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  • Ensemble Mzetamze - Vol. II - Traditional Georgian women's songs




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P & C December 1998
- Face Music / Albi

- last update 01-2015


- FM 50030 - P & C 2000
more information songs - in German - see: Ensemble Mzetamze

1. Kartlis Mindorsa, circle dance song, Rach'a - 2:45
2. Nana, cradle song, Tusheti - 1:10
3. Sheni ch'irime khink'alo, table song, Pshavi - 1:30
4. Bat'onebis Simghera, healing song, Imereti - 5:24
5. Sakhumaro, verses and panduri, Khevsureti - 1:53
6. Gelino, wedding song, Ach'ara - 2:58
7. Zhuzhuna, circle dance song, Rach'a - 2:10
8. Nana, cradle song, K'akheti - 1:35
9. Nana, cradle song, Ach'ara - 1:19
10. Esti, esti, part'enao, work song, Pshavi - 1:34
11. Sulit t'irili, dirge, Tianeti - 2:05
12. Lazare, weather song, Kartli - 1:20
13. Sat'rpialo, love song, Tusheti - 3:04
14. Nana, cradle song, Khevi - 2:24
15. Bavshvis Mosaperebeli, cradle song, Tianeti - 1:22
16. Iavnana, healing song, K'akheti - 4:07
17. Nai-Nai, circle dance song, Ach'ara - 1:34
18. Bavshvis Shesashinebeli, cradle song, Rach'a - 0:35
19. Obol ro daibadeba, lament, Tianeti - 1:57
20. Veengara, nana, skua, lyrical (cradle) song, Samegrelo - 2:36
21. Mepe Erek'les dat'reba, dirge, Kartli - 1:30
22. Nana, cradle song, Svaneti - 0:51
23. Nana, cradle song, Khevsureti - 0:49
24. Bakht'rionidan gitskerdi, dance song, Tianeti - 1:09
25. Irinola, circle dance song, Svaneti - 2:09
26. Iavnana, healing song, Kartli - 1:43
27. Melodies for the panduri - 1:12
28. Ghvtis k'arze satkmeli Iavnana, lavnana at the gate of God, K'akheti - 4:00
29. Shairebi, verses and panduri, Tianeti - 2:13
30. Shrushana, circle dance song, Rach'a - 3:07


The women’s folk ensemble Mzetamze was formed in 1986. All the members of the group are ethnomusicologists, graduated from the Tbilissi State Conservatoire. In the history of Georgian folk performance Mzetamze is the first and only ensemble performing exclusively women’s traditional repertoire. As a result of it’s research and study, the group has performed many songs from different parts of Georgia unknown before to the audience. The basic feature of Mzetamze is the adherence to the authentic folklore. The ensemble tries to retain the traditional form and manner of performance of the songs.
Mzetamze participated in many international music festivals and Days of Georgian Culture, made concert tours to different countries. Mzetamze has recorded two CDs: the first together with the ensembles “Soinari” and “Mtiebi” (Berlin 1993), the second alone at Face Music Switzerland 1996. (FM 50016 -Vol. I).

Ketevan Baiashvili – ethnomusicologist. Straight after her graduation from Tbilissi State Conservatoire, she was offered a place of work at the Department of Folklore and for years she was the head of the folklore centre there. Later she moved back to the region Tianeti from where she originated. Now she is the chairperson of the governing board of the Musical Society in Tianeti and also the musical leader of the Children's Ethnographic Studio "Kokrotchina".
Since 1975 she has been travelling to many remote regions of Georgia recording authentic performers. Ketevan Baiashvili is the author of several research works. The most important among them is a work dedicated to dirges. She is herself an excellent performer of dirges and laments. She is also an authority in folk dances and plays the East-Georgian luth panduri. She has got an unlimited knowledge of folk rituals and knows how to stage them, too.

Nino Kalandadze-Makharadze, scientific researcher at the Chair of Georgian Folk Music at the Tbilissi State Conservatoire, research assistant at the laboratory of Complex Study of Georgian Folklore of the State Institute of Culture and at the State Museum of Folk Instruments. Leader of the girls group of the children’s folk ensemble “Patara Georgika” at the Guram Ramishvili School Tbilissi. Graduated 1983 from the Tbilissi State Conservatoire in musicology (folklore). Took part in different folklore expeditions. Her researches are mainly focused on problems of semantics in Georgian singing speech. Is currently working in systematisation and compiling catalogues of Georgian musical folklore. Published more than 20 scientific articles and a Collection of Georgian Cradle Songs. Participant of national and international conferences. Involved in the World Bank process of reforms in the field of educational system of Georgia.

