North Caucasus: what the crafts say

". The hammers of the chasokers along copper pelvis and trays, hiped in the small mountains of the Flame of the Gorish Kuznetsov, and splashed in all directions Sparks from the horseshoes who spawned here on glory. Near the Kumukhasi silently and focused on golden laces and seasons, leather for shoes; Chevyaki was prepared whole hundred. Peculiar jewelers put in silver. Zhevaki stood a solid crowd to gunsmiths who stuffed gold patterns on the narrow blowing of a guns, on steel checkers and daggers. Carnelian, turquoise, rubies – were shown on the handles. Near small langocks with dwaped, giving and camel cloth silent ghosts flashed lezgins. "- Such sketch left the mountain masters in. AND. Nemirovich-Danchenko.

Jewelry Art

Jewelry art has been reflected in female decorations, in elements of men’s and female costumes, dishes, horse gear. The main metal was silver. According to one of the versions, all the names of silver in the world will go up to the two roots existing in Ado-Abkhaz and Cartewellean languages.

Engraving, mobile, gilding, grains and scan, inlay precious and semi-precious stones, colored glasses, carved ivory – Local masters owned these techniques perfectly. You can see for this, having visited the GMIA. A. WITH. Pushkin in Moscow. In the collection found in Zaklesssky Necropolis on the Cherk River in Kabardino-Balkaria, presented weapons, flibulas, buckles, polyhedric temporal letters, brooches, swabs on the sheath of swords and knives, decoration of belt headset, weapons and clothes.

Where to look : State Historical Museum and All-Russian Museum of Decorative and Applied and Folk Art in Moscow, National Museums in Grozny, Maikop, Nalchik, Ethnographic complex "Dagestan Aul" in Makhachkala, Ingush State Museum of Local Studies in Nazran.


None of the house in the Caucasus can not be submitted without a carpet. Every Caucasian people have their own ornaments – they are unique and do not change in centuries. It is noteworthy that the figure did not even affect the adoption of Islam prohibiting living beings. On the South Daggers can be found schematic images of plants and birds, as well as the "doll" pattern (in the center of the canvas is a figure of a person). And Chechens and Ingush have to see the silhouettes of cattle, which speaks about the cattle-growing activities of these peoples. The general for all Caucasian carpets is a geometric pattern.

The peoples of the Caucasus there are beliefs that, depending on the ornament and color, the carpet brings it to the owner of luck, wealth, protection from adversity. The most popular colors in the Caucasus have always been black, red, yellow or white. In Tabasaran, bright colors were actively used, including pink, lilac, etc. Extremely rarely used turquoise, purple, blue or green. In general, carpets were not only a decoration, but had practical benefits. To protect against sudden temperature drops and harsh mountain climates, carpets needed not only on the floor, but also hung on the walls.

Where to look: Museum of carpet and decorative and applied art in Derbent, Dagestan Museum of Fine Arts. In other regions with carpet art, you can get acquainted in ethnographic and local history museums.

Gun Eyes

The weapon in the North Caucasus was and remains a symbol of dignity, honor and strength. The most common among the mountain peoples were daggers, checkers, sabers. And everyone has their own unique characteristics of the blade form, handles, as well as ornaments and decorations. Especially common was the "Circassian drawing", when individual elements are repeated in the order of alternating circles and ovals filled with a variety of small patterns.

Caucasian forge of weapons was considered Dagestan. The famous Amusgin Blade (the village of Amuzgi, not far from the cubes) dissected not only a raised handkerchief, but also a thick steel nail. A good saber cost a whole ram, and a saber from Amuzginsky Masters of Aydameir – Buvolol.

No less famous were the daggers of Masters Balary from Kumyk settlement. Upper Kazanskaya (North Dagestan). In 1851, four of his daggers were exhibited at the London Exhibition. Balary is known and in that he has retained the secret of bouten steel, which was paid back in the V-X centuries.

