A Kabardian man in regular (non-traditional) wear.
Total population
~1,628,500 Kabardian dialect speakers only[1][2]
Regions with significant populations
 Russia 590,010 (2010 census)[3]
   Kabardino-Balkaria 498,702
   Karachay-Cherkessia 56,466
 Turkey More than 1,000,000[4]
 Jordan 102,000
 Syria 43,000
 Saudi Arabia 23,000
 Germany 15,000
 United States 5,500
 Uzbekistan 1,300
 Ukraine 473[5]
Kabardian Adyghe dialect, Russian, Turkish, English, Arabic
Sunni Islam
small minorities professing Orthodox Christianity,[7] Habze and Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Other Adyghe tribes, Abkhaz, Abaza

The Kabardians (Highland Adyghe: Къэбэрдей адыгэхэр; Lowland Adyghe: Къэбэртай адыгэхэр; Russian: Кабардинцы), or Kabardinians, are the largest one of the twelve Adyghe (Circassian) tribes (sub-ethnic groups). They are also commonly known by the plural terms Kabardin, Kebertei, or Kabarday. Along with the Besleney tribe, they speak a distinctive dialect of the Adyghe language.


Despite the Soviet administrative divisions that placed Circassians under four different designations, namely Adygeans (Adyghe in Adygea), Cherkessians (Adyghe in Karachay-Cherkessia), Kabardians (Adyghe in Kabardino-Balkaria), Shapsugians (Adyghe in Krasnodar Krai), all the four are essentially the same people (Adyghe) residing in different political units. The Kabardian people represent one of the 12 stars on the green and gold Adyghe flag.

Kabardians are the largest Circassian (Adyghe) tribe in Russia (over 600,000), Turkey, Egypt, and some other countries in the region, except for Israel and Jordan, where the Shapsug and Abzakh tribe are the largest tribes, respectively. The Kabardian tribe are also the largest Circassian branch in the world in general. In 2002, they numbered around 520,000 in Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia.[8] Significant populations of Kabardians are also found in Georgia.[9] There are also communities in the United States. In Turkey, where more than 1 million of them live,[4] they are concentrated on the Uzunyayla plateau of Kayseri Province and around (Central Turkey), though there are Kabardian villages in Balıkesir, Düzce, Eskişehir (Northwest Turkey), Çorum, Samsun, and Tokat (Black Sea region), amongst many others.


Religions historically practiced by Kabardins include the native Habze faith, Christianity, and Islam. A majority had converted to Islam by the early 19th century. There are also still some adherents to traditional Habze beliefs, although most Kabardin are now Hanafi Sunni Muslims.

Kabardians also constituted one of the earliest Christian communities in Europe, converting in the late 2nd and early 3rd Centuries. There are also some Roman Catholic Kabardians (possibly descended from families who reportedly converted from Orthodoxy during the 13th century). Kabardians living in Mozdoksky District in the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania are Orthodox Christians,[7][10] Some of the Kabardians living in the southern part of the neighbouring Kursky district of Stavropol Krai are also Orthodox Christians.[7]


See also


  1. "Kabardian: A Language of the Russian Federation". Etnologue.com. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 2005. Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  2. Skutsch, Carl (2013). Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities. Routledge. p. 675. ISBN 978-1-135-19388-1.
  3. "Russian Census 2010: Population by ethnicity". Всеросси́йская пе́репись населе́ния 2010 (in Russian). Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  4. 1 2 "'Biz' Erozyona Uğratıldı". Jineps. March 2012. Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  5. "About number and composition population of Ukraine by data All-Ukrainian census of the population 2001". Ukraine Census 2001. State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 17 December 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  6. Svetlana Lyagusheva. "Islam and the Traditional Moral Code of Adyghes". Iran and the Caucasus. Brill. 9 (1).
  7. 1 2 3 James Stuart Olson, ed. (1994). An Ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires. Greenwood. p. 329. ISBN 0-313-27497-5. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  8. "Population". Perepis2002.ru. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  9. "Kabard distribution". Ethnologue.com. Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  10. Jamie Stokes, ed. (2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East: L to Z. Facts on File. p. 359. ISBN 0-8160-7158-6. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  11. Bushkovitch, Paul (1 January 2004). "Princes Cherkasskii or Circassian Murzas". Cahiers du monde russe. Russie – Empire russe – Union soviétique et États indépendants. 45 (45/1-2): 9–30. doi:10.4000/monderusse.2600. ISSN 1252-6576. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016.
  12. français, Sénat. "Anciens sénateurs Vème République : du LUART Ladislas". senat.fr. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  13. "Mme de Sairigné reçoit le prix littéraire de l'armée de Terre-Erwan Bergot 2011". defense.gouv.fr. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  14. "Bilder von Horst". voltigeur.net. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  15. d'Encausse, Hélène Carrère (10 February 2011). "Comtesse du Luart, princesse courage". Le Figaro (in French). ISSN 0182-5852. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  16. "Les milles vies de la comtesse du Luart". Nonfiction.fr. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  17. "L'article est en cours de traduction". Русский очевидец|L’Observateur Russe (in French). Archived from the original on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
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