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[:RU]How to weave carpets in Dagestan[:]

[:RU]- God has always loved the carpet, ever since, when it was created. In the garden were the gold and crystal, and all the most beautiful thing you can imagine. Guria sat on carpets and sang very beautiful songs. Then, after the expulsion of people from Eden, Adam’s first son — the prophet Sheath — he took camel wool. COLOUR its three plants. Maybe even indigo stone, I do not know. Did yarn and the first earth have woven carpet. Mankind after the Flood was born again in the Caucasus mountains where the ark landed. And carpets begin here. So here they are varied. In the patterns of ancient carpets have a very big secret recognition orders for future generations. But we can not understand them …

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Round face old lezginka thoughtfully and solemnly. Elegant Armudu garnet color with tea getting cold on the table, and she is not stopping, looking at the machine with a stretched carpet — whether as a mother to a child, or as a believer on the icon. Soon someone will stomp his feet without thinking that these artful yarns hid all of life — wealth and poverty, love and hate, joy and pain …

Long before Kandinsky and Bruegel

Dagestani village Mezhgyul lost among mountains and ravines, so chaotic, it seems — a giant crumpled local land like a piece of paper. Equally creased, mixed here and time. The tiny Soviet House of Culture — List tukhum (kinship groups) and a list of adats (pre-Islamic traditions). Near the ancient tombstones, painted with exquisite designs, is a modern house, on the threshold of an ass tied, the ropes drying clothes.

On the streets, sagging trucks with bleating sheep continuous flowing stream. Above the village are worn delicate swallows. With cheerful tsvikanem they fly into the windows of the local factory. There’s a woman sitting on pillows — five or six for each machine. Convex glasses rare teeth — on dentures, even metal, need money. With simultaneous single bionic machine they weave carpets, and only on rare jokes Tabasaran introduce diversity into monotonous work. Without looking at lying at a distance «cheat sheet» weaver pull the thread hanging from top of multi-colored balls and deftly wielding crochet, weave them into the framework. The pile of dumped mobiles, one of which came the simple rhythmic motif.

When the series ended, with its clanging beat ragas — heavy toothed bars. Worth protruding above the surface of the carpet, sheared special scissors — their prototypes met even at sites of the Bronze Age. A dozen hands with simultaneous centipedes pushes ducks, and everything is repeated again and again — until the break, when the craftswomen briefly replaces factory labor at home, cooking dinner for the family.

One can not help recalling the words of one of the participants of the Caucasian war — officers Bessonova, who wrote about these places: «At the cheese cave floor, laid by only hay matted and dirty rags, sat in a row of six women. Through the stone seeped moisture in the cracks moving lice, air filled with the smell of rotten wool, was unbearable for breathing. At the entrance to the cave sat a little girl with a pale face and red eyes from the strain; her slender white fingers, it is not behind the other, weaving a carpet. And I thought at such short work and it turned into an old woman the same as everyone else. Working women in the twilight, and I was amazed at how they could create true works of art. »

— We are all old women, — says expert Gyulnaz Yuzbekova. She first came back from lunch and drinking tea, waiting for the others. To catch the beginning of the working day, Gyulnaz gets up every day not later than five in the morning. We have to do all the household chores and feed five children. — I am 50 years old, I’m wearing glasses. Labor much salary a little. In the summer of housework, the cow — if machines are empty. They say that soon all will be closed. The young do not want to work, and do not know how. Earlier we learned from parents, but now houses no one weaves. Only at the factory.

— I like the work?
Gyulnaz shakes his head
— another in the village there, and eat it is necessary …

On the bustling Avenue Peter the Great in Makhachkala Center invites visitors to ethnic culture. It has everything: Kubachi bracelets and Gotsatlinskoy daggers, and even Highland costumes from different parts of Dagestan. But most of all the head of the center Shahnabat Alimagomedova loves carpets. This modern business woman hails from Mezhgyulya. It is a hereditary mistress. In the three years already to tie knots in the fourth class of their own weaving carpet. That’s only in Soviet times, the picture was somewhat different.

— We are always happy birth of his daughter. For the work we have received 250 rubles a month — twice as much as the teacher! In our family, there were seven girls — the whole wealth! And the work was a joy. Carpet — not some ordinary object, it is filled with meaning. In the mountains to this day say, «The owner of the old carpet has a rich library.»

Shahnabat leafs stacked on each other carpets, like pages of a giant book full of amazing stories.

— The carpets are medallions, which are grouped around the ornament. In the oldest figures depicted in the center of the Earth, now — the sun. Border pattern gathers together to the house was in order. It almost always has a border depicting water or infinity.

