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Georgian Dress Chokha

A ‘chokha’ is a distinctive traditional men’s garment made of wool that can be either black or white and occasionally claret.

A long time ago, Georgian people denied the national style of dress in favor of European dress and for years the only place where the national garment could be seen was at Georgian folk group performances. For our ancestors it was an indispensable piece of clothing, but nowadays if someone appeared in public dressed in a chokha people would most likely peg the individual as a member of a musical or dance ensemble, or person who belongs to the societies of "Chokhosani”. The "Chokhosani” wear the chokha and adhere to a certain, patriotic code of conduct and ideology. In the Russian language, a chokha is called ‘cherkeska’.

According to the free encyclopedia there are three kinds of chokha: Khevsuruli, Kartl-Kachetian and General Caucasian.

The Khevsuruli chokha was worn in the Khevsureti province of Georgia in the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Khevsuruli chokha is considered to be the closest to the medieval version of chokha. It is mostly short with trapezoid shapes. The front side of the chokha has rich decorations and cuts on the sides, which extend to the waist. The Khevsuruli chokha has rich decorations made up of crosses and icons.

The Kartl-Kakheti chokha is longer than the Khevsuruli chokha and has triangle-like shapes on the chest exposing the inner cloth called arkhalukhi. The bottom sides usually have cuts on the sides and it is usually worn without a belt. The Kartli-Kakheti chokha has long sleeves and mostly is black or dark red for men, and blue for women.

The general Caucasian chokha shares similarities with the Kartl-Kakheti version, with the exception of having bandoliers sewn horizontally across both sides of the chest. In most cases different decorations are used to fill the bullet spaces. This type of chokha has black leather belts decorated with silver pieces.

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