President of the Republic of Abkhazia



On the language

Abkhaz language is one of the most ancient languages in the world and is part of Abkhaz-adyg language group. Its setting as an independent language started in subsoil of protoabkhaz-adyg language, after disintegration of which, Abkhaz language started developing independently.


The disintegration of protoabkhaz-adyg language started 5 000 years ago and separated into three language branches – Abkhaz, Adyg and Ubikh. Thus, abaza, adyga (circassian), ubikh (today extinct) languages.

Abkhaz language is prevalent mostly in Abkhazia and Turkey, where a lot of Abkhazians (descendants of makhadjirs) leave, and also in the countries of the Middle East (Jordan, Sirya, Iraq), in Russia. It is represented by abjuy and bzib dialects. The native speakers of other dialects were mostly resettled to Turkey:


- Pskhu – this dialect is still spoken in central Turkey;


- tsebelda-dal (Kodor river) – spoken in Turkey in some Abkhaz villages in western provinces Biledjik, Bursa and Eskishehir.


- sadza (west-abkhaz ) dialect. All of its native speakers moved to Turkey, where it preserved in several villages.


Literary Abkhaz language is based on abjuy dialect. Abkhaz written language is based on Cyrillic. The first attempt to put together Abkhaz alphabet on Russian graphic base was made in 1862 by Russian linguist P.K. Uslar. Although ancient words “to write”, “to read”, “to cross out”, “to sign”, “book”, etc testify the existence of written language in Abkhazia. The antiquity of these words is confirmed by compliance with abaza language. 


These compliances prove that those words existed in protoabkhaz language long before the allocation of abaza language from it.


The first Abkhaz primer was published in 1865.


In 1892 the renewed and corrected “Abkhaz ABC” was published by D.I. Guliya and K.D. Machavariani.


In 1926 (or 1928) the written language was converted to Latin graphic basis,

In 1938 –to Georgian graphics, in 1954 – back to Cyrillic.


Abkhaz language has 6 vowels and a lot of consonant phoneme: in literate language – 58, in abjuy dialect – 60, in Bzib dialect – 67.


Since 1994 Abkhaz language is a state language of the Republic of Abkhazia.


The law “on the state language of the Republic of Abkhazia” is adapted in 2007.


Abkhaz state museum.

 In the beginning of 60s of XIXth century the amateurs of history and nature of Abkhazia initiated the creation of a museum in Sukhum. The collection of materials that possessed cultural and historical value was organized. Before Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878 numismatic, ethnographic, archeological exhibits and materials of natural history of Abkhazia were removed from Abkhazia and subsequently lost. In 1915 the “Society of amateur and explorers of nature and population of Sukhum neighbourhood” is created. Its representatives is the front line Intelligentsia again making efforts to create the museum, the official opening of which was conducted on 17th of May 1917.


In the end of 1920 during the period of domination of Georgian Mensheviks in Abkhazia, the “Society” went to liquidation, the museum was closed. All of the exhibits are taken to the museum of Georgia.


After establishment of soviet authority the study of local area is resumed, the “Abkhaz scientific society” is established. In 1924 the museum receives a status of “state museum”.


In 1933 the historical and revolution department is opened in the museum. During the period of the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945 the data on the participation of warriors- citizens of the Republic – in the struggle with German fascists invaders is being collected.


In 1977 for the first time in the museum of ethnography of the peoples of USSR in Leningrad the personnel of the State museum organized the exhibition “Abkhazians” (life and culture). More than 300 exhibits is represented. Before 1980 the museum disposed two branches and five exposition departments. More than 100 000 units is kept in store rooms.

The memorials of history and culture of Abkhazia, Caucasus, ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Turkey, Byzantine, Sassanid Iran, documents of the October revolution, Great Patriotic war, the Patriotic war of the people of Abkhazia of 1992-1993 are kept in the funds of the museum.


