Ingilos - Settlements

The Ingilos typically lived in dispersed settlements rather than planned, compact villages. Between the houses and farmsteads lay tilled fields, orchards, vegetable gardens, and vineyards. Some villages consisted of rows of houses on either side of a road. By contrast, in the mountainous regions of Saingilo, for the most part settled by migrants from Daghestan, the compact village predominated, owing to the scarcity of land. A well-appointed Ingilo farmstead was surrounded by a fence enclosing the living quarters and various outbuildings: mangers for the livestock, a torne (an oven for baking Georgian bread of the tandoori type), and so on. In most instances, the Ingilo home was a single-story stone building—though in certain regions wooden houses are also found, especially in the more densely forested areas along the Alazani River. The traditional home was comprised of two rooms: a larger room housing the members of the family, and a smaller room reserved for guests. The typical dwelling place had a packed-earth floor and a central hearth. Additional buildings, separate from the central residential complex, housed livestock. When the family holdings were divided, the buildings that had been used only during the summer became the permanent residences of some of the inheritors. Thus seasonal dwellings grew in the course of time into permanent villages.

Traditional family structures were still preserved in Saingilo as late as the first quarter of the twentieth century, and communal forms of life were still in evidence in social norms, behavior, forms of local government, and the like.

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