Dancing the Nation in the North Caucasus by Sufian Zhemukhov and Charles King

Slavic Review Vol. 72, No. 2 (Summer 2013), pp. 287-305

Published by: Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Cambridge University Press

Abstract

In the north Caucasus, collective dance has long been an expression of communal identity and a forum for political dissent. In this article Sufian Zhemukhov and Charles King examine the emergence and transformation of a communal dance form known as adyge jegu (roughly, “Circassian festival“) in the Russian republics of Adygeia, Karachaevo-Cherkesia, and Kabardino-Balkaria. They chart the history of the adyge jegu after 2005, elucidate debates over the meaning of authenticity in contemporary Circassian nationalism, and provide a detailed archaeology of the specific decisions that enabled this cultural artifact to get constructed in one way but not another. While attention typically focuses on elite-driven narratives of border security and terrorism, the adyge jegu highlights grassroots debates over the meaning of right behavior, the boundaries of communal identity, and alternatives to Russianness in either its russkii or rossiiskii varieties.

Download the full-text document in PDF format

___________________________


References
 

1. For a very small sample, see Suny Ronald GrigorThe Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union(Stanford1993);Google Scholar Grant BruceIn the Soviet House of Culture: A Century of Perestroikas (Princeton1995);Google Scholar Beissinger Mark R.Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State (Cambridge, Eng., 2002);CrossRef | Google Scholar Martin TerryThe Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union,1923- 1939 (Ithaca2001);Google Scholar Snyder TimothyThe Reconstruction of Nations: Po/and , Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (New Haven2004);Google Scholar Hirsch FrancineEmpire of Nations: Ethnographie Knowledge and The Making of the Soviet Union (Ithaca2005).Google Scholar

2. See Brubaker RogersEthnicity without Groups (Cambridge, Mass.2006).Google Scholar

3. Reed Susan A., “The Politics and Poetics of Dance,” Annual Review of Anthropology 27 (1998): 506.CrossRef | Google Scholar On dance “revival,” see Oison Laura J.Performing Russia: Folk Revival and Russian Identity (London2004).Google Scholar

4. There is no widely accepted method for transliterating Circassian (Adyge, Adiga). Georges Dumézil and John Colarusso have devised phonemic inventories, but these are likely to be confusing to nonlinguists. Our transcription is a rough-and-ready spelling in Latin script based on Russian transliteration rules. The exceptions are our use of ‘ for the glottal stop and the Latin “j” for the sound normally transliterated as “dzh.“

5. Colarusso JohnNart Sagas from the Caucasus (Princeton2002).CrossRef | Google Scholar

6. On representation and cultural tropes in the Caucasus, see Jersild AustinOrientalism and Empire: North Caucasus Mountain Peoples and the Georgian Frontier, 1845-1917 (Montreal2002);Google Scholar Layton SusanRussian Literature and Empire: Conquest of the Caucasus from Pushkin to Tolstoy (Cambridge, Eng.2005);Google Scholar King CharlesThe Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus(Oxford2008), chap. 3;CrossRef | Google Scholar Grant Bruce and Yalçm-Heckmann Laie, eds., Caucasus Paradigms: Anthropologies, Histories and the Making of the World Area (Münster2008);Google Scholar Grant BruceThe Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus (Ithaca2009).Google Scholar

7. See Ramet SabrinaBalkan Babel: The Disintegration of Yugoslavia from the Death of Tito to the Fall of Milosevié, 4th ed. (Boulder, Colo., 2002), chap. 7;Google Scholar Wickstrom David-Emil, ‘“Drive-Ethno-Dance’ and ‘Hutzul Punk': Ukrainian-Associated Popular Music and (Geo)politics in a Post-Soviet Context,” Yearbook for Traditional Music 40 (2008): 6088;Google Scholar Wickstrom and SteinholtYngvar B., “Visions of the (Holy) Motherland in Contemporary Russian Popular Music: Nostalgia, Patriotism, Religion and Russkii Rok,” Popular Music and Society 32, no. 3 (July 2009): 313–30;CrossRef | Google Scholar and Dance and Music in Eastern Europe, special issue of Anthropology of East Europe Review 22, no. 1(Spring 2004).

