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THE TREE VENERATION IN THE CIRCASSIAN CULTURE

ZAINA EL-SAID & BEABARS APPESH

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© ZAINA EL-SAID

story   |  THE TREE VENERATION IN THE CIRCASSIAN CULTURE

01: Trees

ZAINA EL-SAID

Trees stand as a magnificent reminder of one of God’s infinite masterpieces, they are like the silent observers of time, wordlessly conversing with life as eons go by. Trees can be regarded as the wardens of earth, unconditionally giving life, sustenance and shelter.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

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02: Circassian’s Belief System

ZAINA EL-SAID

Since time immemorial, the Circassian native tribes did not follow a script or a holy book, nor erected praying temples, but rather, they have formed an unwritten philosophy based on their collective outlook on life, and worshiped in the arms of nature.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

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03: Associated Tree Deities

ZAINA EL-SAID

Deities associated with sacred forests transformed and evolved according to different historical eras. It is believed that the main original forest deity was Mezguasche (Forest-lady). Mezguasche was responsible for the forest and fauna.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

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04: Tree Rites, Rituals & Letter ‘T’

ZAINA EL-SAID

Trees acted as shrines parallel to temples, and as mentioned previously, the native Circassians believed that prayers and holy events must be conducted in nature where no human trace of building or human planting or agriculture was found.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

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05: Trees in Circassian Mythology

ZAINA EL-SAID

Mythology is a reflection of the people’s soul, and unlike common belief that they are fantastical stories, myths carry the core of the ancient world, safeguarding profound information, which relate human and world progression through the ages.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

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06: Trees & Eco System

ZAINA EL-SAID

What we now refer to as ‘ecology’ and an 'eco life system' was once a habitual lifestyle of various world indigenous cultures, and amongst the native Circassians, up until half of the 19th century, this structure was the standard archetype system.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

story   |  THE TREE VENERATION IN THE CIRCASSIAN CULTURE

07: Tree Veneration of Circassians (Conclusions)

ZAINA EL-SAID

It is evident that tree veneration has accompanied the Circassians since ancient times, and holds one of the most important roles in the animistic view amongst the Circassians. The cult of trees has persisted up until the late 19th century.

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