World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Abkhaz neopaganism

Article Id: WHEBN0040159492
Reproduction Date:

Title: Abkhaz neopaganism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Caucasian Neopaganism, Druwi, European Congress of Ethnic Religions, Ætsæg Din, Paganism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Abkhaz neopaganism

Abkhaz Neopaganism, or the Abkhaz native religion, is the contemporary re-emergence of the ethnic religion of the Abkhaz people in Abkhazia, a revitalisation which started in the 1980s.[1] The most important holy sites of the religion are the Seven Shrines of Abkhazia, each one having its own priestly clan, where rituals and prayers began to be solemnly restored from the 1990s onwards.

According to the 2003 census, 8% of the population of Abkhazia adheres to Abkhaz Paganism.[2] On 3 August 2012 the Council of Priests of Abkhazia was formally constituted in Sukhumi.[3] The possibility of making the Abkhaz native religion one of the state religions was discussed in the following months.[4]


The traditional Abkhaz religion was actually never completely wiped out; circles of priests, whose activity was kept secret,[5] passed on traditional knowledge and rites in the times when Christianity and Islam became dominant in the region, and later in Soviet times of anti-religion.[1]

Since the 1980s, and later in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Abkhaz native religion was resurrected by the joint efforts of priests who began to resurface, rural people reactivating local rituals, and urban intellectuals supporting Paganism as an integral part for a reawakening of the Abkhaz ethnic and cultural identity.[1][6]

A turning point for the revival of the Abkhaz native religion came with the national god Dydrypsh awarded them the victory.[8]

Since then the Abkhaz native religion has been protected by Abkhaz authorities. Government officials took part in a bull sacrifice in October 1993 celebrated to thank the Lord Dydrypsh for the victory over the Georgians, and since then they regularly take part in worship rituals.[8][9]

See also

Caucasian religions
Indo-European religions
Uralic religions


  1. ^ a b c Schnirelmann, p. 202.
  2. ^ .
  3. ^ .
  4. ^ .
  5. ^ Krylov, 1999
  6. ^ Filatov & Shipkov, 1996
  7. ^ a b Schnirelmann, p. 205.
  8. ^ a b Schnirelmann, p. 206.
  9. ^ Krylov, 1998a: 24–26; 1998b


  • .
  • .
  • & 7, 1998 b: 54–56.
  • .
  • .

External links

  • .

Further Reading

  • .
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.