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Banner of the Kabardian Union.svg
Flag of Kabardia
Circassian flag.svg
Total population
~1,628,500 Kabardian dialect speakers only[1][2]
Regions with significant populations
 Russia590,010 (2010 census)[3]
 TurkeyMore than 1,000,000[4]
 Saudi Arabia23,000[]
 United States5,500[]
Kabardian Adyghe dialect, Russian, Turkish,
Predominantly Sunni Islam[6] Minority Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Other Adyghe tribes, Abkhaz, Abaza
Yinal speaking Adyghe and Kabardian.

The Kabardians (Highland Adyghe: ; Lowland Adyghe: ; Russian: ?) or Kabardinians are one of the twelve major Circassian tribes, representing one of the twelve stars on the green-and-gold Circassian flag.[7] They are also commonly known by the plural terms Kabardin, Kebertei, or Kabarday. Along with the Besleney tribe, they speak a distinctive dialect of the Adyghe language. Historically the Kabardians lived in Kabardia, a region of the north Caucasus. In modern times the Kabardians live mostly in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, which partly corresponds to the historic region.

Despite the Soviet administrative divisions that placed Circassians under four different designations and political units, namely Adygeans (Adyghe in Adygea), Cherkessians (Adyghe in Karachay-Cherkessia), Kabardians (Adyghe in Kabardino-Balkaria), and Shapsugians (Adyghe in Krasnodar Krai), all four groups are essentially the same people (Adyghe). Furthermore, Cherkessians are mostly of the Kabardian and Besleney tribes.


The Kabardians are the largest Circassian (Adyghe) tribe in the world in general, and form the largest Circassian tribe in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and in some other countries in the region. As of 2002 Kabardians numbered around 520,000 in Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia.[8] and about 50,000 in Karachay-Cherkessia, Russia. In Turkey, where more than 1 million of them live,[4] they are concentrated on the Uzunyayla plateau of Kayseri Province and around (Central Turkey), though there are Kabardian villages in Bal?kesir, Düzce, Eski?ehir (Northwest Turkey), Çorum, Samsun, and Tokat (Black Sea region), amongst many others. Significant populations of Kabardians also live in Jordan;[9] and there are communities in the United States. However, in Israel and Jordan, the Shapsug and Abzakh tribes respectively are the largest.


Religions historically practiced by Kabardins include the native Habze faith, Christianity, and Islam. The majority of Karbardins had converted to Islam by the early 19th century. There are also still some adherents to traditional Habze beliefs, although most Kabardin are now Hanafi Sunni Muslims.

Kabardians also constituted one of the earliest Christian communities in Europe, converting in the late 2nd and early 3rd Centuries. There are also some Roman Catholic Kabardians (possibly descended from families who reportedly converted from Orthodoxy during the 13th century). Kabardians living in Mozdoksky District in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania are Orthodox Christians.[10][11] Some of the Kabardians living in the southern part of the neighbouring Kursky district of Stavropol Krai are also Orthodox Christians.[10]


See also


  1. ^ "Kabardian: A Language of the Russian Federation". Etnologue.com. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 2005. Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ Skutsch, Carl (2013). Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities. Routledge. p. 675. ISBN 978-1-135-19388-1.
  3. ^ "Russian Census 2010: Population by ethnicity". ? 2010 (in Russian). Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ a b "'Biz' Erozyona U?rat?ld?". Jineps. March 2012. Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "About number and composition population of Ukraine by data All-Ukrainian census of the population 2001". Ukraine Census 2001. State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 17 December 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ Svetlana Lyagusheva (2005). "Islam and the Traditional Moral Code of Adyghes". Iran and the Caucasus. Brill. 9 (1): 29-35. doi:10.1163/1573384054068123. JSTOR 4030903.</re[|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=CquTz6ps5YgC&pg=PA329&lpg=PA329&dq=north+ossetia+kabards+mozdok |title=An Ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires |editor=James Stuart Olson |year=1994 |publisher=Greenwood |page=329 |isbn=978-0-313-27497-8 |access-date=15 October 2011}}
  7. ^ "Circassians". Adiga-home.net. 2010. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 2016. The 12 Circassian tribes: Abadzeh Besleney Bzhedug Yegeruqay Zhaney Kabarday Mamheg Natuhay Temirgoy Ubyh Shapsug Hatukay. The twelve stars on the Adyghe Flag also refers to the twelve tribes.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "Population". Perepis2002.ru. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ "Kabard distribution". Ethnologue.com. Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ a b James Stuart Olson, ed. (1994). An Ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires. Greenwood. p. 329. ISBN 978-0-313-27497-8. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ Jamie Stokes, ed. (2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East: L to Z. Facts on File. p. 359. ISBN 978-0-8160-7158-6. Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ Bushkovitch, Paul (1 January 2004). "Princes Cherkasskii or Circassian Murzas". Cahiers du Monde RusseIndépendants. 45 (45/1-2): 9-30. doi:10.4000/monderusse.2600. ISSN 1252-6576.
  13. ^ français, Sénat. "Anciens sénateurs Vème République : du LUART Ladislas". senat.fr. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ "Mme de Sairigné reçoit le prix littéraire de l'armée de Terre-Erwan Bergot 2011". defense.gouv.fr. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ "Bilder von Horst". voltigeur.net. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ d'Encausse, Hélène Carrère (10 February 2011). "Comtesse du Luart, princesse courage". Le Figaro (in French). ISSN 0182-5852. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ "Les milles vies de la comtesse du Luart". Nonfiction.fr. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ "L'article est en cours de traduction". ? |L'Observateur Russe (in French). Archived from the original on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 2016.

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