Ketevan Nicoladze teaches theory and practice of Georgian folk music at the Second Tbilissi Music College and at the Music School N27, leads the Folk ensemble at the Tbilissi Boarding School. Graduated 1982 from the Tbilissi State Conservatoire in musicology (folklore). 1990 –1995 worked at the Research Centre of Mediterranean Cultures of the Tbilissi State University. Main scientific interests are the problems of interrelations of instrumental and vocal polyphony. Published more than ten articles.

Nino Shvelidze is Research assistant at the Scientific Methodological Centre of Georgian Folk Art. Delivers lectures in theory and practice of Georgian Folk Art at the Tbilissi Musical School N4. Graduated 1983 from the Tbilissi State Conservatoire in musicology (folklore). Worked some years in musical programs of the Georgian Radio. Her main scientific interest is organology. Published methodological papers on Georgian instrumental music and about the work of children’s folk studios. Takes part in fieldworks and scientific conferences.

Nana Valishvili – ethnomusicologist. After her graduation from Tbilissi State Conservatoire she started to work as a scientist-researcher at the Scientific-Methodical Centre of Folk Art and Culture. Soon she was promoted and is now the head of the Department of Folklore. She has been a teacher of Georgian folk music in several secondary and specialized musical schools. She plays the panduri, the chonguri and currently, she is learning to master the playing of the tchuniri. Nana Valishvili is also experienced in teaching the playing techniques of Georgian instruments to native and foreign students. The traditions of musical folklore in the works of Georgian writers and poets are her main research subject.
Since 1977 she has been a member of field trips (research expeditions) all over Georgia. She has been recording and working on the notation of collected songs and also instrumental pieces. During her very active life, Nana Valishvili has been a consultant to many Georgian folk ensembles and individual performers helping them to choose and update their repertoire as well as improve their performing skills. She has been working on several publications, compiling collections and editing. She often publishes analytical and critical articles in different magazines and journals.

Nat'o Zumbadze, Ph. D, associate professor and research assistant of the Georgian Folk Music Chair at the Tbilissi State Conservatoire, leader of the scientific department of the International Centre of Georgian Folk Song. Leader of the children’s folk –ethnographic school “Amer-Imeri” at the Georgian Music Society, member of the Georgian Union of Composers and Musicologists. Graduated 1981 from the Tbilissi State Conservatoire in musicology (folklore). Participant of numerous international scientific conferences in Georgia, Germany, France, Great Britain. Author of more than 30 published works. The main interest of her research are methods of teaching Georgian folk music, women’s traditional songs, the repertoire of folk ensembles. Her dissertation (1997) is the first complex study of Georgian women’s ritual songs. Led 12 field trips. Experienced in teaching Georgian folk music abroad, held workshops in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Great Britain, worked at universities with ensembles of both professional musicians and amateur singers and organized their concert tours..
(more information about "Amer-Imeri" you find on Projects - Amer-Imeri


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Traditional Georgian women's music

In traditional Georgian society, men's and women's life sphere and activities are mostly separated from each other. This feature is also reflected in their singing tradition: songs with a representative function like table songs belong to the men's domain, whereas the women's songs are often tied to customs and rituals, that is to important moments in the course of the rural seasons or human life. Quite often the lyrics and the music are linked to a third element, the coordinated movement, and that not only in the actual dance songs, but also in laments or ritual healing chants or songs that should induce the change of the weather.
These songs throw a new light on the confusing, many-faceted map of musical dialects in Georgia. Regions that are usually neglected by the researcher, because part-singing is less developed there, nevertheless exhibit their own distinctive profile. Solo songs retain their importance. Surprisingly, the melodies display similarities, despite stylistic variations and inter-regional distances. However, complicated three-part singing does also exist among Georgian women's songs.

- map sketch Georgia


I. Cradle songs

Cradle songs are of special importance for cultures that pass on their musical heritage orally: "The sharing of one's national musical language and the building of a particular approach to musical thinking and understanding begins in the cradle; melodies heard in childhood and embedded in one's memory are for a lifetime", wrote Nino Makharadze in the preface to her published collection of Georgian cradle songs. Also included in this collection are instrumentally accompanied songs and songs for part-singing. Mzetamze's selection illustrates an amazing variety, from the additive expansion of a succession of notes in phrase-length and duration to a many-sectioned melody of a strophic song, and then the monophonic solo voice changes to two-part singing (see no. 8 - jointly sung drone on two notes) and finally to three-part singing with instrumental accompaniment (see no. 20).
Cradle songs are not only sung to make the children fall asleep. The moment of falling asleep is purported to be fraught with danger, and the child is particularly susceptible to spells from evil spirits. Thus, cradle songs also contain traces of a ritual called ghughuni or ghighini (quiet singing to oneself, in a special low vocal range). In this context may also be included the use of the word nana, the Georgian designation for cradle song, which often constitutes the entire text of the song, occasionally interrupted by pet names. As one of the most common and numerous "nonsense words", it also appears in songs of a completely different nature. In addition, it means "mother" in Megrelian and Lazian and is since time immemorial one of the most common woman's names in Georgia. Georgian ethnologists relate it to the ancient oriental deity of light and fertility, the Great Mother.

