THE MAGIC DANCE RITUALS IN GEORGIA

Levan Aliashvili

04.03.2021

Summary

Georgia as an integral part of antique civilizations is rich in pagan religious sacraments, that have been formed and developed in a well–organized social space. The existence of a religious service indicates the presence of a ceremonial culture for certain ethnos. The ritual performed in honor of a particular deity, clearly represents the existence of the sacral cult. This factor conditions to realize the religious development stage of ethnos, the development of a social space, as well as the world outline and the mentality.

The birth of the deities on the basis of the consciousness and social needs, their formulation according to the sector sections, the cycle of actions or additions in the ritual performed in the honor of the new deity, pursuant to the  specifics of the cult, enable us to observe the development of the nation's spiritual and life events.

The Magic dance rituals in Georgia clearly reflect the religious culture of ancient Georgia. Sacrifice, falling into prophetic trance are the ritual processes as a roundelay form, these are the necessary events in the ceremonial activities that were widely spread in the antique world. The aforesaid ceremonial activities are met in the different parts of Georgia. In spite of the changes of epoch and religious beliefs, it never goes beyond its principal core and is represented as a roundelay mystery everywhere.

Social development and diversification of the religious pantheon arise ritual spectaculars such as: “Lazarus” (ritual to end drought, heavy rain), “Gonjaoba” - rain-making ritual (women carry across made of two scarecrows house to house), “Kotikotoba” etc. But the ritual process is the staging of the sacrifice, cyclic quality of actions and high religious obedience, the ceremonial activities are necessary conditions here too.

Only a highly developed society can create such a strong cult, that benefits from the general national authority, to implement the sequence of actions, to set the specific criteria for the participants of the ritual, to create the necessary attributes for the cult service as well as to  gain a high confidence in the community.

 

We meet the “Dolls”, “Puppets” in the magic dance rituals as the sacred idols, which became the beginning of “Puppet theatre”. Using a puppet or sculpture was characteristic for every corner of Georgia, but spraying a water to it was a very important ritual. What about movements like: going round, coming down, coming in, estimating these terms in this way is directly connected to the dancing art and in our case it presented as a kind of religious ritual dance. Pure dance is appeared as some kind of mystery and ceremony actions which are done during the treatment of a sick man. This is done directly in the family for the honor of Gods in a decorated area. Performing form is a dance show in the form of encircle and devotement, which is performed by a group of women of being in a high-emotional condition. The tree as a symbol of life is deeply inculcated in Georgian conscious. We found a magic dance rituals about tree adoration which originates from the very beginning and is widespread in almost every corner of our country. Even though the dances aren’t saved in some occasions, that doesn’t mean their form of performing is beyond the dance show. According to the theory of syncretic art, above-mentioned was definitely being performed in the form of dance, because I think this kind of exception is absolutely groundless. Traveling opportunity between the worlds is connected to the art dance. Dance as the opportunity of human transformation is clearly visible in the ritual of “Talavar Ritual”. This is Khevsurian tradition and it differs from his analogs with only modified content. Ritual makes us have a good idea about how the poetry was formed in Georgia but the ranks of “Priests” like: “Meene“, “Mesultne” or “Matvalari” in Samegrelo proves that it is Georgian. Dance role is sharply revealed in magic dance rituals. It is presented as one of the crucial form of religion, which appears everywhere as a key of action, regardless of traditional affiliation. It presents extremely important means of sacred actions, which was widespread in our Country and we meet it as a form of religious action in ancient cult work