The interconnected clay wine vessel making tradition – Marani

The Khachapuri Tradition in Georgia
23/03/2021
Interview with H.E. Tamara Liluashvili, Ambassador of Georgia to the Republic of Bulgaria
02/04/2021
Marani – The interconnected clay wine vessel making tradition
Not inscribed on the National ICH Registry of Georgia
Domain: Traditional Craftsmanship

 

Georgia is famous for its wine making traditions, which also include the diversity of wine vessels of peculiar types. Amongst these is the Marani, which is a clay wine drinking vessel with a circular duplex structure. The lower section is generally an openwork pot (the base) serving as a foundation for the upper section. The upper section consists of many small open-top bulbous vessels resting on and interconnected by means of a hollow tube which rests on the rim of the “foundation. The main figure of the upper section is a zoomorphic sculptural ram or stag head from whose open mouth one drinks the wine. They were generally featured in ceremonial drinking as a shared drink typical for Georgian table culture (supra). Due to its complex structure the Marani making requires special knowledge and skills, which have been passed from generation to generation. Today this tradition is endangered as there are only few masters, which still maintain this practice. Amongst them is the Tatulashvili family workshop in Gori, where typical works such as zoomorphic jars and various types of special connected vessels are still made. This tableware is marked by the typical color combinations of semi-transparent white or yellow background adorned with greenish patterns.

The element is endangered. There is no Government support on policy level, however the Local Government in Gori has arranged the special museum in Tatulashvili family workshop, which is the main center of Marani-making today. Georgian Heritage Crafts Association, as an umbrella organization uniting more then 300 crafts makers in Georgia, also strongly supports transmission of these traditions by promoting (festivals, masterclasses) these crafts skills and offering marketing and technical (grant schemes) to the experienced and young masters involved in Marani-making.

Links: Marani video