'The Matriarch Council' Translation & Annotation by

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 30, 2016

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Submitted: September 30, 2016



  1. Ni Xase

The Matriarch Council


Bzchedighu text


Latinized Circassian text

Iypeum nartme Ni xase ya'etigh. A xasem nio 'ushxer eik'wal'etighex. Schi'ach'eu yach'aleme ya'en, xabzeu-bzibx'eu ya'en faeim teiguscha'etighex,ch'o eizch qanibzchim qalheghughem aushetinghem, zexaxizchighem teitu. Asch fede xasem nizchixeme 'ushigheu scha'uagheme aschischey jiriy be ts'ifxeme qaxenezchigheu axelher. Ni xasem unasho imishteneu. Nibem iylazche 'otezchighosh'u, -sche'eghe pite aschije axelhineu ashteghagh.


English Translation

Long ago, the Narts had a council called the matriarchs. Elderly women attended the council. They discussed their children's way of life and the traditions and norms that required be applying and following, narrating out of their own experiences, and from what they observed or heard throughout the long years that they have lived.

Until this day, people still recite and follow the matriarch council’s guidance.

Of the ancient council's diktat:

Do not desire what the other owns, never take what belongs to another, hunger is easily recognized and the value of patience, and, fortitude which people should have in dealing with problems and matters concerning food.


(Hedeghel’e, I971, Vol.7, p. 106) 


*The Matriarch’s council is an example of the dynamic role Circassian women partake within their communities. Until today, the women council is an independent entity from men’s, it is strong an ongoing tradition symbolizing the active, esteemed and substantial status women hold in Circassian culture.

It is also interesting to note that the word ‘Ni’ in western Circassian dialect stands for, mother, and the eye, equally denoting giving, and generosity. 

© Copyright 2018 Zaina El-Said. All rights reserved.

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