2. Nana, Tusheti
Recorded in 1986 at Zemo Alvani (district of Akhmet'a) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Nino Shvelidze
Sleep well my sweet, mother's child, go away cat, sleep well my child.
The few meaningful words are sung in the language (not related with Georgian) of the Ts'ova-Tush that belongs to the Batsi and Chechen-Ingush language family.

9. Nana, Ach'ara
Recorded in 1932 at Didach'ara (district of Khulo) by Shalva Mshvelidze.
- Nana Valishvili
There is one merciful God, / sometimes it rains, sometimes it's sunny. / Nobody remembers me / poor me. / Ninai, nanina, ninai, nanina, / Ninai, nanian, ninaina. / Do not cry. / Ninai, nanina, ninai, nanina, / Ninai, nanian, ninaina. / The sunflower always turns towards the sun, / but don't trust ergani (another kind of flower) / it turns the opposite way / Ninai, nanina, ninai, nanina, / Ninai, nanian, ninaina.

14. Nana, Khevi
Recorded in 1977 at Garbani (district of Qazbegi) by Mindia Jordania.
- Nino Makharadze
Nana, nana, nana, nana / sleep well, my little one, / nana, nana, nana -ah! / na, na, na -ah! .....

22. Nana, Svaneti
Recorded in 1985 at Ushguli (district of Mest'ia) by Joseph Jordania.
- Nino Makharadze
Nanila my curly-haired one, / you will live a long life.

23. Nana, Khevsureti
Recorded in 1988 at Alt'e (district of Tianeti) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Ketevan Baiashvili
'e-'eo, nano, 'e-'eo, nano, 'e-'eo, nano, 'e-'eo, nano
e-'eo, 'e-'eo, 'e-'eo, nano, 'e-'eo, nano, 'e-'eo, nano
rurotao, rurotao, nano, nano, nano, nano

rurotao, rurotao my little one is asleep
sleep my tiny one 'e-'eo, nano, 'e-'eo, nano,
my little cheeky one nano, nano, nano, nano

8. Nana, Kakheti
Recorded in 1962 at Shilda (district of Qvareli) by Mindia Jordania.
- Nino Makharadze and bani*
The melody and some lyrical elements are alike the healing chants. The two-part song is an example for the mingling of genres: the intimate solo song and the ritual polyphonic medical song meet in the cradle song fo a sick child. Nino Kalandadze thinks this explains the emergence of polyphonic cradle songs. Another reason may be the fact that mothers have their children with them while working together and singing polyphonic songs. A third origin are perhaps the ritual circle dance songs that are sung when the baby is put for the first time into the cradle (see no. 17).
Iavnana, vardos nana, iavnanina, / sleep well my child, iavnanina, / you will enjoy listening to my nana, iavnanina, / you will be late on your way (i.e. will live a long life), iavnanina, / iavnana, vardos nana, iavnanina.
*Many traditional terms describe the parts and their function in Georgian three-part songs. The lowest voice among them is bani (bass), traditionally sung by a group.

20. Veengara, nana, skua - do not cry my baby! A multi-part cradle song accompanied by the chonguri, Samegrelo
Recorded in 1983 at Menji (district of Senak'i) by Edisher Garaqanidze.
- Nino Makharadze, Ketevan Nik'oladze, Nat'o Zumbadze, chonguri: Nana Valishvili
Do not cry my child, / nana, my sweet, / do not break my heart, / my breasts are dry, / you do not drink (milk), why? // I don't know who you are / you are a poor man's son, / become a good man, / have wings to fly, // grow up quickly, / make your mother proud of you, / make your country famous.

The following two songs are also sung for babies, but they are not cradle songs.

15. Bavshvis Mosaperebeli, a song for waking up a baby, Tianeti
Recorded in 1992 at Akhalsopeli (district of Tianeti) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Ketevan Baiashvili.
My little baby, / my joy, / my happiness, / my tiny one, / come on, my girl, wake up! / Come on, open your eyes, / you are your grandmother's sunshine, / my girl, my sun, / you are the beat of my heart, / my joy, / and the apple of my eye.
After this part, the piece changes into a dance tune:
The girl got up, the tree fell down, / clap your hands my girl, clap them, / grandmother's girl, / dance, dance, my sweet, / clap your hands my girl, clap them.

18. Bavshvis Shesashinebeli, a song that is used to frighten a baby, who refuses to sleep or eat, Rach'a
Recorded in 1985 at Glola (district of Oni) by Tinatin Lobzhanidze.
- Nino Makharadze
I can see a big wolf / wandering in the field, / it has already eaten a calf, / and now the goat is crying: "baa" / veso, meso. / it has already eaten a calf, / the goat is crying "baa".


