Azerbaijan’s national costumes are the result of a long-standing and very complex development of the people’s material and spiritual culture. Clothes, which are closely connected with the history of the people, are one of the valuable sources for studying its culture. Clothing, among all other elements of material culture, reflects the national character of the people and is one of the stable ethnic features. Clothing depends on both the level of the economy and the geographical conditions of the people, playing the role of auxiliary material in clarifying the issues of ethnogenesis, cultural and historical ties and interactions between peoples.
The historical, ethnographic and artistic features of folk art are reflected in clothing. This feature manifests itself both in clothing of a certain shape and its decorations, as well as in artistic embroidery, weaving and knitting.
Women’s outerwear. Shaki. During archeological excavations in Azerbaijan in the 19th century, a bronze needle from the beginning of the Bronze Age (third millennium BC) and we were found. These findings prove that the ancient inhabitants of Azerbaijan were able to sew clothes for themselves. Small clay sculptures found in Kultapa and Mingachevir (second millennium BC) and fingerprints from the 5th century BC found in Mingachevir give an idea of the clothes of that period. Remains of clothes made of various silk fabrics were found in the tombs of Mingachevir catacombs belonging to V-VI centuries AD. The discovery of a large number of gold ornaments and shoes made of clay from the III-IV centuries BC is one of the main proofs that the Azerbaijanis have had a high material culture since ancient times.
During excavations at the mausoleum near the Shirvanshahs’ Palace (15th century) in Baku, valuable relics of silk and silk were discovered.
The availability of a large number of cheap raw materials in Azerbaijan created the necessary conditions for the development of silk and wool production in medieval cities.
In the 17th century, Azerbaijan was the largest silk-growing zone in the Middle East, and Shirvan province was the main silk-growing region of Azerbaijan. Shamakhi Shabran, Arash, Gabala, Javad, Agdash and others. together with was one of the important weaving centers of Azerbaijan. The famous traveler Adam Oleari wrote about it: “Their (Shirvan’s) main occupation is yarn, silk and wool weaving and various embroidery works”. Taffeta, fata and comb pieces produced in Shamakhi were especially popular, and there was a great demand for delicate headdresses and other textiles.
Ganja, Sheki, Nakhchivan, Maragha, Marand, Arash and Ordubad were important weaving centers in Azerbaijan. Among them, Ganja, one of the prominent centers of silk weaving, should be especially noted.
Evliya Chalabi (XVII century) wrote that Ganja silk was very popular. The production of cotton cloth also played an important role in the existing handicrafts in Ganja.
The production of various types of fabrics was concentrated in Tabriz. The city was especially famous for the production of high quality velvet, satin, fabric and felt. Some of these fabrics were even exported to other countries.
Nakhchivan’s skilled weavers produced a large number of cheap but beautiful and high-quality cotton fabrics. There was a great demand for the colorful fence fabrics they made.
Certain specializations in the field of fabric production in the cities of Azerbaijan in the XVII century continued in the following centuries. Among the fabrics produced in Azerbaijan and widely processed and exported to other places are zarbaft, khara, satin, taffeta, ganovuz, kamkha, kiseya, velvet, darayi, mahud, shawl, tirma, midgal, bez and others. it should be noted. Some of these passages include “Look at me, pilgrim”, “Night and day”, “Stand in the gene”, “I’m used to burning”, “The street is narrow for me” and so on. became famous under the name.
There is no doubt that the fabric is one of the elements that reflect the culture of the people. The patterns and colors of the fabrics made it possible to distinguish one nation from another, as well as to distinguish the representatives of different classes within the same nation. In Azerbaijan, ganovuz, darayi, mov, zarbaf, hara, satin, velvet, taffeta, fay, tirma and other fabrics were widely used among the population.
While women’s clothing was mainly made of silk and velvet, men’s clothing was mostly made of mahud and shawl woven at home.
Both men’s and women’s underwear were made of linen and cotton. However, wealthy families often sewed their underwear from silk.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Azerbaijani clothing also underwent a rich development.
Research shows that a real national school of dress was established in Azerbaijan at that time. It was possible to know a person’s age, profession, and even class by clothing. Among the Azerbaijani costumes of the 16th century, the most interesting were the headdresses.
It is known from history that in the 16th century, Azerbaijanis were called “redheads” because they wore a thin, high, red hat on their heads and wrapped it in yellow. Nobles and high-ranking servicemen wore 12 eyebrows or drew gold lines over the ammam.
