Adjarians

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"People of Achara" redirects here. For the Jat clan of Rajasthan, see Achara (clan).
"Adjar" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Ajar.
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Flag of Autonomous Republic of Adjara
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The Adjarians (Georgian: აჭარლები, Ačarlebi) are an ethnographic group of Georgians that mostly live in Adjara in south-western Georgia.

The Adjarians have their own territorial unit—an autonomous republic of Adjara, founded on July 16, 1921, as Adjara ASSR. After years of post-Soviet stalemate, the region was, in 2004, completely brought within the framework of the Georgian state; it retains an autonomous status. Adjarian settlements are also found in the Georgian provinces of Guria, Kvemo Kartli, and Kakheti, as well as several areas of neighboring Turkey.

Language[edit]

The Adjarians speak Adjarian, a local dialect of the Georgian language, related to that spoken in the neighboring northern province of Guria, but with a number of Turkish loanwords and with many common features with the Zan languagesMingrelian and Laz—which are sisters to Georgian and are included in the Kartvelian or South Caucasian group.

Religion[edit]

Many Adjarians were converted to Islam by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries when the Ottomans occupied southwestern Georgian lands.

The Georgian population of Adjara had been generally known as Muslim Georgians until the 1926 Soviet census which listed them as Adjarians, separate from the rest of Georgians, and counted 71,498 of them. In subsequent censuses (1939–1989) they were listed with other Georgians, as no official Soviet census asked about religion. In the 1920s, the suppression of religion and compulsory collectivization led to armed resistance to Communist authorities by Adjarians. Following suppression of the disturbances, many Adjarians were deported to Central Asia.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the re-establishment of Georgian independence accelerated the Christianization of Adjarians, especially among the young.[1] However a significant number of Ajarians, particularly in and around Khulo remain Sunni Muslims. According to estimates recently published by the Department of Statistics of Adjara, 63% are Georgian Orthodox Christians, and 30% Muslim.[2]

History[edit]

Main article: History of Adjara

Famous Ajarians[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Chveneburi, ethnic Georgians in Turkey many of whom are of Adjarian heritage.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ George Sanikidze and Edward W. Walker (2004), Islam and Islamic Practices in Georgia. Berkeley Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies. University of California, Berkeley Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
  2. ^ (Georgian) Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Department of Statistics.

References[edit]

  • Nugzar Mgeladze (Translated by Kevin Tuite). Ajarians. World Culture Encyclopedia. Accessed on September 1, 2007.