A lot of exhibits are of not only republican but worldwide importance. For instance, it is one of the most ancient on the territory of the ex- Soviet Union ashel Iashtukha settlements, Mesolithic inventory of the Kholodniy Grot (the collection of bone harpoons), the materials of metallic culture of dolmens of the end of the III millennia b.c., treasures of axes of the epoch of middle bronze, etc.


The pride of the museum are the ancient Greek marble stele and the bust of the antique period from the bottom of Sukhum bay, cultic aigrette with the horseman and a dog of late bronze epoch, Assyrian bronze shield in the form of the griffin (VI century b.c.), Greek helmet and shield (IV-V century b.c.).


The national picture-gallery.


In 1963 the Picture-gallery was created in Sukhum as a branch of Abkhaz state museum n.a. D.I.Guliya. The official opening of the picture-gallery was conducted in 1964.

The greater part of the collection of the doctor I.L Fishkov, which he collected since the end of the twenties, became the bases of the fund and the exposition of the gallery. He donated part of his house to the city, where the art pieces were initially exhibited. Paintings, graphic art pieces and easel sculptures of Russian, Soviet, Abkhaz and Georgian artists of elder and middle generation of that period became part of the initial exposure of the gallery.


During the following years the gallery was enlarged with new works, that were bought form annual autumn and spring exhibitions of the artists of Abkhazia. Fishkov gave as a give the first 50 art pieces from the private collection. His daughter F.I. FIshkova presented 30 art-pieces. The family of the national poet of Abkhazia D.I. Gulia presented three works of the son of the writer G. Guliya – the laureate of the state prize of USSR – “Not a step back”, “the Portrait of a father”, “The dance”.


A lot of the artist also presented their best art pieces: M. Eshba – portrait of F. Iskander, Ch. Kukuladze – portrait of E. Eshba, A. Krainiukov – the portrait of I. Akirtava, O. Brendel – “Fishermen”, etc.

In the end of 50ies the famous Abkhaz artists A.K. Chachba-Shervashidze being in Europe sends more than 500 of his works to his Motherland. More than half of those art pieces establish residence in Tbilisi, where they currently remain. The smaller part (around 200 works) is sent to Abkhazia in the end of the 60ies and kept in the fund of the museum.


The works of the artists of the end of XIX and XX centuries are also kept in the funds of the gallery. In 1994 the art gallery acquires the status of the National picture-gallery (NPG) of the Republic of Abkhazia.


Today more than 400 000 art pieces of painting, graphic art, easel sculptures, ceramics is stored in museum funds. The works of such artists as A.K. Chachba-Shervashidze, B.L. Petrov, V.S. Kontarev, V.D. Bubnova, G.D. Guliya, M.E. Eshba, O.V. Brendel, H.T. Avidzba, T.A. Ampar,  Z.K. Ivanba, V.I. Khurkhumal, V.V. Gamgia, J.V. Chkadua, V.A. Tsvizhba,  etc are represented. Under the will of the wife of A.I Pisarchuk 312 paintics and graphic art pieces of the artist were presented.


The chair of the National picture-gallery is Suram Sakaniya.



Abkhaz state drama theatre n.a. S. Chanba.

The creation of Abkhaz national theatre is related to the name of pedagogue-enthusiast Platon Shakril, who put a self-written three-act play “From the darkness and into the light” to a stage in Ochamchira in January 1918.

In 20ies of the previous century a rich entrepreneur Aloizi organized a theatre “Aloizi”, that was nationalized in 1921 and transferred to Narkopmpros entitled “First state theatre”.


In an effort of propaganda of new socialistic ideas and raise of awareness of workers the first mobile Abkhaz theatre was organized, D.I. Guliya, who was one of the most well-educated representatives of Abkhaz Intelligentsia, became the head of it. In July 1928 the opening of Abkhaz theatre was conducted in Sukhum. The troupe consisted of 20 people. K.Dzidzaria and V. Krivtsov continued the activities that D.I. Guliya began.

