Vendetta: by Lalita Kushanashvili

Pankisi Gorge is wealthy with a variety of traditions and customs that are valuable for all the Pankisi settlements.

 One of the painful and interesting customs is the rule of vendetta 

 that in highly cultural and developed civilization era is exceptional still actual still exists in Vainakhs.

In middle ages after murdering  (it does not matter what was the motives, on purpose, or by accident) the murderer escapes from and finds shelter far away from victim’s tribe.

After  knowing about the murdering, the victims tribe are flocking to make the decision of vendetta. The killer and his close relations (brother, uncle, cousin) are obliged to hide.

Murdered tribe commander has two choices: one was to forgive murderer for committing the crime. The other one is to  give 120 cows to the  prejudiced family for forgiving  feud. If they are forgiven the blood, the murderer has to go to the victim’s grave. He wears a white belt around the waist and asks for forgiveness. Occasionally, the murderer dressed in shroud, lies on the grave and stays until being forgiven.

In case he is forgiven, the killer has to be modest toward the murdered family members.

Sometimes, murderer is accused with the crime, which is pretty hard for murderer’s family. If he dies, the revenge victim of vendetta can be his brother or cousin instead of him. The rule of vendetta still exists in Pankisi Valley, which influences a young generation in many ways and causes imperfection in their living lives.