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Related to Abkhazians: Abkhaziya, Abkhazeti
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a nation making up the indigenous population of the Abkhazian ASSR. A number of Abkhazians also live in the Adzhar ASSR and in Turkey. Abkhazians in the USSR, who speak the Abkhazian language, numbered 65,000 (1959 census); 83,000 (1970 census). Their ancestors, who are mentioned in Assyrian sources and later in records from classical antiquity, are among the oldest inhabitants of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Furthermore, the Abkhazians were influenced by the West Georgian tribes in ancient times, an influence which is reflected in specific features of their culture. Three territorial groups, derived from the ancient tribal-territorial division, may be noted—the Gudauta, or Bzyb’; the Abzhui; and the Samurzakan groups. In the past they displayed dialectal and cultural differences, but these have gradually disappeared. The main religions were Orthodox Christianity (especially among the Samurzakanians, from the sixth century) and the Sunni branch of Islam (from the 15th century).


Dzhanashia, N. S. Stat’i po etnografii Abkhazii. Sukhumi, 1960.
Inal-Ipa, Sh. Abkhazy, 2nd ed. Sukhumi, 1965.
Chursin, G. F. Materialy po etnografii Abkhazii. Sukhumi, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Georgia, weakened by the fighting with the Abkhazians who were supported by Russians and by economic difficulties, was forced to join the Commonwealth of Independent States and to grant official status to three Russian military bases in Georgia.
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When Russia finally subdued and annexed Abkhazia in 1864, around 60% of the Abkhazian population emigrated to Turkey leaving whole villages and vast areas of Abkhazia empty.
The offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Abkhazian capital Sukhumi (above) look like offices anywhere else in the world.
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As part of this, thousands of Abkhazians gathered in front of the presidential offices to call for President Alexander Ankvab's resignation.
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Regardless of how many ethnic groups there may be, whether it is Turks, Kurds, Circassians, Lazs, Georgians, Abkhazians or Gypsies, we have respect and love for all, Erdogan said.