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a people of the Karachaevo-Cherkess Autonomous Oblast, with separate groups in Adygei Autonomous Oblast and in the Kislovodsk region. The Abazas, whose population was 20,000 according to the 1959 census and 25,000 according to the 1970 census, speak Abaza. Their ancestors inhabited the eastern shore of the Black Sea. The Abazas have been known in their present location since the 14th century. Ethnologically they fall into two groups—the Tapanta and the Shkaraua.