April 6, 2017

3012 RUSSIA (Karachay-Cherkess Republic) - Festival of the peoples of the North Caucasus in Dombay

The Karachay-Cherkess Republic is a landlocked republic of Russia located at the slopes of northwestern Caucasus. Mountains cover 80% of its territory. The Caucasus is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse regions on Earth, and Karachay-Cherkessia isn't an exception. Even if it has only 14,100 km2 and less than 500,000 inhabitants, the government recognizes five official languages, spoken by the five main ethnic groups: Karachays (41%), Russians (32%), Cherkes (12%), Abazins (8%) and Nogais (3%).

Dombay is a resort settlement situated within the Teberda Nature Reserve. Three ushchelie (deep valleys) watered by glacier-fed torrents - Alibek from the west, Amanauz from the south and Dombay-Ulgen from the east - meet here to flow north, eventually as the Teberda River. Dombay is straddling both sides of the Amanauz River. Most locals belong to the mountain-dwelling Karachay ethnic minority. Here took place the Festival of the peoples of the North Caucasus.

Even if there are more than 50 ethnic groups living in Caucasus, which differ both in language and religion, they have many things in common, especially regarding the traditions. The traditional costume over this region is so similar that it isn't unusual to see the exact same photograph presented as being from different ethnicities in the region. Here I wrote a little about the traditional clothes. I can't help noticing that the man keeps in hand a drinking horn, frequently used in the past and became a Caucasian cultural symbol.

About the stamps
The stamps are part of a series dedicated to Russian Kremlins, about which I wrote here.

Karachay-Cherkessia - Wikipedia
Introducing Dombay & Teberda - Lonely Planet

Sender: Yana / Yana4ka (postcrossing) RU-5523543
Sent from Moscow (Moscow / Russia), on 24.03.2017

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