The Mamkhegh of Adygea

The Google Map shows only a little of the history of the Mamkhegh. The Mamkhegh are a Circassian people and specifically one of the 12 Adyghe tribes, with their own eponymous dialect. They are Sunni Muslim.

Their historic villages were situated to the south of the town of Maykop. The approximate sites of the 12 largest of these are shown with blue question marks on the map. The exact sites are not certain but the distribution and spatial inter-relationship of them on the map is reasonably correct – or, at least, it follows the rough sketch map drawn up by local ethnographer Aleksandr Nikolayevich Dyachkov-Tarasov in 1901. Dyachkov-Tarasov uses the traditional Circassian and Caucasian word “aul” for each village and shows the borders of the Mamkhegh territory stretching south of Maykop in a dewdrop shape between Dagestanskaya and Abadzekhskaya villages on the rivers Kurdzhips and Belaya respectively.

These native villages were depopulated towards the end of the Caucasian War, circa 1862-63. At that time, most Mamkheghs, along with other Muslim Circassians, were deported from the Russian to the Ottoman Empire – presumably, their descendants live somewhere in Anatolia now. Those Mamkhegs who remained within Adygea were settled in the new eponymous village of Mamkheg and the other villages shown in yellow on the map.