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Circassian - Historie

Circassian - Historie



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Circassian

En indfødt eller indbygger i Circassia, et land nordvest for Kaukasus -bjergene, tidligere uafhængigt, nu en del af Rusland.

(ScStr: t. 1.750; 1. 241 '; b. 39'; dr. 18 '; a. 4 9 "sb., 1
100-pdr. r., 1 12-pdr. r.)

Circassian, en jernskruedamper, blev fanget den 4. maj 1862 af USS Somerset; købt fra præmieretten i Key West, Fla ,, 8. november 1862 udstyret på New York Navy Yard; og bestilt den 12. december 1862, fungerende frivillig løjtnant W. B. Eaton i kommando.

Circassian tjente som forsyningsskib for blokkade eskadriller i øst og vestgulfen. Mellem den 17. december 1862 og den 11. april 1865 gennemførte hun ni krydstogter fra New York eller Boston og leverede forsyninger til skibe og stationer langs Atlanterhavskysten og i Mexicogolfen så langt vest som Galveston, Tex., Og op ad Mississippi -floden til New Orleans , La. På returrejser bar hun mænd, der skulle udskrives, invalider, krigsfanger, bomuld og proviant. I løbet af denne tid vandt hun også to præmier og deltog i søgen efter den konfødererede damper Florida i juli 1864.

Circassian ankom til Boston Navy Yard fra hendes sidste krydstogt 11. april 1865, blev sat ud af drift 26. april 1865 og solgt 22. juni 1865.


Russisk-Circassian War

Det Russisk-Circassian War (Adyghe: Урыс-адыгэ зауэ, romaniseret: Wurıs-adığə zawə Russisk: Русско-черкесская война 1763–1864 også kendt som Russisk invasion af Circassia) var den 101 år lange militære konflikt mellem Circassia og Rusland. [44] Konflikten startede i 1763, da russerne begyndte at etablere fjendtlige forter på cirkassisk område [45], der først sluttede med den sidste hær i Circassia, der blev besejret 101 år senere den 21. maj 1864, hvilket gjorde dette til den længste krig, Rusland nogensinde har ført i historien.

  • Cirkassiske stammeområder og allierede:
    og andreTjetjenske oprørere [13] Abkhasiske oprørere [14] [15] og ukrainske frivillige [16] Karachay-Balkars(indtil 1828)[7] [17] Cherkesogai(indtil 1838)[9]

Krigens afslutning fandt sted på det tyrkiske folkemord [I], hvor flere krigsforbrydelser blev begået af det kejserlige Rusland [51] og op til 1,5 millioner cirkassere blev dræbt eller fordrevet til Mellemøsten. [44]


Circassian - Historie

Selv om det var lidt kendt i dag, var cirkasserne engang et berømt folk, fejret for deres militære élan, fysiske mien og modstand mod russisk ekspansion. I det nittende århundrede spredte "Circassophilia" sig fra Europa til Nordamerika, hvor mange forfattere udtrykte dyb beundring for bjergbestigere i det østlige Sortehav. Fremtrædende fysiske antropologer betragtede cirkassiske kroppe som den menneskelige forms apogee. Arrangører og hucksters udnyttede dillen, markedsførte en række cirkassiske skønhedshjælpemidler og skabte endda falske "tyrkiske skønheder" til at udstille i cirkussideshow.

Selvom deres bjergrige hjemland er kendt for sin robuste, isolerende topografi, har cirkasserne længe været godt integreret i den store verden. Circassia fronter en stor strækning af Sortehavet, et område, der har tiltrukket købmænd og nybyggere fra den græske verden og videre siden antikken. I den senere middelalder og ind i den tidlige moderne tid besøgte genueshandlere den cirkassiske kyst. Politisk skildres regionen normalt som bagvand, da cirkasserne aldrig skabte en egen kraftfuld stat. Alligevel var de ikke fremmede for statecraft på de højeste niveauer, da de stort set havde drevet Mamluk Empire of Egypt fra 1382-1517. Selv efter deres nederlag ved osmannerne fortsatte cirkasserne med at danne meget af Egyptens politiske elite. Tilsyneladende sluttede deres magt i 1811, da Mohammad Ali massakrerede de fleste af mamlukkerne. Stadig, som Kadir Natho argumenterer i Circassian History, Tilbagekaldte tyrkasserne senere vigtige egyptiske militære og administrative stillinger. Rester af deres indflydelse i Nordafrika dvæler den dag i dag. Da Qaddafis magt vaklede i 2011, rakte hans agenter ud til resterne af det cirkassiske samfund Misrata i håb om at samle sine medlemmer til det libyske regime.

Beundring for tyrkisk skønhed og tapperhed i Vesten var udbredt under oplysningstiden. Voltaire tog det som en selvfølge, at cirkassierne var et dejligt folk, et træk, som han forbandt med deres praksis med at vaccinere babyer med koppevirus. I det nittende århundrede opfandt Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, grundlæggeren af ​​fysisk antropologi, begrebet "den kaukasiske race" delvist med henvisning til cirkasserne. Han regnede med, at folkene i Kaukasus, især cirkasserne og georgierne, repræsenterede noget tæt på den ideelle menneskelige form, idet de havde "degenereret" mindre end andre siden skabelsen. Tidlige antropologer forsøgte således at hæve europæerne ved at knytte dem til cirkasserne i en fælles racekategori.

"Circassophilia" i den engelsktalende verden siges ofte hidtil fra Krimkrigen (1853-1856), da briterne var allierede med zirkasserne mod det russiske imperium. Men rejseberetninger viser, at holdningen har dybere rødder. Beundring for Adyghe -folket stammede til dels fra den generelle respekt, der blev givet til uafhængige bjergfolk, der modstod østlige imperier, hvilket igen var forbundet med den foragt, som de fleste vesterlændinge følte for asiatisk - og russisk - civilisation. Alligevel gik den agtelse, der blev givet til cirkasserne i mange af disse værker, langt ud over normen. Overvej f.eks. Edmund Spencer i Rejser i Circassia, Krim Tatary, osv., (1836):

Det var også første gang, at jeg havde set cirkasserne mingle på venlige vilkår med de russiske soldater og uden tvivl en mere slående kontrast end de to mennesker, der var præsenteret, både i fysisk udseende og moralsk udtryk, det er umuligt at forestille sig. Den ene med symmetriske former og klassiske træk syntes at ånde statuer af udødeligt Grækenland, den anden, groft udseende, kort og tyklemmet, virkede som en ringere væsenerace. Men hvis den fysiske afgrænsningslinje var bred, var moralen stadig bredere. Bjergbestigeren, fri som ørnen på vingen, trådte og bevægede sig, som stolt bevidst om sin uafhængighed, med en skræmmende selvtillid, der ikke var blandet med hån, som ingen andre end et frihedsbarn kunne udvise i sit leje … (s . 291).

Både den cirkassiske ry for skønhed og deres arv ved at holde politisk magt uden for deres hjemland stammede til dels fra deres nysgerrige niche i den politiske økonomi i Mellemøsten. Cirkasserne, for at sige det ligeud, specialiserede sig i at levere eliteslaver til de magtfulde stater i den østlige Middelhavsverden. Mamluks, der bogstaveligt talt betyder "slaver", var mænd rekrutteret i trældom til at tjene som elitekrigere, men som senere vendte bordet og overtog staten selv, hvorefter de fortsatte med at genopbygge deres egne rækker ved at importere slaver fra hjemlandet. Cirkassere var på ingen måde de eneste mamlukiske soldater i den muslimske verden, men de var den dominerende gruppe i Egypten over en længere periode.

Cirkassiske kvinder var lige så kendt som slaver med høj status, især i det osmanniske rige. Mange nåede naturligvis ikke forhøjet status, og undertrykkelsen, som de kunne opleve, var sandsynligvis ekstrem, men mange cirkassiske kvinder endte i det kejserlige harem, et centrum for reel politisk slagkraft. Dem, hvis sønner blev sultaner, kunne udøve betydelig magt i deres egne rettigheder. Elite cirkassiske koner var i øvrigt ikke begrænset til den kejserlige familie. Som Reina Lewis skriver: ”I 1870 indså sir Henry Elliot, den britiske ambassadør i Istanbul, hvor utroværdigt det kunne være at rejse emnet om tsjerkassisk slaveri, siden storvizierens tyrkiske kone havde været en slave og det havde været eller var konerne af mange andre vigtige embedsmænd ”(s. 132).

