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GENERAL INFORMATION ON AZERI CULTURE

One of the world's most ancient nations - the nation of Azerbaijan - has the right to feel proud for its history, material and cultural monuments, literature, arts and music heritage.

Wonderful nature, climate, natural resources of the country produced a significant impact on artistic thinking and creation skills of Azerbaijani people as well. In spite of a long and difficult way undergone by different types of arts in Azerbaijan, they still represent a unity and provide outstanding opportunities for the creation of a full idea of fine arts of Azerbaijan. The folk arts of Azerbaijan are multi-colored, complete and rich, as its natural resources. The folk art is connected with daily life of people and daily life occupies a very special life in the fine arts as well. Folk arks cover a long period from ancient times to nowadays and including a variety of products from garments to housing goods and decoration.

Quite obviously, the style of life, aesthetic tastes, the national image and qualities, are strongly reflected in folk arts. One can easily come across numerous wonderful models of Azerbaijani folk arts in the world's largest museums. The pieces of arts created by the skillful hands of Tabriz, Nakhichevan, Gandja, Gazakh, Guba, Naku, Shaki, Shamakhi and Nagorny Kharabakh can be found in large museum collections of Victoria and Albert of London, Louvers of Paris, Metropoliten of Vashington and Vienna, Rome, Berlin, Istanbul, Tehran, Cairo museums.

The history of folk arts in Azerbaijan has a long and interesting history. Works of art made from metal extracted from Nakhichevan, Migachevir, Gadanay, Gandja and other places are approximately 5000 years old. Crockery, weapons and adornments found here are not historical facts alone, but valuable sources which testify the skills of the master.

Material and cultural models, found during archeological excavations in the territory of Azerbaijan, testify that our ancestors made crockery, daggers, axes, belts and adornments of bronze and used them in daily life. This proves the ancient age of such types of activity as copper-smithy and gold smithy.

There are those with portrayals, showing traditions, religious ideas and even garments of people of that epoch among art patterns made from metal. History, of ethnographical and artistic features of folk art are reflected on the garments. These features are reflected both on garments of certain form and its adornments and fine needle-work, knitting.

Bronze needles and awls from the beginning of the bronze epoch (III millennium B.C ) were found during archeological excavations in Azerbaijan as well. These findings prove that the ancient population of Azerbaijan could sue clothes for themselves. Little clay statues founded from Kultapa and Mingachevir (III millennium B.C) and seals of the V century B.C found in Mingachevir provided opportunities to have a certain idea of garments of that time. Clothing remnants sued from different silk materials are found in Mingachevir catacombs of V-VI centuries B.C. Number of adornments ( III-IV century B.C), made of gold, and clay crock of foot-gear form are well-grounded evidences, proving old high material culture of Azerbaijanis.

Different pictures, scraped on housing implements made from copper, bronze, gold and adornments, prove existence of fine art in Azerbaijan since ancient times.



CULTURE | Views: 856 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



FOLKLORE

The history of folklore, as oral poetic creativity of Azeri people, dates back to the time of first people settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has got one of the richest folklore wealth in the world.

One can still find out rich and deeply meaningful folklore samples in Azerbaijan literature. The signs of mythological and belles-lettres experience are remained both in folklore and classical literature up to day. The mythology of Azerbaijan is not of systematic and full character in comparison with that of the ancient India and the ancient Greek. But it is possible to find out the traces of Azerbaijan mythology in Azerbaijan folklore. They are generally the elements of cosmogonic, seasonal and ethnogonic myths. Those mythic elements, being the result of artistic thinking of primary formation of human society, reflect cosmos and chaos, i.e. mixture in world life, disorder, the creation of world life(order) off this irregularity and the reflection of all this in human society. Cosmos in mythic world-outlook, i.e. rules accepted by most of the people, reflects the process of mutual understanding between the major rule of the society- family, life, man and the nature. Separate details of mythological world-outlook are still remained in the texts concerning sorcery, cheers, curses, tales, godu and the ceremony of counting(sayachy) of the folklore. The old Turkish mythological thinking is the leading motive In the majority of mythological texts. This could be seen cosmogonic myths concerning the creation of the world, as well as in ethnogonic myths concerning the origin of the ethnos and calendar myths concerning season processes. The creation of the mythological texts and their preservation in the form of the elements in folklore texts is closely related with human attitude towards the nature and natural forces. Human desire to effect natural forces by word, movement and dance the provoked necessity to create mythological texts and perform them. For instance, ceremonial songs and dances such as "Kosa-Kosa", "Godu-Godu", "Novruz", "xidir Nabi" are of that kind.


