Journal Amirani. 2002. Volume 7

Central Caucasian religious systems and social ideology in the post-Soviet period

Author(s): Kevin J. Tuite, Paata Bukhrashvili

1. While conducting field research in the Republic of Georgia in 1996 and 1997, supported by a grant from SSHRC, we had the occasion to visit the provinces of Khevsureti and Pshavi. To our astonishment, the great summer festival of Atengenoba - accompanied by dances, rituals and animal sacrifice, as in the descriptions of a century ago - is still being celebrated in many highland communities. We interviewed numerous ხევისბერები ("pagan" priests; throughout this text, "priests" will designate ხევისბერები rather than Orthodox clergy), shrine officials and other villagers, who described a relatively coherent body of beliefs, practices and rituals which appears to have changed little since pre-Soviet times, even as several key components of traditional culture, to be discussed in the following section, have been lost or radically changed.

Journal Amirani. 2002. Volume 7

Real and imagined Feudalism in higland Georgia

Author(s): Kevin J. Tuite

I. During the 8th-9th centuries, a system of land tenure and political organization that has been described as "feudal" arose in the Transcaucasus. As in Western Europe, Georgian feudalism was characterized by (1) the hierarchical and personal relation between vassal and lord (geo.: პატრონყმობა), with the former rendering homage (შეწყალება) to the latter; (2) the conditional ownership of land in the form of fiefs (geo.: მამული, საკარგავი) [Charachidzé 1971: 16-21]. On the periphery of the medieval Georgian feudal states, centered in the more heavily-populated lowlands, are the mountain provinces of Pxovi (Pshav-Xevsureti) and Svaneti [see map].

Journal Amirani. 2002. Volume 7

The Cult of Childhood Diseases in Samtskhe-Javakheti

Author(s): Nino Chirgadze

This article is concerned with the beliefs and customs about childhood diseases, in one of the regions of Georgia, Samtskhe-Javakheti.
According to these beliefs, in Samtskhe-Javakheti, childhood diseases are considered to be a relapsing fever sent by God and with which children fall ill once in their life.

Journal Amirani. 2003. Volume 8

On the origin of wedding customs and rites

Author(s): Nelly A. Bregadze

Corporative study of Georgian-Bulgarian historic-ethnographic material with that of ancient oriental world has revealed that the wedding customs and rites originate from the festive occasion devoted to the vegetative dying and resurrecting deity.

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