Kinship and Territorial Ties within the Power System of the Traditional Kabardian Society

Author: Azikova, Yuzanna
Journal: Social Evolution & History. Volume 20, Number 1 / March 2021


The purpose of the present article is to outline the role of kinship and territorial ties in the power system of traditional Kabardian society. In connection with the discussions on the issue of the emergence of the state, which is mainly based on territorial division, the article analyzes the nature and level of the kinship and territorial ties existing in traditional Kabardian society. It is shown that between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries the true kinship between the rulers and the governed was completely excluded in Kabardia; however, the practice of imitation of kinship was typical since the ruling upper circles were aware of high functionality and efficiency of tradition and ideology of kinship in ruling the people and the country. The article also analyzes the presence of the elements of kinship and their alternatives in the history of relations between traditional Kabardian society and ‘foreign-language periphery,’ neighboring peoples and states (in the period from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries). The author also evaluates the pragmatic or ideological significance of kinship rhetoric and contacts for the historic reality of international relations in the region.

Keywords: traditional Kabardian society, power system, prince power, international relations, kinship, artificial kinship, consanguinity, territorial ties, territorial division, early state.

Yuzanna Azikovakabardino-Balkarian State University named after H. M. Berbekov, Nalchik more