Sakartvelo (საქართველო) and Its Nomads

A distant snap from the mouth, herding his sheep through the wavy bedded earth. High in the mountains we have romanticized while their distance has mystified.

The deep rumble of the hooves begin to fill the belly as the land portrays itself as a gliding plate, down, down into the valleys. A fluffy cloud tumbles towards you, stunning your existence.

Kazbegi, Republic of Georgia- 2010

Kazbegi, Republic of Georgia- 2010

Dominated by males, they rule over their heard, with leather wrapping their bodies in from the freezing nights. Stars left to dance for their propped open eye while the other one rests.

High into the Caucasians, a home base. Lined with pornographic photos torn from magazines, and fluffed with the shaves of their sheep.

Tusheti, Republic of Georgia. Caucasian mountains after a vertical 4 hour climb.

Tusheti, Republic of Georgia. Caucasian mountains after a vertical 4 hour climb.

Their home is always and everywhere. They are the mountains, but here, here is where the Cha Cha (vodka) collects, the stories, and the warmth of others complement the rough winds and landscapes of ‘aw.’ A break from the unforgiving elements which so generously  provides material for the late night drinking that becomes the ultimate performance and display of their masculinity. Built into the depths of their toasts , one to the God, one to the Host, one to those that Passed, and to the Future. Only then are endless, romanticized poetic toasts for friends, seasons, animals, hobbies, and experiences, belted out. Paired with salted meats, timed with balls of bread to soak up the liquors until their bellies can no longer hold and at last an ultimate winner.

Shaved fluff

Shaved fluff

Sticks in hand, we cross the valleys and rollable hills. There, there is where the poetry lies. He holds back the billowing sheep dog to belt out his overstuffed consonants like no other language can.

There, there are the gems of life, high above Tusheti (თუშეთი).

… and there, there is where the smell of Cha Cha lies, rolling off the hairless chest disappearing into the hills and forming poetry with each drip. Becoming the essence of my defense for intelligence, observation, and a beautiful found in all crevices of life.

Moved by the vastness of what seems to have become one creature, the herd provokes the questions within my forever ticking mind… rustic as I have only seen in Southwesten movies, they ride past me on their sizable horses.

“I want to be a sheep herder,” I voice.

“Women do not herd sheep,” she giggles.

I, naive, suggesting such a taboo. How silly I might think that my beloved patriarchal culture would have women do such a job – would inherit such an adventure of manhood.

Tibaani- A home

Tibaani- A home

Yet… they may not venture for days but those that have been stripped of their femininity, seen for worthy-hands rather then snuggling beloveds, inherit a daily task of herding -down from the hillsides and into their beds.

(please be so kind to note that this is an interpretation of various accounts in which I experienced but as moments are made of endless perceptions, this may not be in sync with other’s experiences)

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