29 May 2003, 13:59
Religious traditions of Kabardins
Kabardins are Moslems-sunnites of hanafit kind. Mozdok Kabardins are Orthodox. Christianity came to the ancestors of the Kabardins from Byzantium and Georgia in the 6-7th centuries. There retained the names for the priest - shogen and the bishop - shekhnik. When the Golden Horde took power in the North Caucasus and brought Islam, Adigs were influenced by it. Mass Islamisation of Kabardins was done in the 15-17th centuries by the preachers from Turkey and Crimea.
Religious slogans played an important role in the national liberation struggle of the Kabardins during the Caucasus war. In the Tzarist Russia Kabardins were free from the point of view of religion. Religion lost its positions in the first years of the Soviet power; at that time the majority of the population didn?t follow religious regulations. During the last decade of the 20th century Islam was reborn. Mosques are being built, masses of people perform religious rituals. In the beginning of 1990-ies there was formed an Ecclesiastic management of Kabardino-Balkaria. Young people study in the Islam centers in Russia and abroad. Religious life is similar to that of the North Caucasus in general; mavlid is celebrated widely - the birthday of the Prophet. Usually during the mavlid they use perfumed water (nowadays it?s replaced with factory manufactured perfumes and eau-de-cologne).
There were attempts to revive some pre-monotheistic traditions. In particular, the rite of calling the rain (Khantse-guashche) is revived. There were attempts to revive the worshipping of the supreme god of the pagan pantheon - the founder of life Tkhashkho, but they were not very popular.