carp, anchovy. Insects abound, especially Coleoptera. Flies, lice, gadflies and mosquitoes are the worst of the insect plagues. There are several snakes, including the viper (Pelias berus).
Ethnology.—The population of Caucasia is increasing rapidly. In 1897 it numbered 9,291,090, of whom 4,886,230 were males and 4,404,867 were females. The most densely-peopled provinces were Kutais and Tiflis, each with 80 inhabitants to the square mile; the thinnest the Black Sea government (20½ per sq. m.), Terek (31), and Kars (39). Of the total population 3,725,543 lived in northern Caucasia and 5,564,547 in Transcaucasia (including Daghestan). In the latter territorial division there exists a great disproportion between the sexes, namely, to every 100 males only 86 females; indeed in the Black Sea government there are only 65.5 females to every 100 males. Ethnologically the population belongs to a great variety of races. The older authorities asserted that these numbered as many as 150, or even 300; the more recent researches of Baron P. V. Uslar, F. Anton, von Schiefner, Zagursky, and others have greatly reduced this number; but even then there are not less than fifty represented.
According to the languages spoken the populations of Caucasia admit of being classified as follows, according to Senator N. Trointsky, president of the Russian Census Committee for 1897.
|French and Italians||1,435|
| Georgians (including Imeretians, Gurians,
Svanetians, Lazes, Mingrelians, &c.)
|Cherkesses (Adigheh) and Kabardians||144,847|
Religion.—Most of the Russians and the Georgians belong to the Orthodox Greek Church (over 4,000,000 in all); but considerable numbers (estimated at nearly 122,000, though in reality probably a good many more) are Nonconformists of different denominations. The Georgian Lazes are, however, Mussulmans. The Armenians are Christians, mostly of the national Gregorian Church (979,566), though 34,000 are Roman Catholics. The Caucasian races (except the Gregorians), together with the Turks and Tatars, are Mussulmans of the Sunnite sect (2,021,300), and the Iranian races mostly Mussulmans of the Shiite sect (884,100). The Kalmucks and other Mongolic tribes are Lamaists (20,300), and some of the Kurds profess the peculiar tenets of the Yezids.
Industries.—The principal occupation of the settled inhabitants is agriculture and of the nomadic the breeding of live stock, including camels. The cultivation of the soil is, however, attended in many parts with great difficulties owing to the scanty rainfall and the very primitive implements still in use, and in the valley of the Kura heavy losses are frequently incurred from depredations by locusts. But where irrigation is employed the yield of crops is excellent. Rye and wheat are the most important crops harvested in northern Caucasia, but oats, barley and maize are also cultivated, whereas in Transcaucasia the principal crops are maize, rice, tobacco and cotton. The rice is grown chiefly in the valley of the Kura and in Lenkoran; the tobacco in the Rion valley and on the Black Sea coastlands, also to some extent in Kubañ; and the cotton in the eastern provinces. Various kinds of fodder crops are grown in Transcaucasia, such as hay, rye-grass and lucerne. It is estimated that nearly 54,000 acres are under vineyards in northern Caucasia and some 278,000 acres in Transcaucasia, the aggregate yield of wine being 30 million gallons annually. The best wine grows in Kakhetia, a district lying north-east and east of Tiflis; this district alone yields nearly 8 million gallons annually. Large numbers of mulberry trees are planted for rearing silkworms, especially in Kutais, Erivan, Elisavetpol (Nukha) and Baku (Shemakha); the groves occupy nearly 150,000 acres, and the winding of the silk gives employment to large numbers of the population. Melons and water-melons are also important objects of cultivation. Sunflowers are very extensively grown for oil in the government of Kubañ and elsewhere, and also some flax. Liquorice is an article of export. Many varieties of fruit are grown, especially good being the apricots, peaches, walnuts and hazel nuts. A limited area (not more than 1150 acres) of the Black Sea coast between Sukhum-kaleh and Batum is planted with the tea-shrub, which succeeds very well. In the same district bamboos, ramie-fibre and attar (otto) of roses are cultivated.
The mining industry is growing rapidly in importance in spite of costly and deficient means of communication, want of capital, and lack of general initiative. So far the principal developments of the industry have been in the governments of Kutais, Batum, Elisavetpol and Kubañ. Copper ore is extracted above the Murgul river (some 30 m. south of Batum), at Akhtala south of Tiflis, and at Kedabek in Elisavetpol; manganese to a considerably greater extent (over 400,000 tons annually) at Chiaturi in the Kvirila valley in Kutais. Steam coal of good quality is reported to exist about 30 m. inland from the open roadstead of Ochemchiri in Kutais, but it is not mined. About 50,000 tons of coal of very poor quality are, however, extracted annually, and the same quantity of salt in the Armenian highlands and in Kubañ. Small quantities of quicksilver, sulphur and iron are obtained. But all these are insignificant in comparison with the mineral oil industry of Baku, which in normal times yields annually between ten and eleven million tons of crude oil (naphtha). A good deal of this is transported by gravitation from Baku to Batum on the Black Sea by means of a pipe laid overland. The refined oil is exported as kerosene or petroleum, the heavier refuse (mazut) is used as fuel. Naphtha is also obtained, though in much smaller quantities, in Terek and Kubañ, in Tiflis and Daghestan. Numerous mineral springs (chalybeate and sulphurous) exist both north and south of the Caucasus ranges, e.g. at Pyatigorsk,
- Premier Recensement général de la population de l’empire de Russie, ed. N. Trointsky (St Petersburg, 1905, 2 vols.), in Russian and French.
- Although the Ingushes speak a Chechen dialect, they have recently been proved to be, anthropologically, quite a distinct race.