Mikha was born in 1936 in Shat'ili, a highland village in Khevsureti close to the border of Chechnya. The village itself is a tower complex, where both he and his sister Mariam Ch’inch’arauli were raised.
In 1952 when the population of Khevsureti was forcibly resettled by the Soviets, Mikha was moved to K’akheti where he later met his wife. He was trained in Tbilisi as an economist and in 1982 returned with his family to Shat’ili where he worked for the local government and wrote a book about his village.
Today he and his wife live there year-round, even through harsh winters that cut off their village’s road from the rest of the country.
In his youth, Mikha was known throughout Khevsureti as a phenomenal singer and panduri player,1 and today he is a precious keeper of ancient knowledge.
1A three-stringed, fretted lute common in all regions of northeastern Georgia. The instrument is most frequently used to accompany ballad singing. Read more about the panduri here.