II. Healing chants for sick children

The bat'onebi (lords*) are spirits who live beyond the Black Sea. They allow parts of their realm to appear in the most diverse corners of the world. They obey a "Highest" Lord, who sends bat'onebi out in all directions, in order to test the loyalty of mankind. Dissidents are to be killed or enslaved. During daytime, the bat'onebi move about on mules, in the evening, however, they return to the houses of the sick and reside in the bodies of the stricken. Bat'onebi are to be obeyed without question, as resistance only enrages them. Nonetheless, their hearts can be conquered with tenderness and caresses; thus, it is possible to protect oneself from calamity. Bat'onebi enjoy gentle songs and the bright sound of instrumental music
.
*The Georgian language does not distinguish grammatically between the sexes: bat'oni can also refer to the "Mother of the Lords". Bat'oni is exclusively a secular word, whereas God is referred to as upal.

Such concepts are the basis for the rituals which are performed at the bedsides of infectiously ill children. The blisters from chickenpox (qvavili, literally: flowers) and the redness from measles (ts'itela, literally: redness) are signs of the arrival of the bat'onebi. The patient's bed and room are being decorated with colourful fabrics and flowers. His visitors wear red or white garments and walk around him with presents for the bat'onebi in their hands. A table full of sweets and a kind of Christmas tree are prepared for them. Singing and instrumental music are essential for the contact with the bat'onebi. One is praising and favouring them, in order to "receive" the pox. If the illness becomes worse, one turns to the ritual of "asking-for-pardon" (sabodisho) and a mebodishe, a woman who has access to the bat'onebi, is invited to contact them and ask their wishes and win their hearts. Upon becoming well, the bat'onebi have to be escorted again on their way off.

The ethnologist Vera Bardavelidze (The Oldest Religious Concepts and Ritual Graphic Art of Georgian Tribes, Tbilissi, 1957) sees in these lords and their ruling lady (described in details in the songs 4 and 16), the "Great Mother" Nana and her children. Although she is never actually called Nana, the name is present in all songs except in the Megrelian version. These are similar not only in their texts, but most of them also utilize a similar melodic formula, elements of which are also to be found in other types of songs (see no. 8).

4. Bat'onebis Simgera, Imereti
Recorded in 1988 at Savane (district of Sachkhere) by Edisher Garaqanidze.
- Ketevan Baiashvili, Nat'o Zumbadze, Nana Valishvili
Merciful Bat'onebo - refrain (repeated after every verses):
- Nanina to Bat'onebi / amuse yourselves, sweetly o Bat'ono / your way is blessed.
We cover your way with roses - refrain
We are seven sisters and brothers wandering around - refrain
We are visiting seven villages - refrain
We go through the villages - refrain
Thus, no bird takes off - refrain
No child has to go to bed - refrain
The mother of Bat'onebi - refrain
Has got a golden cradle - refrain
The son of the Bat'onebi lies in it - refrain
From time to time it gets rocked - refrain.

26. Iavnana, Kartli
Recorded in 1980 at Ertats'minda (district of Kasp'i) by Edisher Garaqanidze.
- Nato Zumbadze, Nana Valishvili
Iavnana, vardonana, iavnanina. / the bat'onebi honoured us with their visit, iavnaina, / they came to our delight, iavnaina. / For the bat'onebi's aunt, iavnanina, / we lay a carpet on the floor, iavnanina. / It's not just a carpet, iavnanina, / it's a felt carpet that is fluffy on both sides, iavnanina. / I put a golden cradle next to it, iavnanina, / and put a pearl in it, iavnanina. / Iavnana, vardonana, iavnanina.

16. Iavnana, accompanied by the panduri, K'akheti
Recorded in 1987 at Akhalsopeli (district of Qvareli) by Nat'o Zumbadze.
- Ketevan Baiashvili, Nino Makharadze, Nino Shvelidze, panduri: Ketevan Baiashvili.
Iavnana, vardos nana, iavnanina, / Nana da nana, vardo (my rose), nana, iavnanina. / We are seven sisters and brothers, iavnanina. / We travelled through seven villages, iavnanina. / We entered these villages so quietly, iavnanina / that no single dog barked, iavnanina. / We entered the yard so quietly, iavnanina, / got into the beds of the ill, iavnanina, / that the mother did not notice, iavnanina, / nobody noticed, iavnaina. / I picked violets and made a bouquet of roses, iavnanina. / I spread them over our ill ones, iavnanina. / Iavnana, vardos nana, iavnanina.
We find the refrain of these healing songs also in other ritual chants of quite different context, e.g. in those for the night-watch on religious holidays.

