Archaeology and History
The origins of the Circassians can be traced to the mountains of the north-western Caucasus, where they have lived for thousands of years.
In the 19th century the Caucasus was occupied by the Russian Empire, more than one million Circassians were killed and a greater part of that people were transported from their homeland.
The Neighboring Ottoman Empire absorbed the Circassian refugees and encouraged them to settle in parts of its territory, including the Land of Israel.
In the second half of the 19th century the Circassians established three settlements in the Land of Israel, two of which still exist in the Galilee: Kfar Kama, with a population of approx. 3000, and Rihanya, with around 1000 people.