BROTHERAS. People“s poet and writer of Abkhazia, Adygeia and Kabarda.
BAGRAT SHINKUBA and Honoured worker of arts of Abkhazia, poet, Honoured
Tkhamada of Adyge Khase of Kabarda ZAUR NALOEV
Spring has come to my homeland
again. Trees has been covered with young foliage, cherry-plums
has bloomed out with white flowers, rains has rustled, beams of sunlight
has glided over sea surface... And against this background ruines of houses,
gardens turned into wastes, anguish in peoples“ eyes - vestiges of the
recent tragedy - showed more clearly.
I will always remember a day of August 14, 1992. Early in the morning
I went from Sukhum to my native village Chlou to see my grandchildren.
Already in my way I met columns of occupation troops of State Council of
Georgia and in the village I learned that a war had started. I already
couldn“t return to Sukhum because all roads were closed. The war came unexpectedly
and people were not ready for it.
I have lived a long life and always believed that I knew my people.
But already in the first days of the war I realized that had not it to
the end: unarmed peasants were ready even with axes and spades to resist
the enemy armed with tanks, cannons, planes.
Tragedy was inevitable. The invaders“ main object was elimination
of Abkhazia“s statehood. Peaceful population was exterminated, centres
of Abkhaz culture, history, science were eliminated. So, state archives
of Abkhazia, Abkhaz institute of language, literature and history, museum
of Nestor Lakoba were burnt and State museum of local lore, State university,
Republican library were plundered. All that testified about the people“s
originality was subject to annihilation. It was a real genocide.
In this crucial moment our brothers - Abazins, Kabardians, Chechens,
Ossets realized that Abkhaz people underwent deadly danger and hundreds
of armed people come to the aid of it. One may ask what made them to do
it? Young volunteers went to burning Abkhazia and neither closed frontiers
nor steep mountain paths and numerous perils could stop them. Why?
Everyone who is familar with our history knows reply to this question.
Community of our historical fates, traditions, cultures is unambiguous
evidence of our brotherhood. This brotherhood lead the volunteers to Abkhazia,
it prevented the aggressor from doing his dirty deed.
More than once in Abkhazia and Kabarda I heard people telling one legend.
Once upon a time Abkhazes and Adygs squabbled. Immediately the most honoured
old men were selected who had to restore peace between brothers. And here
is what was made in accordance with their piece of advice. In a mountain
clearing a hundred Abkhaz and a hundred Adyg women gathered. Each of them
held a baby. As soon as priests uttered words of a vow women exchanged
their sons with each other. This exchange consolidated brotherhood of the
peoples forever. It was then when a heroic song «Let a brother live for
the sake of a brother» was composed.
A lot of water flowed away in mountain rivers since then but the brotherhood
lives. Many times it endured a test for strength, many events strengthened
it. But, perhaps, nothing brought peoples of the Caucasus together so much
as forced separation with the Homeland.
Still before I tried my abilities in poetry and prose when, being a
post-graduate student-linguist, I studied languages of the Nothern-Western
Caucasus I learned for the first time about Ubykh language - language of
non-existent people. I began to collect materials on language and history
of Ubykhs and once ran against information of Norvegian scientists Fogt
who established that only 16 persons spoke Ubykh language and all they
were old men. It shook me! Under this impression I conceived a novel «The
last from the gone» but it was still a long way till realization of this
conception. Now in Turkey several hundreds of Ubykhs reside but they don`t
know their native language. And how I would be glad if somebody could say:
«Navral shinkuba!» - «Ubykhs live!». Record of Ubykh speech of the last
bearer of this language - Esench Tofik - made by my comrade linguist Kumakhov
we listened to the three of us: I - Abkhaz, Kumakhov - Kabardian and his
wife - Adyg. We didn`t understood it, then it was not a dialect, but an
It is a horrible tragedy - death of the language, death of the people
- one of the most ancient in the Caucasus.
And the same destiny was prepared for my own people when Abkhaz schools
were closed, Abkhaz language was prohibited and Abkhazes were declared
Having separated Abkhazia by administrative borders from its nearest
brothers in the Nothern Caucasus and imposing non-existent kinship with
the people to which it was granted in black years of Stalin“s tyranny they
led us, virtually, along the road of Ubykhs. God didn“t permit the tragedy
to occur in full measure. Now our task is a correction of mistakes. We
were separated for too long time with our brothers in the Nothern Caucasus
and even stopped to understand languages of each other. It is necessary
to create united scientific centre and form a group of scientists-linguists
for working out Abkhaz-Adyg alphabet. Taking community of roots into consideration
it is necessary to pay much attention to studying folklore, people“s art.
Just only Nart epos is of a great value. Our cooperation must go in all
directions - in economic, cultural and scientific ones.
No one of descendants of those whom the bad fortune led a long way
from the homeland and who are now dispersed all over the world must not
be forgotten by us even for an instant. Establishment of relations, cooperation,
assistance to repatriation and all that a brother can do for a brother
we must do for each other. It must become anxiety and for International
Circassian Association which demonstrated its great capabilities in organization
of resistance to Georgian aggressors in Abkhazia. It must become the main
task of the national public movements, all peoples and leaders of the republics
of the Nothern Caucasus. International Association of Abkhaz-Abazin people
may render considerable assistance to that. By uniting efforts we will
be able to overcome any obstacles.
people“s poet of Abkhazia and Adygeia,
people“s writer of Kabardin-Balkaria