Introduction / History Strong Women. The Avar Gid [pronounced 'Geed'] woman proudly commented, "We women do almost all the work and the men do almost nothing." "How do you put up with that?" the cultural observer asked. "Oh, if we waited for the men to do the work, then nothing would get done!"
Strong separation of male and female in society and in work roles is the way not only of the Batlukh/Gid peoples and the Avar, but of all mountain peoples in Dagestan. 'Transgression' of these strict separate roles is enforced by shame. For example, one mountain village in Dagestan is known as 'The Village Where a Man Milked a Cow." That is a shameful designation. Women's work covers everything related to the house, the harvest, and the animals. Men are responsible for plowing, sowing & cutting hay; and for security and travel. One objective observer in a Dagestani mountain village concluded that the strict division of labor leaves about 70% in the women's category and 30% in the men's category. The locals would say, "That's the way it's always been." Yes, life is hard for Dagestani village women. Grace is needed.
The closely-related Batlukh, Gid language groups are located in the central highlands of the Avar region of Dagestan, spreading out in villages on both sides of the mountainous Avar-Koisu River—Batlukh to the west of the river, and Gid to the east of the river. The languages are in the Avar language family, but are so distinct as to be mutually unintelligible from dominant Avar. This region has been fiercely Muslim for hundreds of years.
Where are they located? Names of Batlukh villages [west of river]:
Verkhnii Batlukh, Nizhnii Batlukh, Andiikh, Mogokh, Zanata, Assab, Golotl', Nakitl', Koroda, Kara-dakh and Kheb-da
Names of Gid villages [east of river]:
Goor-Khindakh, Nizhnii Kolob, Goor, Ka-khib, Kho-toda, Urada , Ti-dib, Gen-ta, Ma-chada, Khin-dakh, Ru-gel'da, So-moda, Gidatl', Urukh-Sota, Novi Urada, Sa-chada, Tlyakh and Khu-chada
Prayer Points * Pray for the love of God, the grace of Jesus, and the infusing strength of the Holy Spirit (II Cor.13:14) to come to the Batlukh and Gid villages. There are many historic strengths in these cultures and qualities of beauty, but the Fruit of the Spirit is deeply needed to release locked-up potential.
* Pray for bridges of true friendship to be built from representatives of Jesus' grace to friends within these villages-Matt.9:36-38.
* Pray for courage among 'People of Peace' (Luke 10:6) to respond to the Gospel--Acts 16:30.