Kfar Kama

Kfar Kama
  • כְּפַר כַּמָא
  • كفر كما
Hebrew transcription(s)
  ISO 259 Kfar Kamaˀ
  Also spelled Кфар Кама (Adyghe) (official)

Kfar Kama
Coordinates: 32°43′19″N 35°26′27″E / 32.72194°N 35.44083°E / 32.72194; 35.44083Coordinates: 32°43′19″N 35°26′27″E / 32.72194°N 35.44083°E / 32.72194; 35.44083
Grid position 191/236 PAL
District Northern
Founded 1878
  Type Local council (from 1950)
  Total 8,854 dunams (8.854 km2 or 3.419 sq mi)
Population (2017)[1]
  Total 3,284
Name meaning The village of truffles[2]

Kfar Kama (Hebrew: כְּפַר כַּמָא, Arabic: كفر كما, Adyghe: Кфар Кама) is a town located in the Lower Galilee, Israel. In 2017 it had a population of 3,284, largely Circassian.


Kfar Kama might be identified with a village Helenoupolis that Constantine established in honor of his mother Helen.[3]

Excavations carried out in 1961 and 1963 revealed 4th century tombs.[4] Two churches dated to the early 6th century, one dedicated to Saint Thecla, were uncovered, with multicolored mosaics of floral, animal and geometric patterns.[4]

In the Crusader period it was known as Kapharchemme or Capharkeme.[5]

Ruins and parts of five limestone columns have been found, together with a circular basalt olive-press and cisterns.[6]

Ottoman era

In 1596, Kfar Kama appeared in Ottoman tax registers as a village in the Nahiya of Tiberias in the Liwa of Safad. It had a population of 34 Muslim households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, summercrops, cotton, and goats or beehives.[7]

A map from Napoleon's invasion of 1799 by Pierre Jacotin showed the place, named as El Hadaci.[8]

In the 1870s, it was described as having "basaltic stone houses, containing about 200 Moslems, situated in plain of arable soil."[9]

The current village was founded in 1878 by 1,150 Circassian immigrants from the Adyghe tribe Shapsugs who were exiled from the Caucasus by the Russians to the Ottoman Empire due to the Russian-Circassian War.[10] Initially they made their living by raising animals, but later became farmers.[10] The first school was established about 1880.[10]

A population list from about 1887 showed Kfar Kama to have about 1,150 inhabitants; all Muslims. It was also noted that they were Circassian.[11]

British Mandate era

At the time of the 1922 census of Palestine, Kfar Kama had a population of 670 Muslims and 7 Christians,[12] decreasing slightly in the 1931 census to 644, one Christian and the rest Muslims, in a total of 169 houses.[13]

In 1945 census, the population comprised 660 Muslims[14] and the land area was 8,819 dunams.[15][14] Of this, 8,293 dunams were for cereals,[16][14] while 108 dunams were built-up land.[17][14]

Israeli period

The school in the village teaches in a mixed environment of classes in Circassian, Hebrew, Arabic and English languages.[18]

Kfar Kama is one of two Circassian villages in Israel. The other one is Rehaniya. The Circassians are Muslims, who unlike the main Israeli Arab Muslim minority, perform military service in the IDF.

A Center for Circassian Heritage is situated in the village.

Notable natives and residents

The Kfar Kama families

Shapsug families that live in Israel Kfar Kama

  • Abrag (Adyghe: Абрэгь)
  • Ashmuz/Achmuzh (Adyghe: Ачъумыжъ)
  • Bghana (Adyghe: Бгъанэ)
  • Bat (Adyghe: Бат)
  • Blanghaps (Adyghe: БлэнгъэпсI)
  • Batwash (Adyghe: БэтIыуашъ)
  • Zazi(Adyghe: Зази)
  • Kobla (Adyghe: Коблэ)
  • Qal (Adyghe: Къалыкъу)
  • Qatizh (Adyghe: Къэтыжъ)
  • Lauz (Adyghe: ЛъыIужъ)
  • Libai/Labai(Adyghe: ЛIыпый)
  • Nago (Adyghe: Наго)
  • Natkho (Adyghe: Натхъо)
  • Nash (Adyghe: Наш)
  • Napso (Adyghe: Нэпсэу)
  • Thawcho (Adyghe: Тхьэухъо)
  • Gorkozh (Adyghe: ГъоркIожъ)
  • Hazal (Adyghe: Хъэзэл)
  • Hadish (Adyghe: Хьэдищ)
  • Hako/Hakho (Adyghe: Хьэхъу)
  • Shamsi (Adyghe: Чъуэмшъо)
  • Choshha/Shoshha (Adyghe: Чъушъхьэ)
  • Showgan (Adyghe: Шэугьэн)
  • Shaga (Adyghe: Шъуагьэ)
  • Sagas/Shagash (Adyghe: Шъэгьашъ)

In the past there was also Shhalakhwa (Adyghe: Шхьэлахъуэ).

Other families that live in Kfar Kama

  • Abzah (Adyghe: Абзах)
  • Boshnakh (Adyghe: Бущнакъ)
  • Bazdug/Bzhedug (Adyghe: Бжъэдыгъу)
  • Hatukai (Adyghe: Хьэтыкъуай)
  • Tsai (Adyghe: Цэй)
  • Shapsugh (Adyghe: Шапсыгъ).

See also


  1. "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  2. Palmer, 1881, p. 127
  3. Tsafrir, Di Segni and Green, 1994, 142
  4. 1 2 Dauphin, 1998, p. 727
  5. Pringle, 1997, p. 117
  6. Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 391
  7. Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 190
  8. Karmon, 1960, p. 167.
  9. Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 360
  10. 1 2 3 Nirit Reichel (2010). "The role of the educational system in retaining Circassian identity during the transition from Ottoman control to life as Israeli citizens (1878–2000)". Israel Affairs. 16: 251–267. doi:10.1080/13537121003643896.
  11. Schumacher, 1888, p. 185
  12. Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Tiberias, p. 39
  13. Mills, 1932, p. 84
  14. 1 2 3 4 Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 12
  15. Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 72
  16. Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 122
  17. Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 172
  18. Yulie Khromchenko (22 March 2005). מדברים פה בהרבה שפות? נקרא לזה "בית ספר רב לשוני [They talk a lot of languages? Called it 'a multilingual school']. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 25 August 2014.


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