Traditions of the Caucasian Gardening In The Light of A Customary Law of Adyghe

Circassian Gardening

Roman Nutrikhin
PhD of Law, Docent of Environment, Land and Labor right of the North Caucasus Federal University, Russia.

In article ancient traditions of gardening in the North Caucasus through a prism of usual and legal tradition of Circassians (Adyghe) are considered. The religious customs and beliefs connected with the Circassian gardens are analyzed.

Key words: Circassian gardens, North Caucasus, religious traditions, customary law.

The ancient Circassian gardens pose one of the greatest mysteries of the North Caucasus. In the vast territory once inhabited by Adyghes – right in the woods – you would come across large areas full of fruit trees – apple, pear, quince, cherry-plum, nut trees… The leading agronomists are saying now that the trees are extremely well grafted and, despite the unbelievable age, they still bear fruit. Who, and (most importantly) why cultivated the marvelous fruit plants in the woods? After Russia took over the Caucasus many travelers visiting these areas were surprised to see the numerous ancient Adyghe gardens, fully abandoned, yet still yielding rich fruit and reflecting a high level of culture. Countess Praskovya Uvarova, President of the Moscow Archeological Society, while on her trip around the Caucasus (1886) made a sad comment of this poor view: “In the numerous valleys you will see abandoned Circassian gardens, now gone wild”. And we are talking here not just about a couple of trees but one whole fruit empire… The former masters of this land had their gardens spread over dozens of miles; they covered huge valleys and even mountain slopes, among virgin woods, thus making a selection Galaxy. In the spring this shined over the northern mountains of the Caucasus casting the scent of its myriads of flowers, while in the autumn it filled the land with a miraculous shower of ripe fruits.

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