Ethnic group. A rather vague term, “Circassian” is used to refer to a number of ethnically related Northwestern Caucasian peoples including the Adyghe, Kabardins, Cherkess, and, to a lesser extent, Abkhaz, the titular population of the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia. Once simply an exonym applied by the conquering Russians, it has become a self-identifying term for many non-Turkic, Muslim muhajirs (Arabic: “emigrants”) who fled the North Caucasus during the 19th century.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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