CULTURE | Views: 727 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



THE HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT OF MUSIC


Azerbaijani music was developing through the centuries. The traces of ancient music of Azerbaijan were found in a number of monuments, excavated in time of archeological digs, as well as in rock carvings of Gobustan (18-3 millennium B.C) and Gemigaya (3-1 millennium B.C). Kitabi Dede Gorgud (8th century), creative works of Nizami, Fizuli provide full coverage of medieval music art, music genres and music instruments. The records of such prominent medieval scientists of Azerbaijan as Sefiaddin Urmevi (18 century), Abdulgadir Maragai (17 century), Mir Movsum Nevvab (19 century) pointed out the highly developed art and culture of music and mastery performance and cited theoretical issues of music in medieval Azerbaijan.


The first written monument of our country epos Kitabi Dede Gorgut , containing several chapters, related to music and citing the names of different musical instruments, testifies that out music art possesses ancient history.

Mir Movsum Nevvab Garabagi
The first book on music dates back to the 13th century. Two prominent scientists and musicians of Azerbaijan Sefieddin Urmevi (1217-1294) and Abdulqadir Maraghai made a great contribution to the development of theory of Near and Middle Eastern music in the 13-15th centuries. Booklets Kitabi el-Edvar and Seferiyye by Urmevi established the science of music of Azerbaijan and laid the foundation for its further development. Urmevi entered the history of Azerbaijan as the founder of the school "System" and tabulator science. The system musical notation, created by Urmevi, was the most perfect system of that period


Booklets that followed the creative works of Maragai, did not deal with complex theoretical problems of the theory of Eastern music or in case they dealt, they repeated those of Urmevi, just interpreting them in different ways. The main advantage of these booklets was their practical importance. The creative works of that period include the booklet Negavetil Edvar by the younger son of Maraghai Abdulaziz Chelebi and Megasid el-Edvar by his grandson Mahmud Chelebi

CULTURE | Views: 896 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



THE ESTABLISHMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF AZERBAIJANI THEATER
The Establishment and Development of Azerbaijani Theater Azerbaijani Theatre is closely connected with the activity, life, festivities, wedding traditions, and outlook of the people. Ancient traditional ceremonies, such as "Sayachy", "Novruz", and "Gevsech" encompass theatrical elements such as choruses, dances, various archetypical characters, and dialogs in dramatic plays. The most important moment of the ceremony of Novruz, in the game "Kosa-Kosa", is the pattern of the theatrical plays. The game is characterized by a plot, dramatic moments, and actors in masks who wear special clothes. The episodes "Khan-Khan", "Dancing of Mutribs" ("mutrib" means "a boy in woman's dress"), "The Competition Between the Bride and Mother-In-Law" and others performed at wedding ceremonies reveal the importance of elements of games and performance. The elements of a stage theater are also strong in a widespread ceremony "Yugh", at the meetings of Ozans and Ashugs, in the scenes of "Zorxana", and in rope-dancers' shows
CULTURE | Views: 681 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



THE HISTORY OF THE FILM INDUSTRY IN AZERBAIJAN. SILENT FILMS (1920-1935)

The history of the film industry in Azerbaijan began on August 2, 1898. The first movies were newsreel documentaries ("Fire of the Bibi Heybat Oil Gusher", " Oil Gusher in Balakhany", "Festival In City Park", "Caucasian Dance", etc.) and one short motion picture ("You're Caught Up").