In the end of the 20ies the Abkhaz drama studio was opened for the preparation of professional actors. It was led by the stage director V.I. Domogarov. He was assisted by the expert of Abkhaz artistic culture K.Dzidzaria. The first alumnae of the studio were A. Agrba, M. Zukhba, M. Kove, Sh. Pachaliya, R. Agrba, A. Argun, E. Shakirbai, M. Kove, L. Koslandzia.


In 1926-1927 – the director V. Krivtsov becomes the artistic director of the theatre.


In 1927  V. Garrik chaired the artistic leadership of the theatre, who put the plays Lope de Vega “Sheep spring”, D. Darslaia “In the remotest antiquity”, S. CHanba “Makhadjirs”, M. Kove “Inapha Kiagua” to a stage.


In 1935 Jdanov becomes the artistic director of the theatre; he puts the play of N. Lerner “Decembrists” to a stage.


The creation of soviet Abkhaz dramaturgy is inseparably linked with the name of S. Chanba. Hw wrote such plays as “Aspny-Khanim”, “Kiaraz”, “Makhadjirs”, “God of Zasov”, “The drunk mourns over the dead”, etc.


During these years performances “Makhadjirs” (directed by V. Garrik), “Kiaraz” of Chanba, “Kiahba Khadjarat” of M.Kove (directed by V. DOmogarov) are put to stage.


In 1938 A. Agrba becomes the creative director of Abkhaz theater. The repertoire of those ties is: MM. Lakrba “The Gech’s descendant”, “Sabidi ravine”, “Danakai”.


In 1941 – Figeiredo’s “Ezop” (directed by A. Agrba).


In 1941 the premiere of the new play of W. Shakespeare “Othello” (directed by A. Agrba) was conducted. The repertoire of those years stood at – plays of M. Shavlokhov “the Groom”, G. Gulia “The rock of a hero”, A. Lasuria “Sincere love”, F. Schiller “Guile and love” (directed by Sh. Pachaliya), Evripid’s “Medeya” (directed by G. Sulikashvili), R.Djonua “The daughter of Ajveipshaa” (directed by A. Agrba).


In 1960 – the Abkhaz theatre named after dramatist S. Chanba.


In 1963 N. Eshba is appointed chief director of the theater. The following plays are put to stage: A. Gogua “A day on loan”, E. Schwarz “Naked king”, N. Tarba “The song is not easy to write”, M. Chamagua “Ivan the Abkhazian”, N.Ostrovsky “Snow maiden”, D.I. Gulia “Ghosts”.


In 1964 Kh. Djopua becomes the chair director of the theatre. The following plays are put to stage: G. Lorky “Bloody marriage”, G. Gublia “With you, my love”, D. Dobrichanin “Three nightingales, house # 17”, M. Chamagua “Golden path”, D. Akhuba “Atonement”.


In 1967 – the plays of B.Brecht “Sir Puntilla and his servant Matti”, G. Ibsen “Ghosts”, M. Baidjiev “Duel” (directed by M. Marcholia).


In 1968 – plays directed by the chair director of the theater N. Eshba – B. Shinkuba “The song about the rock”, F. Schiller “Don Karlos”, A. Volodina “Older sister”, L. Ukrainka “Forest song”, N. OStrovsky “Snow maiden”, M. Lakrba “Alamis”, “The little finger”, “Guest” (directed by Sh. Pachalia), R. Djopua “Steps”, J. Rober “Mary-October” (directed by D. Kortaa).


In 1972 – tour in Kiev in the theatre n.a. I. Franko. On a contest dedicated to the 50th anniversary of thre establishment of USSR the play of L. Ukrainko “Forest song” (directed by N. Eshba) was recognized one of the best and awarded a first class diploma.


In 1973 – D. Kortaa becomes senior director. He puts to stage: T. Williams: “Tram “Desire””, Sh. Chkdua “Which one of us is deaf”, “Alou becomes angry”, J. Anui “ANtigona”, A. Mucba “Solar eclipse”, N. Dumbadze “White flags”, I. Bukovchan “Before the rooster sings” (directed by M. Markholia).


