Taraz – The Image Of An Armenian Woman

The house-museum of famous ethnographer and artist Lusik Aguletsi has gathered connoisseurs of Armenian culture, as well as young and modern designers, future historians, and philologists.

Among them was me, a woman who had lived for a long time outside her historical homeland and who wanted to learn more about national traditions.

This time, the reason for the meeting was a lecture on the Armenian national costume – the Taraz. Ethnographer and candidate of historical sciences Svetlana Poghosyan revealed some of its secrets and interesting features.

“There are certain elements by which you can establish the attachment of a national costume to a particular region. For example, the belt and apron made of fabric with a checkered pattern were worn in Hamshen and Trapizon, and only in these areas was the headgear worn askew. The Tarazes of Syunik and Artsakh were especially bright – they were characterized by the traditional combination of red and green colors,” she said.

The national costume reflected the social situation of a person, his age, and also his marital status. As she noted, clothing played a very important role. In traditional society, brides and married women would always complement their outfits with embroidery and jewelry – not only for aesthetic reasons but also due to these elements’ protective functions.

An important element of the national Armenian costume was an apron with the owner’s initials in its lower corners.

One of the presented samples of the national attire was the recreated everyday women’s outfit of Goghtn (a Gavar of Great Armenia, now part of the Ordubad region of Azerbaijan).

The ethnographer emphasized that the jewelry on the national costume was placed at the pain points of the human body – that is, in the most vulnerable places, including near the temple, on the head, neck, chest, stomach, arms, and legs.

As she noted, it was not by chance that they were placed on clothes in certain locations. This had deep meaning and significance since these are the points where the human energy centers are located.

The world of the Armenian national costume is rich and diverse. It has a certain ideology and is so full of all kinds of details such as patterns, hats, belts, bibs, and jewelry that it serves as a huge source of inspiration and new ideas for modern designers. Quite successfully so, I must admit.

Text, photo, and video from Hasmik Karapetyan, armeniangc.com

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