28. Iavnana ghvtis k'arze satkmeli, Iavnana to be sung at the Gate of God, K'akheti
Rrecorded in 1957 at Shilda (district of Qvareli) by Grigol Chkhik'vadze.
- I: Nat'o Zumbadze; II: Nana Valishvili; bani
I - Iavnana, vardos nana, iavnanina
II - Let roses and violets cover all the land of our country, Georgia, iavnanina
I - Hail to the Cross of Lashari*, hail to all sacred places of all four directions, iavnanina
II - Praise to the Heavenly Father, induce the sky and the clouds to be peaceful, bestow us with men. If there are no men, what about us women? Iavnanina
I - Hail to the heart K'akheti-Alaverdi, iavnanina.
II - Glory, glory to victorious great lord, St George of Lashari, power of God, iavnanina
I - Hail to the heart K'akheti-Alaverdi, to the lance of our judge Giorgi, iavnanina.
II - Glory, glory to the martyr St George, who suffered with his flesh, we ourselves are flesh, and we, the suffering in flesh, implore you, holy martyr Giorgi, help those, who pray, who hail and praise you, iavnanina.
I - Hail and praise to St George of Gavazi, the son of Lek's**, iavnanina
II - Glory and victory to our victorious father Nek'ressi, the magnificent who calm down the sky and clouds and does not deprive us from the Holy Sacrement, part of God, the field is ploughed by the strength of the nape of the oxen's neck, iavnanina.
I - Hail and praise to our father Nek'ressi, the Mother of God, the mother, who has given birth to God, iavnanina.
- *Cross of Lashari, Alaverdi, Nek'ressi, Gavazi are holy relics and churches in Pshavi and K'akheti respectively.
- **Lek's: = a Dhagestani people


III. Songs to influence the weather

During a period of drought or continuous rain, rituals are performed, which should induce the weather to change. The chant gondja of K'akheti (see vol. I /1) corresponds to the Lazare in Kartli, which includes the Holy of the Christian Church. Apparently, the puppet, which is carried along during the ritual procession, is Lazarus, and the prophet Elias is the "weather maker".

12. Lazare, Kartli.
Recorded in 1980 at Kvemoch'ala (district of K'aspi) by Edisher Garaqanidze.
- Nana Valishvili; Nino Makharadze, bani
Lazarus has come to our door / and made the sky tremble, / walks here, walks there to the shelf, resembling the moon. / Hey, our Elias, you should not be sad, / we have brought a white sheep and a lamb for you. / And also a child to sacrifice for you, / will you give us rain? / We do not want dry weather any more / now we need mud..


IV. Work songs

Georgian women's work songs are less assuming than those of the men as collective work is rarer among women. They often assemble even if the work to be done does not need this (like e.g. for spinning).

10. Esti, esti, part'enao, Pshavi
Recorded in 1985 at Tkhiliani (back part of Pshavi) by Edisher Garaqanidze.
- I: Ketevan Baiashvili, II: Nana Valishvili, bani
I - Fleece, fleece wind round my spindle,
II - My husband is not at home he's gone to K'akheti with his sheep
I - I looked and saw him coming back / he is so good looking
II - I, Mzevinari*, am so proud seeing him ride his white horse
I - Fleece, fleece wind round my spindle
II - My sweetheart is in Shiraki (a place) with his sheep
I - I saw him coming, met him and offered him some pears
II - He is Mzevinari's sweetheart / I enjoy putting my head on his shoulder
I - Fleece, fleece wind round my spindle
- *Mzevinari: (means approximately: sunlike; woman's name.
- Shiraki: grassland in south-eastern K'akheti, where the flocks of sheep of the Pshavs and the Tushetians pass the winter.


V. Table song

Table songs belong exclusively to the men's domain. The only exception is found in the mountainous region of Pshavi, where women are known for their ready wit, but the usual solemnity is missing in this case.

3. Sheni ch'irime khink'alo! - Oh, my khink'alo! Phsavi, Eastern Georgia
Recorded in 1997 at Chabano (district of Tianeti) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Ketevan Baiashvili, Nana Valishvili; bani
Oh my khink'alo, / you will kill me, / if you were so good / why were cats playing with you / oh my khink'alo / you have 29 wrinkles / I'll fall asleep / before you're ready.
- Khink'ali - traditional Georgian dumplings, served at traditional feasts in the mountains.