The headdresses worn by high-ranking nobles sometimes had a large and valuable eyebrow, and a relatively small amount of jewels around it. Here, the big eyebrow is a sign of the Prophet Muhammad or Ali, and the small eyebrows are a sign of the 12 imams.
The famous Uzbek scientist GA Pugachenkova and the German scientist H. Hots, who studied the headdresses of the Safavid period, proved that their headdresses changed their shape several times from the beginning of the 16th century to the end of the century. According to them, these hats continued from the beginning of the 16th century until 1535, and from the second half of the 16th century they began to decrease. This type of headdress, which was in vogue until the end of the 16th century, was especially widespread in the cities of Tabriz, Nakhchivan and Shamakhi.
In the 16th century, in Azerbaijan, along with swollen, red-headed mammals, there were also ordinary unadorned mammals.
At that time, the most common baths were mostly white. The shah, the vizier, or the clergy would wear a green turban.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, in addition to the turban, hats resembling the original small hat also existed in Azerbaijan.
In the XVI-XVII centuries, there were a number of other shaped hats in Azerbaijan. Among them, hats made of sheepskin are relatively widespread. It was worn mainly in cattle-breeding and sheep-breeding areas.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, women’s hats were also different in Azerbaijan. According to the materials obtained, it can be said that at that time there were about seven types of women’s hats in Azerbaijan. These include beautifully colored braids, small pomegranate-patterned vodkas, and fur or velvet hats tied under the chin.
One of the most common women’s hats in the XVI-XVII centuries was vodka. There were two main types of vodka: women’s and girls’ vodka.
Women wore their hats at home, in the yard, and at parties, and when they went out, they wore a white sheet. Little girls and the elderly were usually allowed to walk on the street without a headscarf.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, outerwear in Azerbaijan was very diverse and colorful. Outerwear forms of this period developed mainly as a continuation of ancient clothing traditions. However, this tradition has become richer, more beautiful and more decorative. The change is mainly in the individual details, patterns and decorations.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, men belonging to a relatively wealthy class in Azerbaijan wore a robe with embroidered skirts, shoulders and necklines. These robes would be of two types. The first type of robe was to be worn on the shoulder.
The second type of robe, on the other hand, was a narrow half-sleeve and stood relatively close at the waist.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the traditional outer garment, the aba, was also very popular in Azerbaijan. Unlike the abaas of the previous period, they sat tightly on the body, and the arms were relatively narrow. In the miniatures of this century, we also see that the skirts of such abas are pierced with a belt.
The men wore tight-fitting trousers with narrow legs. Pants were also made of the upper part of the shirt, but the color was often blue or dark yellow.
Men’s shoes of these centuries also had different shapes. The most common men’s shoes were soft-soled (sometimes low-heeled) and long-sleeved (light) boots made of soft leather. In the 16th and 17th centuries, women’s outerwear was also diverse in Azerbaijan. However, the shape of these clothes is reminiscent of men’s clothes of that time.
Like men, women (especially the wealthy) wore long-sleeved robes over their shoulders. However, women’s robes were simpler and decorated with fewer patterns.
One of the most popular women’s garments in the 16th and 17th centuries was the heel-length trousers. As with men, women’s trousers were very narrow at the ankles and wide at the top.
In the 18th century, Azerbaijani clothes were also very colorful. Baku, Guba, Shamakhi, Karabakh, Nakhchivan, Ganja, Lankaran, Sheki, etc. The emergence of such independent khanates also had a significant impact on clothing. The fact that the khanates lived in such a special framework, in different political and economic conditions, led to a change in dress (albeit superficial). This variability was not primarily in the shape and silhouette of the garment, but in the goods and ornaments on which it was made.
In the 18th century, men in Azerbaijan wore a long-sleeved, body-hugging chukha. Chukha was mainly made of thick fabric. Depending on the age of the person, the color and height of the pot would be different.
In the 18th century, the aba was worn mainly by mullahs and respected elders.
In the 18th century, men’s shoes were also very diverse. The most commonly used men’s shoes were small leather-soled shoes. At that time, there were long-sleeved boots made of thin leather and boots worn by the peasants from the past to the beginning of the 20th century.
In the 18th century, women’s clothing was relatively beautiful and tastefully made. Marshal von Bieberstein, a traveler who visited Azerbaijan at the end of this century, emphasized that he was fascinated by the beauty of women and their clothes.
