Home Tamar The art Contact Georgia

Georgian culture and tradition goes far back in history and is characterized by its's ancient heritages, geographical location, Christianity, art and folklore. Georgia is situated on the historical Silk Road at the borderland between Europe and Asia, beeing a part of the political and cultural events at the boundary between east and west. Hospitality, the Georgian orthodox church, wine, table- tradition, poetry, singing and art are all deeply rooted in the Georgian soul.

The legends

When the Holy Mother of God was distributing land to mankind, the Georgians were late. Consequently no land were left for them. This gave rise to concern for the Holy Mother, and she finally gave the Georgians a part of the land that initially was reserved for herself.

In antiquity the argonauts were travelling to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece. The argonauts, under the leadership of Jason, were said to be 50 of the most outstanding heroes in the Greek mythology.

When the Vikings from the north reached the east-coast of the Black Sea, landing in Guria, they were convinced they had found Valhalla.

These are only three of countless myths and legends illustrating the ancient heritage of Georgia.

The Holy Mother of God, Georgian icon

The Georgian orthodox church

The Georgian orthodox church has the same origin as the Russian and Greek orthodox churches. Georgia was christianized by Saint Nino from Kapadokia in the 4th century. She created the Georgian crucifix from a vine and swaddled it with her own hair. Saint Nino completed her mission of christianizing Georgia under the protection and guidance of the Wholy Mother of God, who is concidered as the protector of Georgia.

In the 6th century 13 Assyrian churchfathers arrived to Georgia. They settled down in the most unaccessable areas in Georgia, building churches and recruiting monks. They wanted to strengthen Christianity in Georgia as well as showing the strength of their beleive towards God.

The Georgian orthodox church has always been as a pillar for the Georgian people through history. Standing guard over the church is for Georgians the same as defending their country's heritage.

"Gergetis Sameba"

The Georgian wine

Georgia was one of the first places in the world where grapes were cultivated for wine purposes. Allready 4000 years B.C. Georgians were cultivating wine, storing it in big grounded clay pots. The condition for wine-production is good, with favourable temperature, stable climate and areas with mineral-rich water. The Georgian wine is strong and vigorous with a variety of tastes and flavours. Saint Nino's crucifix was created from a vine, and for Georgians the wine is a main symbol for source of life and identity.

Georgian ceramic-pot (Doki), often used for serving Georgian wine.

Hospitality and table-tradition

Georgian people are known for their strong and unconditional hospitality, and for Georgians the guest is literally sent from God. The Georgian hospitality is well reflected in the significant Georgian table-tradition. Georgias splendid kitchen is charac-terized by sophistication and variation. You will easily find more than 20 different types of dishes at the table during a Georgian feast (supra), accompanied by wine in big quantities. Tamada is leading the table, proposing all the toasts through improvised speaches, songs and poetry, and everyone who wish may take the word following up tamada's toast. A real Georgian table is lasting for hours and hours.

The Georgian horn (Kh'antsi) is often used to propose the most valuble toasts at the supra. The horn is filled to the end with wine and has to be emptied.

Folk-songs and dances

The  Georgian folk songs  have their origin back in pre-christian time. They have been handed over from master to pupil and from group to group through generations. The songs are related to social/cultural traditions, with content ranging from love  and religion to work and feast. They cover the musical specter from the most intimate to the very masculine. Georgian folk songs are normally three part songs characterized by improvisation and polyphony.

The Georgian - Norwegian  "Ensemble Giorgi"

Also the Georgian folk dances cover the whole range from the most caressing and tender to the very masculine. The dances are old and characterized by variations from the different regions with regard to the folk costumes and the way of performance. The Georgian folk dances are accompanied by folk instruments or folk songs.


Georgia is mentioned as "the country of poetry", hosting noumerous poets. The Georgian language has it's own alphabet and is very suitable for poetry. The first examples of Georgian poetry goes back to the 9th century and the written hymnography. In the 12th century  Shota Rustaveli wrote his master- piece  The Knight in the Tiger's Skin, which is regarded as the Georgian national poem. This is an extensive poem touching the major philosophi- cal and human aspects of live. In addition to Rustaveli, the most famous Georgian poets are Vaja Pshavela, Akaki Tsereteli, Nikoloz Baratashvili and Galaktion Tabidze.

Shota Rustaveli

Visual art

Painting, enamel, textile, ceramic, fresco, metalwork, goldsmith and stonecarving are the most traditional and developed part of the Georgian visual art. Here the traditional Georgian ornaments is important both aestheticly and symbolicly. The tradition of ceramics, metalworks and goldsmiths goes back to antiquity. Today enamel and goldsmiths are among the most widespread of the Georgian visual arts.

Georgian enamel