Article: Dick Sherer, 2010(in Press), Restoration of a 19th century Circassian saddle: Leather Crafters & Saddlers Journal, v. 20.
Excerpt: The Circassians are an almost forgotten people. They are the oldest indigenous people of the north-western Caucasus along the north eastern Black Sea. The Circassians were Christians under the influence of the Byzantine Empire during the 5th and 6th centuries. During the 18th century they embraced Islam of the Ottoman Turks as a defensive measure against an impending Russian invasion. The Circassians fought against Russian conquest from 1763 to 1864. Their massacre and forced deportation to Turkey by the tsarist regime (Shenfield, 2006) has been described as both genocide and ethnic cleansing. During the exodus, the refugees endured outbreaks of typhus, smallpox and impending famine (Anonomous, 1864). Their vacated lands were resettled by Russians, Ukranians, Armenians and others.
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