Intangible cultural heritage of Georgia

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Intangible cultural heritage (Georgian: არამატერიალური კულტურული მემკვიდრეობა) are elements of the cultural heritage of Georgia which are abstract and must be learned, encompassing traditional knowledge including festivals, music, performances, celebrations, handicrafts, and oral traditions.

Starting from 2011, 37 items were inscribed on the registry of Georgia's Intangible Cultural Heritage as of August 2017. Three of them have been placed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.[1][2]

Registry of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia[edit]

# Item Date inscribed Comment Media
1 Georgian polyphonic singing 17 November 2011 Inscribed in 2008 on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (originally proclaimed in 2001).[3]
2 Kvevri 17 November 2011 Large egg-shaped earthenware vessels used for the fermentation, storage, and ageing of traditional Georgian wine. Georgian kvevri
3 Traditional kvevri wine-making method 27 March 2012 Inscribed in 2013 on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.[4] Kvevri jugs buried in a Georgian winery
4 Dedaena, an introduction to Georgian for children 25 March 2013 Dedaena, literally, "a mother tongue", a children's primer compiled and published in 1876 by Iakob Gogebashvili Dedaena, a 1912 edition
5 Traditional dance Perkhuli 25 March 2013 A predominantly male folk round dance, with as many as 20 versions. Georgian dancers performing Perkhuli in 1965
6 Berikaoba 25 March 2013 An improvised masqueraded folk theatre, stemming from a pre-Christian festivity of fertility and rebirth. A 1991 Soviet stamp dedicated to Berikaoba.
7 Kakhetian Mravalzhamieri 25 March 2013 A polyphonic folk song Mravalzhamieri ("polychronion") from the region of Kakheti.
8 "Urban" Mravalzhamieri 25 March 2013 An urban version of Mravalzhamieri from Tbilisi.
9 Children's literary magazine Dila 25 November 2013 A popular children's literary magazine founded in 1928 as Oktombreli and renamed in 1947 as Dila ("The Morning").[5]
10 Traditional dance Khorumi 25 November 2013 A traditional war dance, originally from the region of Adjara. Khorumi dance performed by the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet
11 Meskhetian cheese Tenili 25 November 2013 Originally from the region of Meskheti, Tenili is made of threads of rich cow's or sheep's milk cheese briefly brined before being pressed into a clay pot.[6] Tenili cheese
12 "Makeup Anointment", an annual Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film University students induction ceremony 5 January 2014 An annual induction ceremony of the Tbilisi-based Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film University freshmen held at Marjanishvili Memorial Museum in Kvareli, a tradition established in 1974.[7][8]
13 Literary magazine Tsiskari 5 January 2014 The Georgian-language literary magazine Tsiskari ("The Dawn"), founded in 1852. The September 1852 issue of Tsiskari.
14 Technology and culture of the Lagidze Waters 5 January 2014 The Lagidze Waters are a popular brand of soft drinks established by Mitropane Lagidze in 1887.[9] At a Lagidze Waters restaurant.
15 Chidaoba, a Georgian wrestling style 25 September 2014 A Georgian folk wrestling style. Inscribed in 2018 on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.[10] Traditionally-dressed Georgian folk wrestlers. A c. 1899 photo by Aleksandr Yermakov.
16 Dambalkhacho 25 September 2014 A variety of moistened curd from the highland province of Pshavi.[11] Dambalkhacho
17 "Living culture of three writing systems of the Georgian alphabet" 20 March 2015 Inscribed in 2016 on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.[12] The Jruchi Gospels, a 10th-century Georgian manuscript.
18 Chuniri 20 March 2015 A bowed folk musical instrument from the region of Svaneti. Chuniri at a museum in Tbilisi.
19 Svan hat 20 March 2015 Traditional technology of felted wool hat making from Svaneti, one of important elements of the Svan cultural identity. A man wearing a traditional Svan hat.
20 Svan cuisine: P'etvraal 20 March 2015 A Svanetian variety of khachapuri, a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread, but with added millet flour to its cheese filling.
21 Svan cuisine: Kubdari (Kubed) 20 March 2015 A meat filled pastry, a signature dish of Svaneti.[13] Kubdari
22 Svan cuisine: Svanuri Marili or Lushnu Jim 20 March 2015 Svanetian salt, a traditional spicy salt blend.
23 Svan cuisine: Tashmjab 20 March 2015 A cream of potatoes and cheese mixed with corn flour from Svaneti.
24 Tradition of learning Vepkhistqaosani by heart 7 October 2015 The tradition of learning and reciting the 12th-century national epic Vepkhistqaosani ("The Knight in the Panther's Skin") by Shota Rustaveli, composed of some 1,500 stanzas, was widespread among the Georgians, especially young women,[14][15] and survived into the 21st century.[16] Vepkhistqaosani, a 1712 printed edition.
25 Tradition of use of medicinal mineral springs in Upper Svaneti 15 October 2015 The mineral springs of Mugviri, Artskheeli, Kakhrld, Legab, Seti, Kvedilash, and Shdegi have been used for medicinal purposes for several centuries.
26 Traditional technique of making the Svanetian folk instrument Changi 15 October 2015 Changi is a Svanetian version of an ancient harp-like instrument with at least six strings.[17] Changi at a museum in Tbilisi.
27 Tradition of wood carving in Svanetian architecture and household items 15 October 2015 Pieces of vernacular architecture and churches in highland Svaneti are richly adorned with ornate wood carving, a tradition going back to the Middle Ages.[18] The Lashkheti church door, an example of the 10th-century wood carving art.
28 Literary magazine Gantiadi 15 October 2015 Gantiadi ("The Daybreak"), a Georgian literary magazine established in Kutaisi in 1915.
29 Technology of Kakhetian Churchkhela 7 November 2015 Churchkhela made in Georgia's wine-making region of Kakheti is a particularly popular variety of this traditional Georgian candle-shaped candy, strings of nuts that are repeatedly dipped in concentrated grape juice. Strings of churchkhela in Kakheti.
30 Kakhetian hat 7 November 2015 A felted hat from the region of Kakheti. A Kakhetian man with a jug of wine, painted by R. Gvelesiani, 1883.
31 Kakhetian bread "dedas puri" 7 November 2015 Dedas puri ("mother's bread") is a Kakhetian type of tonis puri, baked in a specific bakery. Types of bread baked at a traditional Georgian bakery.
32 Tradition of pottery in Vardisubani 7 November 2015 The village of Vardisubani is the principal center of traditional pottery in Kakheti.
33 Svan funeral ritual with zari 16 March 2016 Zari (zär) is a funeral chant from Svaneti, bearing traces of pre-Christian tradition.[19][20]
34 Tradition of falconry 27 October 2016 Old Georgian tradition of falconry, bazieroba. Hunting with goshawk in Kakheti, 1979.
35 Supra, a traditional Georgian feast 29 March 2017 Supra, a traditional Georgian feast and an important part of Georgian social culture. A Feast of Three Noblemen, a painting by Pirosmani, 1905.
36 Traditional culture and manufacturing technology of blue tablecloth 9 June 2017 Traditional Georgian cotton tablecloths painted in various shades of blue, known from at least the 17th century.[21][22] A blue tablecloth at a folk art museum in Tbilisi.
37 Georgian folk medicine 23 August 2017 Georgian folk medicine and traditions associated with its use
38 Twenty-six-century-long tradition of the Georgian–Jewish relations 13 April 2018 The Jewish presence in Georgia is regarded to have began with their exodus during the Babylonian captivity in 6th century BC. Israel's 60th independence day celebration in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2007.
39 Tskhavati pottery 13 April 2018 Tradition of pottery from the village of Tskhavati.
40 Georgian silk 12 June 2018