Årsagerne til Circassias intensive deltagelse i slavehandlen diskuteres. Nogle forfattere understreger fattigdom, trængsel og dybe klassedelinger i regionen, som tvang de fattige til at sælge deres børn. Andre modsiger, at handelen stort set var frivillig: ”det ser ud til, at tjenestepiger sjældent blev tvunget til trældom, i stedet valgte de selv at gå ind i denne tilstand af goodwill. De blev lokket af beretninger om overdådighed og luksus i haremerne, hvor deres legendariske skønhed var i top. ” Historikeren Charles King fortæller i sin engagerende historie om Sortehavet en episode, hvor seks kvindelige slaver på et transportfartøj, der blev opsnappet af et russisk krigsskib, nægtede frigørelse og foretrak at tage deres chancer på slavemarkederne i Istanbul (s. 118).

Uanset dens drivende faktorer påvirkede slavehandelen dybt de sociale relationer i Circassia. Ifølge den britiske forfatter John Longwort (i Et år blandt cirkasserne [1840]), blev almindelige mennesker ofte skamløst vurderet med hensyn til markedsværdi:

Når du hører, at de er så mange hænder høje eller værd at så mange punge, konkluderer du naturligvis, at der er tale om kvæg. En cirkassier har originale forestillinger om emnet: både mænd og kvinder har deres værdi som ejendom ... og det kan være en trøst for sidstnævnte at vide, at de med enhver pretention til skønhed har ti gange værdien af ​​den tidligere (s. 57).

Den stereotype smukke cirkassiske kvinde havde mørkt frodigt hår sidestillet mod glat, bleg hud. Som et resultat kom hår- og hudprodukter fra Circassian-mærket til at blive bredt markeret i Europa og USA. Sådanne konnotationer gjorde endda deres vej til gastronomi, den ret, der kaldes "Circassian Chicken", er ikke opkaldt efter sit oprindelsessted, men snarere for sin glatte tekstur og lyse farve. I slutningen af ​​1800'erne var "Circassian Beauties" blevet cirkusattraktioner i USA, sådanne "artister" var ikke fra Kaukasus, men snarere en lokal kvinde med lys hud, der farvede deres hår og derefter drillede og coiffede det til udførlige glorier. Charles King giver igen indsigt (i Frihedens spøgelser, pp. 138-140) og bemærkede, at Phineas T. Barnum selv tog æren for at "introducere cirkasserne i amerikansk populærkultur." Appellen, King viser, var først og fremmest erotisk, da de såkaldte tyrkiske skønheder ville fortælle folkemængderne om "de prikker og undersøgelser", som de havde oplevet "i slavebasaren." Oprindelsen af ​​deres frisure er mindre klar King antyder, at den måske var afledt enten af ​​de "høje, fuzzy hatte", der blev båret af mændene i Kaukasus, eller fra et forsøg på at "afrikanisere" - og dermed yderligere seksualisere - denne typiske kaukasiske mennesker. Det er klart, at vestlige marketingfolk med cirkassiske temaer ofte ikke anede, hvad de solgte, som det fremgår af den franske "Koringa" -plakat, der er gengivet her.

Udover deres medfødte fysiske træk spillede kropsholdning og bæring også en rolle i cirkassernes ry for skønhed. Som mange videoer på internettet bekræfter, holder cirkassiske dansere typisk deres krop på en påfaldende opretstående måde. John Longwort bemærkede den samme egenskab i hverdagen, mens han opholdt sig i regionen i begyndelsen af ​​1800'erne. Da han skrev om en lokal kvinde, ”var hun høj og rask, skønt den var let, formet og holdt sig, ligesom alle cirkassiere, mænd eller kvinder, meget oprejst” (s. 59).

Når cirkassierne forsøger at bevare deres identitet og bringe deres situation til global opmærksomhed, dyrkes og formidles de traditionelle cirkassiske former for dans og påklædning i stigende grad på internettet. Grafiske kunstnere udvikler også visuelt anholdende cirkassiske temaer og motiver. Det vil være interessant at se, om den zirkassiske årsag og stil igen kommer ind i den vestlige bevidsthed, når OL i Sotji nærmer sig.

Konge, Charles. Frihedens spøgelser: En historie om Kaukasus. Oxford, 2008. Pp. 138-140.

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Circassian - Historie

Dette essay er en opsummering og forlængelse af bemærkninger fra en konference om Circassia sponsoreret af Jamestown Foundation Washington DC, 21. maj 2007

Cirkasserne deler med georgierne sondringen om at være den ældste kontinuerligt identificerbare etniske gruppe i Kaukasus. Så langt tilbage som det er muligt at projicere deres historie, synes de at have befolket Sortehavets nordøstlige bred og baglandet, der strækker sig til de høje bjerge bagved. Deres oprindelige område strakte sig helt sikkert til Kerch -strædet og muligvis ind på Krim. Mænd, der talte sprog forfædre til de komplekse cirkassiske dialekter i moderne tid, mødte sandsynligvis de græske kolonister, der i det sidste årtusinde f.Kr. etablerede handelsposter langs Sortehavets bred, men grækerne trængte ikke langt ind i det indre. [1] Græske kolonier forbandt cirkassiere med Middelhavsverdenen, men cirkassernes forfædre var også i kontakt med en lang række mennesker, der bevægede sig gennem de kaukasiske foden og stepperne mod nord i løbet af årtusinderne. Den store variation af fysiske typer blandt cirkassere er tegn på blanding fra mange etniske stammer. Ikke desto mindre sørgede de frugtbare dale og skovbevoksede højland i deres hjemland for en så sikker livsform, at cirkassiske grupper tilsyneladende har oplevet lidt fristelse til at migrere andre steder. Husdyrhold og landbrug gav et pålideligt levebrød. Befolkningen steg støt, hvilket fik eventyrlystne unge mænd til at søge beskæftigelse som soldater langt hjemmefra. [2] Således blev et mønster, der har fortsat til moderne tid, etableret. Cirkassere var dybt knyttet til deres hjemland, men var samtidig bevidste om verden udover og var ikke bange for at begive sig ud på udenlandske eventyr.

Englændere og andre europæere, der tilbragte tid blandt cirkassere i begyndelsen af ​​1800 -tallet fandt grund til at sammenligne deres samfund med det antikke Grækenland. Dette var mere end blot en afspejling af klassisk uddannelse. Der er tydelige paralleller mellem cirkassere og gamle grækere. Begge var bevidste om at tilhøre en fælles nationalitet, med tætte sproglige bånd og fælles sociale strukturer, der delte skikke, traditioner om oprindelse og aner, men de udviklede ikke forenede politiske institutioner eller arvelige herskende strukturer. I stedet forblev de opdelt i separate stammer og klaner, der var begrænset til deres egne regioner, baseret på gamle, semi-mytologiske slægtskabstraditioner. Der var rivaliseringer mellem dem, nogle gange blodfejde og razziaer og fra tid til anden forlængede fjendtligheder. Ligesom de gamle grækere delte cirkassiere en enorm mundtlig tradition-litteratur gik fra den ene generation til den anden. Mens de græske guder og gudinder blev en del af den vestlige intellektuelle tradition og stadig er en del af billedet af europæiske sprog og den vestlige civilisation generelt-Venus, Mars, Merkur, Apollo osv.-Cirkassiske guder og helte er for det meste ukendte, men som John Colarusso har demonstreret, er deres vidnesbyrd lige så rig som grækernes. [3]

Der er også vigtige forskelle mellem græsk og cirkassisk udvikling. Cirkasserne udviklede ikke en læsefærdig kultur. Deres sprog forblev uskrevet. Derfor fremstillede de ingen skriftlige litterære eller historiske optegnelser, som grækerne gjorde. På samme måde udviklede de ikke kunst som arkitektur, maleri og skulptur. For at kende den cirkassiske historie frem til 1500 -tallet må vi stole på rester af oplysninger fra græske, romerske, byzantinske og arabiske forfattere og indtil slutningen af ​​1700 -tallet russiske kilder. Systematisk undersøgelse af disse og yderligere kilder, der kan komme frem, kan naturligvis afsløre nye oplysninger.

