For centuries, Azeri carpet-making has been transmitted over generations orally and through practice, encoding the geography, history and lifestyles of Azerbaijan’s many carpet-making villages and cities. The practice has predominantly been led by women who dye and weave the carpets through the winter, and create motifs and use colours as forms of expression and storytelling. Young girls have learned the art of weaving carpets from their mothers and grandmothers.
Carpet-weaving holds high value and is a source of pride among Azerbaijanis. This was reinforced by the Azerbaijan Government’s decision in 1967 to establish the first specialized carpet museum in the world in the country’s capital, Baku. The State Museum of Azerbaijani Carpets and Applied Folk Arts has since developed into a centre of professional crafts and education, including a specialized academic research centre for the study, conservation and promotion of the art of carpet-making. The construction of a new museum building began in 2008 by presidential decree, supported by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and UNESCO, and the traditional art of Azeri carpet-weaving was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.
Source: Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, report for Study Area 4