Friday, October 28, 2011

Kardanakhi: Unity

When my hostess and cultural informant, Nely, introduced me to her marital village, Kardanakhi, she gave me some background:

Traditionally, the village houses were built close together (they are still close). Each homestead had its yard compound for growing and raising fruit, vegetables, and livestock. Each had its vineyard down on the plain.

The physical closeness was for neighborly protection from the enemy. Swords hung on a wall in the houses, and when the enemy alert went out, men grabbed their swords to meet their invaders in battle.

Losing a battle had savage consequences: vineyards burned, young boys slaughtered, and girls carried away.

Fortresses dotted the Kakheti territory. When sentries spotted enemies encroaching, they built signal fires to alert the other fortresses down the line, which, in turn, did the same.

Villagers sometimes fled up the mountain slopes to hide out. 

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