Tra­di­tional sou­venirs to buy in Azer­bai­jan

Azer News - - Country Guide - By La­man Is­may­ilova

TWhile walk­ing through the streets is a feast for the eyes, it can be­come over­whelm­ing if you don’t know what to look for. Sou­venirs are an ex­cel­lent way to re­mem­ber all your ad­ven­tures.

You’ll be able to share a true piece of Azer­bai­jan with fam­ily and friends.

Keep scrolling to see the ideal sou­venir to buy in the Land of Fire.

Na­tional pride of Azer­bai­jan and the most ex­pen­sive gift from Baku is car­pet. Car­pet weav­ing made its way into the every­day life of the peo­ple of Azer­bai­jan and turned into a sym­bol for the na­tion.

With their high aes­thetic value, fleecy and pile­less car­pets are used to dec­o­rate the walls and floors of mar­quees, huts, homes, and no­mads’ tents.

By their tech­ni­cal pe­cu­liar­i­ties Azer­bai­jani car­pets are di­vided into fleecy car­pets and car­pets with­out pile. The weav­ing of the car­pets with­out pile dates to the ear­li­est pe­riod of the art of weav­ing.

The Land of Fire has seven car­pet pro­duc­ing re­gions in­clud­ing Baku, Shir­van, Guba, Tabriz, Karabakh, Ganja and Gazakh and each of them had its own tech­nol­ogy, typ­i­cal pat­terns and col­ors.

If you are think­ing about buy­ing na­tional car­pet, then Old City is quite an in­ter­est­ing place for stroll. Here you may find the best shops for buy­ing car­pets.

Don’t for­get to visit the Car­pet Mu­seum, where the staff can tell the his­tory of each car­pet and dis­close some se­crets of car­pet weav­ing. A sin­gle visit to a mu­seum can ex­pose visi­tors to in-depth in­for­ma­tion on a sub­ject.

An­other in­ter­est­ing themed sou­venir is a car­pet bag. It per­fectly fits with var­i­ous items of the wardrobe and serves as an orig­i­nal eth­nic ac­ces­sory.

Baku is fa­mous not only for weavers, but also for jew­el­ers. The rich cul­tural her­itage of gold­smiths' work re­sulted in two in­de­pen­dent jew­elry schools: shekebe and hatamkarlig.

Or­na­ments made in the first tech­nique re­sem­ble the finest lace wo­ven from pre­cious (gold or sil­ver) lace.

The tech­nol­ogy is ex­tremely com­plex in ex­e­cu­tion and re­quires the mas­ter many years of con­stant prac­tice. But the re­sult of it­self fully jus­ti­fies: the prod­ucts are ob­tained by air, grace­ful and shin­ing in the sun. No less orig­i­nal is the sec­ond tech­nique: hatamkarlig.

It is a kind of mo­saic of pre­cious me­tals: a sil­ver or gold “car­na­tion” is laid out a pic­ture or or­na­ment. It takes dozens of hours to cre­ate such a mas­ter­piece.

Azer­bai­jan’s tra­di­tional dag­ger will be an ex­cel­lent gift for any man.

There is a long-stand­ing tea drink­ing cul­ture in Azer­bai­jan. Tea serv­ing is an im­por­tant part of Azer­bai­jani cul­ture. The Ar­mudu is a tra­di­tional drink­ing glass made from a va­ri­ety of ma­te­ri­als, such as porсe­lain, stained glass and sil­ver.

It got its name from the pear­shape, nar­rower in the mid­dle and wider at the top and bot­tom. The shape al­lows the tea at the top of the glass to cool ready for drink­ing, while the bot­tom half stays hot. If you are a con­nois­seur of art, you can pur­chase the hand­made ar­mudu with flo­ral pat­tern or buta.

Nard or backgam­mon is the old­est recorded game in hu­man his­tory. Backgam­mon is widely be­lieved to have orig­i­nated in Me­sopotamia in the an­cient Per­sian Em­pire. The game was played on wooden boards or stones, with num­bered dice made from bone, stone, wood or pot­tery. Through­out the his­tory of the game, it has been as­so­ci­ated with roy­als and no­bles.

This game is still very com­mon to see here and there peo­ple play­ing backgam­mon in the parks or lo­cal tea houses in Azer­bai­jan.

The Land of Fire is one of the birth­places of the oil in­dus­try. The oil foun­tain in the Bibi­hey­bat field of Baku in 1848 laid the foun­da­tion for the first in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion of “black gold” in Azer­bai­jan.

Azer­bai­jani artist Sabir Cop­uroglu cre­ates the oil paint­ings, just us­ing his fin­gers and nails.

Chop­uroglu was first given a small bot­tle of crude oil, used for lux­u­ri­ous oil baths when he was a child. He used the pre­cious liq­uid to draw pic­tures of horses in his fam­ily home.

Com­ing back to more tra­di­tional and sim­ple sou­venirs, it is im­pos­si­ble to miss men­tion­ing women’s na­tional head­scarf.

For many cen­turies, it was an in­te­gral part of Azer­bai­jani women’s na­tional cos­tume that pro­tects them from both the hot sun and cold wind as silk is cool in sum­mer and warm in win­ter.

The color of the head­scarves has sym­bolic mean­ing of­ten tied to spe­cific so­cial oc­ca­sions such as wed­ding, mourn­ing cer­e­mony, daily ac­tiv­ity or fes­tiv­i­ties.

The whim­si­cal draw­ings of the leaves and flow­ers over­lap with com­plex geo­met­ric pat­terns.

The com­po­si­tion con­sist­ing of botan­i­cal and ge­o­met­ri­cal or­na­ments has sym­bolic and mys­te­ri­ous char­ac­ter­is­tics.

In Novem­ber 2014 at the 9th ses­sion of UNESCO's tra­di­tional art and sym­bol­ism of ke­laghayi, its pro­duc­tion and the wear­ing were in­cluded in the list of in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage UNESCO.

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