And in the National Museum of the Chechen Republic, unique exhibits are kept: the dagger and the checker of the famous Chechen Masters-Klinocher end of the XIX – the beginning of the 20th century from the village of Tolstoy-Yurt (Devkar-Evl) Chillas Murtazalieva. Chilla products (the name comes from the name of Chechen winter – "Chilla") differed not only by quality, but also registration, so they were in demand far beyond the region. The blades of the master decorate the Chechen ornament, and the heads of the handles did in the form of a head of a lion or wolf – the symbol of courage from Chechens. (Chechen ornament, or nohchyine ornament, is a repeating pattern with sharp corners and rounded shapes. It symbolizes the outlines of Chechen towers on the slopes of the mountains and in the gorges. – approx. Red.)

Where to look: Hermitage in St. Petersburg, State Historical Museum in Moscow, National Museum in Grozny, Maikop, Nalchik, "Dagestan Aul" in Makhachkala, Ingush State Museum of Localia in Nazran.

blacksmith craft

Blacksmiths made almost all types of labor instruments, sometimes using a tree as an addition. Some masters specialized in the manufacture of Phaetons, Linek, Kayak, Careet. The main raw material was iron, but besides it was used copper, which went to the manufacture of homemade utensils.

Karachayevsky and Balkan blacksmiths gone handles for doors and windows of houses built in the Russian pattern (traditional Karachai and Balkarian houses did not have on the doors and windows of the handles).

In 1910, the "Ethnographic Journal" wrote: "Lucky (Nature of the Northern Caucasus), for a long time, famous as Mednisters, the Eclipse of the Sun and the Moon, explain the fact that God-spoken on the people is flattened by the Moon and the Sun to the Moon, why they go out. Lakges among the first in Russia began to open handicraft workshops. The story is known for the case when the Lakussky jeweler managed to reach the Minister of Finance from the ruler of Ethiopia, and his son, Commander Nasib Emmanuel, for merits in Itao-Abyssinian military conflict (1936) declared the National Hero of Ethiopia.

North Caucasus about what the crafts say

Where to look : National Museums of the Chechen Republic in Grozny, Maykop, Nalchik, Ethnographic complex "Dagestan Aul" in Makhachkala, Ingush State Museum of Localia in Nazran, Local Lore and Ethnographic Museums, National Cultural Centers.

Wood processing

Woodworking flourished in the forest areas of the North Caucasus, where wooden utensils replaced copper and iron. Often she was decorated with carvings. The Avarian village of Unzucul was widely famous, where the masters were developed by such a method for treating a tree, as a metal notch, allowed to create bizarre patterns. The main ornament – geometric and vegetable.

However, the tree was used not only for dishes, but also for instruments of labor and the manufacture of furniture (the latter was widespread in Dagestan). And for each type of products, three varieties of wood were used. Arba was made of oak, Karagach and ash, wooden pieces of the plow – from maple and birch, utensils – from Linden, dishes – from pear. The main method of manufacturing dishes – hollow out. The finished item was subjected to boiling, lubricated and dried.

Where to look: Local Lore and Ethnographic Museums, National Cultural Centers.


The pottery of the North Caucasus, despite the antiquity and widespread development, declined after the Mongolian invasion. In the period of his highest heyday, there were areas where pottery became practically art.

The most famous – Laki Aul Balkhard in Dagestan. Balharik ceramics is distinguished by the uniqueness of the ornaments and the motifs of the decor. The manufacture of dishes were engaged in the main woman, starting with the mining of clay and ending with the firing of finished products. The ornament consisted of a variety of elements – lines, curls, spirals. Distinctive feature – no symmetry.

The painting was most often in the style of Arabesque (floating ornament with many traditional parts) or in geometric shape (solar signs, diamonds, wide border and other elements). Sometimes the plots of drawings served genre scenes from the life of the Gorsky Aul.

Where to look: Local Lore and Ethnographic Museums, National Cultural Centers.

You might also enjoy:

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.