THE SUPRA IS A RITUAL FORM OF TOASTING, DRINKING, AND DINING. A SUPRA MARKS ALMOST EVERY OCCASION WORTH CELEBRATING, MOURNING, OR OTHERWISE GATHERING FOR.
Niko Pirosmani (self portrait, 1900), was an orphan from Kakheti who made a living by painting dining scenes on pub walls. Shortly after his death, he was featured in an exhibition of Georgian painters in France and became recognized as a prominent example of the 'naive'. He subsequently became a national figure in Georgia and France.
IN THE SUPRA, THE TOASTMASTER, OR TAMADOBA, LEADS DINERS THROUGH A SERIES OF TOASTS THAT PAY RESPECT TO TRADITIONAL HIERARCHIES BY SOCIAL POSITION. THE SUPRA IS A FORM OF GATHERING THAT LINKS INDIVIDUAL EVENTS TO LARGER COLLECTIVE STRUCTURES VARIOUS SCALES -- FROM THE NATION TO THE FAMILY AND BACK OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND THE SOIL OF THE COUNTRY.
FAMILIES ARE THE MOST COMMON HOSTS OF SUPRAS, WHICH MARK IMPORTANT MILESTONES IN THE GROWTH OF A FAMILY
AT A NATIONAL SCALE THE SUPRA IS MOBILIZED AS A SYMBOL OF GEORGIA'S ETHNIC PLURALISM -- SHOWN HERE THROUGH THE PRESENCE OF TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY FORMS OF DRESS REPRESENTING THREE DIFFERENT RAIONIS OR REGIONS
THE SUPRA IS ALSO A QUINTESSENTIAL EXPERIENCE FOR THE TOURIST IN GEORGIA
THE SUPRA FORMS A RITUAL TOPOLOGY THAT ATTRACTS AND CELEBRATES COLLECTIVITY AT VARIOUS SCALES -- FROM THE FAMILY TO FRIENDS AND ENTIRE VILLAGES OR NEIGHBORHOODS.