1977 – plays of N. Tarba “The daughter of a sun” (directed by E. Kogonia), B. Chinkuba “And then you decide” (directed by D. Kortaa).

In 1978 – the plays of E. Schwarz “The shadow” (directed by N. Chikovani), Sofokla “Elektra” (directed by M. Marcholia).


In 1980 – the Abkhaz theatre is awarded with the order “Sign of Honour”.

In 1982 – A. Argun “Mountains look at themselves in the sea” (directed by D. Kortaa).

In 1983 – “The holy of holies” I. Drutse (directed by N. Mukba).


In 1984 – W. Shakespeare “King Lear” (directed by D. Kortaa). The play was named one of the best and awarded a prize on a festive in Erevan and its director D. Kortaa awarded with a all-Union category “first class director”. The play of R. Ibragimbekov “Resembling a lion” (directed by N. Mukba).

In 1985 J. Shekhade “Emigrant from Brisben”, E. Simsim “The rays of distant sun”, A. Griboedov “Wit works woe”, J. Bondarev “Coast”, A. Chkheidze “Chinar manifesto”, A. Agrba “Tsar Leon”, F. Durrenmatt “The visit of an old lady”, P. Kalderon “Life is a dream”, K. Goldoni “Kiodjin skirmish” directed by V. Kove.

Plays of A. Vampilov “Twenty minutes with an angel” (directed by N. Mukba), B. Shinkuba “The last one of the gone” (directed by V. Terentiev).


1986 – Staging of B. Brecht “Mother Courage and her children” (directed by M. Marcholia).

1986 – Valeriy Kove becomes the chair and senior director of the theatre. Play of W. Shakespeare “Julius Caesar” is staged (directed by V. Kove).


1992- 2009 – stagings of F. Iskander “Mahaz”, M. Bgajba “Guarapa clerk”, N. Erdman “Suicide” (directed by V. Kove). Plays: A. Miler “Down the mountain Morgan”, M. McDonah “The cripple of Inishmaan” (directed by A. Kove), F. Marso “Egg”, F. Iskander “Rabbits and boas”, K. Higgins “Harold and Mode” (directed by M. Argun), E. Schmitt “Oskae and Rose lady”, F. Sologuba “Forty millions” (directed by A. Shamba), D. Chahkhalia “Ali-bei” (directed N. Eshba).


Touring geography of the theatre: Montre (Switzerland), Plovdiv (Bolgaria), Sibiu (Romania), Moscow, Saints-Petersburg (Russian), Kiev (Ukraine). 

Artistic director of the theatre – People’s artist of the Republic of Abkhazia Valery Kove.


State Russian drama theatre.


In 1981 the State Russian theatre of juvenile spectator was established. In 1990 it was reinstituted to the Russian drama theatre of the Republic of Abkhazia. During the first decade of existence of the theatre the artistic management over the staff was implemented by M. Markholia, G. Nikolaev, D. Kortava, A. Kove. Since 1995 the artistic leader of the theater is N. Balaev.


The Georgian-Abkhaz war interfered into the establishment of the theatre. The troupe and the building were lost due to the war. However, despite the economic difficulties, the “construction” of the theatre was resumed. The after-war generation of actors was created by studios (in 2000 and 2007). The troupe is not numerous, but it consists of bright personalities.

The images created by the actors are fixed in the memories of the spectators or a long time. And the public traces the development path of each of the artists: Djambul Jordania, Mikhail Gerasimenko, Romeo Kurmazia, Artur Gurgeniyan, Dmitry Shukin, Ruben Depeliyan, Andrey Karpov, Denis Saratnikov, Serafim Spafopulo, Anna Guregiya, Marina Skvortsova, Nataliya Papaskiri, Anastasiya Tsiganova, Marina Sichinava and Alina Pshenichnaya. Two directors – Nina Balaeva and Djambul Jordnaiya – are putting the plays to stage. The theatre’s performances draw more an more attention of the population of Abkhazia and the guests of Sukhum. Theatergoers from other cities recognize State Russian drama theater of Abkhazia as one of the attractions of Abkhazia.


