[GEORGIA / PHOTOGRAPHY] Картвельское Племя / Kartvel’skoe plemia [i.e., Georgian tribes]

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ROSTOMOV, I[VAN] P[AVLOVICH] (Photographs and texts by)

E. I. Kheladze, Tiflis - Tbilisi, 1896.

Original burgundy cloth with rebacked modern brown morocco spine and corners, title gilt on the front board bilingual in Georgian and Russian, with decorative borders, and original front and back endpapers. Oblong folio. (34 x 26 cm). In Russian and Georgian. [2], 60 p., profusely illustrated with reproduced lithograph photos. Fading on gilt letterings on front board, occasional foxing on pages. Overall, a very good copy. As a fine provenance trace, “Sardion’ Dimitrievich Abuladze” seal on the title page, probably a member of the Chelishchev family of which Russian nobility, known from the end of the 15th century. The surname may come from the Turkic (Kazan-Tatar) nickname Chalysh, which means "oblique".

Rare lithograph album including remarkable and very attractive ethnographic 86 photographs of Georgian peoples living in the region with all subethnic groups: Adjarians, Gurians, Kartlians, Imeretians, Imerkhevtsy, Ingiloys, Lechkhumians, Kakhetians, Javakhetians, Meskhetians, Mokhevtsy, Mtiuly, Pshavy, Rachintsy, Tushintsy, Fereydans, Chveneburi people, taken by 19th-century Russian photographer Rostomov.

In his preface to the album, Rostomov first promotes a Georgian album of 200 photographs that will be published in 1897 (one year after this album). After stating how readers can obtain this album and giving a contact address, he describes the geography where the Georgian people live whom he calls the "Kartveli Tribe” with the help of Vakhusti (1696-1757) descriptions who was a Georgian royal prince geographer, historian, and cartographer.

The Georgians have historically been classified into various subgroups based on the geographic region that their ancestors traditionally inhabited. 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 living in Kartli. This may, however, change if a 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.

Overall, a historically significant album documenting the Georgian peoples in the late 19th century visually and beautifully in their ethnographic garments and clothes, with their special arms, shields, horses, etc.

As of January 2024, we could not trace any copies in the OCLC.