During my ^tay in the U.S.S.R. from which I returned only a month ago, I had the opportunity of visiting the district of Swanfetia in the Central Caucasus on two occasions. This district consists of a few isolated conmninities situ¬ ated far within the recesses of the mountains at the south¬ ern base of the great snow peaks which comprise the Central Caucasus, "^s —'¦ ' •-"'¦¦¦'^'—"•
The first visit was made in August with an Open Hoad party, V/e crossed the main range hy the Dongusorun Pass, (10,493 ft,), and then traversed Swanetia and came out of the mountains at Kutais. I had planned to take moving pictures of these moxmtain people showing their life and customs as wellaas some of the beautiful scenery of the region, hut little could he done on this first trip as our six days in Swanetia were mostly spent in traveling,
ILater on in the middle of October I returned to Swanetia with my interpreter,- the main purpose being the completion of this film, Y.e had procured most valuable assistance from members of the Sxecutive Committee of Swanetia whom we had met in LIoscow, They were very anxious to have my film finished and then shown in the United States and therefore had given us letters and passes, and even placed at our disposal one of their members to act as guide.
This second trip proved a great success so that we »». were able to complete our picture in four weeks. At the same time we became very interested in the problems confronting these people as well as their past history.
The actual origin of the Swans is as yet unknown, but it is generally agreed that they sprang from the Kart-