Today in the repertoire of the theater: Anatoliy Frances’ “Mute wife”, “Comedy about a man, who married a mute” under direction of Nelly Eshba (Moscow), L. Filatov’s “No courts for fools”,  “Tale on Fedot-archer, daring attaboy” directed by Dj. Jordaniya, “In the end will make you marry..” (based on small comedies of A.P. Chekhov “The Bear” and “The proposal”) directed by Djombul Jordaniya and N. Balaeva, tale on freedom and destination of an individual “the Leader” (author of the play and director – D. Jordaniya), “Variation on the flights theme” (fantasy on a man during the times of changes based on the images of the Russian literature of 19-20 centuries) directed by N. Balaeva, Buffonad’s “What a nightmare!” (the script and direction by Djambul Jordaniya), “Skquat” based on a plaz of J.-M. Shevreand directed by N. Balaeva,  “The dark lady of the Sonnets” based on the play of Bernard Shaw and works of William Shakespeare – author of stage composition and director N. Eshba (Moscow), “H. Bitchev’s “Colonel-bird” directed by N. Balaeva.


The touring geography of the theatre took place before war. These were the following cities: Grodno (Belarus), Vladikavkaz (South Ossetia), Maikop (Adygeya), Novorossiysk. The festive tours were conducted after the war.


In 2001 the diploma performance of the first graduates of the theater studio (“Tartiuf”) took part in the international festive of theater schools “Podium” (Moscow) within the framework of 3rd Global Theatre Olympics.

In 2007 the theare participated in the 2nd international theater festive “Compliment” (Novocherkassk, Rostov-on-Don) with the performance “Mute wife” of A. Frans (4 diplomas, including “for the best duet”).

In 2009 the theatre participated in 3rd international theatre festival “Compliment” and performed the play “No court for fools” and was awarded 4 diplomas including “For the best play”, “For the best direction”, “For the best performance of a woman lead”.


Director and artistic director – Balaeva Nino Eduardovna.

Director – Jordaniya Djambul Vladimirovuch.


Tkvarchal Abkhaz state comedy theatre n.a. Sh. Pachaliya.


In 1955 A. Tsiba, who was a big enthusiast and a amateur of theatre, created Tkvarchal youth theatre.


In 1961 the team is awarded with  title “People’s”
 In 1992 the theatre is awarded with the title “State”. Sh. Pachaliya, Sh. Gitsba, N. Kvarchiya, A. Shamba were the directors of this theatre in different times.


In 2003 Tkvarchal comedy theatre is named after the People’s artist of USSR Sh. Pachaliya.



The works of Abkhaz, Russian writers and playwrights Sh. Basariya, A. Argun, Sh. Adjindjal, Sh. Chkadua, N. Gogol, S. CHanba, I. Lakrba, etc are the repertoire of the theatre. The tour of the theatre in Maikop in 1997 were conducted with success.


The director of the theater is Honored artist of the Republic of Abkhazia S. Sanguliya.


Manager – Honored artist of the Republic of Abkhazia Z. Kishmariya.


Abkhaz state youth theatre.


Instituted upon the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Abkhazia of 20th of August 2014 #69 “On state institution by the Ministry of culture of the Republic of Abkhazia of “Abkhaz state youth theater”.


The chair of the theater – Enik Aslan (+79409937378).

Artistic director – Agumaa Sofiya

State honored ensemble of folk song and dance of the Republic of Abkhazia.

