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“National clothes” festival held in Nakhchivan

On September 8, “National clothes” festival was held at “Nakhchivangala” Historical-Architectural Museum Complex.

The announcers of the event noted that clothes reflect the culture and identity of each nation. Our ancestors began to be engaged in the tradition of sewing, knitting of clothes in Bronze Age which is an important branch of decorative-applied art, created spinning, weaving and embroidery works in archaic form, unique art samples. According to the information given by Arab authors of 10th century, Azerbaijani artisans produced wool, cotton, silk fabrics and clothes for sale. Chokha made in Nakhchivan gained a reputation for far beyond the borders of Azerbaijan among these clothes. Famous Turkish traveller Ovliya Chalabi noted that high-quality spinning fabrics were manufactured in Nakhchivan, and sold to far and near abroad.

Archalig, chapkan, labbada, gushgar, chokha, sheepskin coat, felt cloak, cap, silk kerchief, taskulah, fur cap and others were distinguished for their high quality, their patterns, the simplicity of their colours and turned into a permanent necessity of people. In recent years, consistent measures are carried out in the autonomous republic to preserve and promote national clothes. The Decree of the Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic dated February 7, 2009 "On holding the Folk Days in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic" also contributed to the disclosure and promotion of our national clothes, which is an integral part of folk art. Folklore ensembles and groups were provided with national costumes under the auspices of the autonomous republic's leader, the album-catalog "Nakhchivan national dresses" and the book "Nakhchivan embroidery" were published. Today, national clothing samples are kept in separate museums of the autonomous republic, promoted and experienced in theatre performances, cultural events, TV and radio, newspapers and magazines.

Demonstration of our national clothes belonging to different periods was organized in the festival. Handicrafts made by craftsmen displayed in the exhibition-sale caused great interest. In the exhibition “National clothes in Nakhchivan theatre”, national clothes used in different performances, in the exhibition “National clothes through the eyes of artists”, drawings, photos displaying the clothes in the museums and drawings of Nakhchivan artists related to the national clothes were exhibited. Also in the exhibition “National clothes through the eyes of children”, students of children’s music, art and crafts schools exhibited the drawings and sketches related to the national clothes. The drawings and handicrafts of circle members of out-of-school facilities were also exhibited in the festival.

In the exhibition of Nakhchivan State Film Fund “National clothes in the films”, there is 14 national clothes used while the shooting of the films “The cloth peddler”, “Window of sadness”, “Darvish Mastali shah”, “Morning”, “Nizami”, “Babak”, “Greeting from that world” and others. In addition, 9 helmets, about 25 household items used in “Nizami”, “Babak”, “Black lake's knights” and other films, 5 hats, 2 belts from the films “The cloth peddler”, “Stepmother”, “Challenging ways”, an aragchin used in the film “The meeting”, 26 photographs, 3 carpets and 2 saddle-bags from the films “The destiny of the sovereign”, “Garib in the genies country”, “If not that one, then this one”  were demonstrated at the festival.

One of the most interesting corners of the festival was the demonstration of compositions reflecting the customs, traditions and clothes of our people. Nakhchivan State Art Gallery demonstrated 40 sketches, 14 drawings exhibiting national clothes of the XII-XX centuries in the festival. Among them “Clothes of Nakhchivan women”, “Men’s cap”, “Children’s winter clothes” of XIX century, “Peasant woman” of XVII century, “Sara khatun” of XVIII century, “Nakhchivan wedding party” of early XX century, drawings describing our national clothes drew attention most.

Nakhchivan State History Museum displayed nearly 80 national clothes in the festival. Shoes, skull-cups, silk kerchiefs, golden and silver jewellery, belts, 15 drawings of national clothes of Shamil Gaziyev which belong to different periods, holdball, saddle bag, wool comb, tray, samovar, salver and other household items were exhibited. 

Technical Creativity, Children-Youth Creativity, Ecological Education, Tourism-Ethnography centres under the Ministry of Education demonstrated handicrafts, including 40 embroidery works and 5 drawings, paintings with oil and water paints, outdoor and head clothes, children’s clothes, decorations, house-hold items, in general, nearly 500 handicrafts reflecting our national clothes. The handicrafts of 15 children who demonstrated our national clothes on fabric and paper with artistic embroidery and paintings were of great interest.

