I was acquainted with this woman in 2009 when I was carrying out my field work. Her name is Asher, age 85. She is ethnic Khundz (one of the Dagestan ethnic groups). For a long time she has been living in the village Tivi in Georgia.
Asher’s curved back, wrinkled face, callous hands are reflecting her hard life. Asher is Moslem woman; it is seen by rosary hung on her neck. If we peruse we will see light, multicolored clothes. She tied her headscarf in rather peculiar way. It is in a good harmony with the orange rosary hung on her neck and the orange fabric as well tied around her waist as a belt. It is evident that this woman has the sense of beauty and esthetics.
This photo almost completely reflects one of the Asher’s ordinary days which she spends in prayers or working in the orchard.
Despite her age and health (she has asthma), she works in the orchard every day. She has the working tool in her hand which is called “nittle” in Khundzi language and in Georgian is “Namgali” (though Georgian “namgali” and Khundzi “nittle” are differing from each other by their form).
Asher has got 35$ pension monthly, which is spent for medicines, therefore she has to conduct daily labor in her small orchard.
Asher’s children live in Makhachkala (the capital of Dagestan).Because of the indigence and contemporary political situation (Russian- Georgian Border is closed and it is impossible to cross the border from Georgia to Dagestan) she has not seen her children for about 5 years. In order to arrive in Makhachkala she has to go to Azerbaijan and continue her way to Dagestan by coach. She needs an amount of money which is equal to her 2-3 years pension completely.
Despite the poverty, Asher is very cordial woman, at the moment displayed on the photo she has gone to the orchard in order to treat me (she does it free while in the Caucasus is said: “The Guest comes from the God”).
Despite all above mentioned, Asher is optimist and she believes that till she dies she will see her children.