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Title: Georgians  
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George of Athos
David IV the Builder
Tamar the Great
Grand Mouravi
George Balanchine
Ilia II
Total population
5–7 million
Regions with significant populations
 Russia 157,803[2]
European Union ~250,000
 Turkey 100,000-1,500,000[3][4]
 Iran 100,000+[5]
 Israel 80,000[6]
 Ukraine 34,199[7]
 United States 30,000-100,000[8]
 Greece 27,400[9]-150,000+[10]
 United Kingdom 12,000[11]
 Azerbaijan 9,900[12]
 Austria 3,148[13]
 Kazakhstan 4,990[14]
 Canada 2,200[15]
 Belarus 2,400[16]
 Spain 11,231[17]
 Latvia 1,172[18]
 Argentina 1,050[19][20][21]
 Armenia 974[22]
Kartvelian languages
Predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christianity since 324 AD
(Georgian Orthodox Church)
Minority: Catholicism, Islam
Part of a series on
Ancient Kartvelian people
  • Music
  • Media
  • Sport
  • Calligraphy
  • Cinema
  • Cuisine
  • Dances
  • Costume
  • Calendar
  • Architecture
  • Mythology
  • Writing system
  • Dialects
  • Grammar
  • Georgian Orthodox Church
  • Christianity
  • Catholicism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
History of Georgia

Georgians (translit.: kartvelebi) are an indigenous Caucasian nation and ethnic group.

Georgians constitute a majority of the population in Turkey, Russia, Iran, the United States and to a smaller extent, the European Union.

The majority of Georgians are Catholic and Muslim communities in Tbilisi and Adjara.

A complex process of nation formation has resulted in a diverse set of geographic subgroups, each with its characteristic traditions, manners, Svan and Mingrelian, together with Laz spoken by the related Laz people form the Kartvelian language family.

Located in kings of Georgia.

To ensure its survival as a from 1918 to 1921, and finally, in 1991 from the Soviet Union.


  • Etymology 1
  • Origins 2
  • Appearance 3
  • Culture 4
    • Language and linguistic subdivisions 4.1
    • Religion 4.2
    • Cuisine 4.3
  • Geographic subdivisions and subethnic groups 5
    • Geographical subdivisions 5.1
      • Outside of modern Georgia 5.1.1
  • Notes 6
  • See also 7


Georgians call themselves Kartvelebi (ქართველები), their land Sakartvelo (საქართველო), and their language Kartuli (ქართული). According to Iberians.[23]


Most historians and scholars of Georgia as well as anthropologists, archaeologists and linguists tend to agree that the ancestors of modern Georgians inhabited the southern S. Kaukhchishvili and Z. Gamsakhurdia) came to the conclusion that Proto-Kartvelians might be related linguistically and culturally to the indigenous (pre-Indo-European) peoples of ancient Europe including the Pelasgians, Etruscans and Proto-Basques.

The Georgian people in antiquity have been known to the

The Eastern Roman Empire. Georgians remained mostly Christian despite repeated invasions by Muslim powers, and long episodes of foreign domination.

As was true elsewhere, the Christian church in Georgia was crucial to the development of a written language, and most of the earliest written works were religious texts. icons, and hagiographies of Georgian saints.

Today, 83.9% of the Georgian population, most of whom are ethnic Georgian, follow Eastern Orthodox Christianity.[46] However, many Georgians nominally identify themselves with Orthodox Christianity for traditional, cultural and historical reasons, with an estimated quarter of the population stating that religion does not necessarily play an important role in their day-to-day life.[47] Additionally, as of 2010, only 32% of the country's population attended religious services, suggesting strong secular influences.[48]

A sizable Georgian Georgian minority in Turkey are mostly Sunni Muslim.


Georgians having a feast at Supra and Tamada making a toast. Painting by Niko Pirosmani.

The vegetarian meals.

The importance of both food and drink to tamada (toastmaster) is an important and honoured position.