Cirkassiske stammer, der bor langs Sortehavet, engagerede sig i handel med venetianere og genoese, der fortsatte tidligere græske handelstraditioner i Sortehavet og etablerede handelsposter på kysten af ​​Circassian/Abkhaz. De cirkassiske lande blev for det meste først påvirket af islam før i 1700 -tallet. Så sent som i begyndelsen af ​​1800 -tallet kunne der findes mange spor af tidlig kristen indflydelse, der tilsyneladende kom både fra Byzantium og Georgien fra det 6. eller 7. århundrede og fremefter. [4] Der er næsten ingen tegn på forbindelser til russisk ortodoksi, men russerne var flittige i at undersøge beviser for tidlig kristen indflydelse, da de trængte ind i Circassia i det 19. århundrede. De restaurerede kirker i Gagra og Pitsunda og fastholdt i sovjettiden, at disse var tegn på gamle russiske forbindelser til området.

I mellemtiden var unge zirkassiske mænd fortsat med at afgå for at finde arbejde i hære mod syd. [5] Sammen med georgiere og andre kaukasiere fandt de beskæftigelse som lejesoldater med muslimske hære, der var imod korsfarerne, herunder Saladins og Seljuk -sultanernes. Cirkassere og tyrkere udgjorde en stor del af det mamlukske regiment, der gjorde oprør og erstattede det regerende dynasti i Egypten i 1250. Mamlukerne styrede Egypten i de næste 300 år indtil den osmanniske erobring i 1517. Mamluk -styre var en af ​​de mest strålende perioder i egyptisk Islamisk historie:

Sen mammalukultur var rig på persisk og osmannisk indflydelse. Den kosmopolitiske arv i Mamluke Egypten var. forstærket af migrationen af ​​iranske, tyrkiske, spanske og mesopotamiske håndværkere og lærde, der bragte metal-, tekstil-, keramik- og byggehåndværk med sig, som blev vedtaget af mamlukkerne for at pryde hoffets liv og det militære aristokrati. De religiøse og kosmopolitiske aspekter af Mamluke hofkultur blev dæmpet af en parochial og militær vægt. Mamluk -domstolen lyttede til tyrkisk og cirkassisk poesi. Mamlukkerne svælvede også i militære anmeldelser, turneringer og fremvisninger af kampsport. [6]

Mens individuelle cirkassiere både var klar over den ydre verden, og nogle var involveret i den, førte dem, der blev i deres dale og bakker nordøst for Sortehavet, isolerede liv på landet. De blev sjældent ramt af hungersnød eller sygdomsudbrud. Befolkningen steg gradvist, men producerede lidt socialt eller politisk pres, for emigration gav et udløb. Klan- og stammegrupper forfulgte rivaliseringer med hinanden og var på forskellige måder indbyrdes forbundet med nabo -kosakker. Regeringens og administrationens mønstre var forskellige. Inde i Kabarda dominerede fyrstefamilier livet. Det var i denne region, at kontakten med det ekspanderende russiske imperium først fandt sted. De første russere, der tog kontakt til zirkasserne, var kosakker, mænd, der flygtede fra nord af forskellige årsager, mest for en friere livsstil. De blev bevidstløse agenter for russisk ekspansion. De etablerede ofte venskabelige forbindelser med lokale indbyggere, nogle gange giftede de sig og vedtog lokale livsstil. I det 16. århundrede indgik russere, der repræsenterede kejserlig myndighed, enighed med kabardiske prinser, der tog imod handelsfolk og militær støtte mod rivaler. Maria Temryukovnas ægteskab med zar Ivan den frygtelige og hendes konvertering til ortodoksi symboliserer de samarbejdsrelationer, der eksisterede på det tidspunkt. Russisk ekspansion indebar altid en vis missionærformål-opmuntring til spredning af russisk ortodoksi, men religion var en sekundær faktor i russisk ekspansion til Nordkaukasus. Kabarda, hvor befolkningen var opdelt i klart definerede sociale klasser, markerede begyndelsen på en russisk teknik til at opnå overvægt ved at optage det lokale aristokrati-Kabardan-prinserne, hvis efterkommere blev fremtrædende blandt den russiske adel. Denne tilgang var mindre effektiv med etniske grupper, der havde en mere egalitær social struktur, såsom tjetjenerne og ingushene, mange af de andre cirkassiske stammer og folkene i Dagestan.

Islam var kommet tidligt ind i Kaukasus med arabiske indtrængen i Dagestan i det 7. og 8. århundrede, men spredningen mod vest var langsom. De fleste bjergbestigere i det østlige og centrale Kaukasus fulgte traditionel tro indtil begyndelsen af ​​1700 -tallet. Islam trængte gradvist ind i form af Sufi (hovedsageligt Nakhshbendi) broderskaber, der slog rod i Tjetjenien, mens i Aserbajdsjan under persisk styre blev shi'ismen fremherskende, mens Dagestan forblev primært sunnimuslimer. Russerne rykker mod syd ind i de centrale bjergområder og mødtes med stærk modstand fra de fleste bjergbestigere. Ushurma, en tjetjener fra landsbyen Aldy (ikke langt fra nutidens Grozny) blev født i 1832. Som ung udviklede han en stærk interesse for religion. Han tog til Dagestan for at blive uddannet og vendte tilbage for at blive en imam dybt bekymret over det russiske fremskridt. Rusland etablerede fæstningen Grozny i 1818-bevidst valgte navnet ("Awesome") for at skræmme bjergbestigere. [7] Da det russiske fremskridt fortsatte, ændrede Ushurma sit navn til Sheikh Mansur ("Victor") og erklærede hellig krig mod angriberne. Det betændte snart hele Kaukasus. Hans største succes var i Tjetjenien og Dagestan, men hans aktivitet strakte sig også til de cirkassiske lande, hvor han var aktiv i begyndelsen af ​​det 19. århundrede. Han var tilfældigvis i Anapa på den cirkassiske kyst, da den blev taget til fange af tsarstyrker i 1791. Han blev behandlet som en fredløs, ført til Skt. Petersborg og fængslet i Schlusselburg, hvor han døde i 1794. [8] Hans mission var ikke færdig, den levede efter ham. Den hellige krig, han havde udløst, fortsatte uformindsket i Tjetjenien og Dagestan, hvor den kom til at blive ledet af den store Shamil. Også i Circassia tjente mindet om "Elijah Mansur" til at inspirere til modstand mod Rusland i 1830'erne og 1840'erne. En tatarisk bard blev rapporteret synge af ham

Han blev født til at tredive Moscoffs stolthed
Ned til det ringe støv
Han kæmpede, han erobrede, nær og bredt,
Det nordlige løb forbandede. [9]

Sheikh Mansurs kampagner gjorde islam til et symbol på modstand mod Rusland i hele Kaukasus og bidrog dermed til dets fastere etablering blandt cirkasserne. Osmannerne gik ind for konsolideringen af ​​sunnimuslim i de områder, hvor de udøvede suverænitet. Istanbul etablerede aldrig en regelmæssig administrativ struktur i Kaukasus, som det gjorde på Balkan. Tyrkerne foretrak at udøve autoritet gennem lokale høvdinger og betragtede overholdelse af islam som et mål for deres loyalitet. Handel og andre former for kontakt med tyrkiske havne blev udvidet i begyndelsen af ​​1800 -tallet. Cirkassere blev godt modtaget, da de kom til Trabzon eller Istanbul, nogle emigrerede. Mange cirkassiske skønheder kom ind i osmanniske haremer, herunder sultanernes. Rusland pressede støt mod cirkassiske territorier langs Sortehavet og byggede forter på strategiske steder ved kysten. Som i resten af ​​Kaukasus var tsarpolitikken baseret på "dele og herske" tilgange, der satte en etnisk gruppe mod en anden. I tilfældet med cirkasserne havde russerne til formål at udnytte klan- og stammerivaliseringer og tilbyde handelsfordele til gengæld for samarbejde og tilbageholde dem fra grupper, der modsatte sig russisk fremrykning.

Jeg vil ikke gentage en beretning her om Shamils ​​lange kamp, ​​der varede indtil 1859 eller om tyrkassernes parallelle kamp fra 1830'erne til 1860'erne, for jeg har allerede beskrevet Shamils ​​kampagner i tidligere artikler [10], og de har været mere omfattende omtalt i en række bøger, især den seneste af den israelske lærde, Moshe Gammer. [11] Shamil blev overvældet og overgav sig i 1859. Cirkassisk modstand fortsatte i fem år mere. Det krævede anstrengende russiske bestræbelser på at besejre dem. Et aspekt af den sidste fase af den tsjerkessiske modstand mod Rusland, som jeg ikke dækkede, var inddragelse af polakker, der modstod russisk herredømme over deres land og betragtede cirkasserne som deres allierede. Deres engagement er godt beskrevet af Peter Brock, "The Fall of Circassia: a Study in Private Diplomacy" i The English Historical Review, juli 1956, s. 401-427. Den er tilgængelig på Circassian World -webstedet. [12] Polakker, der kæmpede russisk dominans ved gentagne oprør, spillede en vigtig rolle i mange aspekter af kaukasisk modstand mod Rusland, men i sidste ende var de ude af stand til at forhindre kaukasisk-og cirkassisk-nederlag eller deres eget, indtil 1918.