In the 18th century, women’s outerwear consisted of a shirt, a turban, an arkhalik, a kurdu, an ashtray, a labbed, a donkey, and a spring.
The color of the shirts worn by women also varied depending on their age. Girls and brides wore yellow, red, and green shirts, and older women wore white or black shirts. One of the most beautiful women’s outerwear of this century was the shawl. It had a flat lining and was so tight to the body. It had convex parts on the sides below, called scars, which made the body look more beautiful and figured.
One of the most popular clothes among women was the arkhalik. The back was lined like a sledgehammer and was cut to fit the body. Skirts of different widths were sewn at the back below the waist. Some of the arches were straight and cut, and there were scars on the sides.
In this century, the most beautiful women’s arches were built in Shusha, Sheki, Nakhchivan and Shamakhi.
One of the richest women’s outerwear was Kurdish in this century. The Kurd was bandaged and sleeveless. Because it was worn in the winter, fur was sewn around her neck, collar, and skirt.
Although the shape of women’s shoes resembled some men’s shoes, they were distinguished by their elegant shape and beautiful ornaments. The shoes of relatively aristocratic women were embroidered, and a piece of silver decorated with patterns from heel to toe was attached to it (such women’s shoes kept in many museums of the republic are an example of this).
In the 18th century, women’s hats were as diverse as ever.
Women used gauze and linen to tie their hair together. It was also considered as a means of restraint (in Gashband-Nakhchivan). For the slide, they were made of gold (hook, neck) mainly for gold, and gold coins with hooks were attached to the ends. The gauze was made of white cotton, and the chargat was orange, pink, and sometimes fringed.
The bright colors of Kalagai were preferred.
It was also possible that the petal was tied over the veil. So, three hats were worn at the same time, the first with gauze (or linen), the second with a veil, and the third with a petal (or butcher, saranda, zarbab).
In cold weather, they would put a shawl over all these clothes (a shawl, a cashmere shawl, a hand-woven shawl made of natural wool). One of the most popular hats during this period was the arachnid. However, these arachnids differed from the arachnids of the 16th-17th centuries by the absence of a braided bag on the back. In the 18th century and later, a headdress made of a fabric called “tasekqabagi” was also widespread in Azerbaijan. These hats, which adorned most women’s foreheads, were made by jewelers, not tailors. This type of headgear was widespread mainly in Karabakh, Ganja, Gazakh, Tovuz and Borchali districts. In the XIX century, Baku, Shamakhi, Sheki, Ganja, Gazakh, etc. of Azerbaijan. The works of Russian artists VV Vereshchagin and GG Gagarin, who visited the cities and painted national costumes in nature, are also of some importance.
The territory of Azerbaijan can be conditionally divided into several historical and ethnographic zones. These include Guba-Khachmaz, Absheron, Lankaran-Astara, Shamakhi, Karabakh, Nakhchivan-Ordubad, Gabala-Oguz, Sheki-Zagatala, Ganja and Shamkir-Gazakh. The fact that Azerbaijanis living in the above-mentioned historical and ethnographic zones have basically the same clothes is a proof that they belong to a historically single ethnic group. Small differences in the dress of the population of these zones reflected only the local features of the uniform national dress of Azerbaijan. The clothes reflected the local features of different historical and ethnographic zones of Azerbaijan, as well as the age, family and social status of the person wearing them. There were noticeable differences in the clothes of the young girl and the married woman. Young brides wore more beautiful and rich clothes. Girls and older women used less jewelry.
Men’s clothing was basically the same in the historical and ethnographic zones marked as women’s clothing. It was not difficult to tell from the men’s clothing what class he belonged to.
Children’s clothing was similar in shape to that of adults, differing only in size and age-appropriate elements.
Wedding and holiday dresses were usually made of precious fabrics and were decorated with various gold and silver ornaments, unlike casual and work clothes.
Azerbaijani women’s clothing, consisting of underwear and tops in the 19th and early 20th centuries, can be divided into two parts.
The women’s outerwear consisted of a top shirt, an arkhalik, a chapan, a labbada, an ashtray, a kurdu, a donkey, and a spring.
The sleeves of women’s shirts were mostly long, wide and straight. The shoulder seam was mostly straight and in some cases had small creases. Under the armpit was usually a brick of a different color. The shirt was buttoned with a button on the neck. The top shirt was usually made of ganovuz or fayda. The neck, collar, cuffs and hem of the shirt were covered with yellow bafta. The front of the shirt was embroidered with a gold skirt, a receipt, and a coin with a gold or silver handle.
