Circassians in Asia Minor

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Between the Caspian and the Black Seas is a province of Russia, called Caucasia (kô-k´ sh å). It is shaped like a leaning, four-sided box. The province contains about 180,000 square miles-an area equal to 4 states the size of Indiana. Its population is 13,000,000, made up of many kinds of people. Here, in the northeastern part of the province, is the old home of the Circassians (sr-ksh´ n). These people were different from the neighboring tribes in their origin and in their language. They lived a kind of tribal life. The old men of a community settled questions of dispute; but every man was allowed to speak his opinion on questions of peace and war. War was their chief business. They raided the neighboring lands, and often fell to fighting among each other. All the young men were taught the arts of fighting. Riding, fencing, hunting, and shooting were the chief outdoor subjects. Teachers taught them the language of their fathers. In this branch of learning each tried to excel in brevity. The object was to converse in as few words as possible. The young women learned the arts of the household. Many of them were sold by their fathers to become wives in a Turkish harem. The Circassians were noted for their courtesy to strangers and to their elders. If a stranger came into the house, anything he asked was his. Even an enemy was safe if he came among them as a stranger. In the early part of the 19th century Russia undertook to conquer them. The Circassian leader was a warrior-priest, named Samuel. Time after time he struck the Russian forces hard blows. After 20 years of fighting, he and his followers were captured in the mountains. When the country became a Russian province, the Circassians scattered into Turkish territory. Keystone ID: 10975 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.