Tragedien overvældede cirkasserne, da den havde indbyggerne i det centrale og østlige Kaukasus. Cirkassernes skæbne kommer meget tættere på at udgøre massemord, fordi deres lande længe havde været eftertragtede af russerne til bosættelse. Regioner beboet af tjetjenere, ingush og folkene i Dagestan var mindre tiltalende for nybyggere fra Rusland og Ukraine, selvom disse folk også til sidst blev udsat for kolonisering af slaver. Selvom hundredtusinder af mennesker fra disse regioner også flygtede til Det Osmanniske Rige, førte Rusland derfor en ligetil politik for etnisk udrensning i Circassia. I årene 1985-1890 blev godt en million cirkassiere tvunget til at rejse, ofte under ekstremt belastende omstændigheder. Andre blev tvunget til at flytte til mindre ønskelige lande end dem, de oprindeligt besatte. Måske forblev 150.000 cirkassiere i deres oprindelige territorier. Mindst en halv million anslås at have nået Det Osmanniske Rige, men at mange flere omkom i sult og sygdom. Moderne amerikanere og europæere har svært ved at forstå, hvor forskellige betingelser dengang var fra, hvad de er i dag. Der var ingen internationale organisationer, der bekymrede sig om flygtninge. Der var ingen internationale kilder til bistand til lande, der modtog dem. Osmanniske myndigheder bød velkommen til cirkassierne, men deres ressourcer var yderst begrænsede. Det mest de kunne gøre var at sende dem til dele af Anatolien og arabiske områder mod syd, hvor der var plads til, at de kunne bosætte sig. Der var lidt kendskab til disse begivenheder i den ydre verden. Der var næsten ingen journalistisk rapportering om kredserne og andre kaukasiere. Britiske konsulære officerer i Trabzon fortsatte en tradition med at følge den kaukasiske udvikling. Deres rapporter er en primær kilde til information om disse menneskers skæbne [13], men i de senere år har mere materiale fra osmanniske arkiver og siden Sovjetunionens sammenbrud, erindringer og dokumenter fra kaukasiere selv kastet yderligere lys over disse tragiske begivenheder.

Kemal Karpats fremragende præsentationer under konferencen giver en stor indsigt i zirkassernes skæbne i det osmanniske rige. Hans og andre undersøgelser fortsætter. Siden sammenbruddet af sovjetisk kommunisme har cirkassiere, der bebor de tre "autonome" områder i Nordkaukasus, der blev oprettet for dem i den tidlige sovjetperiode, skabt en genoplivning. De måske 150.000 cirkassiere, der forblev i Rusland efter udvisningerne var steget til 572.168 ved tidspunktet for den sovjetiske folketælling i 1989. Heraf var 69% kabardere. 124.941 Adygei og 52.536 Cherkess blev talt med i denne folketælling, ikke alle levede inden for grænserne for deres udpegede regioner. Der har uden tvivl været en stigning i antallet i løbet af de sidste, næsten tre årtier, selvom de nuværende skøn er kontroversielle, for der har været emigration, men kun et lille antal cirkassere fra uden for Rusland har fået lov til at vende tilbage.

Jeg vil slutte med at forsøge at besvare to vigtige spørgsmål: (1) Var og er cirkassiere en nation? og (2) Var de ofre for folkedrab?

Kriterier for bedømmelse af nationalitet har altid været kontroversielle, og det er aldrig lykkedes for nogen at fastsætte absolutte normer for dom. [14] Indlysende faktorer er et fælles sprog, en sans for historie, fælles traditioner, en territorial base, en fremherskende følelse af nationalitet og en etableret stat og regering. Men hvis vi ser på en række forskellige nationer, hvis eksistens ikke er i tvivl, finder vi ud af, at nogle af disse faktorer mangler. Schweiz har ikke noget fælles sprog, men det har en stærk sans for historie, fælles traditioner og en stærk stat. Armenierne betragter sig selv som en nation, men kun et mindretal af dem lever i deres tilstand, deres sans for historie og traditioner er ikke desto mindre stærk. De defineres bedst som en diaspora -nation. Det samme gjaldt længe for jøder, der til sidst lykkedes at skabe en stærk stat og genoplive et sprog, der næsten var uddød. Polakker overlevede partition og fragmentering ved at bevare deres sprog og traditioner i lyset af undertrykkelse og til sidst genoprette deres stat, selvom dens placering var forskudt mod vest. Gamle, etablerede europæiske nationer og mange af dem i Asien opfylder de fleste af de kriterier, jeg nævnte ovenfor, så deres nationalitet er aldrig i tvivl. Men en stor del af de nye, postkoloniale stater, der er medlemmer af FN, mangler et fælles sprog, består af flere etniske grupper, har lidt historisk grundlag eller aftalte traditioner og er nationer kun i den forstand, at de eksisterer som diplomatisk anerkendt stater med regeringer.

Cirkassere havde (og har) et fælles sprog, en skarp sans for historie og fælles traditioner. Selvom de var dybt knyttet til de områder, de besatte, udviklede de ikke en stærk stat eller et bredt regeringssystem. Ikke desto mindre betragtede de sig selv som en nation. Russisk pres mod dem forstærkede deres følelse af nationalitet. Det blev stærkere, da de led vendinger og til sidst nederlag. En stor del af cirkasserne flyttede til det osmanniske imperium, hvor de fastholdt deres identitet. De er fortsat med at bevare deres identitet i osmanniske efterfølgerstater. Så mange som 10% af den nuværende befolkning i Den Tyrkiske Republik kan have cirkassisk herkomst, selvom sproget næsten er gået tabt. I post-osmanniske stater i Mellemøsten har cirkasserne fastholdt deres identitet og undertiden deres sprog og er kommet til at besætte særlige nicher i disse staters samfund: Egypten, Syrien, Jordan, Irak, Saudi-Arabien, Israel. I Sovjetunionen fik de tilbageværende cirkassere tildelt tre forskellige territorier. Disse har fortsat eksisteret som republikker i Den Russiske Føderation. Der er et stærkt ønske blandt dem om at forene. Sovjetunionens sammenbrud har resulteret i genoprettelse af forholdet mellem cirkassere, der stadig bor i deres forfædres territorier og deres landsmænd i verden udenfor. Således har den cirkassiske nation overlevet og fortsat eksistere både inden for grænserne for Rusland og i udlandet, især som en del af den tyrkiske republik. Er Circassians en nation? Svaret er ja!

Har de været ofre for folkedrab? Deres skæbne efter nederlag af tsaristens hære i 1864 var klart forsøg på folkemord. Russiske aktioner mod cirkasserne og andre kaukasiere i de sidste fire årtier af 1800 -tallet genererede bølger af vold blandt etniske grupper, der fortsatte ind i det 20. århundrede og spredte sig til hele regionen syd for Kaukasus. Det kejserlige Ruslands adskillelses-og-styre-tilgang til andre folkeslag, der satte dem mod hinanden, resulterede i tragiske konsekvenser for armeniere, kurdere, grækere, syriske og nestorianske kristne og andre religiøse og etniske minoriteter-både kristne og muslimer-i hele regionen . Sovjetunionens politikker og handlinger forværrede disse virkninger.

Circassians have retained their sense of nationhood and identity in spite of the vicissitudes they have endured. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century they face an opportunity to restore their nationhood, in part in their ancestral lands but perhaps more importantly in the wider world where they are, in effect, a diaspora nation.

[1] There was no relationship between Greek, an Indo-European language, and Circassian, a Palaeocaucasian one. Greeks found Circassian speech puzzling and called it "babble", giving rise to the term "barbarian".

[2] In early Greek and later Hellenistic times some Circassians undoubtedly served as soldiers in regions to the south. They can occasionally be identified in accounts of Greek historians. By the time of the Byzantine Empire, Circassians and other Caucasians as well as men from various Turkish ethnic groups were serving in Byzantine formations.

[3] ''Nart Sagas from the Caucasus, Myths and Legends from the Circassians, Abazas, Abkhaz and Ubykhs'', Princeton University Press, 2002.