In countries of the former

See also

  1. ^ GeoStat.Ge (Jan 1, 2014). "Population". Retrieved Dec 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Итоги Всероссийской переписи населения 2010 года в отношении демографических и социально-экономических характеристик отдельных национальностей". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Levinson, David. Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook. Google Books. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Tore Kjeilen. "Turkey / Peoples - LookLex Encyclopaedia". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Universiteit van Amsterdam. "dhr. dr. B. (Babak) Rezvani - Universiteit van Amsterdam" (PDF). Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Joshua Project. "Country - Israel :: Joshua Project". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Всеукраїнський перепис населення 2001 - English version - Results - Nationality and citizenship - The distribution of the population by nationality and mother tongue - Selection:". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  8. ^ (Georgian) ქართული დიასპორა ამერიკის შეერთებულ შტატებში State Ministry on Diaspora Issues of Georgia
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ "დიასპორა - საქართველოს საელჩო საბერძნეთის რესპუბლიკაში". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  11. ^ (Georgian) ქართული დიასპორა დიდ ბრიტანეთში State Ministry on Diaspora Issues of Georgia
  12. ^ "Ethnic composition of Azerbaijan 2009". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  13. ^ STATISTIK AUSTRIA. "Bevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeit und Geburtsland". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  14. ^ Kazakhstan Census 2009
  15. ^ "Ethnocultural Portrait of Canada - Data table". 2 April 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  16. ^ (Russian) Белстат. Предварительные итоги переписи населения Беларуси 2009 г.
  17. ^ "Padrón municipal, cifras de población. Georgianos en España.". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  18. ^ (Latvian) Latvijas iedzīvotāju sadalījums pēc nacionālā sastāva un valstiskās piederības
  19. ^ [La migración reciente de Europa central y oriental a la Argentina. ¿Un tratamiento "especial"? por María José Marcogliese] Revista Argentina de Sociología, 2003.
  20. ^ Brisa Varela en "Geografías de la memoria: lugares, desarraigos y reconstitución identitaria en situación de genocidio"(EDULP, 2008)
  21. ^ [Los migrantes de Europa del Este y Central en el área metropolitana]INVESTIGACIÓN CAREF-OIM 1999-2002
  22. ^ 2011 Armenian Census
  23. ^ Braund, David. Georgia in Antiquity: A History of Colchis and Transcaucasian Iberia, 550 BC-AD 562, pp. 17-18
  24. ^ The Georgians, David Marshal Lang, p 19
  25. ^ The Georgians, David Marshal Lang, p 66
  26. ^ Georgia A Sovereign Country of the Caucasus, Roger Rosen, p 18
  27. ^ The Making of the Georgian Nation, Ronald Grigor Suny, p.4
  28. ^ a b c Cyril Toumanoff, Studies in Christian Caucasian History, p 80
  29. ^ Cyril Toumanoff, Studies in Christian Caucasian History, p 58
  30. ^ The Complete Works, Jewish Antiquities, Josephus, Book 1, p 57
  31. ^ The Georgians, David Marshal Lang, p 58
  32. ^ The Georgians, David Marshal Lang, p 59
  33. ^ Charles Burney and David Marshal Lang, The Peoples of the Hills: Ancient Ararat and Caucasus, p. 38
  34. ^ Cyril Toumanoff, Studies in Christian Caucasian History, p 57
