The Art and History of the Armenian Jraberd/Chelaberd Carpets

Carpets are an integral part of Armenian culture and heritage, reflecting the rich and diverse traditions of the people who have inhabited the lands of historical Armenia for millennia. Among the most remarkable examples of Armenian carpet weaving are the Jraberd/Chelaberd carpets, also known as Eagle or Sunburst carpets, which are distinguished by their unique design and vibrant colors.

The Jraberd/Chelaberd carpets belong to the Karabakh school of carpet making, These carpets are actually Armenian in origin and were woven by Armenian craftsmen in the region of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh), which was historically part of the Kingdom of Armenia and later the Principality of Khachen

The name Jraberd/Chelaberd derives from the village of Jraberd, located in the Martakert district of Artsakh, where these carpets were produced. Jraberd was also the name of a medieval Armenian fortress that served as the residence of the Hasan-Jalalyan dynasty, the ruling family of the Principality of Khachen from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Hasan Jalalyan, the founder of the dynasty, was a prominent Armenian prince who defended the region from the Mongol invasions and patronized the construction of many churches and monasteries, including the Yerits Mankants Monastery, which is situated close to the fortress of Jraberd

The Jraberd/Chelaberd carpets are characterized by a single large medallion in the center, which resembles an eagle or a sunburst, surrounded by smaller geometric motifs and floral patterns. The medallion is usually composed of eight pointed stars or octagons, which may symbolize the sun, the fire, or the eight directions of the world. The colors of the carpets are vivid and varied, ranging from red, blue, green, yellow, to brown, black, and white. The dyes were obtained from natural sources, such as plants, minerals, and insects.

The Jraberd/Chelaberd carpets are considered to be rare and valuable, as they represent a high level of artistic and technical skill, as well as a testimony of the Armenian cultural heritage in Artsakh. Some of the oldest and finest examples of these carpets are preserved in museums and private collections around the world, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

The Jraberd/Chelaberd carpets are not only beautiful and exquisite, but also meaningful and historical. They reflect the creativity and resilience of the Armenian people, who have maintained their identity and faith in the face of foreign domination and oppression. They also embody the spirit and legacy of the Hasan-Jalalyan dynasty, who ruled over Artsakh with wisdom and courage, and contributed to the flourishing of the Armenian culture and religion in the region.

Based on status: Arto Tavukciyan

1Guide to Chelaberd Kazak Rugs & Carpets – Home Blog by RoomsToGo 2Principality of Khachen – Wikipedia 3A War Over Patterns, Symbols, and the Cultural Heritage of Karabakh’s Carpets – Hyperallergic 4Principality of Khachen – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 5Hasan-Jalalyan – Wikipedia 6The Yerits Mankants monastery – Monument Watch 7Dragon Rug – Etsy Dragon Rug 9Chelaberd (Eagle Kazak) Rug Caucasus 3rd quarter 19th Century 10The Bortz Chelaberd (Eagle Kazak) Rug Caucasus Circa 1800 11Kazanbulak is a neighboring town to Chelaberti (Chelaberd) in the northern most area of Karabakh (Nagorno Karabahk)

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