[4] Note references in my ''Circassian Resistance to Russia'', distributed to participants in the conference.

[5] Circassian women had already become legendary for their beauty increasing numbers were sought for Turkish harems.

[6] Prof. Ira M. Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies, Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 356.

[7] It was never changed during the Soviet period though Vladikavkaz ("Rule the Caucasus") was changed twice (first to Ordzhonikidze and then to Dzaudzhikau) before being restored to its original form.

[8] Anapa was returned to the Ottomans in the Treaty of Iassy in 1892 and remained in their hands until 1829 when it was finally ceded to Russia.

[9] Cited by Edmund Spencer, ''Travels in Circassia. '', London, 1839, Vol. II, s. 294.

[10] Paul B. Henze, "Fire and Sword in the Caucasus: the 19th Century Resistance of the North Caucasian Mountaineers", Central Asian Survey, II/1 (1983), pp. 5-44, and "Islam in the North Caucasus - The Example of Chechnya" written in 1993/95 but unpublished now made available to the Jamestown Foundation and Circassian World web site.

[11] ''Muslim Resistance to the Tsar, Frank Cass'', London, 1994.

[12] Brock overstresses the importance of British support for the Circassians, especially the role of the Scot, David Urquhart.

[13] They have been drawn on extensively in recent studies of the expulsion, e.g. Kemal Karpat, ''Ottoman Population, 1830-1914'', University of Wisconsin Press, 1985 Justin McCarthy, ''Death and Exile, the Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922'', Princeton, NJ, 1995. Good work is also being done among Circassians remaining in Russia, e.g. the symposium of the Adygei Republican Institute of Humanitarian Research, ''Rossiya i Cherkessiya, Izdatel'stvo "Meoty", Maikop, 1995.

[14] The late Hugh Seton-Watson made one of the most notable attempts in his ''Nations and States'', Westview Press, Boulder CO, 1977.


Circassian - History

Neumann was no racist, but he certainly advocated colonialism and was a Russophile in relation to the southern lands. He had a Darwinist approach many years before Charles Darwin or Herbert Spencer presented their ideas. This appears to have been more typical to 19th century German thought than any anti-Armenian sentiments. Neumann makes it clear in his very first words of the preface: "The European humanity is selected by divinity as ruler of the earth."

Although Neumann respected the bravery of Circassians, he anticipated their destruction by Russia, because in a modern world, there would be no place for chivalrous "uncivilized" people. Neumann estimated the total number of Circassians, including the Kabardians and Abkhaz, at 1.5 million persons, or 300.000 families. (p. 67) Both the Russian figure of 300.000 persons, and the Circassian figure of four millions, were exaggerated.

Neumann divided the Circassians into ten tribes: Notketch, Schapsuch, Abatsech, Pseduch, Ubich, Hatiokech, Kemkuich, Abasech, Lenelnich, Kubertech (in German transliteration). They formed a loose confederation very much like old Switzerland, with democratic majority votes deciding the affairs of villages. Their princes had no privileges, and were regarded only as military commanders. Women were more free than anywhere in the Orient. There was no written law, and death penalties were unknown. Many Circassians were Muslims, but there were also Christians and pagans, all completely tolerated.

Russian prisoners-of-war were used as slaves, but if they were of Polish origin, they were regarded as guests. Therefore, Poles recruited in the Russian army, deserted en masse at every opportunity, and even Russians often declared themselves to be Poles. (p. 123) Slavery as such included no shame. Circassians used to sell their own family members as slaves to Turkey and Persia, and many went to slavery voluntarily, returning later on back home as rich and free men. (p. 124) This system could be compared to the Gastarbeiter emigration from Turkey since the 1960s. We should also remember, that in those times, slavery or serfdom existed in Romania and Russia as well.

The Circassians had been fighting against Russia already for forty years when appealing to the courts of Europe in a "Declaration of Independence": "But now we hear to our deepest humiliation, that our land counts as a part of the Russian empire on all maps published in Europe. that Russia, finally, declares in the West, that Circassians are their slaves, horrible bandits. " (p. 140-141)

The fight continued for two more full decades, until a national Circassian government was set up in Sochi. In 1862, Russia began the final invasion, annihilation and expulsion, as predicted by Neumann well in advance.

According to Kemal H. Karpat, "Ottoman population 1830-1914" (Madison 1985), "Beginning in 1862, and continuing through the first decade of the twentieth century, more than 3 million people of Caucasian stock, often referred collectively as Cerkes (Circassians), were forced by the Russians to leave their ancestral lands. " (p. 27)

Salaheddin Bey mentioned, in 1867, a total of 1.008.000 refugees from the Caucasus and Crimea, of whom 595.000 were initially settled in the Balkans. (p. 27) Half a million followed by 1879, and another half a million until 1914. (p. 69) Most of them were Circassians, although there were Crimean Tatars, Chechens, and other Muslim people among them. Hundreds of thousands Circassians perished on their way.

Neumann’s estimate of 1.5 million Circassians corresponds to 1/30 ethnic Russians, or 1/3 Czechs, or 3/4 Slovaks. (p. 66) According to Neumann, there were over two million Armenians in the world. (p. 69) Now, according to the Soviet census of 1989, the number of Russians has increased to 145 millions, whereof 1/30 would be almost five millions. There are 10 million Czechs and 5 million Slovaks, which would lead us to assume that there should be over 3 million Circassians. Armenia alone has a population of over 3 million Armenians, despite of the past ordeals 2 million Armenians live elsewhere. The number of Czechs, Slovaks, and Armenians has more than doubled in 150 years, while the number of Russians has tripled but where are the missing millions of Circassians?

"The Encyclopaedia Britannica", 11th edition (Cambridge 1911), divided the Armenian population equally between Russia and Turkey (little over a million in each empire), and numbered 216.950 Circassians (including Abkhaz etc.) in Russia. Again we must conclude, that about 1.5 million Circassians had been massacred or deported. This disaster exceeded both absolutely and proportionally whatever fell upon Armenians in 1915. Was it intentional? Ja. Was it ideological? Ja. The conquest and Christian colonization of the Middle East was expected not only by Germans, but by most Europeans during the 19th century, and the expulsion of Muslims from Europe was considered a historical necessity. Russia had practicized massacres and mass deportations in the Crimea and Caucasus, and "ethnically cleansed" Circassia specially in 1862-1864. During that period, Panslavists like Mikhail Katkov provided the Russian public with nationalistic excuses for what had started as imperial ambition ("Third Rome") and strategic interests ("Access to sea").

A vicious cycle was created and increased the stakes at both frontiers: the Caucasus, and the Balkans. Circassian refugees settled in the Balkans were provoked to commit the "Bulgarian atrocities", that inspired some of the Armenian revolutionaries. After the Balkan Wars, Muslim refugees were roaming in Anatolia, thus spreading terror, and hostility. This was exploited by Russia, at the cost of many innocent Armenians. The massacres of 1915 were a tip of the iceberg - the part best visible for Europeans, who had been actively seeking and expecting horror news to justify anti-Muslim prejudice, and to prevent interventions on behalf of Turkey, as had happened in the Crimean War of the 1850s.

Was it a genocide? That depends on the definition. Rather than of separate, selectively researched genocides, we should speak of a general genocidal tendency that affected many - both Muslim and Christian - people on a wide scene between 1856 and 1956, continuing in post-Soviet Russia until today.


Russia's Forgotten Genocide


The mountaineers leave the aul by Pyotr Nikolayevich Gruzinsky, 1872.

The Circassians are a small ethnic group with very few relatives who had lived between the Crimean Peninsula and the central North Caucasus for about 4,000 years when the Russians invaded their homeland in the eighteenth century. The Kabardians, whose society was the most stable of all the Circassian tribes and who occupied the strategic central region of the north Caucasus, had been Russian allies for over two hundred years when they became the first victims. In 1763, Russia began their plan to conquer the region by building a fort in Kabardia, and war ensued. It remained a stalemate until 1805, when General Sergei Bulgakov blockaded plague-stricken Kabardia. After he determined that the Kabardians had been starved to the point where they could no longer resist he went on a rampage, burning villages and food supplies. Bulgakov was removed for his excesses, but his successor Alexei Ermolov escalated the war against the now defenseless and starving Kabardians to genocidal niveauer.

The most destructive campaign came in the winter of 1822, when Ermolov’s troops burned homes and food and rustled cattle, leaving the people to die from starvation and the elements. Often, they massacred entire villages. Ermolov’s rampage left the entire district of Lesser Kabardia, which had been perennially loyal to Russia, completely depopulated. Ermolov continued his destruction of Kabardia until 1827. As a result, the Kabardian population dropped from 300,000 in 1790 to 30,000 in 1830.

