Kfar Kama

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Kfar Kama

  • כְּפַר כַּמָא
  • كفر كما
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259Kfar Kamaˀ
 • Also spelledКфар Кама (Adyghe) (official)
Flag of Kfar Kama
Kfar Kama is located in Northeast Israel
Kfar Kama
Kfar Kama
Coordinates: 32°43′19″N 35°26′27″E / 32.72194°N 35.44083°E / 32.72194; 35.44083Coordinates: 32°43′19″N 35°26′27″E / 32.72194°N 35.44083°E / 32.72194; 35.44083
Grid position191/236 PAL
 • TypeLocal council (from 1950)
 • Total8,854 dunams (8.854 km2 or 3.419 sq mi)
 • Total3,332
 • Density380/km2 (970/sq mi)
Name meaningThe village of truffles[2]

Kfar Kama (Hebrew: כְּפַר כַּמָא, Arabic: كفر كما‎, Adyghe: Кфар Кама) is a Circassian town located in the Lower Galilee, Israel. In 2008, the village had a population of 2,900.[3]



Archaeologists have proposed that Kfar Kama was the village Helenoupolis that Constantine established in honor of his mother Helen.[4]Excavations carried out in 1961 and 1963 revealed 4th century tombs.[5] Two churches dated to the early 6th century, one dedicated to Saint Thecla, were uncovered, with multicolored mosaics of floral, animal and geometric patterns.[5]

In the Crusader period it was known as Kapharchemme or Capharkeme.[6] Ruins and parts of five limestone columns were found in addition to a circular basalt olive-press and cisterns.[7]

Ottoman era[edit]

Circassians in traditional garb, Kfar Kama

In 1596, Kfar Kama appeared in Ottoman tax registers as a village in the Nahiya of Tiberias in the Liwa of Safad. It had a population of 34 Muslim households and paid a fixed tax rate of 25% on agricultural products, which included wheat, barley, summer crops, cotton, and goats or beehives; a total of 5,450 akçe.[8][9]

A map from Napoleon's invasion of 1799 by Pierre Jacotin showed the place, named as El Hadaci.[10] In 1838, it was mentioned as a village in the Tiberias district.[11]

In 1870s, the village was described as having basalt stone houses and a population of 200 Moslems living on a plain of arable soil.[12]

In 1878, a group of 1,150 Circassian immigrants from the Adyghe tribe Shapsugs who were exiled from the Caucasus by the Russians to the Ottoman Empire due to the Russian-Circassian War settled in the village.[13] Initially they made their living by raising animals, but later became farmers.[13] The first school was established about 1880.[13]

A population survey in 1887 found 1,150 inhabitants, all Circassian Muslims. [14]

British Mandate era[edit]

Mosque next to Circassian Heritage Center in Kfar Kama

At the time of the 1922 census of Palestine, Kfar Kama had a population of 670 Muslims and 7 Christians,[15] decreasing slightly in the 1931 census to 644, one Christian and the rest Muslims, in a total of 169 houses.[16]

In 1945 census, the population comprised 660 Muslims[17] and the land area was 8,819 dunams.[18][17] Of this, 8,293 dunams were for cereals,[19][17] while 108 dunams were built-up land.[20][17]

State of Israel[edit]

Circassians from Kfar Kama, 2011

Kfar Kama is one of two Circassian villages in Israel. The other one is Rehaniya. The Circassians are Muslims, who unlike the main Israeli Arab Muslim minority, perform military service in the IDF.[21]The village school teaches in Circassian, Hebrew, Arabic and English.[22]

A Center for Circassian Heritage is situated in the village.

Notable residents[edit]

Notable families[edit]

Shapsug families[edit]

  • Abrag (Adyghe: Абрэгь)
  • Ashmuz/Achmuzh (Adyghe: Ацумыжъ)
  • Bghana (Adyghe: Бгъанэ)
  • Bat (Adyghe: Бат)
  • Blanghaps (Adyghe: БлэнгъэпсI)
  • Batwash (Adyghe: БэтIыуашъ)
  • Jandar (Adyghe: Джэндар)
  • Gorkozh (Adyghe: ГъоркIожъ)
  • Zazi(Adyghe: Зази)
  • Kobla (Adyghe: Коблэ)
  • Qal (Adyghe: Къал)
  • Qatizh (Adyghe: Къэтӏыжъ)
  • Lauz (Adyghe: ЛъыIужъ)
  • Libai/Labai(Adyghe: ЛIыпый)
  • Nago (Adyghe: Наго)
  • Natkho (Adyghe: Натхъо)
  • Nash (Adyghe: Наш)
  • Napso (Adyghe: Нэпсэу)
  • Thawcho (Adyghe: Тхьэухъо)
  • Hazal (Adyghe: Хъэзэл)
  • Hutazh(Adyghe: Хъутӏэжъ)
  • Hadish (Adyghe: Хьэдищ)
  • Hako/Hakho (Adyghe: Хьэхъу)
  • Shamsi (Adyghe: Чэмшъо)
  • Choshha/Shoshha (Adyghe: Цушъхьэ)
  • Showgan (Adyghe: Шэугьэн)
  • Shaga (Adyghe: Шъуагьэ)
  • Sagas/Shagash (Adyghe: Шъэгьашъ)

In the past there was also Shhalakhwa (Adyghe: Шхьэлахъуэ).

Other families[edit]

  • Abzah (Adyghe: Абзах)
  • Boshnakh (Adyghe: Бущнакъ)
  • Bazdug/Bzhedug (Adyghe: Бжъэдыгъу)
  • Hatukai (Adyghe: Хьэтыкъуай)
  • Tsai (Adyghe: Цэй)
  • Shapsugh (Adyghe: Шапсыгъ).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 127
  3. ^ "Population of Localities Numbering above 2,000 Inhabitants and Other Rural Population" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2008-12-31.
  4. ^ Tsafrir, Di Segni and Green, 1994, 142
  5. ^ a b Dauphin, 1998, p. 727
  6. ^ Pringle, 1997, p. 117
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 391
  8. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 190
  9. ^ Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 writes that the register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied from the Safad-district was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9
  10. ^ Karmon, 1960, p. 167.
  11. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd Appendix, p. 131
  12. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 360
  13. ^ a b c Nirit Reichel (2010). "The role of the educational system in retaining Circassian identity during the transition from Ottoman control to life as Israeli citizens (1878–2000)". Israel Affairs. 16: 251–267. doi:10.1080/13537121003643896.
  14. ^ Schumacher, 1888, p. 185
  15. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Tiberias, p. 39
  16. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 84
  17. ^ a b c d Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 12
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 72
  19. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 122
  20. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 172
  21. ^ A slightly rarefied Circassian day trip, Haaretz
  22. ^ Yulie Khromchenko (22 March 2005). מדברים פה בהרבה שפות? נקרא לזה "בית ספר רב לשוני [They talk a lot of languages? Called it 'a multilingual school']. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 25 August 2014.


External links[edit]