28 March 2018


The remains of the village Parsma are  situated in the historical geographic area of  Tusheti, in  Kaketi region, Eastern Georgia. Built on the wayside hillocks of the left shore of the Pirikita Alazani (in Pitrikita community) it belongs to Akhmeta municipality and is 40 km distance from Omalo. There are 9 monuments of material culture in the village and local house-fortresses belong to cultural heritage of national importance.

It can be supposed that in old days, Parsma used to be the religious center in Piriqita Valley.

The Kaadze is the prevailing family name in Parsma. Supposedly, the three fortress-houses close to one another belong to the Kaadzes as they lived together in several towers which were linked to one another (these linking constructions have not survived). The inhabitants themselves called them “terraced houses”. The fortress with a top was built by Kisti father and son who were from Bauli. It was usual to ask the Kistis for help in construction during the peaceful times.  

There are heaps of stones at the passage of Qachu mountain which were thrown there at the order of Murtaz by his army.  Sergi Makalatya gives an interesting account about Murtaz’s invasion and the siege of Parsma fortress. He writes as follows: “According to the folk tradition Murtaz, the naib of Chechens and Ingushs attacked Parsma with a numerous army. He found it difficult to count his warriors. To solve this, Murtaz ordered them to take a stone each and throw it at a certain place and thus there grew a heap of stones.

Murtaz used a cannon for attacking Parsma fortress. The fortress had been well fortified by the villagers and it stood strong. Then Murtaz is said to order to explode the fortress. Tushetians found out about it and one of them, a woman, named Kakho’s Tina dipped her headscarf into melted butter and threw it in the enemy trench where it exploded.

Soon the Khesuris appeared with their flags and their cult of Kopala was welcomed by Saint George icon of Parsma.  This event was followed by a thunder-storm. Panic-stricken enemy fled and defeated Murtaz ran away too. The Tushetians took the cannon away from Murtaz and it is still kept in the village of Chesho. It has an Arabian inscription: “amali ahmad” (Ahmad’s job). While fleeing in order to assess the amount of casualty Murtaz is said to command fighters to take stones away with them, one by each. One third of the stones are still there at Qachu passage and it is called Murtaz’s  Gokh (Murtaz’s stone).