IX. IRANIANS, 3rd Wave

  • Circassians (or Adyghe): They were a people indigenous to the Caucasus. After spending centuries as a minor tribe constantly under the domination of more powerful peoples, they emerged with a small state of their own about 1430 by breaking away from the Mongol Khanate of the Golden Horde. Originally, their religion was of the typical tribal shamanist pagan sort. After briefly flirting with Christianity, they converted to Islam. The Russians waged genocidal wars of conquest against them during the mid-19th Century, causing the few survivors to scatter the across the Middle East. The city of Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, was once the Circassian capital.