VI. Dirges

At funerals, women play the main role. The bereaved family announces the death of one of its members by loud cries and wails, so the neighbours and relatives come running. The deceased is laid out in the house for five to seven days, so that everybody can pay him due respect. Young people watch over the coffin during the night. Up to and including the burial day, his death will be lamented from morning until evening. Not only family members lament his passing, but there also exist professional mourners, the so-called mot'irali (lamenting women), who utter mainly improvised t'irili (literally: crying). To the various forms of laments collected in Vol. I comes this new form from the East Georgian mountain region, known especially among the Khevsur. It is called sulit t'irili (meaning 'to cry with one's soul'): The mot'irale contacts the deceased und mediates his message to the bereaved. Even though the dirge is improvised, the metre of the sulit t'irili is fixed on twice five syllables. Every unrhymed line ends with a sob and the exclamation hio hio hio.

11. Sulit t'irili. Tianeti
Recorded in 1985 at Alt'e (district of Tianeti) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Ketevan Baiashvili
God of the reign of the souls, merciful one, / give me the right to speak, / let me tell the world under the sun, / let me speak to those living under the sun. / Do you want law, then we behave in accordance with law, / and treat Abais' son's child in accordance with law. / Do you want discordance, then we begin to be discordant / and quarrel with Veshaguri's sons. / Praise to thee, oh God, mercy to thee, oh God, / our clan has been victorious in the reign of the dead. / Do not encourage the crying one to cry more, / she will still cry for Bat'acha. / I have started with that, as the mother will remember, / the old mother's heart will be in grief. / Sun, stay on for a while and be late. / Sun, you are there in eternity.

21. Mepe Erek'les Dat'ireba, dirge for King Erek'le II., Kartli
Recorded at the beginning of the 20th centuay by Ia Kargareteli, published in 1960 by Grgol Chkhik'vadze
- Ketevan Baiashvili, bani
A dirge that became well known beyond the actual occasion. Erekle II († 1798), whose fame as a general had spread even in Europe, was the last important king of Georgia. After the death of his successor in 1801, Georgia was annexed by Russia and that against the treaty made between Erekele II and Russia. The first people, who rose up to this annexation, were the Mtiul.
Have you heard Georgians / that your iron sword has broken, / that King Erek'le died, / one of the Bagrat'ionis* / Erek'le s wife's crying: / "Our poor children, Erek'le," / get up King, get up / we are orphans without you. / The Tushetians and the Pshavs / who are your devoted soldiers / they are experienced in war. / The Mtiul, their brothers, / are also ready to fight with you.
- *Bagrat'ioni : Lineage of Georgian kings since the Middle Ages.


VII. Lament

19. Obol ro daibadeba..., When an orphan is born ..., Tineti
Recorded in 1997 at Chabano (district of Tianeti) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Ketevan Baiashvili, Nana Valishvili; bani: Nino Shvelidze, Ketevan Nik'oladze
When an orphan is born / luck never follows. // And luck gets lost / but who cares. // It'll crash from a cliff / followed by the crowd of wolves. // Mother won't cry / father won't get upset. // When an orphan is born / luck is never there.


VIII. Love song

13. Sat'rpialo, Tusheti
Recorded on the holiday of Trinity (Sameboba) in 1997 at Bodakheva (district of Tianeti) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Ketevan Baiashvili; Nino Makharadze; bani; garmoni: Ketevan Nik'oladze
My dear guest, don't say / that you are leaving. / If you do, take me with you. / I am yours and nobody else's. // Love has the power / of the rough sea (originally: water). / My mood changes / like the clouds in the sky. // On a mountain covered with snow / white clouds are flying. / What shall I do, when I look at you, / my eyes cannot get off you. // Don't look into my eyes so often / everyone will notice our love / they will make us part / and we'll melt like snow. // I wish the one I love, / loved me too / and then I wouldn't care if the whole of Alvani* / hated me like the plague.
- *Alvani: Village in K'akheti, where the Tushetians spend winter time.


IX. Joking songs

29. Shairebi, verses, Tianeti
Recorded in 1985 at Indurt'a (district of Akhmet'a) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Nana Valishvili, Ketevan Nik'oladze, Nino Makharadze, Nat'o Zumbadze, Nino Shvelidze, Ketevan Baiashvili; panduri: Ketevan Baiashvili
Ts'ats'lobais an old tradition in Pshavi. When a girl and a boy became teenagers, romantic love would start between them. The girl would call the boy ts'ats'ali and nadzmobi (meaning someone like a brother). The boy would also call the girl ts'ats'ali and nadzmobi (meaning someone like a sister). If they liked each other, they used to start to date and were even allowed to be in bed together. The boy always used to go to the agreed place. When they were in bed they tried to keep their legs and chests apart but keep close, cheek-to-cheek, and the girl used to put her head on the boy's shoulder. Kissing and touching was allowed, but the boy was not allowed to go further than the waist. It was regarded as a great shame for the girl if she became pregnant. This kind of girl would never have been allowed to get married. Actually, the ts'ats'ali were not allowed to get married later on. Other partners had already been chosen for them. In the past, the tradition of ts'ast'loba was regarded as being symbolic of an idyllic type of love. In Tusheti, where the verses had been recorded, people abhorred this custom or sneered at it.
- Nana Valishvili: I wandered in the fields and forests / of Jijeti (a place) / but could not find you my Ts'ats'ali / with blue-eyes and bright face.
- Keti Nikoladze: Ts'ats'al I'll ask you / to bring a mirror for me, / come up to the mountains this summer / and I'll feed you with curd cheese all the time.
- Nino Makharadze: My stomach is growing, / and it is all your fault Ts'ats'al, / you have been walking barefoot / and might catch a cold.
- Nat'o Zumbadze: Four women from Batsaligo / all with shaved heads / are jumping from cliff to cliff / like wild shaved goats / how they manage not to fall down / the bloody bastards!
- Nino Shvelidze: Martua and Lela from Shat'ili / are sending the message / that they have cut the prices / of everything they have to sell.
- Keti Baiashvili: Khevsuretian, man / why are you so proud of youself, / talk wisely / be careful with our boys.

