The Chechens are the largest North Caucasian group and one of the oldest indigenous ethnic groups of the Caucasus.
Chechens refer to themselves as "Nokhcho". The vast majority of Chechens today are Sunni Muslims.
Chechens express great pride in their culture and began in the late 1990s to publish collections of Chechen memoirs and folklore. Chechen folklore was passed on orally from generation to generation until the 20th century, since then, the written language began to be widely used. Traditional folktales are similar to those found throughout the Caucasus. The Chechens often used folktales to present historical events.
Traditional music is very percussive and energetic, with drums and the accordion as the main instruments. Chechen music is still very popular nowadays, even among young people.
Among the traditional dances, there is the Zikr “the circular dance" used by the Islamic brotherhood, as a form of prayer, developed into a symbol of national identity for the Chechens. It was introduced in the mid-nineteenth century and throughout its years under Russian rule, the dance became a rallying cry for the resistance movements in Chechnya under the tsarist rule, the Soviet regime, and the current Russian Federation.