8. Kesheva Z. M., “Tantseval ‘naia kul ‘tura kabardintsev kak istochnik formirovaniia sovremennogo etnokul'turnogo brenda,” in Mal'kov V. K. and Tishkov V. A., eds., Kul'tura i prostranstvo (Moscow2010), 2:152–72.Google Scholar See also Kesheva Tantseval'naia i muzykal'naia kul'tura kabardintsev vo vtoroi polovine X X veka: Jstoriko-etnograficheskie aspekty (Nalchik2005).Google Scholar

9. King, Ghost of Freedom, 96. Dancing the Nation in the North Caucasus291

10. Nogmov Sb. B.Istoriia adykheiskogo naroda (Nalchik1994).Google Scholar

11. Zhemukhov SufianFilosofiia istorii Shory Nogma (Nalchik2007);Google Scholar and Zhemukhov Mirovozzrenie Khan-Gireia(Nalchik2007).Google Scholar See also Khodarkovsky MichaelBitter Choices: Loyalty and Betrayal in the Russian Conquest of the North Caucasus (Ithaca2011).CrossRef | Google Scholar

12. King Charles, “Imagining Circassia: David Urquhart and the Making of North Caucasus Nationalism,” Russian Review 66, no. 2 (April 2007): 238–55.CrossRef | Google Scholar See also Manning Paul, “Just Like England: On the Liberal Institutions of the Circassians,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 51, no. 3 July (2009): 590618.CrossRef | Google Scholar

13. Taitbout de Marigny E.Three Voyages in the Black Sea to the Coast of Circassia (London1837);Google Scholar Frédéric Dubois de Montpéreux, Voyage autour du Caucase, 6 vols. (Paris, 1839-1843); Longworth J. A.A Year among the Circassians2 vols. (London1840);Google Scholar Bell James StanislausJournal of a Residence in Circassia, during the years 1837, 1838, and 1839, 2 vols. (London1840);Google Scholar Adyl ‘-Girei Keshev, “Kharakter adygskikh pesen,” in Keshev, Zapiski cherkesa (Nalchik, 1988); Zhemukhov Sufian, “Kabardinskii fol'klor kak istoricheskii istochnik,” Nauchnaia mysl’ Kavkaza, no. 7 (2007): 222–40.Google Scholar

14. Zarema Kesheva, “K voprosu o sostoianii traditsionnoi muzykal ‘noi i tantset– val'noi kul'tury gorodskikh kabardintsev,” in Materialy mezhdunarodnoi iubileinoi nauchnoi konferentsii “Rossiia i Kavkaz,” Vladikavkaz, 6-7 October 2009, 200-205, at kvkz.ru/stati/2569-k-voprosu-o-sostoyanii-tradicionnoy-muzykalnoy-i-tancevalnoykultury-gorodskih-kabardincev.html (last accessed 1March 2013).

15. See Shay AnthonyChoreographic Politics: State Folk Dance Companies, Represen– tation, and Power (Middletown2002).Google Scholar

16. Shu Sh. S.Narodnye tantsy adygov (Nalchik1992), 1618;Google Scholar Beshkok M. M.Adygskii fol’ klornyi tanets (Maikop1990), 73, 105.Google Scholar

17. Kharaeva F. F. and Molov V. L., “Cherkesskoe iskusstvo,” in Kumakhov M. A., ed., Adygskaia (Cherkesskaia) entsiklopediia (Moscow2006), 632.Google Scholar

18. Nogmov, Istoriia adykheiskogo naroda.

19. Naloev ZaurIz istorii kul'tury adygov (Nalchik1978).Google Scholar For similar views, see Lavrov L. I., “Ob interpretatsii Sh. B. Nogmovym kabardinskogo fol'klora,” Sovetskaia etnografiia 2 (1969): 136–41.Google Scholar

20. Bgazhnokov B. Kh., “O novom etape v izuchenii kul ‘turnoi istorii adygov,” Sovetskaia etnografiia 1(1982): 160–63.Google Scholar

21. Nogmov, Istoriia adykheiskogo naroda, 15.

22. Bgazhnokov B. Kh.Cherkesskoe igrishche: Siuzhet, semantika, mantika (Nalchik1991).Google Scholar

23. Zalina Dzagashtova, “Chtoby potantsevat', trebuetsia razpreshenie administratsii goroda,” Kabardino-Balkarskaia pravda, 5 August 2006.

24. Kesheva, “K voprosu o sostoianii.“

25. Zhanset Shurdym, “Adyge jegu i ego znachenie v sovremennoi zhizni,” Khekure khabzere, no. 2 (4 November 2008), at virt-circassia.ucoz.com/_ld/0/23_2_nomer.pdf (last accessed 1March 2013).

26. Dzagashtova, “Chtoby potantsevat'.“

27. Andemir Kanov, “Spartakiadu otkryli narodnye igrishcha,” Kabardino-Balkarskaia pravda, 27 September 2006.

28. Kesheva, “K voprosu o sostoianii.“

29. Luriza Orazaeva, “'Cherkesskii kongress': Ekstremizmu na Severnom Kavkaze mozhet protivostoiat’ natsional'naia ideologiia,” Kavkazskii uzel (1 November 2007), at www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/126552/ (last accessed 1March 2013).

