REFLECTION OF COMMUNICATION WITH THE OTHERWORLD IN GEORGIAN FOLKLORE (FEMALE MEDIUMS)
The Georgian mythological legends, in addition to the common earthly life, tell us about three parallel worlds: the heavenly kingdom, gathering of demon virtues and heavenly life. It is true that all the three were assumed to exist in a metaphysical world beyond the nature, but they were not a bit strange, inaccessible or unreal for a traditional man. As per the Khevsurian tradition, the contact with the supernatural creatures was established by preachers and elder, and the contact with the dead was established by mediums.
Traditional societies of east Georgian mountainous region and Khevsureti in particular were unimaginable without the people of this profession, as each member of the archaic society strongly believed in the heavenly world and kingdom of the dead.
It may be said that the elders, rulers of settlements, preachers and mediums were the people with excellent traditional knowledge and had special skills and abilities and by using a mythic word and ritual, they were able to cognize the beyond world and traces of other extraordinary virtues. It was the visions of the elders, rulers of settlements, preachers and mediums, which helped survive the mythological images of the beyond world.
Mediumship was the profession of women. The process of uttering the prophecy by female mediums was called “A retreat to spirit”. A female medium, in order to utter the prophecy, had to go to the spiritual world and inform the attending society about the wish of the spirits. The process of uttering the prophecy was improvised and artistic. However, it may be said that the medium had a kind of a ready traditional text of a prophecy, a certain pattern, which she could not change because the prophecy, preaching and mourning – all these texts, according to the Khevsurian oral tradition, were to made up of nine-syllable rhyme verses.
The female mediums were highly poetic. At the same time, they played an important role in the daily life of a traditional society.
Keywords: Gorgian folklore, Communication, mythos, Khevsuretian tradition, mountainous area of Eastern Georgia.