The Georgians and the Ossetians live side by side there. They have similar cultures. Both nations are hospitable and like endless feasts. Nowadays, there’s peace in the republic, although seeing a grenade vest — a gift from Russian soldiers — sitting on a bench next to children’s toys is nothing unusual.
Dmitry tell us something about your own background and how your interest in travelling began.
When I was 16, I read books of Jack Kerouac, listened to records of Janis Joplin and was involved in the Russian hippie community. I dreamed about travelling. I read a book of Anton Krotov, the most famous Russian hitch-hiker, about the hitch-hiking technique and started traveling…
Apparently, it is an ordinary shawl. However, on closer inspection, it can tell a lot about its owner and her family…
The Daghestani village Kubachi is, first of all, famous for its goldsmiths.
But this village is known not only for its jewelry… The women of Kubachi wear singular shawls or the kaz which easily identify them at first glance. We interviewed the female villagers about the secrets of this remarkable headwear, and here’s what they told us.
The Abkhaz regarded the forest as an animate creature. It was particularly revered by shepherds who would exclaim upon driving their herds into the forest: “O, Forest, give us the warmth of your eyes!” No special sacrifices were offered to the spirit of the forest, however, the shepherds used to observe one singular ritual related to the forest cult.
The owner of the herd which amounted to one thousand animals was obliged to allot 100 animals and drive them to the forest as a share of the forest spirit with the following words: “May this share go to the one who is destined to get it, abna-intsvakhu!”
“My words won’t be compelling unless I demonstrate one movement.”
I am shifting from foot to foot, holding a wooden plank.
The director of the National Museum of Kabardino-Balkaria, Felix Nakov is standing in front of me like a cowboy from a western. In his left hand he is holding an ornate scabbard from which the tip of the sword handle is scarcely visible. It seems hard to pull it out. But Felix makes an imperceptible movement, and something whooshes past my nose: the plank split in the middle, as if by itself.