We offer to our readers one chapter of the book of eminent Abkhaz historian-ethnologist Shalva Inal-ipa «Adyg prince Inal and Abkhazia (to Adyg-Abkhaz political, ethnic and cultural relations)» which is prepared for publication.
The book which will be published after its author“s death was written on the base both of existing special literature and ethnographic materials which were collected by Shalva Inal-ipa during many years in Abkhazia and beyond its limits. The book consists of three unequal parts. In the first part matters of Adyg-Abkhaz ethnic and cultural community are considered; the second part is devoted to description of personality of prince Inal - eminent political figure and statesman in the history of late medieval Adygs and partly Akhazes; the third part - the largest one - presents detailed description of «Inal“s cult» at Abkhazes based on large number of rare ethnographic and other data. The first part is a considerably supplemented and re-made version of earlier author“s researches and the second and third ones are quite new works.

One clever ethnologist once said
 that those who knew only one people didn“t know a single one. These words concern, first of all, studying peoples related by origin and culture and living in the same or adjacent territories. Such are Abkhaz-Adyg peoples - native peoples of the Western Caucasus inseparably related with each other, genetically and by traditional mode of living. Studying their history and ethnography, as a whole or separately, requires knowledge of peculiarities of each ethnic component which form unity. Only taking into account the common and the original in the life of each of them we can hope that we will be able to restore the most complete and real picture of their historical and cultural development...
...Spiritual life is a sphere where relation of peoples and their cultures show most apparently. So, series of similar and sometimes identical plots, images and motives we find in Abkhaz and Kabardian as in general Adyg versions of the heroic Nart epos. I will present only several examples from Kabardian legends which have direct analogies in Abkhaz legends.
As one Kabardian Nart legend says, still now behind Oshkhamakho (Elbrus) on the Black Sea coast burial mound Sosruko rises. In this connection I recollect Abkhaz legends according to which near Sukhum, in locality Aytsera, in village Amzara in Kodor ravine there is grave of Nart Sasrykva.
Name of Kabardian hero Akhuazh reminds of Khuazhvarpys - original name of famous Abkhaz Nart bogatyr which is translated from Abkhaz as «rhododendron brave» what testifies about its ancient, perhaps, totemistic origin.
In Kuva ravine the principal hero of the Nart epos fought against geant from Kabardian legends Kuvyrpys (compare with Abkhaz «Khvazharpys»). «Irpys» («Arpys») is translated as brave, knight, leader - both from Abkhaz and Kabardian languages. Moreover, Kabardian form «Sosruko» («Sosryiu») in contrast with Adyg «Sausyryku» («Sausyryiu») is nearer to Abkhaz «Sasrykva» («Sasryiua».
Hero of Kabardian epos Khimish (compare with Abkhaz «Khnysh») who liked to perform his campaigns alone, saw once a deer. When Khimish drew the bow he noticed a small man who rode a hare. Small rider galloped between legs of Khimish`s horse and rushed to the deer who fell dead at once. When Nart got nearer the small man already stripped the skin and was cutting a carcass. The small hunter brought Khimish to his house. The latter squeezed with difficulty in a room which appeared to be light and spacious. It was dwelling of dwarfs Isps. The host started for a campaign having charged his daughter with care for the guest. Khimish fell in love with her and proposed to her to marry him. The girl after reflecting for some time answered:
- Though I am small in height, love in my heart is great. I will be a loyal wife for you, but you should remember: if you ever, even as a joke, reproach me for small height and call me «small scatter-brain» don`t consider me as your wife any more.
Marriage of Nart Khimish and the beauty from the tribe of Isps was happy till Khimish once by chance reproached her: «Why are you preparing so long, my small scatter-brain? We can be late». Soon his wife gave birth to a son and immediately after that, even without feeding him with her breast, she intended to return to her father. She couldn`t forgive Khimish who didn`t keep his word. She said to Narts:
- Remember: my son will not take anyone“s breast except for mine. Don“t give to him neither cow  nor sheep and goat milk but give him nut juice.
So Narts did. They called the baby Bataraz that means «who performs many exploits». Indeed, Bataraz became a hero from heros. He killed a dragon, chastised Maruko, liberated Nasren chained to a mountain`s summit, etc.
All this, almost word for word, is contained in Abkhaz epos.
Fairy-tale land of Isps of Kabardian Nart epos resembles very much country of Abkhaz «Atsans».
«Country where Isps dwelt - we read in Kabardian legends was a blessed land. Everywhere fruit-trees grew, pastures turned green, full rivers flowed. And along rivers` banks mumerous herds of cows and horses grazed. A day in the country of Isps was long, sunny, not too hot and not too cold. Though Isps were very small in height their power was great. If Psabyda fell into their hands they would cut him into samll pieces». In similar conditions of «golden century» Abkhaz dwarfs, Atsans, lived.
We meet Abkhaz people“s hero Azhgeri-ipa Kuchuka at Cabardians under the same name Azhgerikva Kuchuk and the latter, according to the legend, appears as a prince and ruler.
Kabardians, as Abkhazes, have legends well-known to many Caucasus peoples (Chechens and other) which relate about their origin from Arabia or some other Southern-Eastern country (at Abkhazes - Rapstan).
Here is beginning of one of such Kabardian legends: «We are Adygs. Adygs are very ancient, nice people. Our kin begins from Nukha-prophet. We descend from Gumyr. Yafis was father of Gumyr and son of Nukha-prophet. For six thousand years Adyg tribe is pure. Our homeland is the golden Caucasus. Our ancestors called our homeland «Gue Dyshe» and «country between two rivers (seas)» (Z.M. Naloev. From the history of Adyg culture. Nalchik, 1978, pp. 188-189). V.V. Ivanov who highly appreciated this and similar legends wrote the following: «This legend is very interesting due to the fact that it reflects events which explain resemblance of Khatt and Adyg-Abkhaz languages». The legend narrates about six thousand years. Khatt language existed more than four thousand years ago and Khurrits (who lived namely about five thousand years ago) dwelt between Tigris and Euphrates. Other (Sultan-Girey) version of the legend says that Circassians descend from brothers Chera and Kesa exiled from Western Asia to the Caucasus «as a result of some coup d`etat». «I am inclined to attach great importance to such data - Ivanov says - because they often correspond to the real historical facts... Moreover, Nothern Caucasus peoples had written language (there are general Nothern Caucasus words for denomination of writing and even ink!) which was once lost, but its availability at the ancient times might have favoured precision of further historical legends».