One after another flash carpets woven by different peoples, named after the ancient villages and long-dead masters. Avar davaginy, Tabasaran kyumesy, Kumyk thought and mat … By woolen pile floats your boat — the same Noah’s ark. Hopefully, it among the rescued critters traveled just two of the carpet — with male and female pattern. For ornaments, as well as living beings, have the floor. On the carpet «Chira», as if abstraktsionistskoy version of Bruegel paintings, unfolding a vast panorama of the surroundings village of the same name: the valley, the valley, the steep cliffs. The popular Sumac lurking dragon pattern and «Ahtynsky Rose» most likely borrowed from Pavlovo Posad shawls, brought here in the XIX century Russian soldiers. Flashed sketchy plants and animals, crosses and solar symbols. They go deeper into the interior of the times, and now grows in the middle of a huge ornamental tree of life, which is above the pagan mother goddess with two birds in thin hands …

How we lost ancient technology …

The history of the Caucasian carpet goes to the boundless antiquity. Local carpets mentioned Herodotus, their rich colors praised travelers of VII century. It then Dagestanis and Azerbaijanis will argue themselves hoarse, on whose territory there was a particular pattern. In those days, and in the north and in the south they created the same people, not to think of the future border. In the XII century the great Nizami told in the poem «Khosrow and Shirin» about ancient pile carpets, decorated with precious stones. Even part of the taxes are levied not silver, and these luxuries. Caspian carpets are often decorated with masterpieces by artists of the Renaissance. Virgin and Child from the Dutch master Hans Memling sits on «Mugan» and depicted Holbein Ambassadors imposingly leaned on freaked swastikas Ganja-Kazakh carpet.

After entering Dagestan part of Russia came the era factories. In the XIX century in the Caspian area produces tens of thousands of carpets. This was facilitated by the abundance of wool and natural dyes, in particular — madder.

The red carpet weaving, symbolizing fire, has always been one of the dominant. It is obtained from molluscs and worms, but the most accessible source was madder dyeing — a modest plant with yellow flowers and a long purple root. She grew up here so profusely different such exquisite shades and bring such huge profits that these roots were even on the coat of arms of Derbent.

That all changed in 1869 when German chemists Karl Grebe Karl Lieberman opened a low-cost synthesis of artificial alizarin — coloring matter of madder. It’s time to aniline dyes. In vain Iranian Shah ordered to chop off a hand to anyone who brighten yarn newfangled chemicals. Progress was unstoppable. Finally bury natural dyes Soviet government, going to work in the old artisans in large factories. Directors cared scale and low cost rather than sighs of grandmothers on special, as if shining shades Rubiaceae root. The ancient recipes were forgotten, and the old carpets in the late XX century flowed abroad, so now they are in Dagestan is difficult to find even in museums. Decayed, unable to compete with foreign goods, and cost-effective production of aniline.

Shahnabat sure that the traditional carpet-making can still be saved. It is necessary to create the right conditions — and to replace the outgoing generation mezhgyulskih weavers yavyatsya their daughters and granddaughters. That’s only public financing of crafts like leaves in the sand before reaching the destination. Even sheep yarn residents of the republic, famous for its flocks, have to be purchased in Moscow, local production went bankrupt long ago. But when officials shrug their shoulders, to the aid of enthusiasts who can, and there is no big money, but there is a love for their work.

… And found again

The spacious office building of the Academy of Sciences located in ethnic culture meets me Honored Scientist of the Republic of Dagestan, doctor of historical sciences Magomedhan Magomedkhanov. Here he is in charge of the Department of Ethnography. The most striking adventures of this extraordinary man — a dense, sharp, as if chopped, hard-faced — deserve to be woven on the carpet. After all, it was the first professor Magomedkhanov who tried to revive Dagestani carpets in the form in which they were woven before the invention of aniline dyes. This was in 1993.

— My Pictures skimmed across Dagestan, and I’m glad — says gravely created brand «Khan carpets.» — Carpet weaving — a vast world. There are international conventions, there is the World Association of natural dyes, the executive committee of which I enter. At a conference in South Korea, my yellow took the first place. Colleagues asked where I’ll take it, and I said — of the rhododendron. But nothing they did not. It turned out that in Daghestan special rhododendron growing, with different properties.

Many claim to be pioneers, but in fact a return to the natural dye carpets initiated in 1991 by an American, George Jevremovic, a grandson of the chairman of the Parliament of Yugoslavia, which shot Josip Broz Tito. Another was a German Harold Boehmer, which Turkey received huge grants for the restoration of natural dyes. I met Jevremovic, but that to me is not a single secret is not revealed.

