Circassian Bibliography & Library Compiled and edited by

Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert A. S., Panin N. and Dolukhanov, P. M. (eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question, Springer, 2006

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Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert A. S., Panin N. and Dolukhanov, P. M. (eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question, Springer, 2006.

Yaziki mira: Kavkazskie yaziki [Languages of the World: Caucasian Languages], Moscow: Akademia, 1999. [pp 75-155 are devoted to the North Caucasian languages, written by Starostin, Shagirov, Kumakhov, etc]

Yelbeird (Elberdov), F. U. (compiler), ‘Qeberdey Psalhezchxer. Kabardinskie poslovitsi [Kabardian Proverbs]’, in Scientific Transactions of the Kabardian Science and Research Institute [Uchenie zapiski Kabardinskogo NII], vol. 1, 1946, pp 284-97, Nalchik: Kabgosizdat [The Kabardian State Publishing House]. [258 proverbs in both Kabardian and Russian, translated into Russian by Adem Schojents’ik’w]

Yelbeird (Elberdov), X. U., Schojents’k’w A[dem] O. and Yakovlev, N. F. (compilers), ‘Qeberdey Psalhezchxer. Kabardinskie poslovitsi [Kabardian Proverbs]’, in Scientific Transactions of the Kabardian Science and Research Institute [Uchenie zapiski Kabardinskogo NII], vol. 2, 1947, pp 214-36, Nalchik: The Kabardian State Publishing House. [250 proverbs in both Kabardian and Russian]

Yemelianova, G. M., ‘Kinship, Ethnicity and Religion in Post-Communist Societies: Russia’s Autonomous Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya’, in Ethnicities, vol. 5, no. 1, 2005, pp 51-82. Online. Available HTTP: <> (accessed 7 June 2008).

Yevtikh (Yewtix’), A., U nas v Aule [In Our Village], Moscow: Novi Mir, 1953.

Yilmaz, M., ‘Sufîzm û îslamîzma tirk li navbenda asya’, Gelawej Organisation, 15 April 2007. Online. Available HTTP: <> (accessed 15 June 2008). Online. Available HTTP: <> (accessed 15 June 2008).

Young, W. C. and Shami, S., ‘Anthropological Approaches to the Arab Family’, in Journal of Comparative Family Studies, vol. 28, 1997.

Yürükel, S. M. and Høiris, O. (eds), Contrasts and Solutions in the Caucasus, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, forthcoming.

Yusuf, I., In Ancient Phrygia. Thracians, otherwise Circassians, Constantinople, 1921.
Zaborowski, ‘Contribution à l’ethnologie ancienne et moderne du Caucase’, in Archives du muséum d’histoire naturelle de Lyons, t. 10 (4 Série), 19 octobre 1899, pp 585-623.

— ‘Le Caucase et les Caucasiens’, in Revue Anthropologique, vol. 24, no. 4, 1914, pp 121-33.

Zakrutkin, V., Kavkazskie zapiski [Caucasian Notes], Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1954. [Reviewed by B. B. in Caucasian Review, Munich, no. 1, 1955, pp 165-6]

Zamoyski, L., Poland and Circassia, 1763.

Zekokh, U. S., Ocherki po sintaksisu adigeiskogo yazika [Essays on Syntax of Adigean], Maikop, 1987.

Ocherki po morfologii adigeiskogo yazika [Essays on Morphology of Adigean], Maikop, 1991.

Kratki kurs adigeiskoi grammatiki: T. I [Short Course on Adigean Grammar, Vol. 1], Maikop, 1993.

Zhane, A. Yu. and Gordyushov, I. B., Bistree, vishe, silnee [Faster, Higher, Stronger], Maikop, 1991.

Zhemix’we, A. M., Zhemix’we Lhepqim yi Txide [The History of the Zhemix’we (Jaimoukha, Jamoukha, Jamokha) Clan], Nalchik: M. and V. Kotlyarov Publishing House, 2008.

Zhemix’we, W., ‘Duneyisch’em yi Wizesch’ak’we’ [Improver of the New World], in ’Waschhemaxwe, Nalchik, no. 4, 1973, pp 55-8.

Zhemukhov (Zhemix’we), S.[razhudin] N., Vzaimootnosheniya Kabardi i Rossii v nachale XIX v. [Relations Between Kabarda and Russia at the Beginning of the 19th Century], PhD Dissertation

Kabardino-russkaya voina 1810-1812 gg. [The Kabardian-Russian War 1810-1812], Nalchik: Skalar, 2000.

— Политический аспект просвещения адыгов в начале ХIХ века.

Zhemukhov (Zhemix’we), S.[ufyan] N., Mirovozzrenie Khan-Gireia [The Weltanschauung of Khan-Girey], 1997.

Sotsialno-politicheskie i ètno-kulturnie vzglyadi Khan-Gireya [Socio-Political and Ethno-Cultural Views of Khan-Girey], PhD Dissertation, Moscow, 1998.

Psem yi T’asx’ap’e. Taina dushi: Stikhi [Secret of the Soul: Verses], Nalchik: Elbrus Book Press, 1999.

Filosofiya istorii Shori Nogma [Philosophy of the History of Shora Nogmov], Nalchik: Elbrus Book Press, 2007.

Why Young People Turn to Islam in the North Caucasus’, PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security) Eurasia Policy Memo No. 30, August 2008. Online. Available HTTP: <> (accessed 3 October 2008).

