Julietta I and her friend Adelina in front of Adelinas house..
Being widow in the village.

Text and photo
Eistein Guldseth, 2004
    The crossroad.  
        THE WOMEN IN
Nikortsminda live much longer than their husbands, and spend their time killing chickens, cleaning things, playing cards, and have their meetings at the crossroad; a place where people meet and bury their enemies verbally, or becomes friends again. From there you can observe everything in the village. The water post is nearby so everybody must pass the crossroad to get anywhere around

here. Nothing happens at the crossing in daytime, but in the evening they start to come from the different corners they live in. Just to have a chat and some gossip. After some hours the widows go home and usually play cards, or watch the popular Mexican soap-opera capturing all Georgian women nowadays, also the older and wiser. But then there’s time to go to bed…

The night sisters.
It can be scary to be a single widow all alone in the village. One foggy afternoon a cow was taken by a bear. So to make things less scary they sleep in each others houses, two by two, so no one need to be afraid. They change partners from time to time.

Jujuna I (83) is one of the toughest and has most night friends. These days she sleeps together with Jujuna II, the former district doctor.

Jujuna II (84) knows what is to know about illness in the district: "Everything was ok before they built the dam (Shaori)", she says. "Then climate changed and people started to get asthma, bronchitis and all sorts of lung deseases. Everybody protested against that dam, but nobody listened. So the health problems started to show up".

Adelina (83) is the third nightsister. She already has a gravestone with her picture on the cemetery. She thought she was going to die soon after her husband so she ordered a gravestone with both his and her pictures and names on it. That was back in the eighties, and the picture does not resemble her much anymore.

The annoying relatives.
At the crossing they regularly complain about problems with relatives taking them away from the village during the winter. This year both Jujuna I and Jujuna II had been forced to stay the winter in Tbilisi together with relatives because they start to get old. Jujuna I managed to escape after 3 months and thinks Jujuna II, which stayed for over 4 months are starting to get soft.

UPDATE 2008.
Jujuna I is still going strong, but Adleina suffered a stroke and is lying helpless in her bed. Jujuna II had a nasty fracture in her heap, and is indisposed staying by her relatives away from the village.

I wish them well.

Jujuna 1 on her way to the crossing.


Adelina at her fence waitng for Jujuna I.

Jujuna II already arrived at the crossing.