Within the framework of the “Amazara” project of the World Abaza Congress and the ANO “Alashara”, another film dedicated to the Abkhazian armor was made about the intangible and cultural heritage of the Abkhaz-Abaza people.
The premiere of the new documentary “Abkhazian Armor” took place at the cultural and business platform “Guma”. The film reveals the portrait of an Abkhazian warrior, the elements and features of the armor, as well as the process of its reconstruction by the artist Batala Dzhapua. The film was directed by Daut Logua.
The presenter of the film was the head of the Department of Youth Development and Physical Education, Valery Berzenia. He talked about how the idea for creating the film came about.
“For several years now, the WAC has been implementing a project on the intangible cultural heritage of the Abkhazians and Abaza. We thought a lot about new ideas within the project. It was during this period that the artist Batal Dzhapua was recreating the armor of an Abkhazian warrior. We decided it would be interesting to make a film about it. That’s exactly how the idea was born,” Berzenia shared.
He also told about the progress of filming and the difficulties that arose during work.
“We were making a film about the armor of a 6th century warrior. The main problem was that it was difficult to collect information, since there are no full-fledged archival materials on this matter. However, by joint efforts together with Batal Dzhapua and Daut Logua, we managed to collect material and recreate the picture. Filming took place in Tsabal, where the artifacts were found,” Berzenia added.
In addition to the village of Tsabal, filming took place in the studio of the artist Batal Dzhapua, in the Museum of Military Glory named after. V.G. Ardzinba, Abkhazian State Museum and at the training ground of the “Afyrkhy“ shooting club. The film used archival materials from the family of archaeologist Yuri Voronov. The creators of the film express special gratitude to archaeologists Dmitry Schastny and Sandor Kaitan for their participation and professional approach to studying the material.
During the story, the filmmakers showed the audience how durable is Dzhapua’s armor. For this reason, they conducted a series of tests on it with military weapons of that time.
The director and screenwriter of the film, Daut Logua, spoke about the cultural value of the film.
“In my opinion, a person who does not ask questions about the history of his homeland lives an incomplete life. I myself was incredibly interested in immersing myself in part of our ancient history. We chose the theme of the combat uniform of Abkhazian warriors and tried to make a dynamic picture that modern viewers would love,” he said.
This is the second historical armor recreated by artist Batal Dzhapua. As the artist noted, making armor is effort and time consuming process. In addition to the armor itself, the full set includes a helmet, a cloak, and special types of weapons. The armor itself is assembled from small parts; they are called lamellar. It took Dzhapua 797 of these plates to create his armor.
“Since armor assembled from small parts was more often used in the old days, I also decided not to philosophize and recreate just such a thing. It was based on simple millimeter-thick iron. Actually, this is exactly what was used in the old days,” said Dzhapua.
However, he noted that in ancient times armor was made from different materials. The wearer of armor assembled from metal parts was always a warrior of the upper class. In addition, iron armor was coated with tin, silver, and gold so that it would not rust. The bright color was also used to identify warriors.
The documentary film “Abkhazian Armor” is already available on the website of the World Abaza Congress.