It was worn over a shirt. It had a flat lining and was so tight to the body. On the sides, near the hem, there were so-called sleeveless sleeves ending in gloves. These arms swung loosely below the shoulder. Sometimes buttons were sewn on this so-called arm. The sash was made of rags, velvet and various gold fabrics. On the collar of the heel, on the edge of the scar, on the skirt and on the edges of the arm, wrap and other bafts, bellows, chains, shawls, etc. would be caught.
The back is considered to be one of the most widespread garments in all of Azerbaijan. The backs were different.
The back was lined like a sledgehammer and was cut to fit the body. At the back, skirts of different widths were sewn below the waist. Some of the arches were straight and cut, and there were scars on the sides. The shape of the arms of the backs would also be different. Some were straight and long, in the form of a so-called arm that ended with a glove below the elbow. The third form of the arches was the lelufar sleeve. The lelufar arm, which was straight to the elbow, was cut open in the shape of a lily below the elbow. In the mouth of the arm, two fingers from the piece of the back were added to the crease. The collars of the backs were open. In most cases, the backs were buttoned down to the chest. The collars of some of the arches were not buttoned. The backs were made of velvet, rags and various gold cloths, and were decorated with yellow and various bafts.
Labbada – was lined and lined. Labbada’s collar was open and tied at the waist with a garden. Labbada had a short scar on the sides just below the waist. The arm was short, up to the elbow. The armpits were cut open. The forehead was made of rags, velvet and various gold fabrics, and the collar, the mouth of the sleeve and the skirt were decorated with delicate bafts.
Wear – a quilted outerwear. The donkey’s chest and underarms were open, and its arms were cut to the elbows. They used mainly rags and velvet to sew donkeys. Fur was placed on the donkey’s collar, sleeves, and skirt. In addition, various braids and chains were sewn on the mouth, skirt and collar of the arm.
Kurdish – sleeveless and embroidered women’s clothing. The collar is open. There are scars on the sides. Kurds were made of rags and velvet. Fur was sewn on his collar, skirt and sleeves. In addition, one of the most popular clothes among the population was the Khorasan Kurd. These Kurds, brought from Khorasan, were made of dark yellow leather and embroidered with silk thread of the same color.
Spring is a lined and lined women’s clothing. A long skirt with small pleats was sewn in the spring, which sat tight to the waist. The arm was straight and up to the elbow, the collar was cut open. The spring was mainly made of velvet. Various bafta, belts and chains were sewn on the collar, skirt and sleeves of the spring.
Kulaja is a woman’s outerwear that has to be folded so straight. The wind was open to the knee and the arm was below the elbow. The windmill was built mainly of velvet and rake. Her collar, waist, skirt, and sleeves were often embroidered with gulabetin, beads, pilek, and malila.
The length of the skirt worn by the Azerbaijani woman was up to the ankle, except for the Nakhchivan-Ordubad zone. In the Nakhchivan-Ordubad zone, women wore relatively short skirts. Tuman 112 wood was made of various patterns of silk or wool. In addition to the upper skirt, the skirts worn under it were called intermediate skirts. The fogs were corrugated or creased, and a fog was carried over the fiber. On both sides of the skirt, which was woven from goat’s hair, there were tassels made of colored silk and gulab. The fogs were made of all kinds of fabrics, from the fence to the rafters. At the foot of the fog is a piece of cloth, various bafts, chains, etc. would be caught. In some cities, women also wore chachchur when they went out. Chakhchur was made of various silk fabrics.
To further beautify women’s outerwear, a variety of bafts made at home and in artisan quarries – sarima, karagoz, chains, shahpasend, etc. was available. In addition, walnut and secretary walnut buttons made of gold or silver were sewn along the collars of women’s clothing. A gold-trimmed skirt or midahil was used to sew the hem of the shirt. Sometimes gold coins were sewn on the hem of the shirt. Women’s clothes include gulabetin, beads, pilek, etc. embroidery also took up a lot of space.
The women wore gold or gold-plated silver belts over their backs or skirts. Along with them, silver coins were made of leather, and belts with silver buckles were also widely used.
