Khevsur Tradition on Gender Relations
26 September, 2013
Khevsur Tradition on Gender Relations
Among the highland traditions, one of the most interesting and diverse is “Stsorproba” of Khevsurs. It has no analogue among other people of the Caucasus. With slight variations, it was also upheld in the neighboring Pshavi region, where it is called “Tsatsloba” in reference to Tsatsali, a person who takes part in it.
The term Stsorperi means appropriate, suitable (Shesaperi in the modern Georgian). Stsorproba is the tradition of a specific man-woman relationship, which existed almost until 1950s.
What was
the factor that led to the birth of such a tradition in Khevsur highland of Eastern Georgia? There are numerous studies regarding this issue. But the researches frequently contradict each another.
Stsorperoba is the expression of pure love between woman and man. Some researchers find some analogues between the Platonic love and Stsorproba.
Actually, this tradition has lived for centuries. “Stsorproba” had different variations: if a man and woman liked or loved each other, it was called “Nandauri”. The person who was a mediator was called “an ambassador”. The Stsorproba that did not imply any sympathy or affection was called tsola-dgoma (lying and standing in the literal translation). Sometimes, the youngsters who were relatives and glad to see each other could also lye in one and the same bed, chatting and laughing all night long. The relationship between Stsorperis was strictly limited as it ruled out sexual intercourse. A person, who did not obey this rule, would lose his repute. The marriage among Nandauri couples was forbidden.
The only form that was not forbidden was caressing and kissing. A dagger was lying between the man and the woman when they shared a bed. It meant that their physical contact had limits. During the caressing, the woman’s breast was tied up. If the man dared to untie it, his repute and status would immediately fall down in the local community and no other reputable women would ever share a bed with him. He would be considered as immoral. If the contrary happened and a woman proved to be impatient and untied her breast herself, a man would curse her and she would be declared an immoral woman and condemned by the community. In spite of the forbidding rule, there were frequent cases when the couple fell in love of each other so passionately that they could not help getting married. In that case, they were viewed as a couple without strong will and were marginalized by the community.
The relationship between Stsorperis often lasted for years. As a rule, babies were often engaged while they were still in cradle. However, they soon fell in love of others persons, often for their Stsorperis. A woman who did not want to marry a man with whom she was engaged, would protract the process. Such women would not often marry a man until the age of 35 in order to make the period of being with Stsorperi as long as possible, since after the marriage, for women Stsorproba was forbidden while for men it was still affordable. Often, a woman would refuse to marry a man without love and as it was banned by the community to marry a Stsorperi – one whom she dotted on, she ended her life with a suicide. Sometimes, a married woman did not find enough force not to date her beloved Stsorperi. If such cases were revealed, the tradition of vendetta would be revived, implying the revenge by means of bloodshed and thus it could lead to the hostility for several generations.
According to the Khevsur tradition, a woman was left without the choice from the very cradle – the moment of her engagement with her future husband. The Khevsur family was not based on love. Rather, it was made for one aim – reproduction. Pure love was possible only among Stsorperis. For a Khevsur man, a wife was a sex object and an obligation, while Stsorperi embodied a romantic love. For Khevsurs, sex and love were different concepts. It is also notable that a woman, who was about to give birth to a baby, was considered to be unclean and in the period of childbirth, she had to go to the separate abode and give birth to a child without the outside help.
Tradition of Stsorproba used to set a lot of norms and restrictions to the community. At the same time, it was a test for a Khevsur man’s manly features, such as strong will, etc. It was considered that a real man (in Georgian ‘kai kma’) would be best examined in two cases: in the face of death and in the face of opposite sex – in the former, he had to defeat the fear and in the latter, he had to overcome the passion. Respect for this tradition became the topic of so many love stories and wasted young lives. Stsorproba as the institute gradually faded away and vanished altogether in the second half of the 20th century.
The Khevsur tribe that was quite isolated for centuries gradually opened its borders to the rest of the country, disclosed itself to a different civilization and left so beautiful but strict tradition of Stsorproba in the realm of the history.







Print
Other Stories
COVID-19 Cases Hit 90
Number of cases of coronavirus infection has increased to 90 in Georgia, the government-run special website stopcov.ge reports.
How is COVID-19 Affecting India? Georgian Citizen About the Virus Outbreak
Georgian citizen Tamara Lashauri lives in Delhi, India for three years with her Indian husband and a child. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, she has been staying at home which is very unusual for a crowded and active city such as Delhi.
