Marts: the village, the mountains and life in between

Following the scent of the newly sprouted grass, the herd ascends the mountain. The locals say the herd’s first stop is the closest mountain and then the farthest one.

Most inhabitants of Marts village (Lori region) go to the mountains to work every year, and some even go with their families. A pair of extra hands in the mountains is always helpful.

While the men tend to the livestock, the women collect winter supplies – seasonal herbs and berries.

When night starts to fall, the mountain people call to one another to gather in one of their homes. Sitting around tables covered with goods from the mountains, they have endless conversations about everyday problems and geopolitics.

Nine-year-old Solina has rushed to her elderly neighbor’s orchard in her party dress to help pick apples.

We’re invited to return to the village in the winter to taste apple vodka.

Young brides and children generally don’t go to the mountains.

Arpik is one of the few women who spends most of the year in the mountains with her husband. She collects winter supplies there.

Rustic still life

The sweetest, most delicious raspberries grow in the orchard cultivated by Meliné.

Pigeon farming is common here.

Six-year-old Voskan has no idea what it means to go up the mountains yet.

The only thing higher than the mountains are the mountains themselves.

Anatoly and Arpik are vets on the mountain.

It’s the end of haymaking season, and there’s no need to worry about winter supplies. All the barns are stocked up!

The new residents on the mountain.

“The bees recognize my face, that’s why they don’t sting me,” jokes beekeeper Harutyun.

The women are very serious about milking and even have special uniforms.

Feeding guests well is every mountain person’s sacred duty.

Grandma Aghoun is making a bouquet to dry the wild mint.

Samvel, “The Lord of Animals”, lives in the mountains with 5 dogs and 7 cats. He admits to loving the cats more.

Manushak spends 8 months of the year in the mountains.

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