Chanba, Samson

Chanba, Samson Iakovlevich


Born June 18, 1886, in the village of Atara, in what is now Ochamchira Raion, Abkhazian ASSR; died 1937. Soviet Abkhazian writer and state figure. Member of the CPSU from 1921.

Chanba, the son of peasants, graduated from the Khoni Teachers Seminary in 1914 and worked as a teacher. From 1921 to 1925 and from 1930 to 1932 he was people’s commissar of education in Abkhazia. From 1925 to 1930 he served as chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Abkhazian ASSR.

Chanba wrote in both Russian and Abkhazian. His works were first published in 1916. His romantic narrative poem Mountain Maiden (1919) was followed by the plays Makhadzhiry (1920, staged 1928), Apsny Khanym (1923), and From the Past (1929). These plays, based on themes drawn from revolutionary history and everyday life, were the first examples of Abkhazian drama. Chanba also wrote short stories of great psychological depth. His novella Seidyk (1934), which is concerned with the initial period of collectivization, was one of the first significant prose works in Abkhazian literature.


In Russian translation:
lzbrannoe. Sukhumi, 1960.


Lakoba, N. Samson Chanba: Zhizn i tvorchestvo. Sukhumi, 1972.