The war against the other tribes began in 1800, when Emperor Paul gave the Cossacks living in the region permission to raid Circassia. However, the conflict remained low-level and two sides actually began to cooperate and establish trade relations when the Ottoman Empire “ceded” Circassia to Russia in 1829. In fact, Ottoman control of Circassia was on paper only, but Emperor Nicholas I used the treaty as an excuse for a full invasion. The Circassians turned out be far more numerous than expected, however, and the Russians became frustrated and resorted to increasingly brutal tactics. By 1840, genocide was being considered as an option.

Despite Russian military superiority, the Circassians held their own until 1859, when the Chechens fighting the Russians to the east surrendered and the entire Russian Caucasus army focused on Circassia. In addition, Russian forces in the Crimea were moved up the Black Sea coast to hem the Circassians in. By now, the Circassians were militarily exhausted and in late 1859 all but two tribes signed a truce with the Russians and became “quite good neighbors,” as one Russian officer said. However, the treaty was a trick to allow the Russians time to put their armies in place.

On October 15, 1860, General Nikolai Evdokimov proposed what was perhaps the first ethnic cleansing in history. Officially, the Circassians were to be given a choice between settling to the north or immigrating to Turkey. However, eyewitness Mikhail Venyukov reported that Evdokimov stated privately that he planned to drive all the Circassians to Anatolia.
The Russians conducted the majority of their ethnic cleansing of Circassia between October 1863 and April 1864. Numerous massacres of unarmed men, women and children ensued. Those the Russians spared were driven to the coast in convoys, even peaceful clans to the coast who were willing to submit to any terms. The Russians refused to allow them to take provisions. Many fled to die in their cherished mountains, and unknown thousands died en route to the shore.

Once at the shore, the Circassians were left in the open air without food, water, and often even clothing. Disease and starvation ran rampant. Evdokimov was repeatedly told of massive casualties but did nothing. Word got back to Emperor Alexander II, who ordered his brother Grand Prince Mikhail to investigate. Mikhail reported back that there was no disease and plenty of food and water. Transportation to Turkey was delayed as Evdokimov quibbled over fees with private contractors, leading to more deaths. Once the survivors arrived in Anatolia they continued to die of disease, starvation and exposure, since the Russians had told the Ottoman government only 50,000 refugees were coming, when in fact it was closer to one million. The Turks were caught unprepared and despite repeated requests the Russians refused to stop the deportation. Throughout the entire process, at least 625,000 people died. About 30,000 were allowed to remain as agricultural advisors, although Evdokimov allowed the Cossacks to harass them in hopes they too would emigrate. As a result, the 1880 Circassian population was lower than it was in 1865.

Was it genocide? In the Kabardian case, it’s clear Ermolov intended to annihilate the population he stated as much, and even joked when told the Kabardians were freezing to death after his rampage. With the ethnic cleansing of the 1860s, the Russians have always hidden behind the excuse that the event was a terrible tragedy, but that it wasn’t intentional. However, the archival materials make it clear that the Russians acted with gross disregard for the risks involved and sent men, women and children down the rugged Caucasus Mountains in winter without provisions, ensuring mass death among the weakest—women, children and the elderly. Rather than take steps to alleviate it, Evdokimov gave orders not to report it. Such actions, as genocide scholars Robert Gellately and Ben Kiernan explain, do rise to the level of genocide:
Genocidal intent . . . applies to acts of destruction that are not the specific goal but are predictable outcomes or by-products of a policy, which could have been avoided by a change in that policy.

This is precisely what happened in Circassia. Russia followed a policy that clearly threatened the lives of a large number of people (as a committee warned Evdokimov in 1861), and when the results of that policy became clear, they did not change course.
Unfortunately, the genocide was too far removed from European concerns to attract much attention. Britain, Circassia’s lukewarm supporter, was more interested in challenging Russia in Central Asia in the 1860s. After the Circassians disappeared from their homeland, the world forgot them. It is only recently, since the 2014 Winter Olympics was awarded to Sochi—ironically the location of Circassia’s first and only parliament—that some attention has been paid to the tragedy.


Circassians and their fate: introduction into history of nation expelled by Russian Empire from Caucasus

The Circassians are attracting ever more attention as the Internet has allowed those in the homeland and those abroad to reinforce one another and as this increasing activism has challenged Moscow’s control of a region by undermining the center’s ethnic engineering and by calling attention to the abuses it has visited on the Circassians and others.

Those who study the North Caucasus and Russian nationality policies more generally need to become far more familiar with the Circassian case than they are. Books produced by Walter Richmond and Adel Bashqawi provide important guides, but they are so long that those who focus on the Circassians only indirectly seldom go through them.

The historic area of “Greater Circassia” outlined on the modern map of the Caucasus. Source: justicefornorthcaucasus.info

Those who specialize on the Circassians will want to read it even though they will be familiar with the scholarship on which it is based those who focus on other issues that the Circassians are involved with will find it invaluable as a brief introduction to this people and their much-contested land.

The author is clearly aware that this is the audience for his essay. He ends his article by offering the comment of a Circassian scholar, Madina Khakuasheva, who is a senior researcher at the Kabardino-Balkar Institute for Research on the humanities,

“Russia’s approach to the non-Russians has gone through the following stages in the case of the Circassians, she argues. “First, physical destruction and deportation without the right of return, then open discrimination against the native language, leveling of culture and identity, and the complete elimination of the history of the Circassians’ from books and museums.”

Today, Khakuasheva writes and with Bashqawi’’s full approval,

“Moscow continues to work to create ‘all the conditions for the realization of artificial assimilation and the erasing of all evidence of the existence of an entire people,’ including declaring the territory and resources of those territories Russian ‘from time immemorial.’ That is the final goal of geopolitical control.’”


The Circassian Genocide and the American Civil War.

I did an extensive search on this forum to try and make sure these topics haven’t been linked before, but if I missed something I apologise in advance.

Around the turn of the 18th century the German physiologist, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, invented the term “Caucasian” as a synonym for the white race. He claimed that the Caucasus was its origin and that the Circassians in particular were the most beautiful racial type, being white, primeval, and supposedly close to God’s image for humankind. This legendary beauty of the Circassians was already ‘a thing’ at the time. Circassia itself doesn’t exist anymore, it has been wiped off the face of the Earth, but it was once a mountainous country between Russia and the northern coast of the Black Sea.


Kilde

For sixty or so years after the Caucasian invention, a huge propaganda campaign developed regarding the plight of Circassia and its beautiful white people. Alexandre Dumas began his 1859 book, “Adventures in Caucasia,” with the declaration, “I have no doubt that my readers know of the region as well as I do,” because the campaign had been relentless. Maturin Murray Ballou wrote, “a fair and rosy-cheeked race…with a form of ravishing loveliness, large and lustrous eyes and every belonging that might go to make up a Venus.” Henry Lindlahr claimed, “Circassian beauties are admired for their abundant and luxuriant yellow hair and blue eyes.” Bayard Taylor said, “so far as female beauty is concerned, the Circassian women have no superiors [and] have preserved in their mountain home the purity of the Grecian models”.

  • Henry Fielding,
  • Lord Byron,
  • Leo Tolstoy.
  • Voltaire,
  • Mark Twain,
  • Alexander Pushkin,
  • Gustav Hugo.

In the 1850s Max Müller elaborated upon the Caucasian myth. He was working for Rothschild i East India Company and was employed to ‘translate’ i.e. destroy, the Indian Vedas and Indian culture. He introduced the notion of two Aryan races, a western and an eastern one, who migrated from the Caucasus into Europe and India respectively thus giving white people a prior claim to India. That’s another story entirely, but it goes to show how this same racial myth was used to manipulate situations and justify atrocities on a worldwide basis.

Circassian women were and apparently had been for centuries, sold into what was called ‘white slavery’, i.e. sexual slavery in the harems and seraglios of the Russian Empire, the Crimean Khanate, the Ottoman Empire, the Persian Safavid Empire and elsewhere. Every rich and powerful man, it seemed, had a Circassian concubine. To make matters worse the Russians were determined to wipe out Circassia and its inhabitants. The Caucasian War ran from 1817 until 1864, but they had already begun infiltrating the area back in the 1760s. Under Tsar Alexander II, they took the upper hand and began a brutal program of ethnic cleansing that pushed most of the Circassians toward Turkey, the Middle East and to a lesser extent, Europe.