"Times Square is Deserted Now"- Georgian Citizen in New York about Lockdown
The new coronavirus center of epidemic moved from Europe to the US. The United States outpaces Italy and China in the number of cases
Coronavirus Cases Rise Steadily to 85
Number of cases of coronavirus infection has risen to 85.
COVID-19 Cases Increase To 83, 14 Recovered
Number of cases of coronavirus infection has increased to 83 in Georgia, - the government-run special website stopcov.ge reports.
NATO Secretary General Praises Georgia for Successfully Tackling the Pandemic
A telephone conversation has been held between NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani.
False rapid tests from China? - Georgia, Spain, The Czech Republic Complain About Quality
Deputy Minister of Health Tamar Gabunia said that the Chinese company, from which Georgia was going to buy tests, informed the Georgian side about some defects, after which, the agreement was canceled.
Soldiers Supplying Journalists With Food in a Lockdown Region
On March 23, dozens of military vehicles have been deployed due to the COVID-19 case reported in the Marneuli region, Southern Georgia.
Virologist Dr. Sajadi Shares information About Fight Against COVID-19
Worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 is a global challenge for every country equally. From this point of view, it is extremely important to share information and knowledge about how to fight against Coronavirus.
Air Pollution Level Reduced In Georgia
In Georgia, the rate of air pollution is reduced. According to Noe Megrelishvili, Head of Atmospheric Air Division of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, no limit values for air pollutants have been exceeded since March 15.
Hotels Dedicated to Quarantine Zones Free of Charge
The hotels in Tbilisi will be dedicated to the quarantine zones as the coronavirus continues to spread and more emigrants return to Georgia.
Number of Coronavirus Infection Rises to 81 in Georgia
The number of cases of coronavirus infection has increased to 81 in Georgia
COVID-19 Cases Climb To 79
Number of cases of coronavirus infection has increased to 79 in Georgia, the government-run website stopcov.ge reports.
How COVID-19 Outbreak Changed The Lives Of Georgian Doctors
The whole world is struggling to combat respiratory disease COVID-19 which has killed thousands of people around the world.
Emotional Photos of The World Combating COVID-19
The world has completely changed since the respiratory disease COVID-19 outbreak.
Number of Coronavirus Cases Rises to 77 in Georgia
Number of cases of Coronavirus infection has increased to 77 in Georgia, the government-run website stopcov.ge reports.
COVID-19 Cases Hit 75 in Georgia
Number of cases of Coronavirus infection has increased to 75 in Georgia, the government-run website stopcov.ge reports.
China Sends Rapid COVID-19 Test kits To Georgia, Worth of $420 000
Rapid test kits for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses have arrived to Georgia from China. Package is worth of $420 000.
Euractiv Describes Georgia's Efforts Against COVID-19 as "Furious"
An independent pan-European media network EURACTIV publishes a post about Georgia's efforts in combating COVID-19.
"We Need To Return To Georgia"-Georgian Citizen in Spain about COVID-19 Outbreak
Spain is considered to be the second most affected country in Europe after Italy. The country has been in lockdown since March 14 and is struggling to slow the spread of the disease, which has so far claimed 2,991 lives.
We are idiots – Abkazians Are Not Ready For COVID-19 Outbreak
While Georgia is managing to deal with the spread of COVID-19 and number of foreign experts and media outlets praise the country for that, situation in its occupied regions is dire.
Photos of the Doctors Working With Patients Infected With COVID-19
People on Facebook keep publishing the photos of the doctors working with patients infected with COVID-19.
Coronavirus Cases Increases to 73 in Georgia
The number of cases of coronavirus infection has increased to 73 in Georgia
COVID-19 Cases Hit 70 In Georgia
Number of cases of Coronavirus infection has increased to 70 in Georgia, stopcov.ge reports.
5 mln GEL Accumulated at StopCov Fun To Fight Agains COVID-19
According to business ombudsman Mikhail Daushvili, 5 million GEL is accumulated at the #StopCov Fund, where different companies and citizens transfer money to fight against coronavirus.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
27.03.2020
28.03.2020
USD
1
USD
3.4842
3.2896
EUR
1
EUR
3.8159
3.6232
GBP
1
GBP
4.1650
4.0330
RUB
100
RUB
4.4618
4.2168
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
3.2896
EUR
1
EUR
3.6232
GBP
1
GBP
4.0330
RUB
100
RUB
4.2168