TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Ancient headscarves of Azerbaijani women stun art lovers

21 December 2018 [15:27] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Laman Ismayilova

Silk scarves are great and must-have accessories to accompany any dress or outfit for any occasion. 

For many centuries, kelaghai has been an integral part of Azerbaijani women's national costume that protects them from both the hot sun and cold wind as silk is cool in summer and warm in winter.

The exhibition "Kelaghai: Past-Present-Future" solemnly opened at Kichik Gala Art Gallery on December 20, Trend Life reported.

The exhibition features unique kelaghai head scarves from international museums and private collections never seen before.

Ancient headscarves are represented by young collectors Ruslan Huseynov and Fuad Dzhabrailov (FR collection), whose exhibits are collected from the most remote corners of the country. The exhibition also presents old kelaghai from the collection of fashion designer Natavan Aliyeva. 

The head of the office of Icherisheher State Historical and Architectural Reserve, Riad Gasimov, director of the Azerbaijan National Art Museum Chingiz Farzaliyev, art historians and cultural figures gathered at one spot to enjoy the traditional head scarves of Azerbaijani women.

"Since 2015, Milli Irsimiz has been accountable for a series of events dedicated to the 16th-18th centuries Azerbaijani dragon carpets and the works of the great philosopher and poet of the 12th and 13th centuries Nizami Ganjavi," said the exhibition curator Asli Samadova.

The exhibition curator also stressed that the exposition explains how the kelaghai head scarf has transformed from an element of national costume to a Soviet propaganda symbol, and then into a contemporary fashion accessory and symbol of national pride.

The exposition creates a unique opportunity to immerse into the history of ancient accessory for women.

It presents unique materials from Azerbaijani and foreign museums, private collections with innovations in the field of museum practice.

By the way, Asli Samadova worked on exhibition and educational projects as well as book publications with leading museums of the world - the museums of textiles in Washington and Boras (Sweden), the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Victoria and Albert in London, the Brera Pinakotheca in Milan and the Museum of Islamic Art Berlin.

The event program includes curator tours, lectures, kelaghai and batik making workshops and many more activities.

Visitors can not only look at the rarest exhibits, first presented archival photographs from museums in Georgia, but also learn gorgeous ways to wear this ancient headscarf, and even make their own mini kelaghai by signing up for a workshop.

The consultant of the exhibition is Ph.D. in psychology Rena Ibrahimbekova, thanks to whom kelaghai art was revived in Baskal several decades ago.

Unique kelaghai as well as the 19th-20th centuries Galiba (stamps) from Baskal Kelaghai Museum were presented at the exhibition.

The collection of Galiba stamps also featured exhibits from the Azerbaijan National Art Museum.

The exhibition was created according to international museum standards and was highly appreciated by such leading textile experts as Alberto Boralevi (Florence) and Michael Frances (London), colleagues of the exhibition curator on organizing international events for the promotion of textiles and carpets.

A number of museums in Europe and North America have shown interest in the exhibition.

All exhibition materials are presented in three languages ??- Azerbaijani, Russian and English.

The event, which runs until May 15, 2019, is organized with the assistance of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan,  Icherisheher State Historical and Architectural Reserve, the National Bureau of Tourism Development, International Conference on Oriental Carpets and Creative 141.

The exhibition is open all days except Mondays from 11:00 to 20:00.

"Kelaghai: Past-Present-Future" will close on holidays from December 31 to January 1.

Tickets for the exhibition can be purchased at Kichik Gala Art Gallery, iTicket website and at the box office of the city.

Kelaghai, a unique headscarf of Azerbaijani women adds a soft, feminine touch to every look.

There are so many options to choose from. You’ll find lots of bold colors, majestic patterns and even different fabric choices.

The color of the headscarves has symbolic meaning often tied to specific social occasions such as wedding, mourning ceremony, daily activity or festivities.

The whimsical drawings of the leaves and flowers overlap with complex geometric patterns.

This beautiful garment with 2,000-year history entered the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List.

Nowadays ancient silk headscarf continues to conquer the fashion industry.

Kelaghai has turned into source of inspiration for many fashion experts.


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