Abkhazes and Adygs have many identical (or closely related) proverbs and sayings. Here are some of Adyg-Kabardian proverbs and aphorisms which have analogues in Abkhaz language.

Two neighbours milk a cow in different manners.

If one looks at milk for a long time - he sees blood in it.

If you don“t know, to ask is not humiliating.

Other people will call your dog by the same name by what you call it.

What the use that a cow gives much milk if it spills it.
When a crow received eyes it required brows.

If you call a man prince, he considers you as a villein.

To whom attention is not paid, he coughed.

Whom hundred people praise he costs hundred people.

Who is afraid of a horse, he beats saddle.

Who handle honey, he licks his fingers.

Tender lamb sucks two dams.

A clever enemy is better than a stupid friend.

Even a frog says: «I wish my river were deeper!»

A mouse can“t wriggle into its hole but all the same draws a money-box.

On whose cart you seat his songs you should sing.

Without unbinding a sack you will not learn what it contains - barley or millet.

Don“t laugh at a man who falls the first.

A guest“s arrival is his business and his departure is a business of a host.

Cow“s leg can“t kill a kalf.

A wound from sabre heals and a wound from tongue doesn“t.

A husband of a good wife will never be in his way without provision.

Shepherd died of hungry and people said: «Perhaps, he has a lot of fat in his bosom!»

Strange dog came and drove away native one.

Some ancient religious beliefs of the studied peoples also coincide. For example, «Amysh» («Emysh») - sovereign of herds and sheep-breeding at Kabardians - at Abkhazes means «day», «happiness», «prosperity». During thunderstorm Kabardians sang a special song whose enigmatic words {«ele-ele, ele-ri shopa»), resembling, according to V. Ivanov, appeal to God Ila in Khatt texts, are similar to archaic Abkhaz cult text («O, etlar, atlar chopa!») which Abkhazes pronounced at the place of lightning`s discharge. In Abkhaz language «Afy» means «lightning» and «God of thunderstorm» meantime in Kabardian language «Uafe» means «sky» and in Adyg language «Uashee» also means «sky» and «God».
Divine patroness of bees and bee-keeping Anana-Gunda which occupies important place in Abkhaz heathen pantheon is present in beliefs of the closest neighbours under names Ani-Gol at Kabardians and through them at Ossets and Digors, Djara-Guna (Djera-Guna) at Mingrels, Agunda at Guriys.
Vestiges of «air berial» which was widely spread at Abkhazes in the recent past were also detected at Kabardians. French doctor Ferran who served at the court of Crimean Khan in the very beginning of XVIII century wrote that Circassians whose place of dwelling according to him was Kabarda «render great respect to dead bodies of their relatives which they put in wooden coffins on high trees».

In most Abkhaz songs indispensable component is varying refrain-appeal «uarada», «auraida» which is also present in many songs of neighbour  peoples - from Kabarda (uara-ri-ra, ri-ra-re) and Ossetia to Western Georgia. Generally, a song at Adyg peoples and partly at Abazins is called «uarada». D. Ilin in 1868 wrote that Mozdok Circassians who were Kabardians by their origin during a wedding party performed a dance which was called «Orirasha»: men and women formed a cirle and danced singing «orirasha». Let`s remember an ancient Abkhaz dance in circle called «auraash`a».

Therefore, we see that Abkhazes, Abazins and Kabardians are closely related with each other by the whole series of ethnic and cultural characteristics. Identical ethnographic parallels, common names, coinciding plots in both versions of the Nart epos, community of the song about Azhgeri-Azhgerikva Kuchuka, proverbs, religious beliefs, «air burial», etc. testify about both their genetic relations and direct, long-term and intensive contacts and mutual influence on each other.