Photos and article by Mike Tschebull
The 3rd International Symposium of Azerbaijani Carpets and Applied Art took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, from May 19 through May 21, 2003. Some 33 speakers made presentations, most from Azerbaijan and Turkey, but also from Estonia, Bashkirastan, Iran, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. Our very gracious hosts were the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture, the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences, and Roya Taghiyeva, Director of the Azerbaijani Carpet Museum.
Baku, with a population of some three million, is situated on the Caspian Sea and has a beautiful tree-lined waterfront esplanade. Local cuisine, which is quite good, features Caspian fish, lamb, lots of salads, local cheeses and breads and, of course, local vodka.Restaurants in Baku are worth the trip.
We were well entertained. Local musicians, dressed in period costume, played at one reception.
Conference proceedings were held in a Soviet-era building on the waterfront. Simultaneous translation between English, Turkish, and Russian was made available.
The Carpet Museum is a treasure trove of woven objects, the most interesting of which are bands, bags and the myriad flatweaves that were produced in Azerbaijan in the past.
Azerbaijani packbands are somewhat like those from neighbouring Iran.
In the Museum, there were several mafrash woven by nomads who wintered on the Apsheron Peninsula.
A “cypress tree variant” pile rug from the town of Bahmanli.
A jajim loom had been set up in the Museum for the Conference, and a weaver labored away most of the time we were there.
A slit-tapestry khorjin, evidencing a pattern common on kilims from the eastern Transcaucasus. It is worth noting here that the glory of Transcaucasian weaving is in its various flatwoven objects.
September 10, 2003, Mike Tschebull
Tschebull Antique Carpets