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
Tako Natsvlishvili at Victoria’s Secret casting 2018
Tako Natsvlishvili participated in the Victoria Secret’s 2018 casting on the 29th of August, in New York. The Georgian model was among Victoria’s Secret finalists in 2017.
International Festival of classical music to be held in Batumi
At the end of this week an International Festival of classic music will kick off for the 6th time in Batumi, Georgia’s beautiful seaside city.
Georgians who beat the world record
There are many Georgians among the world recordsmen. Georgians managed to beat the world record for 78 times to date. Today we explore four of them.
Jenny Brunt speaks about Georgia with Georgian Journal
Jenny Brunt is among the most famous models worldwide. She used to be on the covers of different international magazines in the 1990s.
Tako Natsvlishvili wearing Pain de Sucre - photographed by David Bellemere
Tako Natsvlishvili is a 19-yeal old model from Georgia. She has recently been photographed by a prominent French photographer David Bellemere.
Former Georgian plastic surgeon who owns a restaurant in New York
Maia Acquaviva is a Georgian former surgeon, who worked in one of the clinics here in Tbilisi, but decided to go to the USA and start a business there.
David Beckham first saw Victoria Adams in Tbilisi
Tbilisi is truly a magical city. It brings many people and cultures together, even connects future spouses. Do you think we are joking? Not at all.
Georgia should be at the top of every travel destination list – says German photographer about Georgia
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Georgia tomorrow and possibly as a result of this visit the German media is currently writing a lot about Georgia.
Alexander Julakidze - Georgian pianist based in Jerusalem
A well-known Georgian pianist Alexander Julakidze has successfully participated in a variety of piano competitions. He currently lives in Jerusalem, Israel contributing to Georgia’s popularity all over the world.
Anna Kendrick in David Koma’s dress
The readers of the Georgian Journal will definitely have heard about David Koma, a young and talented Georgian designer based in London.
Medical tourism increases in Georgia
In the first quarter of 2018, Georgia was visited by 13 900 foreigners for medical and recovery purposes. The level is 61.2 % higher than the same period in 2017.
Rebellious and successful Georgian model based in Barcelona
Remember we told you a story this week about a Georgian model Paloma Anastasia Mikadze, who currently is based in Barcelona and is quite successful there?
Georgian Rubik’s Cube solver Vako Marchilashvili breaks the Guinness World Record
Vako Marchilashvili is a young Rubik’s Cube solver from Georgia. He participated in “Georgia’s Got Talent 2017 “and introduced his genius abilities to the Georgian public.
Turkish born Georgian sisters sing a beautiful song
There are many Georgians, who live in Turkey, but maintain Georgian culture and heritage.
What types of transport can Georgia offer tourists?
Train, subway, bus, mini-bus, taxi and airplane – these are the types of transport that Georgia can offer tourists.
Chris Botti to perform in Georgia
American trumpeter Chris Botti arrived in Georgia yesterday. Today the musician is due to perform with the Georgian singer Nani Bregvadze.
Georgian schoolchildren create Robot “Vano”
Georgian students from the Guivy Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi have created a robot named Vano.
Khatia Buniatishvili performs with the Estonian Festival Orchestra at the Proms in London
On the 13th of August, Paavo Järvi and the Estonian Festival Orchestra performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London during its famous Proms season.
Paloma Anastasia Mikadze, an Instagram star from Georgia
Anastasia Mikadze is a Georgian social network star from Georgia. She shares her ideas about fashion, interior design and healthy lifestyle with hundreds of followers on Instagram.
Georgian lifeguard who saved life of nearly 700 people
Gocha Bilvanidze, the Head of the Maritime Rescue Service has been with the organization for eight years now. He has saved the lives of around 700 people during that time.
Children of Georgian migrant to the USA Parten Chikviladze (Peter Chiglo) visit Georgia
A 16-year Parten Chikviladze from Racha (the western part of Georgia) left Georgian 1913 for America, never to return back.
 Surprising proposal by a Georgian Soldier
The video of a Georgian Cadet Soldier’s proposal to his girlfriend has gone viral on the social media. He proposed to her in the presence of other soldiers in front of the Academy.
The 10th anniversary of the 2008 war through a young graphic designer’s eye
A 23-year old Nika Chalakhshasvhili is a graphic designer from Georgia. He has created some interesting illustrations to express his protest against the Russian occupation of Georgian territory:
Georgian policewomen: stereotypes and reality
The number of female members in the Security Forces is increasing year after year.
Georgian entrant who got top marks in two subjects
Devi Oniani is a graduate of the 55th Public School, Tbilisi, Georgia.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
19.09.2018
20.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6188
2.6179
EUR
1
EUR
3.0593
3.0606
GBP
1
GBP
3.4414
3.4517
RUB
100
RUB
3.8673
3.9087
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
2.6179
EUR
1
EUR
3.0606
GBP
1
GBP
3.4517
RUB
100
RUB
3.9087