This situation created intense interest from abolitionists across America and Europe:

"Horrible Traffic in Circassian Women—Infanticide in Turkey," New York Daily Times, August 6, 1856 (From the Correspondence of the London Post)

There has been lately an unusually large number of Circassians going about the streets of Constantinople. Many of them no doubt belonged to the deputation which came to petition the Porte that their country might be taken under the suzerainty of the Sultan. A considerable portion, however, of the Circassians now in the capital have quite another mission than a political one to fulfill. They are here as slave dealers, charged with the disposal of the numerous parcels of Circassian girls that have been for some time pouring into this market. Perceiving that when the Russians shall have reoccupied the coast of the Caucasus this traffic in white slaves will be over, the Circassian dealers have redoubled their efforts ever since the commencement of the peace conferences to introduce into Turkey the greatest possible number of women while the opportunity of doing so lasted. They have been so successful, notwithstanding the prohibition of the trade by the Porte, and the presence of so many of Her Majesty’s ships in the Black Sea, that never, perhaps, at any former period, was white human flesh so cheap as it is at this moment. There is an absolute glut in the market, and dealers are obliged to throw away their goods, owing to the extent of the supply, which in many instances has been brought by steam under the British flag. In former times a “good middling” Circassian girl was thought very cheap at 100 pounds, but at the present moment the same description of goods may be had for 5 pounds! In fact, the creatures are eating their heads off, and must be disposed of at any sacrifice, however alarming. Independently of all political, humane and Christian objections to this abominable state of things, there are several practical ones which have even forced themselves on the attention of the Turks. With low prices a low class of purchasers come into the market. Formerly a Circassian slave girl was pretty sure of being bought into a good family, where not only good treatment, but often rank and fortune awaited her but at present low rates she may be taken by any huxter who never thought of keeping a slave before. Another evil is that the temptation to possess a Circassian girl at such low prices is so great in the minds of the Turks that many who cannot afford to keep several slaves have been sending their blacks to market, in order to make room for a newly-purchased white girl. The consequence is that numbers of black women, after being as many as eight or ten years in the same hands, have lately been consigned to the broker for disposal. Not a few of t hose wretched creatures are in a state quite unfit for being sold. I have it on the authority of a respectable slave-broker that at the present moment there have been thrown on the market unusually large numbers of negresses in the family way, some of them even slaves of pashas and men of rank. He finds them so unsalable that he has been obliged to decline receiving any more. A single observation will explain the reason of this, which might appear strange when compared with the value that is attached even to an unborn black baby in some slave countries. In Constantinople it is evident that there is a very large number of negresses living and having habitual intercourse with their Turkish masters—yet it is a rare thing to see a mulatto. What becomes of the progeny of such intercourse? I have no hesitation in saying that it is got rid of by infanticide, and that there is hardly a family in Stanboul where infanticide is not practiced in such cases as a mere matter of course, and without the least remorse or dread. Kilde

I apologise for reprinting the entire article, but it’s quite revealing and of course sickening, to observe the same kind of sensational manipulative journalistic style we are so accustomed to today in action 164 years ago. It sounds like an analysis of the used car market.


The Caucasus Mountains
Kilde

In spite of the Amerikansk borgerkrig (1861 – 1865) during the eighteen-sixties, it was hard to read the news and not see a mention of the Caucasus Mountains. For some reason the image of the manufactured plight of the oh-so-pure and white Circassians was kept front and centre in the minds of the colonial Americans. They were given the symbol of the Caucasian Mountains as justification for whatever was happening in the Civil War. We are led to believe that the conflict consisted of the Northern Union forces fighting against the Southern Confederacy due to differences over black slavery. If this is true, why use a symbol of white racial supremacy to justify the conflict?

Furthermore, it can be seen from the 1863 Russian Involvement in the US Civil War thread that Tsar Alexander II was also helping the Union forces do whatever it is they were doing in America whilst simultaneously exterminating the supposedly pure white Circassians back home. Does this make any sense?

The Circassian’s last stand took place in Soch in 1864, (where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held and where Russian President Vladimir Putin lavished $51 billion obliterating the sites of mass graves and covering them over with concrete and facilities for curling, figure skating, hockey, alpine skiing, snowboarding etc.) The leader of the Caucasus, Schamyl, was referred to as the region’s Jefferson Davis. Circassia became an analogy for Southern Confederate striving. Reports emerged about the Circassian plight during the Civil War with visions of mass death, suffering, and national upheaval. By 1865, approximately six hundred and twenty thousand soldiers had died in the American Civil War. By 1864, more than five hundred thousand Circassians had died in the last phase of the Caucasian War, in the fight against the invading Russian forces. Many accounts in American newspapers described Circassian bodies being “thrown out,” cast overboard with a frequency that recalled slaving practices, and “washing on shore” on the Black Sea coast.


Circassians commemorate their banishment by the Russians in Taksim, İstanbul.
Kilde

Near the end of the Civil War, newspapers in the U.S. were focussed on the demise of Circassia as if it were a stand-in for the end of America’s Confederate South. “Circassia is blotted from the map,” said a headline out of Newport, Rhode Island, on June 4, 1864. “The last hope of Circassia has vanished,” The Deseret News reported on July 6, 1864, “so has come the end of a brave and heroic people. ” The Circassian warriors seemed to vanish. Decimated, the Circassians were regarded as an “extinct race.”

So, what we have here is a very strong mental fusion of the pure white Circassians who are being abused, exploited and exterminated by non-whites and Russians, with the Southern Confederacy who are abusers, exploiters and exterminators of the black race and who themselves are being hunted down by white Americans and Russians. Both sets apparently “a brave and heroic people.”

. this is crazy. Did the American Civil War even actually take place or was it simply transplanted into the American consciousness in the guise of the Circassian Genocide?


Kilde

If the situation wasn’t bad enough, in September of 1864, apparently a time of fraught racial tensions in New York City, the consummate trickster and arsehole, P. T. Barnum saw a chance to cash-in. He sent one of his agents to Constantinople to purchase one of these beautiful Circassian ladies in the slave market. Though Barnum claimed his agent, dressed in full Turkish costume, had seen a large number of beautiful Circassian girls and women, for one reason or another he failed to return with one. Not to be denied his harem slave, Barnum hired a frizzy-haired local woman, put her in a Turkish costume and dubbed her Zalumma Agra, Star of the East. She was said to be the daughter of a prince and to have been rescued from a slave matket, although she was surprisingly proficient in English and mysteriously deficient in her knowledge of Circassia. Her hairstyle looked a bit like an ‘Afro’ or finger-in-the-electric-socket style. It was done up “in a great mass, like the boll of a ripened dandelion,” one journalist wrote, and was large enough to “just about fit a bushel basket.” More Circassian Beauties (or “Moss-haired Girls” as they were sometimes known) followed, all local girls and all with an enigmatic letter Z figuring prominently in their names. At least one performer, “Zumigo”, was of African descent. They became a mainstay of dime museums and side shows until the end of the nineteenth century, attracting white audiences fascinated by the "exotic East" and preoccupied by issues of race.

Here we have yet another anomaly. How come Barnam was promoting the essence of white racial purity with a display of black racial features – such as the afro hairstyle and even an African performer? Was he just an idiot or was there more to it?

When the public began to lose interest, Circassian beauties were frequently cast in the role of snake charmers in order to try and milk a bit more erotic appeal out of the act. This coincided with the release of more information about the Caucasian War and gradually the whole house-of-cards began to fall apart. It soon became apparent that the Caucasus was nothing like the pure-white image put forth by racial science. Nearly all of the assertions that Blumenbach had made about Caucasians were contested - from their supposed exemplary whiteness and laudable beauty to their antiquity-rooted heritage. The bastion of white racial purity came to be seen for what it really was: an area sandwiched between what were, at the time, considered to be opposites - Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam - with a mixture of racial groups huddled between the White Mountains and the southern Black Mountain.

George Kennan, an American traveller to the Caucasus in 1870, tried to explain the confusion to the American Geographical Society soon after he returned: “In thinking of the Caucasians we must remember that the Caucasian mountaineers as a whole are made up of fragments of almost every race and people in Europe and Western Asia," han sagde. “How such a heterogeneous collection of the tatters, ends, and odd bits of humanity ever blended into one coherent and consistent whole I don’t know, but there they are, offering problems to ethnologists and comparative philologists which will be hard to solve.

