PART THE FOURTH: Let Us Go Back and Review Some History

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As a precursor to this installment, let me state that I personally find the current slow down in events to be a positive development…

I had only recently found both the time and motivation to collect my thoughts on this curious and fledgling epic. I had begun to fear that with the rapidity of new unfolding events I might never be able to catch up, let alone give due examination to smaller yet nonetheless very interesting elements. As stated before, blogging on the Junsui is a very favoured personal indulgence which must sometimes must be set aside when my professional projects’ milestones demand it.

With all that we have previously covered in the conflict between the Junsui and Alfa-Tsentr, I now realize I have failed to document some of the core aspects of the Junsui’s world and belief system. I’d like very much to articulate some of these fundamentals now, lest I find myself regretting the omission at a later date. So, let us begin our course of study!

Through her photos posted on Facebook, MySpace, and the Russian social networking site, Vkontakte, Junko clearly established that she possessed a feeling of kinship towards the historical figure, Gwaschemasch’e Kadın Efendi. Gwaschemasch’e was the daughter of Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz and through her mother was of Circassian lineage. Gwaschemasch’e herself was one of multiple wives of a subsequent Sultan, Adbul Hamid II, the last absolute monarch of the Ottoman Empire.

Two documentary clips from the archives of Soviet era Kievnauchfilm, aka ‘Kiev Science Film’, explain more:

The Circassians (excerpt 1)

The Circassians (excerpt 2)

For those who lack the attention span (or bandwidth) to watch six minutes of 80s Soviet documentary footage, I shall summarize…

(Those who choose to watch the videos may skip the next paragraph).

It seems Gwaschemasch’e, returning from college in a Paris and a life full of exposure to artistic temperaments, found herself in favour with the Sultan, whose powers were in wane. They were wed, but Gwaschemasch’e’s insistence upon aligning herself with several aficionados of runic magic, most notably the mysterious occultist known as Guido von List, threw her into disfavour with the Sultan’s advisors. These men felt HIH’s mystical predilections could further turn the populace against their regime. This counsel seems well deserved as in 1908 the Young Turk rebellion began and the Sultan was deposed from power. Gwaschemasch’e, whom the rebels demanded be expelled from the country, went missing. There exists some correspondence that seems to substantiate that Gwaschemasch’e was in fact smuggled out of Turkey by allies of her spiritual mentor, Herr Von List. The notorious spy (later allied with some of the more ignoble causes of the 20th century) Fritz Duquesne is a possible figure involved in her egress.

Whether you watched the documentaries or simply read my hasty summary, there are a few key points I wish to underline…

First, it is obvious to anyone why these materials hold appeal to Junko (aka Vera Novosi) and her ‘sisters’. These clips explain the plight of a powerful young woman who became obsessed with the spiritual world during a time of political tumult. Like their idol, Gwaschemasch’e, the Junsui have become fond of identifying themselves as ‘Circassian’, i.e. the lineage of Caucus mountain peoples who have an interesting historical story replete with plenty of wars and persecution.

Perhaps most relevant to this particular material are the legends of Circassian Beauties that ran rampant through the literature and even the advertising (several balms were advertised as being tools of these beauties) through the 17th – 19th centuries.

Throughout the 19th century, the Circassians were widely reported to be victims of human trafficking, often sold at the slave market in Constantinople as exotic treasures and reputedly made excellent concubines.

Taking a somewhat perverse view on the definition of beauty was P.T. Barnum, who exhibited several ‘Circassian Beauties’ in his museum of the bizarre. Though the Circassians displayed lacking any ethnic connection to the real thing, they all were notable for their sporting teased out ‘big hair’ styles similar to an Afro.

Legendary beauty aside, the Circassians should perhaps best be remembered for their century-long struggle against the Russian armies that sought to dispossess them of their homelands. The struggle was finally brought to an end through the use of scorched earth tactics on the part of Russian General Yevdokimov. May 21st is known to the Circassians as their ‘Day of Mourning’ – corresponding with the date in 1864 when the Tsar announced the total Russian occupation of these lands.

The Circassians were, to be sure, a fearsome enemy and well-accustomed to the ways of battle. As the English writer Edmund Spencer, Esq. (not the one you’re probably not thinking of) wrote:

This valley was much more diversified and romantic than that through which we had passed, occasionally forming into a tiny plain, and then into a contracted gorge. It was, also, for the most part, diligently cultivated, and, I was told by the captain, thickly inhabited; not, however, that there was a single human habitation visible, the Circassians having the custom of concealing their dwellings by dense foliage, in order to elude the observation of the enemy.

It should be noted that the Circassian’s tragic defeat led to the people’s mass expulsion from their home region, a journey that killed millions by way of disease, starvation, and fatigue.

Whether or not Junko knows all this is debatable, but one thing seems certain: the Circassians fought like a group possessed and held one of the world’s most powerful militaries at bay for over a century. Who knows what inspires such a struggle and such a heroic defiance?

Regardless of whether Junko and her sisters bear actual genetic lineage from Gwaschemasch’e and the Circassians, the woman and her people mark a definitive source of inspiration and parable.

IMAGES: Junko’s Facebook Album on Gwaschemasch’e Efendi (Gone But Not Forgotten)

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