Hatuqwai people

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The Hatuqwai (self-designation: Adyghe: Хьатыкъуай Hatyqwaj; Arabic: حتوقاي‎‎; Russian: Хатукай Xatykaj, Гатюкай Gatjukaj, Turkish: Hatukay) are a tribe of the Adyghe people. There is, however, no well-established spelling for their name, and the variants are Hatukay, Hatuqwai, Hetuqwai, Hatukaj, Hatquai, Tatukai, Khatukai, Gatukai, Gatiukai, and Khatoukhay.

The Hatuqwai are considered to be a western Circassian tribal princedom whose homeland lay along the banks of the Kuban River. The Hatuqwai people lived mostly in the mountains between the lower valleys of the Pshish River and the Belaya River.[1] Due to their small size and closeness to Temirgoy tribe, they were considered as one of the subgroups of Temirgoy. Their neighbors were Bzhedugh (West), Abadzehs (South) and, naturally, Temorgoys (East). The most respectable family was Kerkenoko.

After Imperial Russia's conquest of the Caucasus in the 1860s the tribe's homeland was occupied, and its members were scattered among the other Circassian tribes, resulting in the Hatuqwai effectively ceasing to exist as a separate entity.

In the time before the Russian invasion the Hatuqwai were known as a powerful and warlike tribe that fought many wars both with other Circassian tribes as well as against the Crimean Tatars.

The most famous of the Hatuqwai princes was named Aslan-Giray. He was not physically strong, but rather was a skilled public speaker and a skilled leader. Under his rule the Hatuqwai reached the height of their power. After his death the tribe soon fell into disarray and civil war, and the tribe lost most of its former power and influence.


There is a theory about the name of this tribe. It says the name is from Хьаты (“Hatti”) + Къуэ (“son”); meaning “Hattic son”. 'Hatti' is an ancient name, originally referring to a non-Indo-European people of ancient Anatolia. The Hittites (self-designation 'Nesili') are known by the same name, even though they were Indo-Europeans and absorbed the Hatti. This Circassian tribe may preserve this name. This name also occurs elsewhere in the Caucasus in an Ossetian Nart saga wherein the hero Batradz is said to speak in Hattiæg, 'Hattic.'

But truth is from Caucasus. Prince Inal the Great's son Temruk's son Hatko is prince of the Taman Peninsula. His principality is called Хьатыкъуай (Place of Hatko) and the people of the principality is named as "From Hatuqwai". Then name of the principality became name of the tribe.

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