30. Dzagashtova, “Chtoby potantsevat'.“

31. Ekaterina Tolasova, “Pervaia prezidentskaia kafa,” Kabardino-Balkarskaia pravda, 11 October 2006.

32. “Kul“turnaia zhizn’ regionov iuga Rossii i stran Zakavkaz'ia v 2010 godu,” Kavkazskii uzel, 7 January 2011, at www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/1 79195/ (last accessed 1 March 2013); ‘“Adyge Khase’ vyiasniaet, kto i pochemu zapretil ‘Adyge jegu’ v novogodniuiu noch – v Maikope,” Kavkazskii uzel, 28 January 2010, at www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/ articles/164779/ (last accessed 1March 2013); “Press-reliz po itogam V mezhdunarodnogo festivalia adygskoi kul ‘tury,” at www.adigea.aif.ru/culture/news/29361 (last accessed 1March 2013). See also Bella Ksalova, “V Karachaevo-Cherkesii cherkesskaia molodezh’ vozrozhdaet natsional ‘nye tantseval ‘nye obychai,” Kavkazskii uzel, 22 July 2010, at www. kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/171977/ (last accessed 1March 2013); and Asia Kapaeva, “Zhiteli Karachaevo-Cherkesii, Kabardino-Balkarii i Adygei prazdnuiut Den’ cherkesskogo flaga,” Kavkazskii uzel, 25 April 2012, at www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/205562/ (last accessed 1March 2013).

33. Baragunov V. Kh. and Kardangushev Z. P., eds., Narodnye pesni i instrumenta/'nye naigryshi adygov, 3 vols. (Moscow1980-1984).Google Scholar See also Zarema Kesheva, “Pochemu ne sostoialsia teatr adygskogo tantsa?” Kabardino-Balkarskaia pravda, 8 November 2006.

34. Kesheva, “Pochemu ne sostoialsia.“

35. Gueshchmakhue Tambii, “Ukhet ue, kh'et?” Psyne, no. 8 (2009): 91.Google Scholar

36. Postanovlenie Pravitel'stva KBR, “O reformirovanii deiatel'nosti uchrezhdenii iskusstva i kul'tury,” no. 454 (1998).

37. See Bgazhnokov B. Kh., “Etnicheskii krizis v novoi i noveishei istorii adygov,“ Zhizn’ natsional’ nostei, nos. 2-3 (1999).Google Scholar

38. On the national movement in Kabardino-Balkaria, see Derluguian Georgi M.Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus: A World-System Biography (Chicago2005).Google Scholar

39. Gueshchmakhue, “Ukhet,” 93.

40. Marianna Gendugova, “Kazbek Balkarov: ‘Khatti-eto odna bol ‘shaia druzhnaia sem'ia,“’ Circassa.ru and Adigam.com, 23 February 2009, at www.aheku.org/page. php?id=1793 (last accessed 1March 2013); and Mar'iane Zhemykh“ue, “Kh'ets'yk'u Madine i fashchekhemre i shchekhukhemre,” Adyge psal“e, 17 August 2011.

41. Ardzinba V. G.Ritualy i mify drevnei Anatolii (Moscow1982).Google Scholar

42. Gould Rebecca, “Language Dreamers: Race and the Politics of Etymology in the Caucasus,” in Grant and Yalçm-Heckmann, eds., Caucasus Paradigms, 143–66.Google Scholar

43. Gueshchmakhue, “Ukhet,” 92.

44. Gendugova, “Kazbek Balkarov.“

45. Larisa Shadueva, “Adygskie tantsy pod shotlandskuiu volynku,” KabardinoBalkarskaia pravda, 15 August 2006, reprinted in Komsomol'skaia pravda, 31 August 2006; Zinaida Mal'bakhova, “Professor smal ‘chisheskim litsam,” Kabardino-Balkarskaia pravda, 16 September 2006; “Charl'z King: V novostiakh nichego khoroshego pro Kavkaz ne skazhut,” Severnyi Kavkaz, August 2006.

46. melodii RodnyeDopolnenie k programme po muzyke dlia 1-4 klassov obshcheobrazovatel’ nykh shkol na materiale muzykal’ noi kultury KBR (Nalchik1993).Google Scholar

47. Taise Nybezh', “Vyfe nak“yremre adyge mak“amemre,” Adyge psal“e, 17 August 2006.

48. Betkov K.Blagodatov G., and Iazovitskaia E.Atlas muzyka/'nykh instrumentov narodov SSSR (Moscow1975).Google Scholar