Gogale Arabuli

Gogale was born in 1925 in Gveleti, Khevsureti


In 1952, when Stalin forcefully relocated the Khevsurs to various lowland districts of eastern Georgia, Gogale was moved with his family to Zemo Kedi in the Shiraki Valley. They lived there for many years until they were eventually allowed to return to their mountain highland. 


Eighty-eight years old at the time of recording, Gogale was equipped with a powerful voice and a sharp memory for song.


Gogale Arabuli - St'umarze
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Gogale says that this is a song to sing for a timid guest, one who needs the encouragement to eat and drink more!





+ Lyrics

St’umaris Simghera


St’umrebi egi

St’umrebi aris mzesa

Ust’umrod raghaia lkhinio

Ust’umrod p’uri da ghvinoi

Mts’areasa da arasa t’k’biliao




The Guest’s Song


Guests are such -

Guests are the sun

Without guests, what is there to feast about?

Without guests, bread and wine

Tastes sour,  not sweet.

Shalva Suarishvili - Mot'ivi Pandurze
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A panduri1 motif played by Shalva Suarishvili, Gogale's relative.


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.

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Gogale Arabuli - Khevsuretze
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A patriotic song about life and death in the mountains of Khevsureti where the singer is from.


There is no English translation available for this song. If you are able to provide one, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will update the page.

+ Lyrics

There is no English translation available for this song. If you are able to provide one, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will update the page.




Tvalshi mdzinare tsremli var

Mamulzed chamosat’iri

An da zhamta dena vor

P’ir ghurbliani Shat’ili


Mutsoshi torghvas simagre

Shaukrobs gamoshat’uli

Ardotshi murghvat simagre

Uk’vlo karebs rom chavt’iri


Khakhabos khakhat’ khirimi

Ats’undis gorzed mkukhari

Zed gorzed talais tsikhe


Mt’risagan nasults’ukhari

Khmali var Davit Beruli

Qornebis siskhlshi mdughari


Aiekh sakhl-k’ris chamoshla

Ach’inch’rebuli bukhari

Zed ach’inch’rebuli bukhari


Sichume sasaplaoti

Da daniukhe mdumari

Ert dghes sul damodena var

Tsa mzes gamqopi vin aris


/Shen tetri mtebis trtolva khar

Tsa varsk’vlavebis mandili/


Guli khar sajikhveebis

Mk’erdidan amovardnili

Narek’lianis sats’utros

Khan satave khar khan dziri

Shen is khar vints rom amok’la

Chemi sats’utros manzili

Gogale Arabuli - Chemi Sakheli Darcheba
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Chemi Sakheli Darcheba

(scroll down for English translation)


Chemi sakheli darcheba

Chemi sakheli levani

Sanamden sakartveloshi

Its’urebodes mt’evani


Tskhra dzmat meated mimighes

P’irzed maqares vardebi

Gamzral gaqinul gatoshils

Damkhures muzaradebi


Tu gauch’irda samshoblos

K’vlav tsetskhlit davidagebi

Da gamovangrevt saplavebs

Chven kartvelis kedze davdgebit




My Name Will Remain


My name is Levan

My name will remain

As long as Georgia

Presses grapes for wine


Nine brothers accepted me as their tenth

They covered me in roses

When I was frozen and cold

They gave me clothes to wear


If my country were in need

I would be so enflamed with anguish

To the point of desecrating graves 

We will stand on Georgia’s mountain-ridges

Gogale Arabuli - Mtibelo, Chemo Mtibelo, Gvrini
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This is a gvrini1 from Khevsureti.


To hear other gvrinis, visit the pages of Imeda Likok'eli and Tek'le Badrishvili.


1The gvrini is a lament from Pshavi and Khevsureti, traditionally sung by men while haying to commemorate the souls of the dead.  George Charachidze talks about the gvrini in his 1968 book, Le système religieux de la Géorgie païenne: analyse structurale d’une civilization, and the following explanation is based on his writing:


Traditionally during a funerary ceremony in Khevsureti or Pshavi a woman is possessed by the dead soul and becomes an oracle through which the soul communicates with the living.  The ensuing lament that the soul communicates through the oracle is silently memorized by the men in attendance, who are not allowed to vocally mourn in any way during the ceremony.  Before the men go out to the fields on the first haying day of the year, a feast is held in the name of the most recently deceased. Only after this ritual feast occurs and only under the supervision of the mountain priest are the men allowed to bring their scythe into contact with the grass.  The Khevsurs and Pshavs believed that the afterlife was under the ground, and therefore that the motion of swinging the scythe close to the ground to cut grass was symbolically entwined with the Land of the Dead.  As the men began to mow on the first haying day of the year, they sang the gvrini that the dead soul communicated to them at his funeral. Through this lament they paid homage to the souls of the dead.

+ Lyrics

There is no English translation available for this song. If you are able to provide one, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will update the page.


Refer to the ''About'' for a detailed explanation of this dirge.


Mtibelo, Chemo Mtibelo, Gvrini


Mtibelo chemo mtibelo

Jvarisa zvezao

Davabma buchama


Da gats’qvet’ilni sadi


Namkhrevni da siskhliae


Sataves darcha

Ales velio

Bolos namkhrevshi gak’ia

Darchisa tselio

Gogale Arabuli - Khirchla Baburaulze
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Khirchla was a reputable hero from Khevsureti, a highland in northeastern Georgia.  Kists1 were so scared of him that they paid him tribute by giving him a sheep or a lamb per village. The Kists brought these victims themselves to sacrifice at Khirchla's santuary, Gudani.  When sophisticated weaponry came into the region, the Kists were the first to acquire it. Suik'a Amaishvili, a Kist, is said to have found a rifle by the ocean and created more of them for his village. It is said that still today the khevisberi2 of Gudani toasts to Khirchla, who lived by the sword and died by the bullet.


1People of Chechen ancestry living in the P'ank'isi Gorge.  Read more about Kists here


2A ''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 chosen 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 and 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 the dekanozi, whereas Pshavs and Khevsurs use the term khevisberi.

+ Lyrics

Khirchla Baburauli

(scroll down for English translation)


At’irdi khirchlai tsoli

Ghilian p’erangiani

Khirchlav nu ts’akhval midkhoshid

Sakhli gakv sokoniani


Ar daijeris khirchlam

Glekhi gadidda ch’k’viani

T’ut’il khvnen amaishvilni

Mandzili ar kharni rkiani


Zulik’a zamaishvils

Topi akv t’alk’vesiani

Ar gagatsilebs khirchlao

Gamartul akvis t’iali


Sheni mamk’lavi khirchlao

Mit-ors memeted jdebodes

K’arzed moudis mlotsavi

Pe-zed ar ts’amudgebodes




The following is a rough translation of the lyrics above. For more information about the story behind this song, refer to the ''About.''


Khirchla's wife falls to the ground in tears

Dressed in a button-down shirt

Crying, ''Khirchla, Don't go to Midkho!

You have a house full of cattle to care for!''


Khirchla didn't listen

The peasant was too proud to hear

That the Amaishvili family in Midkho

Now has hammer rifles


From his rifle, Suik'a Amaishvili fired

Khirchla fell by his sword

Who will ever see a Khevsur like Khirchla?

Khirchla, the sword-bearer