Editor P.A. Azizbekova, Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan Republic
Azerbaijan national costume is the result of the long and complicated processes involved in the development Oi the nations
material and intellectual culture. The history of a nation has a most direct bearing on the national costume. It reflects, more than any other element of material culture, the specific features of a nation and belongs to the more stable ethnic characteristics.
National costume absorbs the ethnic, aesthetic and artistic features of a nation’s creativity which finds expression in the forms of garments, in the embroidery decoration, in the art of weaving and the manner of knitting.
The purpose of the present publication is to acquaint a wide range of readers interested in the subject with some specimens of Azerbaijan national costume.
The catalogue “Azerbaijan National Costume” is compiled on the basis of a vast collection of the national costume in the ethnographic section of the Museum of Azerbaijan History under the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR. Entered in the present catalogue are sets and individual elements of mans and lady’s costume. The publication also contains illustrations oi parti cular garments and their decora live el e m e n t s.
In the 17th century Azer-baijan was .1 major silk producer in the Near East. Its mam set leultui al region was Shirvan anil the lamest
silk manufacturing centres
were Shemakha. Baskal. ( vyandzha, Sheki anil Shu-sha. They produced wonderfully line silk fabrics with an exquisitel) attractive design, ladies” head kerchiefs and other commodities.
The costume style was appropriate to the family status and age of the wearer. The costume of a maiden differed noticeabk from that of a married woman. Young women wore particularly gay and attractive garments.
The man’s as well as woman’s costume was basically the same in all the historical ethnographic zones of Azerbaijan. At the same time the man’s costume bore the imprint of the wearer’s social status.
Children’s costume was similar to that of adults’ in its silhouette while differing from the latter in size and certain age-related peculiarities.
The Azerbaijan woman’s costume ol the l(‘th early 20th centuries consisted of undergarments and outer garments. both shoulder and waist-worn.
The shoulder-worn outer garments were mainly usi keyneyi, chepken, arkhalyg and klwz eslunyak.
The usi keyneyi, a simply cut outer robe, had no shoulder seams and was provided with multicoloured gussets. It was usually made of silk (taffeta or faille).
The chepken. also a shoulder-worn outer garment, had a lining and would-be sleeves. C//</>-kens were made of tinna, velvet or brocade of va-
The urkhtilyg, another shoulder-worn outer garment, was widespread in Azerbaijan. Arkhaiygs were made of tirma, brocade Ol various kinds 01 velvet.
The labbaita, a short-cut shoulder-worn garment, was made of tirma. velvet or brocade and had a quilted lining.
The kytilyaja, a shoulder-worn garment with a lining, was made of tirma or velvet.
The bakhari, a shoulder-worn garment with a quilled lining, was mostly made of velvet.
The kyurilyu. or quilted waistcoat, was made of tirma or velvet, decorated with far and embroidered in satin stitch.
The eshmyak, a quilted outer garment, was made of tirma or velvet. The collar, skirt and sleeves were trimmed with ferret fur. The inside was lined with ferret fur as well. The garment was decorated with gold lace and all kinds of tape.
The waist-worn outer garments comprised a number of tumans (skirts). ckilibahgs (double skirts) and chakhchun (outer wide trousers).
Townswomen put on chakhchurs over their skirts when going out.
The catalogue features various kinds of headgear.
The yashmak was mainK worn D) townswomen and those living in suburban villages.
The mans national costume comprised usl keyneyi (shirt), arkhalyi*. gaba and thukha (shoulder-worn garments) ami wide trousers (waist-worn garment).
Arkhaiygs, both single-and double-breasted, were made of silk, cashmere, satin, broadcloth, sateen or other fabrics.
The gaba, a shoulder-worn outer garment, was usuallv made of tirma.
The chukha. a shoulder-worn outer garment, was usually cut in the waist and pleated or gathered. C’hak-ha.s were made of broadcloth, tirma or homespun cloth.
The kyurk, a sheepskin overcoat, the fur inside, with a collar and without a fastening, decorated with embroidery.
The national costume was complemented with headgear and footwear of all kinds.
Pieces of jewellery, made lor the most part In local craftsmen, enhanced the beaut) of the national costume.
There are all kinds of lady’s jewellery. They can be divided. In manner ot wearing, into head, neck-and-pectoral. wrist-and-fin-ger and bell ornaments.
The catalogue presents national garments of all the historical ethnographic /ones of Azerbaijan, in-eluding Baku. Karabakh. (iyandzha-Kazakh, Shemakha. Naklnche\ an and Sheki.
The specimens featured in the present catalogue date back to the I’Jth -early 20th centuries, with the exception of an aiklm-lvi> made in the ISth century, it belonged to a woman of a well-off famih. Made of velvet it is decorated with, gold and multicoloured satin-stitch embroidery.
We hope the catalogue will give you an idea of the di\ersit\. beauts and elegance of Azerbaijan national costume.
Text h\ M. Jehrailova I’hotos In Ilusein/ade