Temo Bardzimashvili | Meeting with the Spirits

PRIVATE 55, p. 58-59
PRIVATE 55, p. 58-59

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[E]ach year in the Georgian highland village of Adishi, the dead are invited home for a week-long family reunion. It is a time for celebration, but also for contemplation. Perched more than 2 000 meters high in Georgia’s Svaneti region, Adishi, like many other Georgian mountain villages, is remote and has a rapidly decreasing population.

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The hamlet’s eight churches stand largely neglected. One villager claims that a 4th Century map of the area features Adishi, but snow plows seem at a loss to find the village today. Avalanches, however, have little such trouble.

Isolation from the modern world means Adishi’s villagers are now abandoning their mountainside perch for a better life in the valleys below.

Fewer and fewer families remain to host their ghostly kin. It may just be a matter of time before the spirits of Adishi’s ancestors – along with their descendants – will have no homes left to call their own.

(Temo Bardzimashvili | Meeting with the Spirits, PRIVATE 55, pages 58-61)