The first film distribution offices were established in Baku, Tbilisi and Yerevan by stock companies (trade houses) founded by the Pirone brothers in the Caucasus in 1915. That same year, the company started the production of Azerbaijan's first feature film, "The Reign of Oil and Millions", based on M. Musabeyov's novel of the same name, with the help of the financing of oil tycoons. Film director B. N. Svetlov was invited from St. Petersburg to produce the film. The landscape scenes were shot in Baku and suburban villages, while the indoor scenes were shot in a Tbilisi studio. The role of Lutveli bey was played by N.Arablinsky. The first comedy in Azerbaijan was produced based on the "Arshyn Mal Alan" opera by U. Hajibeyov in Baku in 1916. The full-length movie "Celebrations of the Anniversary of Independence of Azerbaijan" went on screen in 1919.


CULTURE | Views: 647 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



BACKGROUND ON ANIMATION FILM IN AZERBAIJAN

Creation of animation film in Azerbaijan goes to the early 1930s. Yet in 1933 employees of Azerbaijanfilm studio carried out preparation works to produce this type of cinema, purchased necessary materials from Moscow. The same year they used technical animation in production of documentaries ‘Lokbatan’ and ‘Oil Symphony’ (director B.Pumpyansky). Animation was fully used in educational film ‘Jat’ (director Basov) that was shown on the all-union screens by 1938. Just after release of this film a group of initiators at the studio decided to create an animation film for the first time. Theme for the film was taken from Azeri folk stories. Screenplay ‘Unhappiness of Abbas’, which was written by A.Papov, was directed by young director E.Dikaryov. Film’s art directors were G.Khalygov, J.Zeynalov, M.Magomayev and A.Mirzayev, director of photography G.Yegiazarov.

Not long before Great Patriotic War the studio was going to make the second animation film ‘Syndbad is sea traveler’ that was going to be the sound film. But start of the war left the works incomplete.


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THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FINE ARTS IN ANCIENT TIMES AND MIDDLE AGES

The most ancient models of material culture in the territory of Azerbaijan are from the 8th millennium BCE. Ancient megalith monuments, herdsman stones, dolmens, caves, defense buildings, burial mounds, metallic instruments pottery and jewelry were typical of Azerbaijani households of that period. The national cultural and aesthetical ideations are reflected on rock carvings. The Azikh cave (with a length of 215-220 meters) near the town of Fuzuli proves that Azerbaijan is one of the most ancient dwelling- places of humankind in the world.

Of exceptional importance to serve as examples of ancient models of fine art are the rock carvings in Gobustan, in the Ayichingili and Parichingil Mountains near Zalkha lake in the Kalbadjar region during the Bronze epoch (3rd millennium BCE), and rock carvings into the Gamigaya Mountain in the north of the town of Ordubad.. The rock carvings "Boyukdash", "Kichikdash", "Jingirdagh", and "Shongardagh" portray the lifestyle of ancient peoples, their housing and labor. Dynamic scenes, pictures of people and animals, episodes of hunting, cattle-breeding, farming, and other spheres of life, were perfectly carved into rock. The rock carvings in Gobustan, which are known as pictograms, cover a long historical period from primitive communal order to feudalism.


CULTURE | Views: 597 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



DEVELOPMENT OF ARCHITECTURE FROM ANCIENT TIMES TILL THE ADOPTION OF ISLAM

Due to its mild climate and favorable conditions for humans, Azerbaijan was one of the first places where ancient human civilizations occurred. The results of archeological excavations demonstrated that ancient people in Azerbaijan created numerous works of arts, specifically architectural monuments.

