Adygey Republic (ədĭgyĕˈ) [key] or Adygeya, formerly Adyge Autonomous Region, constituent republic (1990 est. pop. 435,000), c.2,935 sq mi (7,600 sq km), an enclave within Krasnodar Territory, SE European Russia, at the northern foothills of the Greater Caucasus. Maykop is the capital. Agriculture is the chief occupation; wheat, corn, and rice are the leading food crops. Cattle raising is the predominant farm industry. Forests in the Caucasian foothills support a lumber industry. The Maykop region has oil and natural gas deposits. Oil refining, food processing, furniture making, and the production of machinery, machine tools, and building materials are leading industries. The Muslim Adygey (or Cherkess) people (see Circassia) are known for their tapestries and other handicrafts. The Adygey people make up only 22% of the population of the republic; 68% of the population is Russian. The region was conquered (1830–64) by the Russians from the Turks, who had introduced Islam. It was established as an autonomous region [oblast] in 1922. The region was given republic status in 1991, and was a signatory of the Mar. 31, 1992, treaty of federation. Russians and other people of Slavic descent have called for merging the republic into the surrounding Krasnodar Territory, leading to ethnic tensions in Adygeya.
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