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Imeretian, Georgian in Chokha

History and revival of chokha[change | change source]

It has been in wide use among Caucasians[1] from the 9th century until 1920s.[2] Nowadays, chokha is no longer in use but continues to still be worn for ceremonial and festive occasions.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili made high-ranking Georgian officials working abroad to wear the national costume at official meetings. So, in the very center of Europe, in the 21st century, among the elegant ladies and gentlemen classic suits, you will find men in their Chokhas, and daggers around the waist.[3]

Types of chokha[change | change source]

A Georgian cavalier (Curtis, 1911)

There are Four types of Chokha worn among the Georgians:

  • Kartl-Kakheti chokha (Kartli and Kakheti are eastern Georgian provinces)
  • Khevsur Chokha (mainly in Mtskheta-mtianeti province of Georgia)
  • Adjarian chokha (mainly found in western Georgia provinces such as Adjara and Guria and also used to be used in Lazona that is now part of republic of Turkey)
  • General Caucasian chokha which is like a Kartl-Kakheti chokha but is little longer

In Georgia, the Black chokha was reserved to the "Order of Chokhosani". They represent the elite society of the citizens. These were people with special dedications such as: Great generals, heroes or some of the famous poets and the people who had done some big service to the country. Not even all of Lords were allowed in "Chokhosani Orden" and those who did proudly represented this rank in their clothing.

Chokha is sewn of thick fabric and is tight on the waist and wide on the bottom. In some parts of the Caucasus there are also female chokhas.

Generally, the chokha outfit includes a khanjali (the sword), the akhalukhi also know as the arkhalig (a shirt worn underneath the chokha), the gazyrs (the bullets), and the bashlyk (a hood, separate from the robe) or papakha (a tall fur hat).

References[change | change source]

  1. Ruso Strelkova (August 31, 2007). To Wear or not to Wear (a Chokha)? That is the Question Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine. Georgia Today Issue #372, 31.08.07-06.09.07.
  2. Abashidze, Irakli. Ed. Georgian Encyclopedia. Vol. IX. Tbilisi, Georgia: 1985.
  3. "GeorgianDaily Forum". Archived from the original on 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2012-05-09.