  1. ^ "არამატერიალური კულტურული მემკვიდრეობა" [Intangible Cultural Heritage] (PDF) (in Georgian). National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  2. ^ "UNESCO Culture for development indicators for Georgia (Analytical and Technical Report)" (PDF). EU-Eastern Partnership Culture & Creativity Programme. October 2017. pp. 82–88. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Intangible Heritage: Georgian polyphonic singing". The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Intangible Heritage: Ancient Georgian traditional Qvevri wine-making method". The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  5. ^ "დილა" [Dila]. Iverieli Digital Library (in Georgian). National Parliamentary Library of Georgia. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  6. ^ Goldstein, Darra (2013). The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia. University of California Press. p. xvi. ISBN 9780520275911.
  7. ^ "ყოველწლიურ სტუდენტურ ტრადიციას მიენიჭა არამატერიალური კულტურული მემკვიდრეობის ძეგლის სტატუსი" [An annual student tradition granted the status of an Intangible Cultural Heritage element.] (in Georgian). NNLE Heritage For Future. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Majanishvili House-Museum Hosted the Freshmen Oath Ceremony". The Financial. 2 November 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  9. ^ ",,ლაღიძის წყლების დამზადების ტექნოლოგია და კულტურა"" [Technology and culture of the Lagidze Waters.] (in Georgian). NNLE Heritage For Future. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Living culture of three writing systems of the Georgian alphabet". Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  11. ^ "Dambalkhacho - Georgian delicacy with the status of cultural heritage". Georgian Journal. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Intangible Heritage: Living culture of three writing systems of the Georgian alphabet". United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Kubdari – A Signature Dish of Svaneti". Georgian Journal. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  14. ^ Wardrop, Marjory Scott (2001). The Man in the Panther's Skin: A Romantic Epic Translated from the Georgian by Marjory Wardrop. Psychology Press. p. 265. ISBN 9780947593438.
  15. ^ Lang, David Marshall (1966), Landmarks in Georgian Literature: An Inaugural Lecture Delivered on 2 November 1965 (PDF), London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, p. 22, retrieved 22 October 2017
  16. ^ Rekhviashvili, Jimsher (9 October 2015). ""ვეფხისტყაოსანი" ზეპირად" [Vepkhistqaosani by heart]. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (in Georgian). Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Changi". Georgian Folk Music Instruments. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  18. ^ Sumbadze, Longinoz (1967). "ჩუქურთმა ხეზე ხალხურ ხუროთმოძღვრებაში" [Ornate carving in vernacular architecture]. Dzeglis megobari (in Georgian). 12: 54–65.
  19. ^ Kalandadze-Makharadze, Nino (2006). "The Funeral Zari in Traditional Male Polyphony". In Tsurtsumia, Rusudan; Jordania, Joseph. The Second International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony (PDF). Tbilisi: International Research Center for Traditional Polyphony of Tbilisi State Conservatoire. pp. 166–178.
  20. ^ Zemp, Hugo (2007). Funeral chants from the Georgian Caucasus: Study Guide (PDF). Documentary Educational Resources. pp. 2–16.
  21. ^ "Blue tablecloths: Restored tradition and regained popularity". 12 August 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  22. ^ Meparishvili, Nana (11 August 2015). "The Blue Tablecloths of Georgia: New Life of an Old Tradition". Folklife. Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Retrieved 24 October 2017.