Khevsur - Sociopolitical Organization

Juridical matters were in most cases settled within the village community. The village elders functioned as judges and the qevisberi ("monk/priest of the ravine") as arbitrator. Any infraction could be completely indemnified, and an established canon of laws specified the offenses and their punishments. Up through the nineteenth century blood feuds were common among the Khevsur, hence the bearing of arms and armor. A person who was targeted for revenge could never feel entirely secure until the offense was expiated. At times feuds continued for generations, with grave consequences: entire clans or villages became embroiled in enmity. After killing an enemy, a man would cut off the dead foe's right hand and nail it to his house. Such trophies could be seen in Khevsureti up to the middle of this century.

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