Azerbaijan's carpet art – a symbol of national identity (ANALYTICS)

Carpet weaving in Azerbaijan has a long history dating back to ancient times. The craft has been passed down through generations and holds a significant place in Azerbaijani culture.

UNESCO proclaimed Azerbaijani carpet weaving as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This recognition acknowledges the cultural importance and significance of Azerbaijani carpets on a global scale.

Azerbaijan is known for producing a variety of carpet types, each reflecting the distinct traditions, techniques, and designs of different regions within the country.

The best samples of carpets and carpet products brought from Baku, Guba, Shamakhi, Ganja, Sheki, Gazakh, Javad uyezd, and other places were demonstrated in Moscow in 1872 at Moscow Polytechnic and in 1882 at the all-Russian industrial and art exhibition were awarded gold and silver medals. The main part of the exhibits displayed at international exhibitions organized in Vienna (Austria) in 1872, Turin (Italy) in 1911, London and Berlin in 1913 were carpets and carpet products from Azerbaijan.

*Azerbaijani carpets are conditionally divided into several carpet-weaving schools due to their geographical location, patterns, Composition, Color Solution, and technical features: Guba, Baku or Absheron, Shirvan, Ganja, Gazakh, Garabagh, Tabriz and Iravan.

Azerbaijani carpets reflect the geographical, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the regions to which they belong. Among them character of Iravan Carpet School is notable. The city of Iravan and surrounding districts were the areas inhabited by the ancient Turkic-Oghuz tribes. The historical monuments of this area - castle, palace, remains of fortifications, caravansary, bridges, tombs, as well as horse, ram statues, temple, church, mosque, and hearths tell about the history, outlook, and ethnicity of the local population. Geographical names and folklore examples that have reached modern times embody the past and rich cultural heritage of the Azerbaijanis who once lived in this area. The mentioned ornaments are reflected on Iravan carpets.*

In 2010, Azerbaijani carpet art was included in UNESCO's "representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity".

The Carpet Museum, which has been operating since 2014, contributes to the promotion and recognition of Azerbaijani carpets worldwide. Examples collected in the museum meeting modern requirements include the history of our people. More than 13,300 exhibits and items are stored in the exhibitions and funds of the carpet museum, reminiscent of the original style of wrapped carpet, which reflects the development of this type of art in different periods.

In 2015, on July 15, the opening of the exhibition “Azerbaijani Carpets in art” took place at the festival's Palace of Cannes. Works by Azerbaijani artists Latif Karimov, Vugar Muradov, Butunay Hagverdiyev, and Elchin Valiyev – modern, pop-art works and installations based on national carpet sketches were presented at the exhibition.

To preserve, promote, and develop traditional carpet weaving in Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a Decree in 2016 to establish the “Azerkhalcha" Open Joint Stock Company. "Azerkhalcha" plays a crucial role in revitalizing the country's carpet-weaving industry and supporting local artisans.

The main purpose of the company is to produce and export carpets and carpet products, to organize their sale in the country and abroad, to apply new technologies in the production of carpets and carpet products, to modernize the material and technical base, and to use it effectively, as well as to carry out other works related to the development of this field.

On December 28, 2023, a Carpet weaving center opened in Azerbaijan’s liberated city of Lachin. Lachin has been famous for its carpets since ancient times, so it was decided to open a carpet weaving center there. The center will also employ area residents.

Carpet weaving plays a significant role in the economy of Azerbaijan, providing employment opportunities for many people, particularly in rural areas where carpet weaving is a traditional livelihood.

Overall, Azerbaijan's carpet art is not just a craft but a symbol of national identity and pride, reflecting the country's rich cultural heritage and artistic legacy.

Analytic group of

The article focuses on the theme of "Promotion of Azerbaijan's history of statehood, national traditions, science and culture"

The article was published with the support of the Media Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (MEDIA)

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