Zhemukhov (Zhemix’we), S.[ufyan] N. and Musukaev (Misiqwe), A. I., Istoriya seleniya Kakhun [The History of the Qex’wn Village], Nalchik: El’-Fa, 1998. [One of the settlements in which the Zhemix’we (Jaimoukha, Jamoukha, Jamokha) clan is found in considerable numbers; 249 pages]

Zhilaw, N., Schenghase [Pedagogy], Nalchik: Elbrus Book Press, 1995. [On inculcation of etiquette and manners]

Zhurt, B., АДЭЖЬ ЛЪАПСЭ. Adezch Lhapse [Native Land: Novel], Nalchik: Elbrus Book Press, 1987.

Zichy, E. (de), Voyages au Caucase et en Asie Centrale, Budapest, 1897.

Ziegler, S., ‘Kaukasische Mehrstimmigkeit im Spiegel der deutschsprachigen musikwissenschaftlichen Literatur’, in R. Schumacher (ed.), Von der Vielfalt musikalischer Kultur. Festschrift Josef Kuckertz, 1992 (Wort und Musik ­ Salzburger Akademische Beiträge, Bd. 12): 587­596.

— ‘Frühe Aufnahmen traditioneller Musik aus dem Kaukasus im ehemaligen Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv’, in: Niemöller, K.W. / Pätzold, U. / Kyo-chul, Ch. (Hg.), Lux Oriente ­ Begegnungen der Kulturen in der Musikforschung. Festschrift Robert Günther zum 65. Geburtstag, (Kölner Beiträge zur Musikforschung, Bd. 188), Kassel: 429­440.1995

Zriakhov, N., ‘The Battle of the Russians with the Kabardinians. Or, The Pretty Muslim Woman Who Died at Her Husband’s Grave: A Russian Story [by] Nikolai Zriakhov (1842)’, in J. von Geldern and L. McReynolds, Entertaining Tsarist Russia: Tales, Songs, Plays, Movies, Jokes, Ads, and Images from Russian Urban Life, 1779-1917, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998, pp 83-92.

Županić, N., ‘Les origines des Serbes’, in IIe Session de l’Institut International d’Anthropologie, Paris, 1926, pp 227-9.

— ‘Les Tcherkesses du Kosovo polje en Yougoslavie’, in International Congress of Anthropology and Prehistoric Archæology, Paris, 15th, Part 2, 1931; Actes Paris, 1933a, pp 95-100.

— ‘Etnološki značaj kosovskih Čerkeza’, in Etnolog, Ljubljana, 5-6, 1933b, pp 218-45. [For French summary, see next]

— ‘Le caractère ethnologique des Tscherkesses du Kosovo polje en Yougoslavie’, in Etnolog, Ljubljana, 5-6, 1933, pp 245-53.

Zürrer, W., ‘Deutschland und die Entwicklung Nordkaukasiens im Jahre 1918’, in Jahrbucher für die Geschichte Osteuropas, Neue Folge, vol. 26, 1978.

The Circassians

(also includes an account of the Kabardians)

Capsule Summary
Location: Northwest Caucasus, mainly in three constituent republics of the Russian Federation.

Self-designation: Adiga.

Total population: 2-6 millions (about 1 million in the Caucasus).

Religion: Native religion and beliefs (99%), Orthodox Christianity (1%). Pagan/polytheistic beliefs still prevalent.

The Circassians, together with the kindred Abkhaz-Abaza and the Ubykh, have formed the autochthonous population of the Northwest (NW) Caucasus for thousands of years. The number of Circassians in the Caucasus has gone over the 1 million mark. The majority live in the following republics of the Russian Federation, in each of which they have a different nominal designation: the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (Kabardians, about 600,000, almost 60% of the population of the Republic), the Karachai-Cherkess Republic (Cherkess, about 100,000) and the Republic of Adigea (Adigeans, about 150,000). There are also Circassian communities that exist outside these republics, but inside Russia, including the Shapsugh community of almost 20,000 in the Tuapse and Lazareyvsky regions on the Black Sea coast, and the Christian Kabardian community in Mozdok, which numbers a few thousands. There are also significant Adigean and Kabardian communities in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Krais, respectively. In the Krasnodar Krai there are about 60,000 Adigeans not contained within the borders of Adigea. The Circassians constitute almost 0.8% of the population of the Russian Federation.

There are Circassian diaspora communities in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Germany, the USA, and the Netherlands, but their precise numbers are not known, with estimates ranging between 1 and 5 million people. It is generally accepted that the Circassian community in Turkey is the largest in the world, in some estimates reaching more than four million; however, it is scattered over the whole country, and many of its members have been assimilated.

Circassian is one of the three divisions of the NW group of Caucasian languages, which form a unique group distinct from the other major world language groups, the other two being Abkhaz-Abaza and the now extinct Ubykh. Though genetically related, the three languages are mutually unintelligible, the lexical differences between them being quite substantial. There are two official and literary languages of Circassian: Kabardian in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic and Karachai-Cherkess Republic and Adigean in the Adigey Republic (Adigea). The two languages, or more accurately dialects, are mutually intelligible and use Cyrillic orthography. It is thought that Northeast Caucasian, which is spoken by about 3.5 million people in Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Daghestan, is genetically related to NW Caucasian. The third group in the Caucasian language family is South Caucasian or Kartvelian: Georgian, Mingrelian, Svan, Adjar, and Laz, all of which are spoken by about 4.5 million people in the Transcaucasus and Northeast Turkey. Some linguists dispute the existence of any genetic link between North and South Caucasian. During the Soviet period, Circassian was relegated to a secondary position as Russian was made the language of instruction at schools and universities. In consequence, Circassian had suffered tremendously by the end of Communist rule. The challenge now is to restore the native language to pre-eminence. There are TV and radio broadcasts in Circassian, which are also relayed to the diaspora in the Middle East.

The Nart epic and the oral tales of the bards had formed the bulk of Circassian literature until the early part of the 19th century. The 20th century witnessed a quantum leap in quantity and quality of literary output, despite being somewhat tainted by Communist ideology.

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