The Azerbaijan State News Agency

CULTURE

Traditional crafts of Azerbaijan: takalduz, chests and weaving of reeds

Baku, September 17, AZERTAC

Azerbaijan is rich in traditions, developed over many centuries, an important place among which is occupied by folk handicrafts. Each city and region of the country is distinguished by the development of various kinds of crafts and arts and crafts. Among them, such ancient crafts as pottery, weaving mats, baskets, making painted chests, tambour embroidery, etc. And in many regions of Azerbaijan these ancient handicrafts, not only do not decline, but continue to flourish and develop for the joy of all connoisseurs of folk art.

Pottery

One of the first materials on earth, which the man began to use, was clay. For several millennia it has served man, and during this time has found wide distribution in many areas of human life. The production of pottery, which served for the preparation and storage of food, and other products, exists and develops in Azerbaijan from time immemorial. Well-equipped pottery workshops were found during excavations in ancient fortresses of the times of Caucasian Albania in the territories of Gabala and Shamkir. And today in some regions pottery centers continue to operate, where ceramic products are handcrafted.

One of the workshops, which cherish the traditions of pottery, is the family enterprise of Jasarat Nuriyev, located in the village of Erkivan, Masalli region. It produces and sells household utensils - dishes, pots for traditional meat dishes, pitchers, flower pots, kerosene lamps, decorative items, amphorae "under the old days" and so on. In addition to the manufacture of standard products, the master works on the order according to the original client sketches, and also recreates the old ceramic products from the images in the catalogs.

According to the hereditary master, whose grandfather and father also engaged in this craft, the production of one product takes from 20 days to two months, since all production is carried out by ancient methods using the potter's wheel and traditional kilns for roasting. So the drying of one product takes about 20 days, after which it is fired in a furnace at a temperature of 1000 degrees.

It is not surprising that pottery products manufactured in this traditional way are environmentally safe, have a high aesthetic value and are in high demand not only among the local population, but also among numerous tourists visiting Masalli.

Painted chests

Another traditional craft in Masalli is the manufacture of chests. It should be said that in olden times the chests were an indispensable attribute of marriage. The bride, leaving her father's house, carried her dowry in the chests. In many areas this custom is still observed today as a tribute to traditions.

In the whole southern region, 2-3 people are engaged in the manufacture of chests, and only in Erkivan village of Masalli district. One of the famous masters is Sharafat Azizov, whose grandfather and father also practiced this craft. And now the master tries to transfer his skills to his son Seyfatdin.

As a rule, chests are made of the most malleable cypress wood. On average, the master makes 1-2 standard chests per day. The dimensions of the chests vary greatly. The smallest of them have dimensions of 20x12 cm, and the most bulky ones are 100x50 cm. The standard chests, those that are in greatest demand, have dimensions of 80x40 cm.

Most chests are painted in red tones, using traditional patterns, in an easily recognizable style. However, at the request of customers, the master can decorate the chest in a more original manner. So we happened to see a chest with built-in lighting and other designer delights.

According to Sh. Azizov, chests cause genuine interest among tourists arriving in the Masalli region. Among its buyers were also travelers from Germany, England, Pakistan and other countries.

The art of embroidery - takalduz

The ancient city of Sheki was and remains the handicraft center of tambour embroidery - takalduz, which is an exquisite floral ornament executed on velvet, cloth or morocco. Duma (father), who visited Sheki, wrote that he "bought two embroidered saddles for 24 rubles. In France, you can not have them even for 2000 francs, or rather, they can not be obtained at any price". In the middle of the 19th century, the products embroidered with a tambour seam, as well as gold embroidered seams, had wide sales not only in Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus, but also far beyond their borders, which contributed to the commercial nature of the embroidery.

The main material for embroidery with a tambour seam is velvet dark - blue, black and red. Embroidery in the style of tapestry is performed on linen fabric. Embroidery with a tambour seam is a subtle and time-consuming art. Sometimes the production of one work takes 3-4 months. Embroidery uses silk threads. The embroidery ornament is a bizarre intertwining of plant motifs and birds, differing in richness of color and composition combinations. At present, embroidery mainly decorates bags, pillowcases and tablecloths.

