Ubykh people

Ubykh people

ethnic group
rels=Sunni Islam
langs=Turkish, Hakuchi Adyghe
related=other "Circassian" peoples

Ubykh people are a group who spoke the Northwest Caucasian Ubykh language, until other local languages displaced it and its last speaker finally died in 1992.

The Ubykh used to inhabit an area just northwest of Abkhazia in the Caucasus. They were probably one of the populations to inhabit the ancient nation of Colchis. Outside of mythology, the probable ancestors of the Ubykh were mentioned in book IV of Procopius' "De Bello Gotico" ("The Gothic War"), under the name βροῦχοι ("Brouchoi") , a corruption of the native term tʷaχ. The Ubykhs were semi-nomadic horseback people, and the Ubykh language still contains a finely differentiated vocabulary related to horses and tack. Some Ubykhs also practised favomancy and scapulomancy.

However, the Ubykh people gained more prominence in modern times. By 1864, during the reign of Tsar Alexander II, the Russian conquest of Northwestern Caucasus had basically been completed. The Adyghe and Abkhaz peoples were decimated, and the Abaza people were partially driven out of the Caucasus. Faced with the threat of subjugation by the Russian army, the Ubykh people, as well as other Muslim peoples of Caucasus, left their homeland "en masse" beginning on March 6, 1864. By May 21, the entire Ubykh nation had departed from the Caucasus. They eventually settled in a number of villages in western Turkey around the municipality of Manyas.

In order to avoid discrimination, the Ubykh elders encouraged their people to assimilate into Turkish culture. Having abandoned their traditional nomadic culture, they became a nation of farmers. The Ubykh language was rapidly displaced by Turkish and Circassian; the last native speaker of Ubykh, Tevfik Esenç, died in 1992.

Today, the Ubykh diaspora has been scattered about Turkey and—to a much lesser extent—Jordan. The Ubykh nation "per se" no longer exists, although those who are of Ubykh ancestry are proud to call themselves Ubykh, and a couple of villages are still found in Turkey where the vast majority of the population is Ubykh by descent.

Ubykh society was patrilineal; many Ubykh descendants today know five, six, or even seven generations of their agnatic ancestry. Nevertheless, as in other Northwest Caucasian cultures, women were especially venerated, and the Ubykh language retains a special second person pronoun prefix used exclusively with women (IPA|χa-).

ee also



External links

* [http://www.circassianlibrary.org/lib/html/Shinkuba-The_Last_of_the_Departed/contents.html Bagrat Shinkuba. "The Last of the Departed" on Adyghe Library]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ubykh — may refer to:* The Ubykh language * The Ubykh people * Ubykhia, a historical land of Ubykhs …   Wikipedia

  • Ubykh language — language name=Ubykh nativename=twaχəbza familycolor=Caucasian states=Turkey region=Manyas, Balıkesir extinct=October 1992 when Tevfik Esenç died fam1=North Caucasian (disputed) fam2=Northwest Caucasian iso2=cau iso3=ubyUbykh or Ubyx is a language …   Wikipedia

  • Adyghe people — Adyghe Адыгэ Attéghéi Flag of Adygea Total population 3.7 million est. worldwide (including Circassian diaspora)[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Abkhaz people — Abkhaz (Аҧсуа) Total population ca. 200,000 600,000 Regions with significant populations …   Wikipedia

  • Tevfik Esenç — (1904 ndash; October 7, 1992) was a Circassian exile in Turkey and the last known speaker of the Ubykh language.Esenç was raised by his Ubykh speaking grandparents for a time in the village of Hacı Osman in Turkey, and he served a term as the… …   Wikipedia

  • Ethnic cleansing of Circassians — The mountaineers leave the aul, by P. N. Gruzinsky, 1872 …   Wikipedia

  • Muhajir (Caucasus) — Several indigenous peoples of the northwest of the Caucasus were forced into exodus at the end of the Caucasian War by victorious Russia. The exodus was launched even before the end of the war in 1864 and it continued into the 1870s, although it… …   Wikipedia

  • Favomancy — is a form of divination that used to be practized by seers in Russia, and in particular, the Ubykh people. The practice involves throwing beans on the ground and interpreting the patterns in which the beans fall; it is therefore a type of… …   Wikipedia

  • Bagrat Shinkuba — Bagrat Vasilyevich Shinkuba, ( ab. БаграUnicode|ҭ Уасыл иUnicode|ҧа Шьынқәба; ru. Баграт Васильевич Шинкуба) (Born 12 May 1917 died 25 February 2004) was an Abkhaz writer, poet, historian, linguist and politician. He studied history and languages …   Wikipedia

  • Ethnic groups of the Middle East — [ 400px|thumb|The term Fertile Crescent (Egypt, the Levant, Mesopotamia) plus the Arabian peninsula.] The ethnic groups of the Middle East fall into several categories: *The Middle East proper is dominated by Arabs. There are various other ethnic …   Wikipedia

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.