Rusudan Aptsiauri

Rusudan is the daughter of a khevisberi1 who tended to their family’s shrine in the highland of Gudamaqari.  Rusudan later married into the village of Tskhvedieti, a mere horseback ride over the mountains from where she was born. Today she lives in Tbilisi with her children, but every summer returns to spend the season in her Tskhvedieti home.  She plays the panduri2 and sings poetry written by her father.


1A "valley elder" in the northeastern highlands of Georgia. This term historically referred to a local elected leader, responsible for the political and military life of his community. In contrast, a dekanozi was the chozen head priest in charge of the shrines and spiritual life of his highland community. By the 19th century, as the dekanozi began taking on the responsibilities of the khevisberi, the two titles merged into one. Today this leader is responsible for tending to the local mountain shrines. In Khevi, Mtiuleti and Tusheti he is referred to as a dekanozi, whereas Pshavs and Khevsurs use the term khevisberi.


2A 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

Rusudan Aptsiauri - Khevsuruli
+ Song Info

+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


Barisakhoshi ghvtisoi

Araqs daaskhavs mts’aresa

Gairtavs sts’or amkhanegebs

Simgheras chaut’arebsa


/Tskhens shejda bindobisasa

Gamoudgebis ch’alebsa/


Tovli tovs k'ari gugunebs

Vazhk’atss ubnelebs tvalebsa

Magram is tskhenits t’iali

Tols veghar hk’idebs nalebsa


Tskhen daskhlt’a mkhedar tan chahqva

Khelchkami chait’anesa

Shemoisvenebs mkhar gverdze

T’k’ivileb grdznobda mts’aresa


Tskheni t’irs ise at’irda da

Is tskheni tsremlebs chamohqris mts’aresa

Ch’iukhvt daits’qes t’irili

Tsremlit p’ir daibanesa


Miate dghezed vazhk’atso da

Sakhlshi dzlivs migit’anesa

Daemdureba da babale

Dards k’i dainanebsa


Daemdureba babale

Dards k’i dainanebsa

Vingha mogvikhnavs mamulsa da

Oblebs vin mozdis mts’aresa




Song from Khevsureti


Ghvtiso in Barisakho1

Pours bitter vodka

Enjoys with his friends

And sings for them


At twilight he mounted his horse

And road off into the groves


It snows, the wind blows

The brave man's eyes darken

But the poor horse

Can't manage in the deep snow


The horse fell and the rider followed 

To the sounds of breaking and tumbling

They lay there side by side

And felt bitter pain


The horse cried and cried

He shed sour tears 

The gorges, too, began to weep

And Ghvtiso's face was bathed in their tears


On the tenth day the brave man

Was finally carried home 

There, Babale argued

Mournful and regretful


Who will plough the fields now?

And who will bring up the children?



1The largest village in Khevsureti, a highland in northeastern Georgia.