Portrait of a Northeast Caucasian Highlander

JACK: I attach a scan done this evening from an image a friend gave me several years ago, which was a color scan done on one of the large laser color copiers. I do not know who did the original painting.

I am quite convinced that the scene represents the environs of the Georgian Military Road in the highlands of the Caucasus. It was a fantastic feat of engineering and road building during the 19th. century, as you can imagine.

Hope you like it.


Dear George,

Thought you might find the following interesting: The portrait labeled on your site "Painting of A Cossack Guard" would be more accurately titled Painting of A Northeast Caucasian Highlander. A copy can be found in A. Astvatsaturyans's Weapons of the Caucasian Peoples, p. 65 in which the author identifies it as: Chechen 1887. For ethnic peoples of the Caucasus at least, the distinction is an important one.

Hope this information will be of use to you.


Editor's Note: Corrected.

By the way, your image is of a Caucasian mountain tribesman, not a Cossack. If you like I can find out what particular tribe and probably give you the provenance of the painting.


I appreciate your offer to identify the Caucasian on the Georgian Military Road, as pictured on the web site. When I sent the image to my friend's web page, I felt that the gentleman pictured was not a Cossack from the plain evidence of his dress and also the style of long arm. However, not having any firm information on the matter, I described him as a Cossack, figuring that this would be 'good enough'. I should not have done that. I would guess that he is a Mingrelian, possibly Chechen. Terek?? To pin down the provenance of the painting would be valuable.

Best Regards,

For further discussion see discussion about the kinjal and related items.

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