The Treasure of Forgotten Weavings and Wool ware of Karabagh (Azerbaijan)
I have traveled all over the world but the devoted love for my country and culture always burnt in me a big desire and led me to this discovering path in which I am filled with great eagerness to search and soak my mind with knowledge and collect information about this big treasure of Azerbaijan, the land of Fire.
Here I want to mention some textiles that were used until the 20th century in Azerbaijan. Most of these weavings has disappeared in the suffocating old regime of Soviet Times. Today, even the names of these textiles are forgotten:
Sapand: Usually, it was men who wove “sapand”s. Sapand was used as a sling shot to throw stones to far distances. It was helpful for hunting and also for the control of the herds. Sapand was made of carded wool and some sticks that were woven together.
Gözek: Gözek was woven to tie the tent (alachiq) rods together, by braiding 50-60 cm length double and triple folded ropes over one another at both right and left sides. Colorful tassels were sewn at the sides of the gozek.
Chaty: Chaty was woven to tie animals, to bundle hays, woods and jars. The weaving method is the same as Gozek. The length of a “chatty” weave used to be 3 m. Chaty which was used for bundling hays, woods and jars was made of lamb or camel wool. And “chatty” which was used to tie animals was made of goat wool.
Sijim: Sijim is a word for a kind of rope, with fastened wooden pieces at both ends of it.
Örken: Örken was woven on a ground loom with a size of 7-10 cm width and 5-10 m length.
The shadda-flatweave method was used to weave an orken. Orken was used to tie and pack animal loads.
The shape of ushul was round. It was used to tie both sides of camel load.
Shotuk (Şötük) - Shotuk was woven with the rope made of camel and goat wool, it was also used to tie the camel loads.
Keche: Keche (kind of felt) was used to build the alachiq (tent) walls, which was made by special craftsmen called hallaj. Some wooden bows, beetle (a large wooden hammer), string which was made of sheep bowels, 20x20 cm wooden board, washed and dry carded wool was among the tools that used to make a keche.
Terlik: Terlik is an Azeri Turkic word used for a kind of felt to place inside the saddle. The size: 0.8mx1m.
Namand: Namand is a kind of keche which was made to spread alachyq (tent) floor. The size : 2.5x1.5m. Different kinds of ram, horse and camel ornaments were used as embroidery on a namand.
Yapynjy (felt cloak) – Shepherds (choban) was wearing this topwear in cold weather. Yapynjy was made with the same method as keche (felt)
Heybe: It is a double bag made in different sizes. Both sides were useful to put things in. Generally, it was used as a light travel bag. It was woven with a ground loom..Colorful ropes were tied on the sides of heybe to close the bag.
Khurjun: Khurjun is a double bag which was used to put on horses, donkeys and camels. The size: 60 x 60 cm and bigger.
Duz Torbasy: This narrow-necked bag was used as saltbags. Different kinds of weaving techniques were used for saltbags: sumakh, pile, flatweave and etc. The salt bags mostly were woven in Karabagh, by the nomad Turkic tribes such as Terekeme and Elats.
see original “duz torbasy” examples in the Carpet Museum, in Baku,
Eyma, chylghy, tuluq, dagharchyq are other home wares that were used in Cattle-breeding farmers’ daily life.