Shepherd's Life

About us

Preserving the ancient shepherd culture in the Caucasus and supporting it through sustainable tourism

The migration of the shepherds and their animals belongs to the Cultural heritage of Georgia and the Caucasus. It plays an important role in the balance, in the biodiversity and in the food cycle of the whole ecosystem.

“Shepherd’s Life” researches and documents the state of sheep farming in Georgia and beyond in the entire Caucasus region. We examine the relationships between traditional economies in the field of tension between human-animal-environmental efficiency and their future prospects.

For the preservation of the biodiversity of the Caucasus is the protection of the transhumance migration of the shepherds between Summer and Winter pastures is of great importance.

For example, traditional sheep breeding in Eastern Georgia is part of a unique ecosystem in the Caucasus region that fulfills a variety of important functions in the landscape, culture and habitat for people, plants and animals.

The history of the Tusheti region and its culture is inconceivable without nomadic sheep farming.

We plan and implement projects to record and support the Caucasian semi-nomadic shepherd culture.

We are friends and lovers of the shepherd culture and have registered as a non-profit organization under Georgian law under “Shepherd’s Life” and the registration number: 404605744

Together we are working on the idea of ​​maintaining the shepherd’s life in its balanced interaction with nature and improving the conditions for the shepherds and their animals.

We that are

Hans Heiner Buhr, Steffi Born, Ketevan Tchelidze, Vera Tsertsvadze and Zaza Abaloidze and our office is in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The history of the Tusheti region and its culture is inconceivable without nomadic sheep farming.
We want to secure the preservation of the intangible cultural heritage “sheep breeding” and promote economically oriented sheep breeding in Georgia.

This includes the direct sale of wool, skins, meat, sausage, ham, milk and cheese and it requires a special effort to show the added value of products from animal welfare compared to factory farming for the consumer and for the environment.

Traditional sheep farming in Eastern Georgia is part of a unique ecosystem made up of diverse components and protects soil, water, air and habitats for endangered plants and animals.

Ecosystem Shepherds
Ecosystem Shepherds

For several years we have dedicated ourselves to the unique semi-nomadic sheep farming in Georgia. Through our close personal contacts with the shepherds, an impressive German-language documentary was made in 2005 with our help.

Later a travel idea arose from this, which we offer with the company “Kaukasus-Reisen” under the name “Cattle Drive Tusheti” and which we carry out annually with interested German, Austrian and Swiss guests. With this we were able to contribute a small part to the appreciation of the Georgian shepherd culture with its impressive history, the traditions, the exciting legends, the language and the wonderful dances and songs. We have invited journalists and photographers to Georgia several times, who then reported in well-known German media about their experiences with the shepherds.

In 2019 we decided to set up our own sheep farm together with two Tushetian shepherds, thereby preserving the job description of the shepherd. For a long time we have noticed that the number of professional shepherds and herds in the country is decreasing and we can also testify to the significant effects this has on the environment and nature in Vashlovani and especially in Tusheti.