5. Sakhumaro, a joking song accompanied on the panduri, Tianeti
Recorded in 1985 at Alt'e (district of Tianeti) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Ketevan Baiashvili, voice and panduri
This is a joke about a mouse in the form of a dialogue. The mouse has destroyed the whole supply of food in a house, from where it has been kicked out.


X. Wedding song

6. Gelino, song of the bridesmaids, Ach'ara
Recorded in 1988 at Ach'ara by Edisher Garaqanidze.
- Ketevan Nik'oladze - choir
This is a rare counterpart to the maqruli sung by the best men. It was sung by the women, who escorted the bride to the bridegroom's house. Like the vin mogit'ana (vol. I/25) that is sung when the bride is being adorned, in the form of antiphonal singing between the soloist and the choir, which is singing unison - this is a big exception in Georgian traditional vocal music.
- Gelino (local Acharian dialect) means daughter-in-law.

gelino, gelino, come this way slowly, gelino.
gelino, gelino, the door of the house is high, gelino.
gelino, gelino, a cat mewing by the fireplace, gelino.
gelino, gelino, poor bride's mother, gelino.
gelino, gelino, your mother-in-law is like a mother to you, gelino.
gelino, gelino, your father-in-law is like a father to you, gelino.
gelino, gelino, your brother-in-law is like a brother to you, gelino.
gelino, gelino, your sister-in-law is like a sister to you, gelino.
gelino, gelino, come this way slowly, gelino.


XI. Dance songs

24. Bakht'rionidan gitskerdi, Tusheti
Recorded in 1977 at Chabano (district of Tianeti) by Ketevan Baiashvili.
- Nino Svelidze, Nino Makharadze, bani
I was watching you from Bakht'rioni* / pretty Tushetian woman.
I have opened my heart to you / but you are hiding your feelings.
- *Bakht'rioni: a fortress in Kakheti.
With the conquest of this fortress in 1659, at which the Tushetians were decisively involved, the last bastion of the Persian-Turkish Selim-khan fell and his policy of repression came to an end.

27. Melodies for the panduri
- Nana Valishvili



XII. Circle dance songs

Perkhuli are group dances: usually the performers - the singers are also the dancers - form a circle, holding each other by their hands or putting the arms over each other's shoulders; sometimes they also form straight lines. The etymological origin is the word pekhi . The equivalent in Megrelian and Svan derives from the word for foot. So, this term emphasized the idea of dancing feet, but perkhuli is really the equal combination of dance, word and music. Circle dance songs are musically characterized by their antiphony: a second couple of overtone singers repeats every strophe before the first singers start the next one. Usually, all three voices scan the text jointly. Some texts as well as certain events with performances of circle dance songs attest that perkhuli belong to the most archaic Georgian traditions. Some are linked to religious celebrations (vol. I/4, 13, 28) others to important events that mark human life (Vol. I/32 in connection with the celebration of the birth of a son; the following no. 17 is performed when the baby is put for the first time into the cradle). Some ethnologists connect the circle dance because of its form with ancient astral deities. Circle dances are particularly prominent in the mountain districts. In Svaneti and Rach'a, almost all songs are performed in antiphony and accompanied by circle dances. Quite a few of them have epic texts and among them is a particularly archaic group of various hunting epics that have been mentioned already in 14th century reports of the Georgian Court (see vol. I/20 und no. 30 of the present vol.).

1. Kartlis Mindorsa, In the field of Kartli, Rach'a
Recorded in 1958 at Glola (district of Oni) by Grigol Chkhik'vadze.
- I: Nat'o Zumbadze and Nino Makharadze; II: Nana Valishvili and Nino Shvelidze; bani
Oy ley lev da, in the field of Kartli, / oy ley lev da, we were putting down nets for the quails. / Oy ley lev da, a woman used to come along / oy ley lev da, and regularly make a mess of the nets. / Oy ley lev da, woman, don't do this / oy ley lev da, otherwise we'll get upset.