National fashion-house “Momina khatin” demonstrated more than 30 national clothes in the festival. The fashion-house demonstrated palace clothes of khanate era, handmade dolls, skull-caps, as well as national clothes of 66 countries on the dolls which recognized the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan, have embassies and consulates in our country. The head of the fashion-house Sevinj Abbasova stated that palace clothes which used historically in Nakhchivan were distinguished for their diversity, uniqueness and colours. Thus, we decided to demonstrate these clothes in the festival. At the same time the shawl subjected “The Capital of Islamic Culture Nakhchivan” caused interest of participants of the festival. Students also showed great interest to the festival. Different handicrafts are demonstrated in the festival. All the weavers of the handicrafts here are the students of Nakhchivan State University.

"Design" Limited Liability Company participated with handicrafts in 45 varieties. Artistic carving on the tree, rock-salt and ceramic, decorative handicrafts, carpet weaving and artistic embroidery were welcomed at the festival. More than 500 handmade decorative souvenirs, socks, charig and other items, more than 60 children, men and women national clothes, attracted attention in the festival.

More than 170 headwear in 15 varieties of Nakhchivan city and Sharur region, more than 30 decorative-applied art samples, artistic embroideries, and samples reflecting national costumes from Julfa region were met with interest in the festival.

Those who came to the festival got acquainted with the smithy, grocery, hatter's and jeweller's shop, shoe repair shop at the composition "Market". Participants in the "Traditions and National Dresses" show were acquainted with exhibition and sale of clothes, headgear and accessories made by housewives, books and periodical press materials in the exhibition of printing products on national clothes. An exhibition of souvenirs and handicrafts depicting national ornaments, as well as a demonstration of palace gowns of the khanate period were also of interest to the audience.

Ismail Babayev, the hatter participated at the festival, talked to us that for many years he had been engaged in hatting and had a great interest in it. The hats that are the main attire of our people, which have long been considered a symbol of manhood, are welcomed by the younger generation today. In addition to the headgear of the sultanate and the khanate period, simple, daily, shepherd's hats and aragchin are also of interest to the guests. Anyone coming here wants to see them closely. Even almost everyone - both young and old - wore one of these hats and took photo.

There were also foreigners at the festival. The participant of the international conference "Nakhchivan: Capital of Islamic Culture" Huseyn Yurttash, the teacher of the Erzurum Ataturk University of the Republic of Turkey said: "This visit to the ancient Turkic land was especially memorable. Holding this festival is the most obvious example of respect for national culture. I was delighted to attend the "National clothes" festival. I was very impressed by the display of many national costumes here. The most delightful thing was the hats that were important in the Turkic world".

Another Turkish citizen, Seray Kaya, expressed her interest: "Today's event showed that Nakhchivan has an ancient cultural history. I was attracted by national costumes, handicrafts and drawings here. I was amazed at dancing with national costumes. It was so delightful for me to see the Turkic people so solidly, and I realized once again that this is a place where civilization is united and protects its history, traditions and national values".

Korean citizen Seo Jong said he liked national costumes used in ancient Azerbaijani films. This festival shows that the Nakhchivan culture has been formed since the ancient times. The things people used, especially the hat, belt, household items are very ancient and amazing. I am glad that I took part in this festival, got acquainted with your history and culture more closely.

Samaya Irani, who came from the Islamic Republic of Iran, said that she was admired by the beauty of Nakhchivan. My interlocutor who came to the festival with her family said that she had heard about the event through the internet. Saying that there are many Iranian tourists in Nakhchivan, my interlocutor underlined that holding such festivals was of great interest not only in Iran, but also abroad, and played an important role in raising interest in the autonomous republic.

The festival of our national costumes, were in a high festive mood. Folk songs by Folk Instruments Ensemble of Nakhchivan State Philharmonic, national dances and yalli by dance groups of Nakhchivan State and Children's Philharmonic, Sharur Folk Yalli Ensemble and "Sharur gonchalari" ensembles were performed.

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Date: 28-10-2020
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