Ruslan lives in the village of Ashe located in an area where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. He poses for picture with hunting guns. Local Circassians remain very attached to their land and faithful to their ancestors’ pastimes eagerly talking of their hunting feats and 19th century battles. Circassian tribes living along the Black sea shore waged the fiercest resistance to the Russian army during the century-long Russian-Caucasian war. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009.
Ruslan lives in the village of Ashe located in an area where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. He poses for picture with hunting guns. Local Circassians remain very attached to their land and faithful to their ancestors’ pastimes eagerly talking of their hunting feats and 19th century battles. Circassian tribes living along the Black sea shore waged the fiercest resistance to the Russian army during the century-long Russian-Caucasian war. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009.
During the mid-19 century Circassian exodus, many perished on their way because treacherous ship owners, after receiving money for transporting the deportees to Turkey, threw their weakened passengers out to sea and returned to pick up the next party and get more money quicker. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
During the mid-19 century Circassian exodus, many perished on their way because treacherous ship owners, after receiving money for transporting the deportees to Turkey, threw their weakened passengers out to sea and returned to pick up the next party and get more money quicker. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Books at a village home. Аny discussion about the Circassian tragedy was completely banned during Soviet times. Historical knowledge was passed by word of mouth from generation to generation and has now become one of the pillars of the reemerging Circassian identity.
Books at a village home. ?ny discussion about the Circassian tragedy was completely banned during Soviet times. Historical knowledge was passed by word of mouth from generation to generation and has now become one of the pillars of the reemerging Circassian identity.
Bakir Achegu, a dancer with a local Circassian folk troupe. As in Soviet times, native peoples’ national aspirations are still reduced to folklore or crafts in today’s Russia. The Sochi Circassians although having a constitutional native minority status are not able to have their own schooling, self-government or signage in their language. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Bakir Achegu, a dancer with a local Circassian folk troupe. As in Soviet times, native peoples’ national aspirations are still reduced to folklore or crafts in today’s Russia. The Sochi Circassians although having a constitutional native minority status are not able to have their own schooling, self-government or signage in their language. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Ruslan from the village of Nadzhigo located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. He works as forest inspector for the Sochi National Park. NADZHIGO/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Ruslan from the village of Nadzhigo located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. He works as forest inspector for the Sochi National Park. NADZHIGO/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
The Ashe river valley located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. Before the 19-century Russian-Caucasian war, a large Circassian village was located along the river Ashe – stretched from its mouth up to the mountains for 20 km. During the mid 19th-century Circassian tragedy, all native villages have been completely erased. ASHE VALLEY/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
The Ashe river valley located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. Before the 19-century Russian-Caucasian war, a large Circassian village was located along the river Ashe – stretched from its mouth up to the mountains for 20 km. During the mid 19th-century Circassian tragedy, all native villages have been completely erased. ASHE VALLEY/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Svetlana, member of a Circassian folk troupe, with an accordion. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Svetlana, member of a Circassian folk troupe, with an accordion. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Wasteland in Ashe, a village on the Black Sea located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. A late-19-century Russian scholar Ivan Klingen noted about the reasons of this area’s economic desolation: “By driving Circassians out of the country due to some general political considerations we imposed upon ourselves a heavy moral duty to compensate the civilisation for a perished culture that had accumulated for 3,000 years but vanished <...> without the natives’ experienced and strong hands <…> Any rootless project is powerless here because the old traditions and the old culture have disappeared forever». ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Wasteland in Ashe, a village on the Black Sea located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. A late-19-century Russian scholar Ivan Klingen noted about the reasons of this area’s economic desolation: “By driving Circassians out of the country due to some general political considerations we imposed upon ourselves a heavy moral duty to compensate the civilisation for a perished culture that had accumulated for 3,000 years but vanished <...> without the natives’ experienced and strong hands <…> Any rootless project is powerless here because the old traditions and the old culture have disappeared forever». ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Zaurkhan with his dogs. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Zaurkhan with his dogs. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Ibrahim, a jeeper. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009.
Ibrahim, a jeeper. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009.
