They make “bread” from millet, and their cheese is known all over the world. They kidnap brides just for fun, but consider marriage to be sacred and unique in life. Who are the unique and restless Adyghe people?
Adyghe people are one of the peoples that descended from the Adyghe nation. Often this nation is called the lower Adygs, which is affected by the geographical features of their settlement. The traditions of the Adyghe people, as well as their kindred peoples, are very interesting, because they were formed against the backdrop of constant confrontation with neighboring tribes.
The history of life
Since ancient times, the inhabitants of the valleys of the Kuban and Laba rivers have practically not changed outwardly. The Adyghe people have only slightly pronounced features of the Mongoloid race. This happened because of the Polovtsian settlement in these places in the XII century. The close proximity to warlike tribes made it necessary to develop metalworking and weapons craft. The Adyghe people already in the early period perfectly make spears and arrows, they appear elementary armor to protect the body of a warrior in battle. Even in the pre-Polovtsian period, Sarmatian conquerors appeared on the lands of Adygea, which in many respects influence the culture of the people.
On the eve of the 10th century AD, the most important event for the Adyghe people takes place. Scattered tribes unite over a vast territory, which becomes the beginning of a single nation of Adygs. Unfortunately, this does not stop the Mongol-Tatar warriors who ravaged the lands later. After their departure, the Adyghe people see their lands dead and devastated, and therefore some tribes move to the eastern side.
In the XVII century, the influence of Islam in these lands was already noticeable. But at the same time, the Adyghe people adhere to two religious directions, professing the Muslim religion, and also not renouncing their own ancient beliefs. Some of them remain pagans. A century and a half later, Adyghe fell under the control of the Ottomans, and a little later the Russian Empire established its supremacy on their land. In the process of the outbreak of the Caucasian war, the Adyghe people did not want to obey either side, following their own line. At the end of the conflict, many of them were evicted from their lands.
In the last century, important transformations have taken place for the Adyghe people. Representatives of the people living in their ancestral territories fall into the republic, gaining more rights and freedoms, which has a positive effect on the standard of living of the Adyghe people.
Given the geographical location of the Adyghe lands, it is not surprising that since ancient times this people has successfully engaged in agriculture, which flourishes to this day. Crops, legumes, and livestock feed were cultivated on fertile soils. The most important occupation of the Adyghe was horse breeding. Rich pastures contributed to this, and during the year it was only necessary to change the places of grazing cattle and horses a couple of times, protecting them from mosquitoes.
Metalworking also occupies a special place in the crafts of the Adyghe people. In addition to the manufacture of weapons, they are engaged in forging jewelry and belts, create special samples of horse harness. Women of this region are known for their beautiful embroideries in gold and silver, which often became an ornament for national clothes.
The traditional dishes of Adyghe cuisine are beef or horsemeat, lamb, dairy or cereal products. Of course, many people know the famous Adyghe cheese. They hardly eat bread, replacing it with solid porridge from millet, which can even be cut into slices.
The head of the Adyghe family, like many other peoples, is a man. Moreover, a woman has the right to vote in deciding on family matters. Often in the songs and legends of the Adyghe people are representatives of the fair sex, which emphasizes the importance of women in life and history.
An interesting custom of the Adygheans is the exchange of children. When the child is still small, parents can give it to another family, and take their son or daughter to their home. Thus, each clan shows respect for the other, holding the union together as friendship. After all, only a true friend can be trusted with the most precious thing – a child.
Adyghe folklore is based on the relationship of man and nature. This people has a special reverence for trees. They believe that plants are endowed with a special power that can help or destroy.
Many legends of the Adyghe people are based on very real events, embellished with a mythological component. According to popular beliefs, the ancestors of this people were sledges. Many of them were descendants of the great gods. They helped people, accomplished feats, and fought the evil forces invading our world.
Like many other peoples of the Caucasus, the wedding customs of the Adyghe people have a unique flavor. First of all, future spouses should be equal in social status. Alas, this became an insurmountable obstacle for many princes who fell in love with commoners.
When everything is agreed, the groom must show his viability and assure the relatives of the beloved in the seriousness of their intentions, that is, simply give a generous ransom for her. The abduction of the bride is not mandatory in our time, but it is often used in a comic form. In the understanding of the Adyghe people, marriage is concluded only once, therefore, divorces from this people are not welcome.
A special talent of the Adyghe people is the ability to preserve the uniqueness of their own views and beliefs. And to this day, they surprise with the color of their holidays and the accuracy of observing ancient traditions. Despite the difficult fate, these people managed to remain as unique and vibrant as they were many years ago.