Khelvachauri District Legends-narratives (General Overview)

Main Article Content

Naile Mikeladze


The present paper deals with folk materials preserved in Khelvachauri district.

Our theme is mainly based on field expedition papers, archival material and publications.

The folklore of the Khelvachauri district evidences many myths and legends that tell about the genesis of a particular subject, historical event, people or genus. They often have etymological content. They can be divided into the following groups:

I. Toponyms of ancient religious-cult origin and related sayings; (The topomymic narratives are excellent examples of the contamination of religious streams about visiting the so-called "communion places"- Ziaretoba ("holy places"); in particular, “Inatsminda” and others.

II. Beliefs related to the cult of the tree; Such trees as yew, vine//grapes, nut, pear and others are considered as sacred plants in Adjarian folklore.

III. Myths about the creation of the universe (cosmogony myths); the myths represented here (in connection with the Flood) echo the general Georgian verbalism and are deeply rooted in it.

IV. Macro-toponymic legends and narratives related to Christianity; the matters connected to the toponym of Inatsminda should be particularly noted, as the road to Shavshet-Imkhrevi-Nigali was laid through Inatsminda, thus connecting the population to the historic Tao-Klarjeti church-monastery centers and is also significant in terms of research.

V. Toponym legends and narratives connected to King Tamar, which speaks about King Tamar's greatest activity – revival activity, her perspicacity, faithfulness, merit, power and church building.

VI. Toponymic narratives related to Ottoman aggression; this section deals with the time of Ottoman rule and related narratives. The struggle for national independence and Christianity during the Ottoman domination killed many lives, which are preserved in the memory and history of the people.

Thus, in Adjara, influenced by the Muslim religion, the Ottoman elements partially adapted to the general Georgian tradition and today they are contaminated in different legends or sayings. Folklore materials, both published and archived, allow us, at least, to give the general characteristics of the folk lore of various genres prevalent in Khelvachauri district.

Folklore, Legends-Narratives, Toponyms
Published: Apr 20, 2021

Article Details

Folklore and Dialectology