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Living Invite Dead to Feast at Remote Mountaintop Village

Each year in the Georgian highland village of Adishi, the dead are invited home for a week-long family reunion. It is a time for celebration, but also for contemplation.

Perched more than 2,000 meters high in Georgia’s Svaneti region, Adishi, like many other Georgian mountain villages, is remote and has a rapidly decreasing population. The hamlet’s eight churches stand largely neglected. One villager claims that a 4th Century map of the area features Adishi, but snow plows seem at a loss to find the village today. Avalanches, however, have little such trouble.

Isolation from the modern world means Adishi’s villagers are now abandoning their mountainside perch for a better life in the valleys below. Fewer and fewer families remain to host their ghostly kin. It may just be a matter of time before the spirits of Adishi's ancestors -- along with their descendants -- will have no homes left to call their own.

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Temo Bardzimashvili is a freelance photojournalist based in Tbilisi.

Living Invite Dead to Feast at Remote Mountaintop Village

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