In a culturally rich corner of Georgia, one family keeps a tradition alive.
There aren’t many people like Zaven Kirakosian left in the multi-ethnic southern Georgian region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, which borders both Armenia and Turkey. In fact, according to Kirakosian, the five remaining tinsmiths are members of his extended family, who like him, learned the craft from older family members.
Kirakosian, 42, lives in the main city of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Akhaltsikhe, where he has a tin workshop on a main street. Last summer, he gave Georgia’s TV 9 News a firsthand view of his craft, which he decided to pursue full time when his older brother died unexpectedly. He may be the last in a long line of relatives who have practiced the trade. He wants his own children to pursue a less “dirty” profession.