Svans


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Svans

 

an ethnic group of Georgians, in Mestia and Lentekhi raions in the Georgian SSR. In antiquity, Svanian tribes inhabited a large area on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus and a smaller area on the northern slopes, mainly around the upper Kuban’ River. The Svans, together with the Karts and the Mingrelo-Laz (Chan), made up the ethnic stock from which the Georgian people descended. They speak both Georgian and, at home, Svanetian (Svanian).

The Svans were once noted for their locally distinct culture and way of life, such as their unique forms of tower architecture, their well-developed alpine economy, and survivals from their earlier military democracy.

References in periodicals archive ?
In July 2006, a warlord in the Kodori Gorge area of northern Abkhazia, where many ethnic Svans reside, foreswore his nominal allegiance to the Georgian government.
SVANS VANSATURDAY STILL TO COME ESPUDSPUDTHURSDAY PIG)G(PEPPA NORMANNORMAN FRIDAY GEORGE(PEPPA PIG) BWEDNESDAY BOB MASK OB MASK SUNDAY [umlaut] 2011 Hit Entertainment Limited and Keith Chapman.
Ossetia following the events of August 2008 are ethnic Georgians, whilst most of those who fled from Abkhazia after Georgia's defeat in 1993 were ethnic Mingrelians (and local residents who abandoned their homes when Georgian military personnel were finally ejected from Abkhazia's Upper K'odor Valley on 12th August 2008 were mainly ethnic Svans).
Ossetia; the Abkhazians have raised no objections to Mingrelians staying in, or returning to, the south-easternmost province of Gal, where, whatever the (disputed) ethnic origins of these locals, there had been a preponderance of Mingrelian-speakers for decades, and Svans who did not take up arms against Abkhazians during the war or thereafter are free to live in their homesteads in the K'odor Valley.
CRIA: How widely spoken are Mingrelian, Laz and Svan in (and outside) Georgia?
With only a few thousand speakers left, the chances that Georgia's ethnic Svans would essay anything in the rolling language--a language without an alphabet- -are somewhere between slim and none.
It's a curious reply to my original question: Who were the first Svans?
Whoever started it, the Svans can't mistake the UN, Russian, and Georgian checkpoints along the single highway that helps divide Abkhazia from Georgia and provides the only passage north to Svaneti.
That the Georgian government has devoted little time to developing its remote reaches since regaining its independence has left even the most jingoistic Svans disenchanted.
Sooner or later, the Svans would face the same troubling issues their minority countrymen faced, and nowhere is that more noticeable than in the division of generations.
(17) In July 2006, a warlord in the Kodori Valley area of northern Abkhazia, where many ethnic Svans reside, foreswore his nominal allegiance to the Georgian government.
In July 2006, a warlord in the Kodori Gorge area of Abkhazia, where many ethnic Svans reside, foreswore his nominal allegiance to the Georgian government.