The Mountain Shepherds
March 5, 2018 1:43 AM   Subscribe

Every autumn one of the world's most spectacular animal migrations takes place in a little-visited corner of Georgia. Tag along with one band of shepherds as they make their deadly, boozy journey from the mountains of Tusheti to the plains of Kakheti.

Photographer Amos Chapple previously, previouslyer, previousliest.
posted by smoke (6 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
There's a cute puppy in there! Beautiful story.
posted by mumimor at 3:17 AM on March 5

Great story, great photos. Thanks for posting it, smoke.
posted by rmmcclay at 4:24 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]

Its a shame the author didn't describe what the shepherds were doing with the chacha in any more detail, one of them acted as Tamada to toast in the traditional fashion.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:05 AM on March 5

Those were beautiful photos.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:51 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]

The breed boasts a wobbly lump of fat above the hind legs that serves as a kind of emergency energy reserve.

This is the magic fat that serves as every odd cube on a proper lamb shashlyk -- meat, fat, meat, fat, meat. It melts like butter in your mouth.

This is not specific to this breed. These are the typical and normal sheep of Central Asia, because what use is a sheep without the nice big pouch of butt-fat to make shashlyk?? Western breeds without this are an abomination, like a chicken that doesn't lay eggs or a cow that gives no milk.

I mentioned to friends in Dushanbe that sheep in the west do not have the butt-fat. We had a good laugh about that.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:50 AM on March 5 [10 favorites]

A friend of mine worked (maybe still is this summer?) on the Trans-Caucus trail, and he said it was the most beautiful place he’s ever built trails. The trail crew (mostly westerners) relies a lot on the local populations to find the best way through the mountains, figuring they’d already found the most efficient routes over the eons.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:04 AM on March 5 [3 favorites]

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