In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson requested “a report on the legendary beauty of the Caucasus women” which was obviously a reaction to the 1913 reports and photographs that had emerged of villages in Circassia being somehow made up entirely of “Negroes.” The Russian newspaper Kavkaz had published a story about the discovery of nearly five hundred “Black Russians living in the Caucasus,” in the Sukhumi district of Abkhasia, the heartland Circassia. In 1927, the Russian writer Maxim Gorky even went to Adzyubzha to discern the origins of these black Caucasians. Five years later, Langston Hughes travelled to the southern Soviet Republics, just east of the Caucasus, and noted in his diaries that he was surprised to find himself around people who would be considered “colored” in America. He thought some were “brown as russet pears” or “dark as chocolate.”

Questions about the look of Caucasians continue today. In Russia, some now describe “peoples with Caucasian features” as “black.” During the Chechen wars in the nineteen-nineties, the darker-skinned men and women of the Caucasus were called “black” in Russia. It is not uncommon to see a standard Black Sea atlas mark where the Circassians lived from 1800 until 1860 and in a map of the region after 1860 to find that they are simply gone, as if a mythical, invisible group, very much like Tartaria.

Putting all the propaganda aside, what the Circassian and Civil War situations have in common is the conflict itself. To the Russians the Circassian ‘label’ represented something to be annihilated. To the American Union (and the Russians) the Southern Confederacy ‘label’ also represented something to be annihilated. All of the other bizarre associations were just a cover for whatever those labels really represented.

With regard to the Circassian Beauties and their obvious black features, I am reminded of an old pop song from 1969 called “Melting Pot” by Blue Mink. Perhaps today’s immigration agenda began back then, which is fine until you remember there’s someone throwing you in and stirring the pot who will never get in it with you.

After having compiled all of this information and written it down, I find that the bigger picture eludes me even more than when I started. Any help would be much appreciated.


Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs. The Circassians have been Sunni Muslims for the past three or four hundred years, though as late as the first half of the nineteenth century some of the woodland Abadzekh seem to have retained a form of Christianity. The Circassianized Armenians of Armavir (Yermedls) are Christian, and there were some Jewish Circassians in the bodyguard of Chaim Weizmann, the founder of Zionism. Nevertheless, many pagan relics are to be found in their oral traditions, particularly the heroic Nart sagas or Nart epics, which are myths of great antiquity with many striking parallels to the mythologies of ancient India, Greece, and Scandinavia. Herein are a host of pagan gods, each dedicated to one simple function, such as the god of cattle, the god of forests, the god of the forge, a female fertility figure, etc. The gods held Olympian banquets, led by their own t'hamata, at which they drank a sacred brew, sana (wine). They conducted war and intrigues. The gods themselves had gods, but these were nameless. Also evident from the folklore is a belief that the universe was self-creating, that the world had no boundary and is made up of nine layers. In the myths are numerous monsters, cyclopean giants, lizard men, demons, giant eagles, and dragons. Heroes are defined by slaying these monsters, by thrusting their weapons into all nine layers of the earth and then by being the only ones capable of extricating them again, and by their prodigious appetites and thirsts. Certain groves and large trees were held to be sacred.

Various individuals were thought to be warlocks or witches, with the power of the evil eye and control over the weather and the well-being of livestock. A woman could not cross a man's path if she was carrying an empty pail without running the risk of being labeled a witch. There was a belief in ghosts as well, demonic forms that lurked in cemeteries. Eclipses of the sun were thought to be caused by a devil.

Religious Practitioners. Old engravings show that the prince conducted religious ceremonies among the Christian Abadzekh. Today the community elects an imam.

Ceremonies. Some Circassians would shoot arrows at nearby lightning bolts and then look for blood to see if they had made a hit. The Abadzekhs conducted a dance around a tree to the god of thunder, offering sana "(the Peaceful One)". Abadzekh princes would also sacrifice cattle before the cross. Other rites seem to have been conducted in sacred groves or before a sacred tree. Funerals were accompanied by wailing among the women. The deceased's clothes were displayed, and, if a man, his weapons were also laid out. Much effort was expended to retrieve for burial in tribal soil the bodies of those killed on raids. Today the usual Muslim holidays and rituals are observed.

Kunst. Oral lore er of paramount importance among the Circassians. They view it as the chief monument of their civilization. Their folklore is extremely rich and varied. There are tales of battles with the Goths, the Huns, the Khazars, and the early Russians. Both men and women can be bards. This folklore has served in the twentieth century as a base for a modern literature both of poetry and prose. It has been collected in seven volumes, Nartkher (The Narts) by A. M. Hadaghat'la (Gadagatl). Some writing exists from the nineteenth century, but most is a product of this century. Some material has been produced in Jordan, most notably by the late Kube Shaban, and this has now been published in Maikop. Most Circassian literature, however, is a Soviet product. Some of it is extremely good and deserving of translation, especially such works as A. Shogentsuk(ov)'s (1900-1941) Kambot and Liatsa (1934-1936, in Kabardian) A. Shortan(ov)'s (born 1916) Bgheriskher (The Mountaineers) (1954, in Kabardian), or Yu. Tliusten's (born 1913) Wozbaanuquokher (The Ozbanokovs) (1962, in Chemgwi). The collected works of major writers are still appearing, such as those of T. Ch'arasha (1987-1989, in Chemgwi). Bards are still active and their output recorded, such as Ts. Teuchezh's The Uprising of the Bzhedugs (1939, in Bzhedukh). Active playwrights include I. Tsey (1890-1936), Dzh. Dzhagup(ov), and M. M. Shkhagapso(ev), among many others. For an ethnic group of its size, the Circassians' literary output has been prodigious.

Circassian song had a lead singer accompanied by a chorus, either on the same melodic line or in a counterpoint. Syncopation and triplets were abundantly used. Today in Jordan and the Circassian republics there are Circassian composers writing in variants of Western polyphonic styles, such as N. S. Osman (ov), D. K. Khaupa, and U. Tkhabisim(ov), to mention just a few, as well as Circassian musicians and conductors, such as K. Kheishkho and Iu. Kh. Temirkhan(ov).

Pictorial arts are based upon folk motifs, which are pleasing scrollwork designs of floral and cuneiform patterns on open backgrounds. It might be added here that the elegant folk costumes of the men's cherkeska, a caftan-like tight coat with cartridges across the chest, worn with a sheepskin hat, and the women's flowing gown with long, oblate false sleeves have spread throughout the Caucasus and have even been adopted by the neighboring Turkic and Slavic Cossack peoples as festive dress.

Finally, wood, usually a tree stump, is sculpted to produce a bust or totem-polelike representation of a god or heroic figure. For example, outside Maikop, in a children's playground on the edge of a wooded area there are several such figures — knight in armor, mushroom with a distorted face on its stem, and a totem-polelike representation of the god of the hunt, She-Batinuquo, with a wolf or dog sprouting from his right shoulder and an eagle soaring atop his head.

Videnskab. The Circassians have produced a notable number of outstanding linguists, such as Z. I. Kerash(eva), G. V. Rogava, A. A. Hatan(ov), M. A. Kumakh(ov), and Z. Iu. Kumakh(ova), among others, who have helped establish literary norms Sfor their dialects by producing dictionaries and grammars while at the same time writing a wide range of theoretical articles. Prominent among native folklorists is A. M. Hadaghat'la, who has also written plays. Native archaeologists are making interesting finds on a steady basis, one of the latest ones being rich in gold and golden armor, along with fragments of what seem to have been an ancient Circassian script.

Medicin. Traditional medicine was the provenance of the women, who were highly esteemed for their skills and knowledge. Healing and medicinal springs were also prized They were associated with a warrior princess, Amazan, "the Forest Mother" (the source of the Amazon myth), who was skilled in medicine and from whose blood the first healing spring arose.

Death and the Afterlife. After a life spent largely outdoors, Circassians viewed paradise as a comfortable, well-stocked room. The more virtuous the life led, the bigger and more sumptuous the room of eternity. It was said that the afterlife room of an evil man would be so small that he would not be able to turn over in it. From the Nart sagas, the realm of the dead appears to have been under the grave mound. The souls of the dead were guarded from supernatural depredations by a little old man and woman. Links with the dead were maintained by setting a place for them at the table for one full year after death. Feasts were held in their memory and toasts were offered to them by the t'hamata. A particularly illustrious warrior could serve as the head of a t'lawuzhe ("the successors to a man") and thereby be remembered by name even if his lineage did not achieve the status of a clan.


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Se videoen: What on Earth Happened to the Circassians? (August 2022).