Ingilos - Religion and Expressive Culture

Throughout the territory of Saingilo, despite the spread of Islam, impressive and original religious edifices are to be found: the Monastery of the Mother of God at Gishi, the Kurmukhi monastery of Saint George, the Basilica of the Mother of God at Kum, and many other monasteries, churches, and ruins of fortified cities (e.g., Mach'i). Among the more widely observed Christian feast days is Kurmukhoba, the festival of Saint George at Kurmukhi, which is particularly interesting in that the shrine is visited by both Christians and Muslims. In Saingilo there are also ruins of shrines pertaining to individual clans. At Easter or other feast days the various Christian Ingilo clans gather at the spots of these ancient shrines, present sacrifices, and invoke God for the protection and increase of the clan. In Saingilo, besides Christian and Muslim rituals, traditional religious beliefs and practices were maintained, which found expression in all spheres of human activity (e.g., marital relations, funeral ceremonies, domestic economy, folk medicine). Fortune-telling, sorcery, belief in demonic spirits, and the like were widespread.

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