Talantov S. V. (2021). O proizvodstve i ukrashenii oruzhija kabardinskimi masterami v XVIII veke [Kabardian craftsmen in the XVIII century: production and decoration of arms]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 11, pp. 21 — 39.
Abstract: The article covers the issue of production and decoration of arms by Kabardian craftsmen in the XVIII century. The topic is determined by the fact that Circassians (also Cherkashenins, Cherkess) in Russian historical records of this period might have been a collective term for numerous representatives of Adyghe nation including Kabardians, Trans-Kuban and Black Sea Adyghe. Based on this probability, the author attempts to identify origins of craftsmen through analysis of written sources and documents.
The article emphasizes the importance of economic factors in the study of arms production in the region and the population (i.e., its nationalities, class division, etc.) which used to create demand for arms. In this regard, closely relevant is the issue of temporary labor migration (i.e., otkhodnichestvo) of craftsmen which might indicate both competition and a lack of stable demand in local villages. Such craftsmen travelled to Russian fortress-cities which provided security for developing crafts and trade as well as stable demand created by locals, neighbouring people who visited these cities and merchants.
In addition to existing literature on Russian-Caucasian relations, the author introduces new previously unpublished historical materials.
Keywords: Circassian arms, historical arms of Caucasus, arms production, otkhodnichestvo.