It is interesting that at the end of the XIX century in Sheki in special embroidery workshops exclusively male labor was used. Today, the art of embroidery is predominantly a woman's occupation.

By the way, it is possible to get acquainted with the unique collections of Azerbaijani embroideries that impressively testify to the centuries-old historical path of the development of decorative and applied art in the region, the high level of artistic skill of Azerbaijani craftsmen in the Sheki Museum of Folk Applied Arts.

Weaving from reeds

And we again return to Masalli, where one more ancient craft is preserved and flourishes. Millennia ago, people noticed the high hygiene of products from reeds. From him learned to weave mats, baskets, hats, etc. Weaving from reeds was widely spread in Azerbaijan, in particular in the southern regions. Today in Masalli weaving from reeds (in the local dialect - pizə) is preserved only in the village of Musakyuchya, where 40-50 people are engaged in this craft.

Occupation is a painstaking, requiring not only assiduity, but also courage. Reeds are harvested mostly by women, collecting it in spring and summer in marshy areas and by the sea. In such places there are many snakes, so collectors take all security measures to protect themselves from unwanted contact with these reptiles.

The collected reeds are cleaned of leaves and left to dry for 2-3 days. Then, on a special machine from dried stems, mats, baskets, etc. are made. On the day the craftsmen can weave 3-4 mats, the standard size of which is 1.10 by 4 meters, but this is not the limit. Individual mats can be up to 5-7 meters in size. They say mats made of reeds do not allow moisture and can be used for 2-3 years. Usually they are spread in the courtyard or in the house, and also used to decorate the interior in the numerous recreation areas of the region.

Braided reed products can be found on sale in many Masalli markets. In particular, in the bazaar in the village of Boradigy, on the morning of every Sunday, a traditional fair opens - the sale of wares from wickerwork, which collects interested buyers. Will be in these parts - be sure to visit!

Emil Eyyubov

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

Finland's new president takes office

Ambassador: Slovakia is keen to develop cooperation with Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan reports 514 new COVID-19 cases in past month

12 dead in traffic accident in Far North region of Cameroon

Tesla faces 5,977 black workers in factory racism lawsuit

Azerbaijan, Romania mull cooperation agenda

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry: Engineering support measures are underway

Coordination Center for Grassroots Action issues communique to support Corsicans

Azerbaijan`s Minister of Energy, European Commissioner for Energy make press statement

Trump leading Biden in 7 swing states: Survey

Nobel Energy to develop solar power plant in Jabrayil

Albanian PM: Azerbaijani gas and Caspian region are crucial to our shared future

Azerbaijan to cooperate with Nobel Energy and Elecnor on solar energy projects

German delegation visits Alat Free Economic Zone

Mystery sea creature discovered in UK waters

Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama completes working visit to Azerbaijan

Antalya hosts panel meeting on "Peace, development and connectivity in the South Caucasus"

President Ilham Aliyev had expanded meeting with Prime Minister of Albania VIDEO

Baku hosted 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting
President Ilham Aliyev attended the event VIDEO

Kadri Simson: We have made clean energy a key part of EU-Azerbaijan bilateral relations

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama VIDEO

® Another Azercell specialist has become the first in the cybersecurity competition

® Transfer your loans to Kapital Bank and benefit from more advantageous opportunities

Azerbaijani, Uzbek FMs discuss post-conflict situation in region

One in eight people are now living with obesity, study says

FC Qarabag’s Andrey Lunev gets Russian national team call up

Azerbaijani, Russian FMs meets in Antalya

Azerbaijani table tennis players claim two medals at WTT Youth Contender Algiers 2024

Azerbaijan, Pakistan discuss bilateral cooperation

From Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic

Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso hail their interaction within international organizations

Paul Pogba gets 4-year doping ban

Azerbaijan’s GM Mammadyarov advances in FIDE rating

Azerbaijan, EU to accelerate process of granting PMI status to Caspian-EU Green Energy Corridor

Minister: Kuwait ready for mutual cooperation with Azerbaijan as part of COP29

Turkish FM Hakan Fidan awarded the Golden Order of Friend of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani FM meets with his Panamanian counterpart in Antalya

