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Not to be confused with Abkhaz people.

Abzakhs/Abadzekh (Adyghe: абдзах, Russian: абадзехи) are a people of Adyghe branch.

A significant part of them live in diaspora in Turkey - about 500 thousand people, which are descendants of refugees (muhajirs) from the Caucasian War with the Russian Empire. Their dominant religion is Sunni Islam. They were among the first Muhajir, starting their exodus in 1879.


About 1,123 Abzakhs live in the Rehaniya, in Galilee (North District, Israel). Rehaniya has an Adyghe museum.

In 1958, Abzakhs (and other Adyghe) of Israel were allowed to enter military service, which gives a number of privileges.


Main article: Abzakh Adyghe dialect

The Abzakhs people speak a dialect (Adyghe: Абдзахэбзэ) of the Adyghe language.[1]


Before the Caucasian War Abzakhs inhabited the northern slope of the Caucasus mountain range, near the land of the shapsugs. Major settlements or villages were located in the river valleys Kurdzhips, Pchehe, Pshish and Psekups. They were divided into nine companies. geographically, they lived in the mountainous part of the modern Adygea and Krasnodar Territory.

After the Caucasian war, most Abzakhs (and other Circassians) were deported to the Ottoman Empire, the remaining Abzakhs are relocated to the present-day steppe Shovgenovsky district. Abadzekhs, being the second most numerous tribe (the first was the Shapsugs). Without merging with other groups of Circassians, retain their identity to the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the Caucasian War.

The tribe was divided into society, a society divided into communities, managed by elected elders. In discussing and resolving important issues elders agreed in a general meeting. The Abzakhs engaged in arable farming and horticulture, and kept many animals, and especially prized horses. In the mountains Abzakhs mined iron, lead, copper, and perhaps silver.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Abzakh dialect (French)

See also[edit]