Sketches of Western Georgia by Don Cristoforo de Castelli (1631-1652)

Don Cristoforo de Castelli was a 17th century Italian missionary from Genoa. He arrived in the Caucasus in 1630, and kept a detailed sketchbook throughout his travels between Catholic missions in the region of Samegrelo, then an independent kingdom.

Woman in labor on the road. Facts of life that stop me from wishing I was born in olden times.

Woman in labor on the road

Chained mingrelian (war prisoner?  at a slave market? not clear)

Chained mingrelian (prisoner of war and/or at a slave market; unclear)

at a church near Abkhazia

at a church near Abkhazia

Construction of a house and winepress

Construction of a house and winepress

Fight over an Abkhaz woman

Fight over an Abkhaz woman

Lunch at the mission

Lunch at the mission

Market near a church

Market near a church

Mingrelian woman and child

Mingrelian woman and child

on the mission

on the mission

Local form of polo

Local form of polo

Pressing grapes

Pressing grapes

Reconciliation between the rulers of Samegrelo and Imereti

Reconciliation between the rulers of Samegrelo and Imereti

A brigand and a herdsman

A brigand and a herdsman

Sermon in Guria

Sermon in Guria

Ship full of slave children

Ship full of slave children

Shroma, the Dadianis' home village

Shroma, the Dadianis’ home village

holy spring near a church

holy spring near a church

Svan woman on a horse

Svan woman with a musket

Svan woman with a musket

Bandore (chonguri?) player in Guria

Bandore (chonguri?) player in Guria

Baptism/christening in Samegrelo

Baptism/christening in Samegrelo

Sources

Don Cristoforo de Castelli, Wikimedia Commons

Slideshow by Shorena Kurtsikidze of UC Berkeley

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