Among the women’s headdresses, kalagai, various braids, delicate and goose-silk silk veils were especially widespread. Kalagai was produced in special quarries in the famous silk-growing centers of Azerbaijan, such as Sheki, Ganja and Shamakhi.
In some places, women would put alcohol under their headscarves. These arachnids were often embroidered with gold ornaments of various shapes.
In Azerbaijan, the headscarf was mainly typical for residents of some cities and suburban villages. As they left the house, the women wore shawls from head to toe. The shawl was made of one-color satin, checkered goat fabric, and a variety of silk fabrics. The women who wore the shawl sometimes used the ruband.
The national costumes of Azerbaijani men in the 19th century also consisted of underwear and tops.
Men’s outerwear consisted of a top shirt, back, chukha and trousers. It should be noted that this set of folk costumes, which is very widespread, was typical for the entire territory of Azerbaijan, except for minor differences.
There were two types of men’s tops: a small yoke of both types with a collar in the middle and a collar on the side. The collar of the shirt was buttoned with a button and a loop. Men’s shirts were mostly made of satin and leather.
The back was cut at the waist and the body was cut. The skirt was pleated or wrinkled, the arms were straight and narrowed towards the wrists. The backs had one or two breasts, a small yoke and buttons up to the neck. The backs are made of velvet, satin, thin border, surface, rubber, etc. they built from cloth. Young people wore belts or belts on their backs, and old men tied belts.
Chukha is one of the men’s outerwear. There were two types of chukhas in Azerbaijan – weighted and Circassian. The collars of both chukhas were cut open. Chukha was built with such a tight fit and lining, with a pleated skirt or pleats. There would be a dam on the waist.
The arms of the weighted chukha were cut straight and long, and weight treasures were built on both breasts. Weights adorned with silver or gold were placed on the treasures.
The Circassian Chukha differed in weight from the shape of his arm. The lining of the so-called arm of the Circassian chukha with a swollen or rounded tip was made of silk. These sleeves often had loops and buttons made of string. The length of the Circassian chukha varied: some were slightly below the knee, and some were up to the knee. Chukhan was made of mahud or shawl. Chukhan was decorated with various gold bafta, yellow and other fabrics.
Men’s trousers were relatively gene in the fiber part, and they were narrowing towards the legs. A triangular piece of cloth was made between the children. A thread made of goat’s hair was passed through the fiber of the trousers. At the ends of the mist there were beautiful braids of gold and silver roses woven from thread. The trousers were made of woven shawls at home or from a variety of woolen fabrics. In some mountainous areas, men’s winter coats were made of sheepskin. In shopping malls and cities, there were men who wore Khorasan fur. The top of the Khorasan fur was embroidered with silk thread. In the mountains, shepherds used to work in the winter.
Men’s hats were given special importance in Azerbaijan. It was impossible to walk bareheaded. The most common men’s hats were leather hats of various shapes: steamer and Circassian hat (black, gray and clove steamed leather), shepherd’s waterfall hat and others. In most cases, gulebat embroidered arachnids were very common on leather and silk fabrics. Old men and old men wore white cloth under their hats. At night, the men wore shabby hats.
Socks. Knitted wool socks are one of the most widely used clothes in Azerbaijan. The socks were woven from silk and wool. Knitted socks in Azerbaijan differed both in their delicate and beautiful patterns and in the colors of their threads. Their pattern is the same as that of carpets, embroidery, printing and fabrics. The socks were knitted as long as the knee and as short as the ankle.
Shoes. Shoes made of different colored fabrics were very widespread in Azerbaijan. The most common footwear worn by both men and women was considered to be shoes.
Women also wore embroidered shoes or embroidered boots with long necks. Men’s shoes made of tanned and raw leather were usually monochromatic and patternless. In the cities, men wore shoes made by shoemakers. In rural areas, raw leather boots were more common. The ties of the shoes were woven from wool.
Various ornaments complemented the clothes and enriched its national character. Jewelers made ornaments out of gold and silver. Precious stones: diamonds, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls, turquoise, agates, etc. was used. The centers of jewelry in Azerbaijan were Baku, Ganja, Shamakhi, Sheki, Nakhchivan, Shusha. Local jewelers made all kinds of jewelry for the population. Women’s and men’s silver belts made by Dagestan’s Cuban jewelers were also very popular in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani women loved ornaments and used them extensively and skillfully.
The set of ornaments used by women was called a mansion. This includes a variety of head and chest ornaments, rings, earrings, belts, bracelets and bracelets.