State honored ensemble of folk song and dance of the Republic of Abkhazia is one of the most popular collectives in Abkhazia. The ensemble was created in 1931 upon the initiative of N.A. Lakoba on the basis of the best regional choirs. Its first leader was an outstanding singer and expert of folk songs – P. Pantsulaiya. I. Lakerbaya, A.Ch. Chichba, R.D. Gumba, K. Gegechkori, E. Bebiya were all the chairs of this ensemble.


 In 1970 the ensemble was awarded a high title “Honored”. The state honored ensemble of folk song and dance is one of the brightest and original collectives not only in Abkhazia, but in Caucasus.


Folk ceremonial, ritual songs and dances and also the works of Abkhaz composers are all in the repertoire of the ensemble.


The collective visited all corners of ex-Soviet Union. It toured in many countries of the world – Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Greece, Turkey, Syria, France, Mexico, Argentina, African countries. The laureate of international festivals. 


The skill of the performers, the sharp-cut of all of the items of the program, its diversity, brilliance and originality – these all wins the audience.


Artistic director and chief conductor of the ensemble is the laureate of the State prize n.a. D. Guliya and the people’s artist of the Republic of Abkhazia Vasiliy Tsargush.


Chief balet master is the Honored artist of the Republic of Abkhazia Leonid Kakachiya.


State ensemble of folk dance “Sharatin” n.a. E. Bebiya.


The state ensemble of folk dance “Sharatyn” n.a. E. Bebiya is one of the most popular collectives in Abkhazia. It was established in 1970 by devotee of choreography, graduate of  SITA (State Institution of Theater Art), people’s artist of the Republic of BAkhazia Eduard Bebiya.


The ensemble “Sharatyn” is the prize-winner of the XI worldwide Carthaginian festive in Tunis, the winner of International festive of folk dance in Turkey, diploma holder at XII worldwide festival in Moscow.


The touring geography – Russia, Frnace, Germany, Finland, India, Sri Lanka, Greece, Algeria, Austria, etc. Folk, ceremonial, ritual dance and the dances of the peoples of Caucasus are in the repertoire of the ensemble.


Artistic director and chief ballet master is the Honored artist of the Republic of Abkhazia  Ruslan Bebiya.


State ensemble of folk dance “Caucasus”.


Ensemble “Caucasus” was established by the people’s artist of the Republic of Abkhazia in 1994 in the memory of those who sacrificed their lives during the Patriotic war of the people of Abkhazia of 1992-1993.


Ensemble represents the diverse art of the peoples of Caucasus.


One year after the creation, in 1995, the ensemble conducts a first tour to Turkey, which were very successful.


In 1996 it won the main prize of the International youth festival in Volgodonsk – gold medal.


In 1997 – tour in the republics of North Caucasus.


In 1999 – the concert of the ensemble in Moscow in the hall n.a. P.I. CHaikovskiy. Participated in folk festival in Germany, city of Balingen.


Same year – XIII International festival of folk dance in Turkey “Bursa-99” Caucasus won the first place and the prize “Karagez”.


Participated in the III festival “Peace in Caucasus” in the Republic of Adygeya.


In 2002 – touring in Germany.


2003 – “Caucasus” participates in festive concerts in Saints-Petersburg dedicated to 300 anniversary from the day of establishment of the city.


In 2006 – the ensemble performed in the hall n.a. Chaikovskiy in Moscow.


2007-2008 – “Caucasus” tours in Povoljie, Tatarstan, Chuvashiya, Mary El, Samara, Uliyanovsk, Moscow.


Artistic director of State ensemble of folk dance “Caucasus” – peoples artist of the Republic of Abkhazia Kandid Tarba.


Chief ballet master – honored artist of the Republic of Abkhazia and Karachai-Cherkessia – Arvelod Tarba.

State children choreographic ensemble “Abaza”.


During Georgian-Abkhaz war in 1993 the refuges that had to depart their homes due to military actions were accommodated in “Pitsunda” guesthouse. The children shared the destiny of the adults being scared of bombardments, lacking child joy. The reason of creation of a small dancing group was to safeguard those children from stress and to ease the atmosphere. In these conditions the ensembleAbazawas created.