  35. ^ CToumanoff. Cyril Toumanoff, Studies in Christian Caucasian History, p 69,84
  36. ^ Blumenbach , De generis humani varietate nativa (3rd ed. 1795), trans. Bendyshe (1865). Quoted e.g. in Arthur Keith, Blumenbach's Centenary, Man, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (1940).
  37. ^ The New Book of Knowledge — Grolier, Encyclopedia G. Article: GEORGIA, Republic of, By Alec Rasizade
  38. ^ "Anthropological treatises of Blumenbach and Hunter". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  39. ^ The concept of adaptation
  40. ^ 18 th and 19 th Century Pre-Darwinian views on variation
  41. ^ Battaglia V, Fornarino S, Al-Zahery N, et al. (June 2009). "Y-chromosomal evidence of the cultural diffusion of agriculture in southeast Europe". European Journal of Human Genetics 17 (6): 820–30.  
  42. ^ Toumanoff, Cyril, "Iberia between Chosroid and Bagratid Rule", in Studies in Christian Caucasian History, Georgetown, 1963, pp. 374-377. Accessible online at [5]
  43. ^ Rapp, Stephen H., Jr (2007). "7 - Georgian Christianity". The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity. John Wiley & Sons. p. 138.  
  44. ^ "GEORGIA iii. Iranian elements in Georgian art and archeology". Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  45. ^ "The Making of the Georgian Nation". Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  46. ^ 2002 census results - p. 132
  47. ^ Gallup Public Opinion Research, 2008 Gallup World Poll, Question:"Does religion occupy an important place in your life?" with possible answers of "Yes" and "No".
  48. ^ Gallup Public Opinion Research, 2010 Gallup World Poll, Question:"Have you attended a place of worship or religious service within the past 7 days?" with possible answers of "Yes" and "No".
  49. ^ Thomas Liles, "Islam and religious transformation in Adjara", ECMI Working Paper, February 2012, [6], accessed June 4, 2012
  50. ^ Mack, Glenn R.; Surina, Asele (2005). Food Culture In Russia And Central Asia. Greenwood Publishing Group.  
  51. ^ (Russian) Первая всеобщая перепись населения Российской Империи 1897 г.
  52. ^ (Russian) ССР ГРУЗИЯ (1926 г.)
  53. ^ "Dr Mathijs Pelkmans". Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  54. ^ Pelkmans,Mathijs. Defending the border: identity, religion, and modernity in the Republic of Georgia. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2006, pg. 80
  55. ^ "Ethnoarchaeology of Anatolia: rural socio-economy in the Bronze and Iron Ages". Jak Yakar. Google Books. Retrieved 26 May 2014. The Laz ethnic minority which numbers ca. 250,000 people 
  56. ^ "TURKEY - General Information". U.S. English Foundation Research. Retrieved 26 May 2014. The Laz live around Artvin and Rize and in larger cities. Their population varies between 500,000 and 1 million. 
  57. ^ a b Rezvani, Babak (Winter 2009). "The Fereydani Georgian Representation". Anthropology of the Middle East 4 (2): 52–74.  
  58. ^ a b "The Other Languages of Europe". Guus Extra & Durk Gorter. Google Books. Retrieved 26 May 2014. About 91,000 Muslim Georgians living in Turkey. 
  59. ^ "Türkiyedeki Kürtlerin Sayısı!".  
  60. ^ Ramet, Sabrina P. (1989). Religion and Nationalism in Soviet and East European Politics. Durham: Duke University Press. p. 187.  
  61. ^ Friedrich, Paul (1994). Encyclopedia of World Cultures: Russia and Eurasia, China (1. publ. ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall. p. 150.  


