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Related to Abkhazians: Abkhaziya, Abkhazeti



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.


References in periodicals archive ?
4 President Saakashvili offered to negotiate full autonomy for the province of Abkhazia in 2004, which was formally rejected by Abkhazian leader Sergei Bagapsh.
Abkhazian residents can easily get Russian passports -- which offer their only possibility to travel to Western countries.
Abkhazians coming from Turkey and Syria have managed to bring a new dynamism to their home country.
If we are successful in our efforts to integrate into European structures, European security structures, if we have real democratic institutions and if we have support from the European Union as really one of the democratic states in this region, I think the Abkhazian and Ossetian people will think about whether they want to be part of Europe with Georgia or whether they want to stay under the pressure of the Russian military presence.
With particular reference to Abkhazia, the exiles in whose repatriation the Abkhazians are most interested are the descendants of those Abkhazians who migrated to the Ottoman Empire at the end of the great Caucasian War (1864) or following the Russo-Turkish war of 1877/8, a population-shift which denuded Abkhazia of its native inhabitants and created the opportunity for the start of large-scale inward Mingrelian migration, something which became state-policy under Stalin's anti-Abkhazian campaign from the late 1930s and which had such a disastrous consequence for the republic's ethnic balance, Abkhazians forming only 17.
Now is the time for Georgian, Russian, Abkhazian, and Ossetian civilians who are bearing the brunt of the conflict to come together to stop imperial chess games that kill thousands of people and leave thousands more displaced and emotionally wounded.
engaging in international discussions on South Ossetian and Abkhazian future status to ensure their security.
DESPITE officially recognizing the territorial integrity of Georgia since it became independent with the collapse of the old Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has supported Abkhazian and South Ossetian rebels seeking to break away from Georgian rule.
After what happened, it's unlikely Ossetians and Abkhazians will ever be able to live together with Georgia in one state," he said in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Dmitry Medvedev said that although Russia respected the principle of territorial integrity, "after what happened, it's unlikely Osse-tians and Abkhazians will ever be able to live together with Georgia in one state.
It seems that the Russian irregulars, Chechens and Abkhazians know this better than US President George W.
Civil war broke out in 1992 because the 700,000 Abkhazians wanted independence from the rest of Georgia.