Azerbaijan celebrates Carpet Weavers' Day in historical Shusha city [PHOTO/VIDEO]
By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani carpets have never ceased to amaze with their harmony of colors and unique patterns.
In 2010, UNESCO included Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
According to their technical aspects, they are classified as flat-woven (pileless) and knotted (pile).
The flat-woven carpets are linked to the earlier period of carpet weaving. There are several kinds of pileless carpets such as Shadda, Verni, Jejim, Zilli, Sumakh, Kilim, and Palas.
Celebration in Shusha
Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art has been highlighted in Shusha. Through an interactive performance, the Azarkhalcha OJSC has delighted the guests of the International Culinary Festival with the history of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan.
The Azarkhalcha OJSC presented an interactive performance related to the carpet weaving process.
The performance was dedicated to the Carpet Weaver's Day traditionally celebrated on May 5.
The event highlighting the traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving aroused great interest among the audience as the visitors themselves also took part in the weaving process.
Carpet Museum events on remarkable day
The National Carpet Museum (ANCM) has celebrated Carpet Weaver's Day with several events.
First, the museum held a ceremony of cutting the carpet, named Thoughts, off the loom.
In her speech, Carpet Museum Director, Honored Cultural Worker Shirin Malikova noted that in 2016 President Ilham Aliyev ordered establishing the Carpet Weaver's Day on May 5.
"Our museum has a wonderful team, wonderful artists and carpet weavers, who have been doing very important and necessary work for many years. The museum has a very rare collection of carpets, and from year to year, it is enriched with new exhibits. On the basis of these rare and ancient carpets, the museum conducts research work, creates small replicas of these carpets, and studies ancient technologies of carpet weaving art. We also revive technologies that have been forgotten. Along with this, the Traditional Technologies Department creates experimental carpets," she said.
The carpet Thoughts was created in 2021 based on a sketch by artist Eldar Ibadullayev, the winner of the international carpet sketch competition, organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum for the 880th anniversary of the great Azerbaijani poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi.
For seven months, weavers from the museum's Traditional Technologies Department worked on the carpet. Carpet artists, including the museum's chief artist, Honored Artist Tarier Bashirov, also took part in the preparation of a technical sketch, color selection, etc.
Honored Artist Tarier Bashirov mainly works in the abstract genre, and it took him about a month to create a sketch of the Thoughts carpet.
For the first time, his work has been transferred to the carpet. With the use of carpet ornaments, the artist brilliantly created a portrait of the Azerbaijani poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi. A total of 40 colors and shades were used for the carpet sketch.
On Carpet Weaver's Day, the museum also held a master class on weaving patterned hasir mats.
Mats, the earliest samples of which date back to the Neolithic era, are considered the "ancestors" of the Azerbaijani carpets.
An indispensable household item for centuries, they also had artistic value due to their delicate designs. Unfortunately, today this art form is gradually disappearing.
Therefore, the Carpet Museum is implementing the project "Sustainable development of cultural heritage: the art of weaving mats" in order to attract public attention to the protection and revival of this craft.
At the invitation of the museum, the master class is conducted by Rufat Rzayev, a resident of Astara's Kakalos village.
On their professional holiday, the museum staff did not forget about young visitors.
The puppet show "Flying Carpet" was greeted with great interest. The performance was staged by the museum's Kids Department within the Year of Shusha in Azerbaijan to popularize Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art among youth.
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Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lamiva993