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Ethnic Abkhaz from Gulripshi
The Abkhazians or Abkhaz (Abkhaz: Аҧсуа, Georgian: აფხაზები) are a Caucasian ethnic group, mainly living in Abkhazia, an autonomous republic of Georgia.
The origins of the Abkhaz are disputed for several reasons. The language of the Abkhaz belongs to the Northwest Caucasian languages group which is distinct from the Georgian (Kartvelian) language family. However, scholarly opinion (mostly Western and Georgian) favors the notion that the indigenous people of Abkhazia were directly related to the Heniochi tribe, a proto-Georgian group that lived along the northeastern shores of the Black Sea, on the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. According to Professor David Marshall Lang, the Henoichi tribe lived near the border of Colchis (Western Georgian Kingdom) and were eventually absorbed into that state in the first millennium BC.
Did you know...
... that Bagapsh family in Abkhazia is ethnically Laz? The name Bagapshi is an old Lazic family name of the Mingrelo-Laz people who have populated western Georgia after the collapse of Colchis.