Mariam Ch'inch'arauli

Maro was born and raised in the famous village of Shat’ili, Khevsureti. At an early age she married into Guro, one of the most remote villages of the highland.


In 1952, when the Khevsur people were forcefully relocated to the lowlands, she was moved with her family to a village outside Rustavi. When a landslide hit the area around Guro, access back up to the village was blocked and so was their potential return.


Life was hard in the valley at first as there was no water in their new settlements and the land yielded poor crops.  The family was forced to move from one village to the next.  After fifteen years of moving and three sons born in three different villages, they heard news of a poultry factory opening on the outskirts of Tbilisi where workers received free houses. 


Maro, eighty-two years old at the time of recording, lives there today.  Four of her many grandchildren make up the band Debi Gogoch'urebi, (''The Gogoch’uri Sisters''), which sings many traditional Khevsur songs taught to them by their grandmother.


Visit Mikheil Ch'inch'arauli's profile, to hear the songs of Maro’s brother from Shat'ili.  

Mariam Ch'inch'arauli - Shat'iluri Dat'ireba
+ Song Info

This is a crying song  from a mother mourning the loss of her infant child. Maro gives us more of a context for this song, which she learned from her mother in Khevsureti:


A young woman leaves her house in the morning with her infant, to mow grass for hay on a field high in the mountains. Exhausted after hours of labor, she falls asleep next to her child. She awakes to the sounds of her hysterical baby only to see him in the air, clasped in the talons of an eagle. She is helpless to his cries and can do nothing but watch and later return home, alone.

+ Lyrics

Shat’iluri Dat’ireba


Kal-zalo arvis gik’ristaeo

Chemi sitsotskhleio

Dilit var shvili damk’argaveo

Tvalit mch’erel var prinveltaio

At’atsebul hqvand haershiao

Shvilis ts’k’mut’unma gamaghvidzao

Arts’ivs im gasat’ialebsao

Chvili shvelas mtkhovd kalod zalo

Chemgan sashvel k’i ar iqvao

Avdekid ts’amovedi shinao

Shvili prinvelta vajijgvnieo




A Mourning Song From Shat’ili


O, my life!

I lost my child while I was sleeping

I saw with my eyes an eagle

It was holding my child in the air

I was awoken by the whine of my child

The eagle – That cursed bird!

My child cried for help

And I couldn’t do anything

I stood up and went home

And left my child for the eagles to eat

Mariam Ch'inch'arauli - Shat'iluri Sakorts'ilo
+ Song Info

Mariam remembers this wedding song from her childhood in Khevsureti.

+ Lyrics

Shat’iluri Sakorts’ilo


Haralalo hari harale

Haralalo masul st’omarta

Haralalo chven masp’indzelta

Haralalo hari harale

Haralalo chamauare

Haralalo nep-dedopalta

Haralalo ghmerti ts’qalobden

Haralalo hari harale




Wedding Song From Shat'ili


To our guests

To our hosts

Go and dance

To the bride and groom

God have mercy on them

Mariam Ch'inch'arauli - Kali Var Maghla Gazrdili
+ Song Info

Mariam performs this song ''I Am A Woman Raised in High Places'' alongside her granddaughters who make up the band The Gogoch'uri Sisters (Debi Gogoch'urebi.)

+ Lyrics

Kali Var Maghla Gazrdili

(scroll down for English translation)


Kali var maghla gazrdili

Vin chamamiqvans barada

Vinats vazhk’atsi ar mamts’ons

Vin momats’onebs dzalada

Ar mamts’ons aisetai

Ar giqvars tvala t’anada

Ras ushvels silamazei

Khakhln uqurebda kalada

Me momts’ons eget vazhk’atsi

Pkhizels khedavda mtvralada

Sts’orebm sharobai dauts’qan

Vazhi ch’k’vit shaishalasa

Ch’reli shiukhlis khanjari

Siskhlebshi maisvarasa

Tskhovrebai ar maigonavs

Dro maints gait’anasa




I Am a Woman Raised In High Places


I am the woman raised up in mountains

Who can bring me down from here?

I do not like any young man

And no one can force me to like any!


You do not like anyone?

Is there anything to make you look around?

Is there anything that would attract your beauty?

Anything that would catch your eye?


I like the young man

Who does not lose his mind even when drunk

Who does not lose his good standing

I like the young man

Who is smart and wise

Who carries his sword

That has been covered in blood

Who will be able to sacrifice his life

At any time without hesitation.