National men and women clothing in Georgia
Georgian national men’s costumes
Chokha is national Georgian clothing. There are some varieties according to the historical and ethnographic sides. As it is known, Chokha was a part of the traditional man’s wear in peoples of the Caucasus and in Georgia as well.
The Chokha is a wool coat, typically worn by men, with cartridge holders on the chest. They were once basic folds, later made to hold bullets and gunpowder; now, they are simply ornamental.
There are four types of Chokha: Kartl-Kakhetian Chokha (Kartli and Kakheti are eastern provinces of Georgia), Khevsuretian Chokha (from georgia’s Khevsureti Region), Adjarian Chokha, also called Chakura (mainly found in western Georgia provinces such as Adjara and Guria and also used in Lazeti that is now part of republic of Turkey), and General Caucasian Chokha which resembles Kartl-Kakhetian Chokha but it is slightly longer.
Chokha-Akhalukhi, with its cartridge holders on the chest, was a comfortable clothing for the fighters.
of the effective functionality of Chokha-Akhalukhi boosted its spread from Georgia to North Caucasus. From North Caucasus, it was spread among the Cossacks.
At the end of the XIX century and early XX century the firearms have been replaced and the practical value of the bullet holders was lost, but it still remained as the inseparable trait of the Chokha and the symbol of men’s bravery.
Chokha is still used in Georgia as a symbol of national pride, and is frequently worn by Georgian men at special occasions, weddings, celebrations, etc. Worn by Georgians for more than thousand years, the high-necked wool coat was rarely seen during Soviet rule, but now, for many it demonstrates pride in the country’s past and serves as a symbol of national identity. It is noteworthy that this beautiful man’s wear became an inspiration to many outstanding Georgian designers, most notably David Koma, who integrated elements from national Georgian costume in his collections.
Georgian national women’s costumes
Traditional women’s clothing in Georgia is very beautiful. It is a long dress called “kartuli”, tightly belted, with ornate bodice and long laps. The belt is beautifully decorated, almost floor-length.
Georgian headdress needs special attention. It consists of “lechaki” (triangle white veil of tulle), “kopi” (thin bolster made of silk and cotton), “chikhta” (cardboard rim sewed with velvet), “baghdadi” (dark kerchief), and “chadri” (large calico veil, that covers the whole body with the exception of face or only eyes).
Rich Georgian women wore bright red, yellow, white, blue or green dresses. Clothing was beautifully decorated, but not too much.
Outerwear was made of bright velvet or silk with fur lining. It was called “katibi”.
Women liked jewelry very much. Jewelry was made of red coral and amber. Also, Georgian women used slight make-up (blush, hair, and eyebrows dye), that accentuated their features. There is a special Georgian hairdo – several (usually four) long braids.