Azerbaijani poetess Khurshudbanu Natavan

Baku, March 2, AZERTAC

Prominent for her charity and social activity, eminent Azerbaijani poetess Khurshudbanu Natavan was first to provide her home city Shusha with drinking water. She was born in August 1832 in the city of Shusha. Natavan was educated at home. She headed the Shusha literary circle Medzhlisi uns (A Gathering of Friends), which had creative ties with similar circles in other cities of Azerbaijan. Natavan wrote lyric poetry, most of which is permeated with grief for her son who died at an early age, for example, “I Cry” and “He Left.” However, her poetry also touches on social issues, particularly women’s lack of rights in society.

Natavan was the daughter of Mehdiqulu khan Javanshir, the last khan of Karabakh.

After her father's death, Natavan was closely engaged in philanthropy, promoting the social and cultural development of Karabakh. Among her famous deeds was a water main that was first laid down in Shusha in 1883, thus solving the water problem of the townsfolk. The local Russian "Kavkaz" newspaper wrote at the time: "Khurshud Banu-Begum left an eternal mark in the memories of the Shushavians and her glory will pass on from generation to generation". The springs built by Natavan from famous Shusha white stones were called by the townsfolks "Natavan springs" and were also considered historical monuments under protection.

Alexandre Dumas describes meeting her in his book “Travels in the Caucasus”.

Natavan died in 1897 in Shusha. As a sign of respect, people carried her coffin on their shoulders all the way from Shusha to Aghdam, some 30 km north-east, where she was buried in a family vault.

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