Architecture reflects the history of the humankind. It started with natural caves that served as homes for ancient people. Azerbaijan has numerous such caves within its territory, particularly in the foothills of the Major Caucasus and Minor Caucasus Mountains, in the Talysh Mountains, in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, in Zangilan, Kalbadjar, Gadabay, Khanlar, Shamaxi as well as the Azikh cave, which was discovered in the territory of the Fuzuli region. It was determined that people lived in those caves nearly 1.5 million years ago and tried to adapt natural caves to their lifestyle as a result of increasing awareness and the development of labor and building tools. They drilled hole (flues) in the ceiling to guide fire smoke out of the cave, and they made special hollows into internal walls to keep their tools. The construction works that were carried out in caves by the ancient people resulted in the appearance of artificial caves in later stages. The artificial caves were made into sheer cliffs and at the foothills of the mountains, just as natural caves are situated. They can be found in the south-eastern foothills of the Major Caucasus, in the Minor Caucasus, on the Bargushad and Akara banks in the Gubadli region, near the villages of Maraza, Sundi and Darakandi in the Shirvan region, as well as in the territories, which long ago belonged to the ancient states of Manna and Midia. Wherever the artificial caves were built, ancient people tried to build them at a certain height above ground level for security purposes. The methods of artificial cave construction started changing after the invention of masonry. People began to build new mud and half-mud huts after masonry was invented. Such buildings were usually constructed into mountainsides and hillsides. Ancient people did not have strong skills in masonry building and were not capable of constructing buildings to their desired height. They created an underground grotto in the lower part, while the upper part (the entrance) served as a porch of natural stones to protect them from heat and cold. Scientists report that such buildings existed even before the state of Midiya and were widespread during the period of Midiya.


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THE DEVELOPMENT OF CARPET WEAVING IN AZERBAIJAN

Azerbaijani applied arts, especially carpet weaving, occupy a special place in the history of its national culture.

The most widespread folk art is carpet weaving. It made its way into the everyday life of the people of Azerbaijan and turned into a symbol for the nation. Because of their high aesthetic value, fleecy and pileless carpets, decorated with various patterns and signs, are used to decorate the walls and floors of marquees, huts, homes, nomads' tents, and other buildings.

Regarding the results of archeological excavations and historical records, carpet weaving was shown to have occurred in Azerbaijan during the Bronze Age (the end of the 2nd millennium to the beginning of the 1st millennium BCE). The ancient history of carpet weaving is evidenced by a clay figure of a horse with its horse-cloth decorated with flowers, found in Maku city in Southern Azerbaijan (dates to the 2nd millennium BCE) as well as a golden plate picturing a lion with a decorated cloth found in the hills near Hasanulu on the coast of Lake Urmiya (1st millennium BCE).


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ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECTS  

AZIKH

Azikh is the largest karstic cave in Azerbaijan Republic, at 14 km from the town of Fizuli, in Hadrut region, at a height of 900 m. There are 6 cells connected with each other. Azikh is one of those rare caves of the Paleolithic period which started to be explored in 1960. In 1968, there was found a fragment of a lower jaw belonged to the ancient man lived 350 thousands years ago (Ashel period). This is the third found relic in the world. 10 cultural layers evidencing the ancient man’s long-term presence in Azikh were discovered during the excavations carried out here. He was occupied with collecting, hunting and fishing. There were revealed some fireplaces with a large amount of charcoal and ashes remains. Azikh confirms that the territory of Azerbaijan was inhabited by man 1 million years ago.

 Taglar is a cave of the Palaeolithic period located in Hadrut region of Azerbaijan Republic. It has been investigating since 1964. This cave consisting of several cells was inhabited by ancient man. There are 6 cultural layers discovered during the excavations. Fireplaces, stone tools and faunal remains occurred in these layers.

 

GARAKEPEKTEPE MONUMENT

 Garakepektepe inhabited area is located not far from Fizuli town, in the south-western part of the Lesser Caucasus. The monument is a truncated cone shaped high hill. The height of the hill is 50 meters, the diameter from the north to the south is 220 m., from the west to the east is 180 m. Garakepektepe was formerly mentioned in scientific literature as a sepulchral monument, a type of burial mound or barrow. However, during the thorough archaeological excavations carried out in the 60-80s of the past century it became clear that this monument was an ancient settlement. The cultural layers identified here confirm that this settlement existed in the area over several millenia.


CULTURE | Views: 427 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011