The Schmooze

Glimpse Into Circassian Culture

The Circassian Heritage Center in Kfar Kama and the smaller Circassian Museum, in Rehaniya, offer a window onto the community’s singular material culture.

“It’s not exactly the Israel Museum or the Islamic Museum in Jerusalem — it’s modest and simple,” said Khoon Shawki, proprietor of the Circassian Museum and of Rehaniya’s Sausruka restaurant. “After viewing the displays, guests are invited into my home, where we complete the experience with some Circassian home cooking — a light snack or full meal, whichever they prefer.”

Particularly striking in both museums are the clothing displays. Men traditionally wore felt cloaks with wide, often short sleeves for added flexibility during combat (the Cossacks even adopted the coat in the 19th century, calling it a Cherkeska). A tall sheepskin cap, along with a sword and dagger, completed the ensemble.

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Glimpse Into Circassian Culture

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