Foreign Minister: Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan explore broad prospects for cooperation in various domains

China to launch 2 crewed missions to space station this year

ANAMA: 1,941 unexploded ordnances neutralized over past month

Azerbaijan’s non-oil exports amounted to $222 million in January 2024

President of Kenya informed about Azerbaijan’s preparation for hosting COP29

President Ilham Aliyev: Hosting COP29 is a sign of our willingness to contribute our green agenda

Hikmet Hajiyev: We will convey Azerbaijan's vision of further development of peace and cooperation in the region to Diplomacy Forum participants VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev received Minister of Environment and Energy Security of Italy VIDEO

TAQA’s potential support for Azerbaijan concerning operation of new solar and wind power plants discussed

Azerbaijan, Albania sign visa waiver agreement VIDEO

Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia discuss desalination of seawater

Central banks of Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia discuss cooperation

Azerbaijani Special Forces’ units and subunits fulfill special operations tasks

Azerbaijan, Türkiye discuss further expansion of cooperation in several areas

Azerbaijani oil sells for $87.51

President Ilham Aliyev received European Commissioner for Energy VIDEO

Antalya Diplomacy Forum gets underway

President: Financing of expansion of Southern Gas Corridor and any other project related to natural gas must be done in such a way as not to undermine our main target

President Ilham Aliyev: The Southern Gas Corridor is a really success story

Zambia declares state of disaster due to drought

Oil prices surge in global markets

President of Azerbaijan: We expect the beginning of natural gas production from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli next year VIDEO

President: Azerbaijan proved to be a reliable partner VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev: Today's geopolitical situation in Eurasia proves exactly what we needed to do VIDEO

New smartphone concept ditches apps for AI

Remains of another toddler found in mass grave in Khojaly

AZERTAC-104: Azerbaijan’s Information Gateway to the World

Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama embarks on working visit to Azerbaijan

Underwater volcano eruption 7,300 years ago is the largest in recorded history

Biden and party leaders implore Speaker Johnson to help Ukraine in ‘intense’ Oval Office meeting

CNN Arabic highlights Azerbaijan's Masazir Lake phenomenon

Azerbaijani female FIFA referees to control three matches of Euro U17 Women - Qualification - Round 2

Colombia to host global biodiversity summit in October

Ombudsman Office representatives visit military unit

Azerbaijani rhythmic gymnasts to compete in Gymnastic International 2024

New Azerbaijan Party delegation visits Türkiye

From Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel

Azerbaijani FM heads to Türkiye for working visit

Azerbaijan, Germany explore bilateral cooperation

Foreign Ministry: European Parliament’s report is part of smear campaign against Azerbaijan

Electricity tops list of non-oil products export in January this year

Azerbaijan, Morocco discuss prospects for transport cooperation

Baku to host 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting

Iranian satellite put into orbit via Russian launch: media

Foreign Ministry releases information about peace negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Berlin

Khankendi-Baku Ultramarathon: First leg reveals top performer

Russian expert: Macron bets on a dead horse in the person of Armenia, as he has no one else to bet on - COMMENTARY

Jinx of Khojaly genocide: An Expert Opinion

Milli Majlis condemns European Parliament’s annual report on the implementation of the common security and defence policy

Azerbaijan Air Forces’ UAV units carry out training flights

President Ilham Aliyev allocates AZN 8.1 million for extensive highway repairs in Sumgayit

Japan starts 4th ocean discharge of Fukushima nuclear-tainted wastewater despite opposition

9 missing in landslide in eastern Indonesia found alive

® "If you are not a successful person, you have no chance to be a successful businessman" - Jalal Kangarli

Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia discuss tourism cooperation

Beijing selected to host 2027 track and field world championships

® Exclusive first loan opportunity from Kapital Bank

Competition schedule confirmed for 2025 Asian Winter Games

Azercosmos exports services worth $1.4 million to 42 countries in January 2024

Brazil sees record energy output from biomass in 2023

N. Korea wants Trump's reelection, will raise tensions until presidential vote: ex-German envoy

Road accidents kill 1,358 Ethiopians in 6 months

Central Bank: $80m worth of demand fully covered at FX auction