Between the Shapsug and the Abkhaz: Actualization of Identities of the Ubykh Clan Chéren
[Mezhdu shapsugami i abkhazami: aktualizatsiia identichnostei ubykhskoi familii Chéren]
Type of publication: Research Article
Cheren, Khadzhiko, Ubykh, Ubykh descendants, Shapsug, Abkhaz, identity, revitalization
In recent years, there are clearly attempts to give an official character to the revitalization movement on the part of activists who consider themselves descendants of the Ubykhs (once the native peoples of the Sochi Black Sea Region). The search for potential applicants for the Ubykh ethnic heritage caused by this process utilizes some stories that have become well-known for the Russian Caucasiol ogy. Such, in particular, is the history of the name Chéren the attention to which was first drawn in the 1930s by L.I. Lavrov who involuntarily endowed her with the “title” of the only Ubykhs remaining in the Black Sea Shapsugia. The tragic events that happened to individual members of the Chéren during the period of collectivization led to the formation of independent agnate branch in neighboring Abkhazia. Based on an analysis of the ethnographic and documentary materials collected by the au thors, the article demonstrates how representatives of both lineages lived and continue to live and communicate in the Shapsug and Abkhazian milieu, as well as what strategies for the preservation and positioning of the Ubykh identity they prefer in the present day context.
Funding InformationThis research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Foundation for Basic Research [project number 18-39-00160]
Agababyan, A.G., and M.E. Sysoeva 2020. Between the Shapsug and the Abkhaz: Actualization of Identities of the Ubykh Clan Chéren [Mezhdu shapsugami i abkhazami: aktualizatsiia identichnostei ubykhskoi familii Chéren]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 5: 110–129. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150012353-8
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