Subethnic groups Georgian name Settlement area Language
Number Difference(s) from mainstream Georgians
(other than location)
Laz people ლაზი lazi Chaneti (Turkey) Laz language 250,000-500,000[55][56] Religion: Muslim[3]
Fereydani ფერეიდანი Pereidani Fereydan (Iran) Pereidnuli dialect 100,000 + [57] Religion: Muslim[57]
Chveneburi ჩვენებური chveneburi Black Sea Region (Turkey) Georgian language 91,000[58]–1,000,000[59] Religion: Muslim[58]
Ingiloy people ინგილო ingilo Saingilo (Azerbaijan) Ingiloan dialect 12,000 Religion: Muslim majority,[60] Orthodox minority[61]
Shavshians შავში shavshi Shavsheti (Turkey) Imerkhevian dialect
Klarjians კლარჯი klarji Klarjeti (Turkey) Imerkhevian dialect


Outside of modern Georgia

The Georgian language.

Name Name in Georgian Geographical region Dialect or Language
Imeretians იმერელი imereli Imereti Imeretian dialect
Kartlians ქართლელი kartleli Kartli Kartlian dialect
Megrelians მეგრელი megreli Samegrelo Megrelian language
Svans სვანი svani Svaneti Svan language
Gurians გურული guruli Guria Gurian dialect
Adjarians აჭარელი achareli Adjara Adjarian dialect
Meskhetians მესხი meskhi Meskheti (Samtskhe) Meskhian dialect
Lechkhumians ლეჩხუმელი lechkhumeli Lechkhumi Lechkhumian dialect
Rachians რაჭველი rachveli Racha Rachian dialect
Kakhetians კახელი kakheli Kakheti Kakhetian dialect
Khevsurians ხევსური khevsuri Khevsureti Khevsurian dialect
Tushs თუში tushi Tusheti Tushetian dialect
Pshavians ფშაველი pshaveli Pshavi Pshavian dialect
Mokhevians მოხევე mokheve Khevi Mokhevian dialect
Javakhians ჯავახი javakhi Javakheti Javakhian dialect

Last names from mountainous eastern Georgian provinces (such as Kakheti, etc.) can be distinguished by the suffix –uri (ური), or –uli (ული). Most Svan last names typically end in –ani (ანი), Mingrelian in –ia (ია), -ua (უა), or -ava (ავა), and Laz in –shi (ში).

Even if a member of any of these subgroups moves to a different region, they will still be known by the name of their ancestral region. For example, if a Gurian moves to Tbilisi (part of the Kartli region) he will not automatically identify himself as Kartlian despite actually living in Kartli. This may, however, change if substantial amount of time passes. For example, there are some Mingrelians who have lived in the Imereti region for centuries and are now identified as Imeretian or Imeretian-Mingrelians.

The Georgians have historically been classified into various subgroups based on the geographic region which their ancestors traditionally inhabited.

Geographical subdivisions

Geographic subdivisions and subethnic groups



Fereydan dialect in Iran in Fereydunshahr and Fereydan, Mtiuletian, Meskhetian and Javakhetian dialect.

All of these languages comprise the Kartvelian language family along with the related language of the Laz people, which has speakers in both Turkey and Georgia.

Tbilisi, being in the eastern part of the country known as Kingdom of Iberia effectively making the language of the east an official language of the Georgian monarch.

Language and linguistic subdivisions


A study of human genetics by Battaglia, Fornarino, al-Zahery, et al. (2009) suggests that Georgians have the highest percentage of Y-DNA also belongs to Haplogroup J2 (31.8%), Haplogroup R1a (10.6%), and Haplogroup R1b (9.1%).[41]

Georgians who have historically lived in alpine areas of less sunny western Georgia, especially Svans, Gurians, and Mingrelians tend to have lighter features, with higher frequency of blond hair and light blue or green eyes.

Caucasian variety - I have taken the name of this variety from Mount Caucasus, both because its neighborhood, and especially its southern slope, produces the most beautiful race of men, I mean the Georgian; and because all physiological reasons converge to this, that in that region, if anywhere, it seems we ought with the greatest probability to place the autochthones (birth place) of mankind.[38][39][40]

The Georgian skull the German anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach discovered in 1795, he used to hypothesize origination of Europeans from the Caucasus. He wrote:

Georgians are of Caucasian race[36] and often have brown hair and brown eyes.[37]

Alpine type of Georgian, Svan. Mestia (1888 -1900)


Colchis appears as the first Caucasian State to have achieved the coalescence of the newcomer, Colchis can be justly regarded as not a proto-Georgian, but a Georgian (West Georgian) kingdom ... It would seem natural to seek the beginnings of Georgian social history in Colchis, the earliest Georgian formation.[35]

According to the scholar of the Caucasian studies Cyril Toumanoff:

[34][33] Both Colchians and

  • The ancient Jewish chronicle by [30]
  • [31]
  • Meskhetians.[28][32]
  • Iberia.[28]

Proto-Georgian Kingdoms/peoples:


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