Decorations of Daghestan
Decorations of Daghestan. The reserve of folk crafts is called in our time multinational Dagestan. For a long time, blacksmiths, jewelers, potters, copper workers, carpet-makers and many other craftsmen worked in Dagestan villages.
Of all kinds of artistic creativity, the greatest development in Dagestan was jewelry art.
Jewelers worked throughout Dagestan. The main centers for the production of metal jewelry were the villages of Kubachi, Kazikumukh, Choh and Goatsatl.
Throughout the Caucasus and far beyond its borders were famous for jeweled weapons of Dagestan and original women’s jewelry. Products made of metals, stones and glass were an integral part of the festive costume of women of many peoples of the country. The set of festive decorations included not only removable jewelry – rings, earrings, bracelets, but also a variety of pendants that were sewn on, fastened tightly to the clothes. The love for metal products was so great that sometimes they even entered the everyday attire of Dagestani women.
In ancient times, metal jewelry had a magical significance, associated with the ancient beliefs of the country, and played the role of amulets and amulets. In the XIX century, following traditional customs, they are still partly given such an appointment, but mostly they are used as a decorative addition to the costume.
The basis of women’s clothing in Dagestan was a tunic shirt with long straight sleeves and long, to the ankles, pants. At Avars, Lezgins, Kumyks, a caftan was put on top of a shirt. The head was worn with a cap-shaped garment with a long bag for braids from behind. Over the cap, they wore a long white or black veil. Each nation had its own peculiarities in clothes, the headgear was very diverse. To make clothes, woolen fabrics, cotton fabrics, festive clothes were sewn from silk, velvet, brocade. The coloring of the tissues was very restrained. Dark red, black, blue, brown, green, sometimes with a rare small ornament – the preferred coloring of clothing.
In each case, the set of jewelry that was part of the costume was closely related to the character of the garment and its design, forming a single whole with them.
Dagestan jewelry can be divided into breast, head, belts and hand embellishments.
To the chest are necklaces, beads, bibs. Necklaces were made of metal or various beads. To the chain attached pendants in the form of leaves, hollow tonsils, coins. Some peoples of Dagestan had beads of colored stones and glass, pastes, sometimes in combination with metal. This category includes a variety of amulets such as pendants that are hung on a chain or sewn to a dress. Most often they were decorated with engraving and niello.
For jewelry worn on the headdress, the shape of a chain or a bundle of hooks ending with hooks is characteristic. Chains can be intercepted by plaques and plates, decorated with black, engraved, stamping and colored glass. The chains attached a veil, sometimes skirting the chin. Hooks, with which the adornments are held on the head, covered with plates usually teardrop shaped with colored glass.
Temporal rings and earrings were of different sizes, most often in the form of a horseshoe, circle, crescent or pear, with or without suspension. Large, heavy temple rings were supported additionally by a strap or a cord that passed through the head, connecting both earrings. Earrings were not worn by all the peoples of Dagestan. They were decorated with black, scandium, engraving, colored mastic and glass.
Bracelets and rings most widely existed (and still exist) throughout Dagestan. In some areas, the bracelet was a part of the obligatory gift of the groom to the bride. The bracelets were of two types: one in the form of an open hoop, twisted from several wires with flattened ends, sometimes with a small black or relief ornament; another one of a single piece of metal tape or of two parts connected by hinges. Such bracelets were decorated with black and engraved, as well as colored stones and glasses in high rims. The shape of the bracelet depended not only on the attire or district in which they existed, but also on the age of the woman and her social and marital status. For example, the girls-kubachinki wore only narrow twisted bracelets, and married – wide ribbon-shaped with stones in high nests. Older women did not wear bracelets.
The Dagestan rings of massive sculptural forms were distinguished by their exceptional artistic originality, they are abundantly decorated with stones, coins, black and stamped patterns, grains, filigree.
The number of rings that were worn by girls and married women was different. So, a girl could only wear one ring on her index finger, and a married woman – two: on her thumb and little finger. The Avarka girl started to wear a ring from her entrant, putting it on during the holiday and taking pictures during the work.
An original decoration of Dagestan’s women was local production of buttons and hook fasteners. The buttons were made in the form of balls, ovals, decorated with pineal protuberances, glass inserts, granules or openwork cuts. The fasteners consisted of two parts, one of which had a loop on the underside, another hook. They sewn to the collar of the dress. They were performed most often in the form of a bean, decorated with niello, a patch of filigree.
Widespread for some peoples of Dagestan belts with large massive buckles. Belts were made from leather, velvet or entirely metal, consisting of links strung on a leather base. Belts cloth or leather were decorated with a large number of coins. The most beautiful part of the belt – a buckle decorated with niello, patch filigree, often it was made with all sorts of pendants made of coins, plaques. Buckles and belts are labor-intensive and expensive products. They were carried out mainly on order, most often to a wedding suit and at manufacture at times combined all existing receptions of art processing of metals.
Dagestan jewelry made of gold, copper, brass, but mostly of silver. In large quantities, colored precious and semiprecious materials were used, most often turquoise, cornelian, corals, and rarely amber.
Jewelry art of Dagestan is distinguished by exceptionally high culture of metal processing. Masters of the country flawlessly owned almost all the techniques of jewelry technology, but most of all they were famous for the art of blackening, engraving, filigree and grains. Masterly mastery of these complex techniques provided local masters greater freedom and ingenuity in solving ornamental motifs.
Nowadays, the jewelers of the Soviet Dagestan, carefully preserving the traditions of the art of the past, create on their basis original modern ornaments that are very popular among all the peoples of our multinational country.