Discover Georgian mythology - A sun goddess, a wolf lord and many other supernatural beings
01 August, 2015
Discover Georgian mythology - A sun goddess, a wolf lord and many other supernatural beings
When one says “Georgian mythology” he usually refers to the mythology of pre-Christian Georgians. Thousands of years ago, the inhabitants of Georgia created a whole slew of myths that have been preserved as folk tales to this day. Here we present you a few of the most famous gods and goddess from Georgian mythology along with awesome illustrations by Georgian artist Varlam Jmukhadze.

Ali, the evil spirits
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Evil spirits in Georgian mythology are called Ali. These creatures usually harm the
pregnant, infants, and solo travelers. They can be both male and female. They have a terrifying appearance with copper teeth and dirty long hair. Ali usually inhabit forests, rocks and ruins and often hide in stables. Female Ali can appear in the form of a golden-haired woman clad in white dress. Ali can become a faithful servant if someone manages to cut  his/her hair and claws.

Barbale, solar goddess
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In Georgian mythology Barbale is a goddess of the Sun and fertility. According to the folk beliefs, she provides good harvests as well as fertility for both people and livestock. Many celebrations and rituals used to be dedicated to her.It was thought that Barbale could cure different diseases, but at the same time she could inflict suffering, hardships and death upon people who displeased her.

Batonebi, disease bringers
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Batonebi is the common folk name of communicable diseases such as measles, smallpox, scarlet fever and common cold.Based on old religious beliefs, Batonebi were little supernatural beings who, during their visit to villages, chose a family where they would bring the disease.It was thought that they liked music, dances, flowers and sweet treats.If one satisfied their needs and wishes, then the illness would pass quickly and painlessly.Correspondingly, the host family played the panduri (Georgian string instrument similar to a small guitar), placed sweets on the table, sang songs and performed dances to entertain Batonebi.

Dali, goddess of hunting
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Dali is a goddess of hunting in Georgian mythology. According to the myths, she protects the wild herds, especially those of horned animals. This goddess could be found in the highlands, especially in Svaneti, north-western region of Georgia.As people used to believe, Dali was very beautiful and lived on a cliff from which her golden hair flowed down.

Dali also was a shapeshifter, able to appear as an animal or bird. If a hunter confessed his love to her, she assisted him until the hunter kept their love affair secret.Upon breaking the promise, however, the hunter perished. A heroic Georgian demigod named Amirani is considered to be the son of Dali and one unknown hunter.

Devi, brood of horned ogres
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The devi are giant malicious creatures in Georgian mythology and folklore. These ogre-like creatures are covered in hair and have horns and several heads (from three up to a hundred).The more heads a devi has, the more strength he possesses. As a rule, seven or nine devi brothers live in underground in groups.They live off hunting and cattle breeding. Their habit of abducting beautiful women has also earned them some notoriety.

Mamberi, the lord of wolves
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Mamberi is the master of wolves in Georgian mythology. This god was worshiped by Svan people and Western Georgia’s highlanders.If Mamberi approved the way the people lived and behaved, he muzzled the mouths of wolves that roamed the mountains.Yet if he was angry with humans, he ordered his wolves to devour their livestock.

Photo courtesy of Varlam Jmukhadze
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