls of the Cotroceni palace in Bucharest is named "Sala Cerchez" ("Cerchez Hall") in memory of General Cerchez. It has been suggested that Moldavia (historical region) be merged into this article or section. ... A boyar (also spelled bojar) or bolyarin was a member of the highest rank of the feudal Russian, Romanian and Bulgarian aristocracy, second only to the ruling princes, from the tenth through the seventeenth century. ... Combatants Russia, Romania Ottoman Empire The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 had its origins in the Russian goal of gaining access to the Mediterranean Sea and liberating the Orthodox Christian Slavic peoples of the Balkan Peninsula (Bulgarians, Serbians) from the Islamic-ruled Ottoman Empire. ... Photograph of Gazi Osman Pasha, made by Abdullah Frères of Constantinople around 1895. ... Pleven (Bulgarian: Плевен , known as Plevna in English in some historical documents) is the seventh most populated town in Bulgaria. ... Combatants Russia, Romania Ottoman Empire Commanders Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolai Krudener King Carol I of Romania Osman Pasha Strength 100,000 30,000 Casualties 38,000 killed, wounded or captured 40,000 killed, wounded or captured {{{notes}}} Map The Siege of Pleven (or Plevna) during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877... House in Cotroceni neighbourhood. ... Status Capital of Romania Mayor Adriean Videanu, since 2005 Area 228 km² Population (2003) 1,929,615[1] Density 9131. ...

See also

In 1856 The New York Daily Times reported that a consequence of the Russian conquest of the Caucasus was a glut of beautiful Circassian women on the Constantinople slave market, and that this was causing prices of slaves in general to plummet. ...


  1. ^ [1]


  • Shtendel, Uri , The Circassians in Israel, Am Hasefer Tel Aviv, 1973

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Kabardians.Com: Secrets of the Circassian Saddle (683 words)
The Circassian saddle is unique in its construction and deeply thought details which evolved over several hundred years of documented history of horsemanship in Caucasus and probably several thousands year before.
Because most male Kabardians spent significant part of their life in the saddle, travelling thousands of kilometers each month during military operations, the saddles were designed fulfill several basic aims:
A complete set of Circassian tack is around 1500 EUR, a price comparable to a good Western saddle - amount of leather used is also similiar.
The Circassian Beauty Archive (569 words)
She was said to be the daughter of a prince from the mountainous region of the Black Sea--the purported birthplace of the Caucasian race.
As the "purest" type of white person, Circassian women were said to be the most beautiful on earth, prized by Turkish sultans for their harems.
"Circassian Beauties" became a mainstay of dime museums and side shows until the end of the nineteenth century, attracting white audiences fascinated by the "exotic East" and preoccupied by issues of race.
  More results at FactBites »



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