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Mengrelian Songs Collection
[Audio CD]


Religious Beliefs and Practices. The principal religion of Mingrelia, in common with the rest of Georgia, is Georgian Orthodoxy. The Georgian Orthodox church is autocephalic. Formerly each clan or lineage had its own patron saint and icon (jinjikhat'i) which were used to obtain spiritual intercession. Saint George was the most important saint and a number of his relics were allegedly kept in the most sacred of Mingrelian churches, in the village of Ilori. The archangels Michael and Gabriel (sometimes worshiped as a unit) also had high status in Mingrelia; other saints had specific spheres of competence and their name days were always observed. Ceremonies and beliefs of pre-Christian times are mixed in with Mingrelian religious observances. Formerly, Mingrelians believed in wood spirits and other pagan deities. Elements of such beliefs persist in certain customs and superstitions surrounding birth, marriage, and death and New Year or harvest festivals. Mingrelians are not, on the whole, devout churchgoers, although with the new liberal policies on religion, one may expect a degree of religious revival, as elsewhere in Georgia.

Arts. Mingrelian men, like Georgians elsewehere, are famous for their a cappella polyphonic music. Mingrelian song and dance, though in the Georgian style, contains regional distinctions. Distinctive Mingrelian musical instruments, such as the larch'emi ("reed," a form of panpipe), have now disappeared.
Date Added: 04/15/2013 by Dzuku Labartkava
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