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Title: Abkhazians  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Svans, Mingrelians, Ossetians, Georgians, Laz people
Collection: Abkhaz People, Peoples of the Caucasus
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Giorgi Shervashidze
Total population
c. 200,000 – 600,000-1,000,000
Regions with significant populations
 Turkey 39,000 – 500,000[1][2][3][4]
 Abkhazia 122,040[5]
 Georgia (without Abkhazia) 3,527[6]
 Russia 11,366[7]
 Syria 5,000 – 10,000[4][8]
 Germany 5,000[4]
 Ukraine 1,458[9]
Predominantly Eastern Orthodox In Abkhazia
and Sunni Islam in Turkey
Abkhaz neopagan minority
Related ethnic groups
Abazins, Adyghe, Ubykh

Abkhazians, Abkhaz people and the Abkhaz or (

  • Chirikba, Viacheslav (2003). Abkhaz. Languages of the World/Materials 119.  
  • David Marshall Lang, Caucasian Studies, University of London, 1964, Vol.1
  • Roger Rosen, Georgia: Sovereign Country of the Caucasus, Odyssey, 2004, ISBN 962-217-748-4


  1. ^ Abkhaz. Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version
  2. ^ (2009) Abkhazia Seeking Turkish Recognition of Independence
  4. ^ a b c Chirikba 2003 p8
  5. ^ a b (2003) 2003 Census statistics (Russian)
  6. ^ (2002)
  7. ^ 2002 Census statistics (Russian)
  8. ^ a b "Abkhaz Syrians return home".  
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ Caucasian Information
  11. ^ a b c d e Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abkhaz". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. p. 33.  
  12. ^ Smith, Graham (1998). Nation-building in the post-Soviet borderlands: the politics of national identities. Cambridge University Press. p. 55.  
  13. ^ [4]
  14. ^  
  15. ^ Coppieters, Bruno (2004). Europeanization and conflict resolution: case studies from the European periphery. Academia Press. p. 196.  
  16. ^ Chirikba 2003 p6-8
  17. ^ Georgians and Abkhazians. The Search for a Peace Settlement (Notes and References section), by various authors, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, August 1998.
  18. ^ Bagapsh Speaks of Abkhazia’s Economy, Demographic Situation. Civil Georgia. 10 October 2005
  19. ^ 2011 Census results
  20. ^ a b James Brooke (15 April 2013). "Syrian Refugees Go 'Home' to Former Russian Riviera".  
  21. ^ a b "Over two hundred representatives of the Abkhazian diaspora in Syria want to return to their historical homeland". Abkhaz World. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  22. ^ Repatriates" settling in Abkhazia""". The Messenger. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  23. ^ Johansons, Andrejs. (Feb. 1972) The Shamaness of the Abkhazians. History of Religions. Vol. 11, No. 3. pp. 251–256.


See also


The Abkhaz people are principally divided into High Middle Ages. Following the Ottoman takeover in the 16th century, missionary activity by Sufi preachers and the pressure from the Adyghe tribes (most of whom had converted to Islam) from the north precipitated the decline of Christianity. The region remained largely Muslim until the 1860s, when much of the Muslim population was moved during the course of Russian conquest, leaving Christians in majority.


The typical economy is strong on the breeding of cattle, beekeeping, viticulture, and agriculture.[11]


In the course of the Syrian uprising, a number of Abkhaz living in Syria remigrated to Abkhazia.[8] By mid-April 2013, approximately 200 Syrians of Abkhaz descent had arrived in Abkhazia.[20][21] A further 150 were due to arrive by the end of April.[20] The Abkhazian leadership has stated that it would continue the repatriation of Abkhaz living abroad.[21] As of August 2013, 531 Abkhaz had arrived from Syria according to the Abkhazian government.[22]

At the time of the 2011 Census, 122,175 Abkhaz were living in Abkhazia. They were 50.8% of the total population of the republic.[19]

[18] suggested, in 2005, that less than 70,000 ethnic Abkhaz lived in Abkhazia.Sergey Bagapsh The de facto Abkhaz president [17] However, the exact demographic figures for the region are disputed and alternative figures are available.[5] The

Modern Abkhazia

After the Joseph Stalin, a forcible collectivization was introduced and the native communist elite purged. The influx of Armenians, Russians and Georgians into the growing agricultural and tourism sectors was also encouraged, and Abkhaz schools were briefly closed. By 1989, the number of Abkhaz was about 93,000 (18% of the population of the autonomous republic), while the Georgian population numbered 240,000 (45%). The number of Armenians (15% of the entire population) and Russians (14%) grew substantially as well.

The Russian conquest of Abkhazia from the 1810s to the 1860s was accompanied by a massive expulsion of Muslim Abkhaz to the Ottoman Empire and the introduction of a strong Russification policy. As a result, the Abkhaz diaspora is currently estimated to measure at least twice the number of Abkhaz that reside in Abkhazia. The largest part of the diaspora now lives in Turkey, with estimates ranging from 100,000 to 500,000, with smaller groups in Syria (5,000 – 10,000) and Jordan. In recent years, some of these have emigrated to the West, principally to Germany (5,000), the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Austria and the United States (mainly to New Jersey).[16]

[15] Towards the end of the 17th century, the region became a theatre of widespread slave trade and piracy. According to a theory developed by

When the Principality of Abkhazia only to be conquered by the Ottomans.

Russian researchers have suggested that the ancestors of the contemporary Abkhaz were the ancient Zygii, known from the first century BC when they were mentioned by Strabo as Apsils. It has been proposed that they were responsible for the Tsebelda culture.


There are a few different varieties of the Abkhaz people. The Bzyb Abkhaz reside in the Bzyb River region.[11] They have their own dialect. The Abzhui Abkhaz live in the Kodori River region. They also have a distinct dialect which the literary language is based upon.[11] Finally, there is the Zamurzakan Abkhaz who reside in the southeast of Abkhazia.[11]

The integration of various smaller ethnic subgroups into the modern-day Abkhaz people was basically completed by the late 10th century, but some of these groups were deprived of their homeland when the Russian conquest of northwestern Caucasus forced them to become muhajirun and emigrate to the Ottoman possessions.

The Abkhaz language belongs to the Northwest Caucasian languages group. Classical sources speak of several tribes dwelling in the region, but their exact identity and location remains controversial. The Abasgoi and Apsilai of the Graeco-Roman authors are considered as the predecessors of modern-day Abkhaz.



  • Origins 1
  • History 2
  • Economy 3
  • Religion 4
  • Gallery 5
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8

[10], particularly in Russia and Ukraine.Soviet Union. Many Abkhaz also live in other parts of the former muhajirism population resides in Turkey, the origins of which lie in the emigration from the Caucasus in the late 19th century known as diaspora coast. A large Abkhaz Black Sea, a disputed region on the Abkhazia, mainly living in ethnic group Caucasian) are a ap'khazebi, აფხაზები

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