On the basis of personal fieldworks implemented in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the author offers an ethnographical description of the celebration of the most significant festivals of the Islamic calendar in the Northwest Caucasus: Qurban Bayram [Arabic ‘Ayd al-Kabir]; Uraza [Arabic Ramadan]; Uraza Bayram [Arabic ‘Ayd al-Saghir]; Ashura; Mawlud [Arabic Mawlud al-Nabi], as well as the solar New Year of the Kabards: Nafieshkhiedzhed, celebrated on March 22. She notably shows how Islam has penetrated all the spheres of the everyday life of the Kabards, Balkars and Adyghes, in spite of these peoples’ relatively late conversion to Islam. For each, the role of local communities (designated by a word deriving from Arabic jama‘at) and the preparation of special meals. Some occasional ceremonies are also shortly evoked, for instance the rituals of the call of rain among Kabards and Balkars (khanseguashe or körek-biiche). The author insists on the dynamic character of the evolution of these practices, and provides examples of the current debates on them, for instance on the illicit character of the celebration of the mawlud in the eyes of numerous mullahs, which in some places has brought about their suppression.

The Redaction
CER: II-6.3.B-502