7. Zhuzhuna, Rach'a
Recorded by Micheil Ch'irinashvili, published in 1975.
- I: Nana Valishvili and Nino Shvelidze; II: Ketevan Nik'oladze and Nino Makharadze; bani
Zhuzhunais a woman's name (means literally 'shine'). The words tvalzhuzhuna kalo ('woman with shining eyes') serve as refrain and the second word kalo ('woman') always coincides with the beginning of a new stanza.
The woman Zuzhuna with the shining eyes, / was standing on the balcony, / a woman, with shining eyes, / was waving her hand (and beckoned): Come to me! / My husband is not at home. / Zhuzhuna, woman with the shining eyes.

17. Nai-Nai, a ritual circle dance song performed when putting a baby into a cradle for the first time, Ach'ara
Recorded in 1989 in Tbilisi by Nana Valishvili.
- I: Nana Valishvili; II: Ketevan Baiashvili, Nino Makharadze; bani
Nai, nai, nanaina da, nani, danani da nao
Nai, nai, nanaina da, this is a cradle full of ornaments (turned on a lathe)
Nai, nai, nanaina da, a boy is sleeping in it (inside is a boy as if painted)
Nai, nai, nanaina da, it is made from a mulberry tree
Nai, nai, nanaina da, the one who is in it is made from marble (the one lying in it is made of crystal)
Nai, nai, nanaina da, the cradle was made from ebony
Nai, nai, nanaina da, the one who is in it is an angel
Nai, nai, nanaina da, the cradle was made from a nut tree
Nai, nai, nanaina da, the one who is in it will give joy to everyone
Nai, nai, nanaina da, nani, danani, da nao.

25. Irinola, the ballad of the widow Irinola, who was sent away after the dead of her husband, Svaneti
Recorded in 1960 at Pari (district of Mest'ia) by Grigol Chkhik'vadze
- I: Nino Svelidze, Nana Valishvili, Nat'o Zumbadze; II: Nana Valishvili, Nino Makharadze, Ketevan Nik'oladze; bani.
Irinola, Marinola, / you daughter-in-law of losseliani, / you daughter of Chakhragiani, / you had a dun horse, / a saddle ornamented with metalwork lay on it, / it had reins ornamented with metalwork. / You held a riding-whip ornamented with metalwork.
- This is the song text of the field recording. There are other transmitted versions with a text that continues as follows:
You are searching for your mother-in-law and father-in-law, / so, you started to wander, to travel, / you try to find a trace of their disappearance by questioning, / you climbed on a mountain-ridge, / you looked back / and caught sight of your mother-in-law and your father-in-law, / who lived by themselves and had abandoned Marinola. / What's the matter with you, mother-in-law and father-in-law, / I didn't do anything to you, / I didn't bring shame on you, / I brought up the orphans for my husband, / I also wanted to look after you. / Now you stay on your own.

30. Shrushana, Rach'a
Recorded in 1958 at Sadmeli (district of Ambrolauri) by Grigol Chkhik'vadze.
- I: Nat'o Zumbadze, Nino Shvelidze; II: Ketevan Nik'oladze, Nino Makharadze, bani
- Shrushana" is a woman's name. The song belongs to the hunting epics. It is full of mythological symbols. The tree, for example, is a symbol of life, the hawk of feminine origin.
Someone, just some woman, who was called Shrushana. / On five fingers, on five fingers, she wore rings. / On the stone of the ring, the stone of the ring grew fresh grass. / In the middle of the grass, the middle of the grass grew a fir-tree. / On the fir-cone, the fir-cone nested a hawk. / The nest was, the nest was all silken. / An egg lay in it, an egg lay in it, it was a pearl. / A young bird hatched, a young bird hatched, which was a ruby.
- This is the song text of the field recording. There are other transmitted versions with a text that continues as follows:
God, let one, let one grow up for me, / the other thousands, they may grow up for the others. / For the hunt, for the hunt find a way, / so it shall hunt, it shall hunt, and kill a stag, / shoulder it, shoulder it and carry it home, / this stag, this stag, skin it, / from its fur, from its fur sew a chocha* / from its pelt, from its pelt stockings and gaiters. / My husband, my husband, you hero and lion, / from the poplar, from the poplar break a bough. / From the bough, from this bough, build a house for me, / from the chips, the chips a mill and barn.
- *Chokha: traditional man's clothes

Texts by Mzetamze and Thomas Häusermann, English translation of the song texts
by Ketevan Kalandadze, Thomas Häusermann and Silvia Delorenzi-Schenkel.

left: circle dance - right: Nana Valishvili, Nino Shvelidze, Nino Makharadze

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