The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(from Turkic konak, kunak, “guest”), a custom formerly widespread in the Northern Caucasus, whereby two men belonging to different families, tribes, or nationalities would form close ties of mutual assistance and defense.

By origin, kunachestvo is related to the custom of hospitality, but in meaning it is closer to pobratimstvo (blood brotherhood). Having arisen during the breakdown of tribal society to compensate for the weakened kinship ties and to secure safety in a foreign land, kunachestvo survived in early class-structured society, partially transformed into a form of the patronage and vassalage systems. The Montenegrins, Arabs, and others have also had customs analogous to kunachestvo.


Gardanov, V. K. Obschestvennyi stroi adygskikh narodov (XVIII-pervaia polovina XIX v.). Moscow, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.