Since ancient times Azerbaijan has been known as one of the largest centers of traditional handicrafts, including carpets, jewelry, embroideries, textiles, ceramics, copperware etc.
The carpet is an integral part of the Azerbaijani culture. The carpet has always been a key element of local lifestyle reflecting social, economic, political, and cultural changes in the history and society as a whole. Moreover, the carpet is not only a household item, but also one of main areas of the artistic expression of people. A traditional carpet, expressing pragmatic and symbolic functions, is the quintessential experience of the Azerbaijani culture. The exhibition demonstrates a number of carpets from leading carpet-weaving centers of Azerbaijan, such as Guba, Shirvan, Karabakh and Gazakh.
The copperware production was one of developed fields of the Azerbaijani traditional art, with the main centers in Ganja, Shamakhi, Nakhchivan, Baku, and Lahij (Ismailly). The exhibition displays various household copper items of the 19th-early 20th centuries from Ms. Shafag Gurbanova’s private collection. The collection includes over 500 objects and has been created over 30 years. The exhibition features some of traditional household copper items, such as washing set, mug, tray, milk bucket, jugs etc. These products are distinguished by the richness of techniques, fine shapes and varied patterns. The items are decorated with arabesque patterns, floral motifs, images of animals and birds, hunting scenes, dates of making, names of customers, and calligraphic inscriptions of Koranic verses.
General features of Azerbaijani traditional costumes have been developed over centuries. Every region used its unique designs and characteristics. Furthermore, designs of costumes defined marital and social status, as well as the age of the owner. For example, costumes of the married and the unmarried women were different; young women wore more colorful costumes, while older women preferred unadorned and simple garments. The exhibition showcases replicas of costumes from collections of various museums.
One of main features of a woman’s costume is kelaghai, silk headscarf with printed patterns. Kelaghai making has been known in Azerbaijan since ancient times. High quality kelaghai were produced in Sheki, Ganja, Shamakhi, Nakhchivan, Tabriz and Basgal.
Jewelry-making is an ancient art of Azerbaijan. First items were created in the Bronze Age (IV-II millennium BC) and used for ritual purposes. They were decorated with various spirals, pendants, circles, images of birds and animals. Later on, during local historical and social changes, these ancient shapes were replaced with other forms, and jewelry items became an integral part of costumes. The Azerbaijani jewelry art experienced its Renaissance period in the Middle Ages. Some of Azerbaijan’s big cities, such as Sheki, Baku, and Ganja, became the centers of jewelry art. In this exhibition, modern jewelry items such as diadem, brooch, necklace, bracelet, ring, pendant, and earrings are displayed. These objects are made by the jeweler Eduard Shamaryayev and his students Elchin Ibrahimov and Teymur Bakhshiyev. E.Shamaryayev is an author of more than 100 jewelry items that are mainly decorated in traditional and modern styles featuring techniques of filigree and enamel.
Ceramics were made in Azerbaijan since the Bronze Age. They were widely used as household items. The exhibition presents handworks of Saleh Mammadov, master of contemporary ceramics. He has created new works of art, being inspired by designs of Azerbaijani ceramics of the ancient period and the Middle Ages. He made a number of decorative art works of clay, featuring techniques of glaze and underglaze dyeing, engobe and enamel.
Source: Embassy of Azerbaijan