Mass graves in the Makopse river valley a few kilometers from the Black Sea are the only material evidence of the mid-19th-century Circassian tragedy in this area. People buried in these graves were the deportees who, waiting to be picked up by the Turkish ships, died of hunger, cold and disease. A Russian witness, shocked by the scene, later noted: «…The mountaineers <…> gathered in masses <…> along the Black Sea coast wherefrom they were transported to Turkey by the Turkish ships and, in part, by ships hired by the Russian government. But because these vessels were not at all enough to transport half a million people, they had to wait their turn for 6 months, for a year, or even more. All this time, they stayed on the shore in the weather without any means of living. <…> They were dying of hunger literally by thousands. In winter, cold added up to it. The Black Sea’s entire northeastern shore was covered with corpses and moribund men, women and children with those alive but weakened lying amongst them and waiting to be deported». MAKOPSE VALLEY/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Mass graves in the Makopse river valley a few kilometers from the Black Sea are the only material evidence of the mid-19th-century Circassian tragedy in this area. People buried in these graves were the deportees who, waiting to be picked up by the Turkish ships, died of hunger, cold and disease. A Russian witness, shocked by the scene, later noted: «…The mountaineers <…> gathered in masses <…> along the Black Sea coast wherefrom they were transported to Turkey by the Turkish ships and, in part, by ships hired by the Russian government. But because these vessels were not at all enough to transport half a million people, they had to wait their turn for 6 months, for a year, or even more. All this time, they stayed on the shore in the weather without any means of living. <…> They were dying of hunger literally by thousands. In winter, cold added up to it. The Black Sea’s entire northeastern shore was covered with corpses and moribund men, women and children with those alive but weakened lying amongst them and waiting to be deported». MAKOPSE VALLEY/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
A Circassian graveyard in the village of Khadzhiko located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. These communities are home to those few who, about 50 years after the mid-19th-century Circassian tragedy, have managed to return to their homeland. KHADZHIKO/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
A Circassian graveyard in the village of Khadzhiko located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. These communities are home to those few who, about 50 years after the mid-19th-century Circassian tragedy, have managed to return to their homeland. KHADZHIKO/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Lonely horse. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Lonely horse. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Waterfalls up in the mountains. Local Circassians mostly earn their living during summer high season providing accommodation to tourists and taking them up in the mountains for sightseeing and jeeping. Fear or apathy still prevents them from telling the tourists about their 145-year-old tragedy. ASHE VALLEY/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Waterfalls up in the mountains. Local Circassians mostly earn their living during summer high season providing accommodation to tourists and taking them up in the mountains for sightseeing and jeeping. Fear or apathy still prevents them from telling the tourists about their 145-year-old tragedy. ASHE VALLEY/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Dzhegu, a traditional Circassian youth party with dance and entertainment always accompanied with the green star-and-arrowed Circassian flag – an important element of the reemerging Circassian identity. Leaders of Circassian national movements in Russia and Diaspora rely on the younger generation, free, they believe, from the Soviet-nurtured fear and indifference. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
Dzhegu, a traditional Circassian youth party with dance and entertainment always accompanied with the green star-and-arrowed Circassian flag – an important element of the reemerging Circassian identity. Leaders of Circassian national movements in Russia and Diaspora rely on the younger generation, free, they believe, from the Soviet-nurtured fear and indifference. ASHE/SOCHI, RUSSIA, MAY 2009
The Ashe river valley located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. Before the Russian-Caucasian war, a large Circassian village was located along the river Ashe – stretched from its mouth up to the mountains for 20 km. During the mid 19th-century Circassian tragedy, all native villages have been completely erased. ASHE VALLEY/SOCHI, RUSSIA, 2009
The Ashe river valley located in an area near Sochi where a few thousand Circassians live in compact communities. Before the Russian-Caucasian war, a large Circassian village was located along the river Ashe – stretched from its mouth up to the mountains for 20 km. During the mid 19th-century Circassian tragedy, all native villages have been completely erased. ASHE VALLEY/SOCHI, RUSSIA, 2009