The origins of humanity and civilization can be traced back to the Nile Valley in Africa starting around Uganda and South Sudan flowing to Egypt. The African diaspora is the term used to describe the many African people who traveled out of Africa and populated the world. As far as we know, African people have inhabited every continent and left information about their cultures and ways of living across various lands. The Caucuses are no exception, Africans inhabit the Caucuses, and I will tell you about one group of African people called the Abkhazians who have lived in the caucuses for centuries. From my research, I have found a few stories that explain the origins of the Abkhazians, those stories are as follows.
The Abkhazians inhabit the sovereign state of Abkhazia located along the northeastern coast of the Black Sea in the Republic of Georgia. According to accounts by the historian Herodotus, during the fifth century BC he traveled throughout the Caucuses and learned about a group of African people called the Colchians who lived in the area known then as Colchis. He described them as a Negro people with black skin and woolly hair who practiced circumcisions; Herodotus stated that the only people he knew that practiced circumcisions were Egyptians and Ethiopians. He also noticed that the Colchians practiced weaving patterns that originated in Egypt. Herodotus conducted research and concluded that the Colchians were Egyptians that were a part of the Army of the Pharaoh Sesostris after his campaign in southern Russia. An American journalist named John Gunther, centuries after Herodotus, also traveled to Colchis and learned that black people of African descent inhabit the lands, but was told that they existed in the region due to their ancestors being slaves of the Turkish. According to J. Malte-Brun, Colchis was a place that was constantly raided by slaveholders, Malte-Brun also concluded that it was unlikely that the Colchians were imported into the regions by the Turkish slaveholders.
The Abkhazians are descendants of the Colchians as documented by the Russian writer Maxim Gorky, who sat with the elders of an Abkhazian village as the elders told Gorky about their heritage, and from those meetings, he concluded that the origins of the Abkhazians trace back through the Colchians from Egypt and Ethiopia. One hypothesis that exists about the origins of the Abkhazians is that they were Moors who were a part of the Roman Empire who often explored Eurasia. Another Theory Is that they are an indigenous European group called the Nigiri Latinis who inhabited European lands from Spain to Russia.
However, a number of European historians agree on the hypothesis that the Abkhazians who inhabit Abkhazia today were brought there as slaves by the Ottoman Empire, or by the Georgian ruling family of Abkhazia the Shervashidzes. One European story tells of an Ottoman shipwreck carrying slaves and the slaves who survived the shipwreck became the Abkhazians. The Narts Sagas which are a series of stories about the origins of the people of the North Caucuses states that African people from the Horn of Africa were “escorting” the Narts on their travels throughout the Caucuses. One of the last pieces of information that European historians use to prove their slave history theory of the Abkhazians is a letter by Ivan Isakov to a man named Khrushchev stating that Afro-Abkhazians escorted Illarion Vorontsov-Dashkov as he traveled into the region of Abkhazia. The issue with the European accounts about the Abkhazian origins is that none of the Abkhazian people or historians validates their stories. The verified stories of the Abkhazian origins are more aligned with the findings and conclusions of Herodotus and the European historians that agree with him. What we do know is that once again African people can be found around the globe inhabiting lands that are thought to not have any Africans present. To the Abkhazian people and the African diaspora, we stand on your shoulders.
Click here to learn more about the On the Shoulders of Giants book series!!!
Click Here to join our mailing list