|Russia 590,010 (2010 census)|
Turkey More than 1,000,000
The Kabardians (Highland Adyghe: Къэбэрдей адыгэхэр; Lowland Adyghe: Къэбэртай адыгэхэр; Russian: Кабардинцы), or Kabardinians, are the largest one of the twelve Adyghe (Circassian) tribes (sub-ethnic groups). They are also commonly known by the plural terms Kabardin, Kebertei, or Kabarday. Along with the Besleney tribe, they speak a distinctive dialect of the Adyghe language.
Despite the Soviet administrative divisions that placed Circassians under four different designations, namely Adygeans (Adyghe in Adygea), Cherkessians (Adyghe in Karachay-Cherkessia), Kabardians (Adyghe in Kabardino-Balkaria), Shapsugians (Adyghe in Krasnodar Krai), all the four are essentially the same people (Adyghe) residing in different political units. The Kabardian people represent one of the 12 stars on the green and gold Adyghe flag.
Kabardians are the largest Circassian (Adyghe) tribe in Russia (over 600,000), Turkey, Egypt, and some other countries in the region, except for Israel and Jordan, where the Shapsug and Abzakh tribe are the largest tribes, respectively. The Kabardian tribe are also the largest Circassian branch in the world in general. In 2002, they numbered around 520,000 in Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia. Significant populations of Kabardians are also found in Georgia. There are also communities in the United States. In Turkey, where more than 1 million of them live, they are concentrated on the Uzunyayla plateau of Kayseri province and around (Central Turkey), though there are Kabardian villages in Balıkesir, Düzce, Eskişehir (Northwest Turkey), Çorum, Samsun, and Tokat (Black Sea region), amongst many others.
There are also still some adherents to traditional Habze beliefs, although most Kabardin are now Hanafi Sunni Muslims. A majority had converted to Islam by the early 19th century.
Kabardians also constituted one of the earliest Christian communities in Europe, converting in the late 2nd and early 3rd Centuries. There are also some Roman Catholic Kabardians (possibly descended from families who reportedly converted from Orthodoxy during the 13th century). Kabardians living in Mozdoksky District in the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania are Orthodox Christians, Some of the Kabardians living in the southern part of the neighbouring Kursky district of Stavropol Krai are also Orthodox Christians.