In 1996 “Abaza” tours to Ramenskoe town of Moscow Region “Vesnushka-96”. Becomes the laureate of the contest and wins the Grand Prix.


Since that tour the ensemble starts its active touring. “Abaza” receives a lot of invites abroad – Sochi, Nalchik, Saints-Petersburgh, Moscow.


“Abaza” participated in the festivals dedicated to the Day of Tver city.

In 2002 the ensemble participated in the festival dedicated to the Day of Saints-Petersburg. Stood out among others at a concert dedicated to the jubilee of “Babaevskiy” concern in Moscow. Performed at the TV- program “Dobroe utro” on Pervy channel.

In 2003 the ensemble receives a status of “state ensemble”. Ensemble “Abaza” is areiterated laureate and a winner of folk contest of Abkhazia “Adzikh”, holder of Grand Prix of the “Zolotaya Lan’” contest, fourfold laureate and multiple holder of Grand Prix of the festival “Friends of Bolgariya” (2004), laureate of International contest “Prazdnik muziki” in Prague (2006), the holder of the diploma of a 1st class laureate of the festival “Novogodniya Iolka” in Stokgolm (2007), the laureate of the festival “Meetings with the children of Finland” (2007), diploma holders of the festive in Paris Disneyland “The Magic of Music and Dance” (2007, France), the participants of festivals of Caucasian peoples abroad (2007, Turkey), diploma holders of the international festival “Life-long dance” (2006, 2007, Sochi).


Today the repertoire of the ensemble is diverse: Abkhaz dance, dance of the nations of the world, classic and pop stagings.


Artistic director of the ensemble – honored artist of the Republic of Abkhazia – Tsiala Chkadua, chief ballet master – Aleksey Arshba.



One of the resources that nourished Abkhaz artistic literature from the moment of its creation is the folklore of Abkhazia.


The folklore of Abkhazia- both verbal and musical – is rich and diverse. It includes ancient labor and hunting songs, epic legends, legends, fairytales, inexhaustible number of proverbs, sayings and aphorisms, lullabies, domestic, love and other songs. Legends about dwarfs atsans and Abraskil that threw challenge to God, nart epos and historical heroic songs are the monuments of Abkhaz verbal folk art.


Abkhaz folk ceremonies and ceremonial poetry is one of the most characteristic types of folklore of Abkhazians. Hunting, agricultural, cattle-breeding rituals, legends and beliefs related to some of the folk crafts; wedding and funeral rituals: rituals, related to conspiracy are all part of the traditional folk rites.


Abkhaz folk music is polyphonic. Two- and three-part songs of Abkhazians are very diverse. Among them are cultic songs, many hunting and labor songs. Historical and heroic epos has a special place in Abkhaz music folklore which brightly reflects stern and courageous life of the nation and its nature. Folk songs passed on by word of mouth make up the national wealth of the nation, exposing its spiritual beauty, psychology, reflecting the specifics of world view, life and temper of Abkhazians.


The national art has been damaged as a result of eviction of the majority of Abkhaz (mahadjirstvo) to Turkey. Mahadjirstvo was accompanied by destruction and downfall of works of material and spiritual culture.


Purposeful study of Abkhaz folklore started only in 1920-1930 and is related with the names K.V. Kovacha, D.I. Guliya, H.S> Bgajba, who paid attention to music and poetic features of ritual songs. First publications of new records of ceremonial folklore took place in 1960-80, including a number of articles dedicated to the problems of origin of ceremonial folklore and genre specifics of ceremonial poetry (works of Sh.Kh. Salakaiya, A.A. Anshba, M.M. Khashba, S.L. Zukhba, V.A. Kogoniya, etc.).


© 2015 Administration of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia, Sukhum, Naberezhnaya Makhadjirov, 32, phone.: +7 840 226 46 31, fax: +7 840 226 46 31