Georgian ethnologist Besarion Nizharadze (1852-1919) wrote primarily on ethnography and folklore, specialising in what he gathered and studied from his native region – Svaneti(a). His topics included Svan proverbs, conundrums, songs, popular stories and historical ethnography. The nature of his output means that he may justifiably be regarded as the progenitor of ‘svanology’. Presented in our book are excerpts from his articles under the title Besarion Nizharadze, Tavisupali Svani: Historico-Ethnographic Articles.
Book also features two translations from stories by the novelist Sergo K’ldiashvili (1893-1986). K’ldiashvili’s Collected Works contains short stories constructed around Svan themes. “Khalde” might be seen as a clash of cultures between a young Russian lowlander in military service yearning for adventure and the free spirit of an indomitable highlander determined to preserve his people’s independence and governed by a mountain-man’s code of honour. “Ushguli” reveals that local rivalries could be as deadly as fighting a foreign foe