Fortunately, in 1984, I met at the conference an American Josephine Powell. Legendary woman! Even during the time of King Zahir Shah, it created the National Museum of Afghanistan. His later she bombed, but Josephine had time to save the file and transfer it to Harvard. I complained about it, and she said: «Nothing in this case they do not make sense. Harold has been a school teacher of chemistry, and it still is, and Jevremovic more interested in money than carpets. You are a long time in Istanbul. » And for a week right at the kitchen explained to me a lot.

I returned home, took a couple of rugs and showed Jevremovic. He examined them almost half an hour, and then said he would work with me.

I came to the factory in khuchni — and there is one administration. No production, no wages, smashed glass, dirt and wind. When I offered a lease, they were frightened. We decided that I — mafia and the building was going to take. You do not want to contract? So, everything will be illegal. Cash. This is my own money, why would I feed the head of the district? So it worked. The dashing the nineties there was a war, and I delivered to America carpets. When the international airport was closed, the transfer across the Ichkeria, generally without any customs. Then babahnulo September 11 in the United States demand fell sharply, and began Jevremovic big problems. Now, I almost did not do carpets.

This is not some Persian carpets

— Any Pakistani carpet made inferior to the Caucasus, — said Arif Suleimanov, a former dean of the Law Faculty of Dagestan State University assistant, and now almost the only entrepreneur of the Republic, who managed to build a sustainable profitable business for the production of carpets. — Mass stamping is not possible, but to sell in the year five hundred square meters of luxury products is realistic. Our sumac have no analogues in the world. And although it understands only one of thousands of such people an Iranian carpet instead of Dagestan never buy.

We sit in the living room wide Makhachkala home Arif. In the courtyard, two assistants bathing suit red carpet: before you send the newborn a luxury item to a store, it must be thoroughly cleaned and cut along the edges.

It feels dense smell of wet sheepskin. Arif, pulled down over his forehead prostetski cap, pouring tea. He tabasaranets and love for this drink his innate, as well as love for his fellow primordial craft — carpet weaving. Colleagues speak respectfully about Suleymanov that he was born on the carpet. His mother was a well-known skilled worker, himself a future lawyer since childhood knew how to weave colorful sumac. In 1998, he returned to this craft, which gradually became his main occupation.

— When I started, nobody believed in the success — pretty smiling Arif. — I saw the importance of my lesson not only for our profession, but for all humanity. Ten years, we almost did not make carpets, engaged exclusively in color. Read old books, we experimented. We shoveled about two hundred plants, tried a number of combinations. Now we use the 18 basic colors. Patent is not possible, we just keep our secrets. To master their loss is equivalent to suicide.

However, some secrets insufficient. Need more fierce, uncompromising willingness to work. No wonder Arif jokingly said that in Dagestan survive only workaholics and embezzlers. Now he has four factories, it builds new ones. Assistants to gain experience, but still controls the dye Suleymanov always personally. The properties of the plant are constantly changing, and because their concentration has to be adjusted «by eye». Otherwise, most of those original colors do not reach.

Unlike Magomedhan, he focuses on the domestic market. Most of his articles are buying Dagestanis, who know a lot about high-quality carpets — from the head of the republic to immigrants, for a long time uprooted.

— I said, «Why are you doing this? Carpet weaving — hard, humiliating slave labor for low wages. Our people are doing it for centuries, but do you need? «. And I also thought: surely I will curse? But then asked the women themselves, and they were surprised, «Arif, challah, What do you mean!» Weaver know that once they get up from the bench, in their place immediately sit down others. If many businessmen were paying as much as I cry, it would be hard. But there is no work in the countryside. People are left to fend for themselves. That left them only weave their grandmother and great-grandmother did. And just as they are, to create beauty. A good carpet like a rainbow in the sky. Even better — such a wealth of nuances and you will not find on a rainbow …

Round-lezginka weaves into trembling basis thousands of threads, tearing them like the ancient goddess of fate. Each villus is unique, but only where they merge into a single entity, and you can see the pattern and meaning.

Ornament carpet is like a book, which was written more than a thousand years. Any tiniest his character has a value that each bar is born a heavy, painful labor of many generations. But even in the terrible «Topanche» among the signs of war and blood experienced eye discern the silhouettes of birds, the bright sun lit their homes and tents Garden of Eden, people cherished homeland and carpets.

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Author: Olga Pereko[:]

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