Intercommunal, socio-economic, and political relations in the North Caucasus have historically revolved around access to this mountain region's prized pasturage and scarce farmland. Given the centrality of the land question in the North Caucasus, it is unsurprising that historiography on land relations in the region has been highly politicized. This article examines how indigenous writing on the history of land relations in the central Caucasus – a region inhabited by today's Kabardians, Balkars, Ossetians, Ingushes, and Karachais, and dominated by the princely confederation of Kabarda before the tsarist conquest – has been subject to wide revision in response to changes in local and national political dynamics and the emergence of ethnicized identity politics. In the late-imperial and early Soviet periods, Karachai, Balkar, and Ossetian elites-cum-historians, writing for an audience of imperial policy-makers, crafted histories to influence state policies toward land reform. By the 1930s, historians from the region tailored their histories of land relations to the prerogatives of Soviet nationality policies. The ideas contained in these histories impacted the construction of national identities in the Soviet period. Post-Soviet Karachai and Balkar intellectuals, seeking to establish new post-colonial national histories for their peoples, have reinterpreted the history of land relations in order to depict their ancestors as independent of Kabarda's land-based dominance. This revisionism is part of the struggle of the Karachais and Balkars against their historiographical erasure, which was a product of the exclusion of the Karachais and Balkars from the family of Soviet nations during their deportation and exile to Central Asia from 1944 to 1957 and their subsequent political and cultural marginalization.