Kabards, a historical people of Central Caucasus (Great and Little Kabarda), said to have been originally Khazars, but through long alliances with the Circassians now completely assimilated to the Caucasic type of which they are at present the finest representatives; tall, handsome, with extremely regular features, haughty expression, and martial bearing, hence largely recruited for the household troops of the Czar; the superb "Cherkesses," mounting guard at the Winter Palace, Petersburg, are mostly Kabards. All are Mohammedans, except a small group which in 1703 became nominal Christians, and settled in the northern steppe about the middle course of the Terek. An opposite movement took place towards the beginning of the present century, when some 40,000, to escape from Russian oppression, took refuge with the Turks of the Kuban basin, where many of their descendants still survive. The Kabertai, as they call themselves, speak one of the numerous stock languages of the Caucasus, noted for its harsh, guttural, and hissing sounds. At present the full-blood Kabards number altogether little over 30,000.