Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972

ABOUT FUNDAMENTAL STUDIES ON LOCAL CULTURAL TRADITIONS OF GANJA

Hasanov E.L. 1
1 Ganja branch of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
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In one of the ancient Zoroastrian’s sources there was important information about, that Ganja was founded three thousand years ago. Thus, the first and important information about, that Ganja was founded 3000–4000 years ago by the one of the ancient Turkish tribes –Sacks- one of aboriginal population of the Caucasus, was reflected in a geographical treatise «Shahrestanihai Eran» (Iranian cities)that concerned to the 6th century. This geographical treatise was written in pahlavi language. There was said, that Ganja was founded by famous Turkish commander Afrasiab 3000 years ago. Afrasiab is a historical person and he was the head of sacks – tours, which lived in Azerbaijan (In the ancient sources Turks were named as tours). Ganjabasar is one of the richest areas from archaeological point of view. As a result of archaeological investigations here were found samples of material culture that concerned to the stages of different history period. Today most of them are kept in various museums of the world.

The flint tools, that found in Gillikdag workshop and camp around Ganja, ladle, that were found by a prominent Azerbaijani archaeologist Isaac Jafarzade, give the reason to say, that people, who lived in this area in VII–VI millenniums BC were the founders of the Late Stone Age culture. Archaeological investigations prove that in this period the main population of this region had sedentary lifestyle and were engaged with farming. In V millennium BC in Ganja region all known to us domestic animals were domesticated. This fact is approved with osteology remainders that were found during archaeological excavations [1].

Most of the historical monuments, that show, that national wealth of our nation Ganja city has a 3000-year history, today in great museums expositions of the world have unique place. Ganja, that has changed its location at least 4 times since its establishment, is located in a favorable position from the strategic point of view. As a result of scientific researches by the well-known arabist and scientist on Nizami’s work Bertels have been proved, that during the terrible earthquake in Ganja in 1139,3 thousand people died. This fact is reflecting the city’s power and greatness again. For comparison, it is also appropriate to note that, in the middle of the XIII century, in the great European city in Paris, lived nearly 100 thousand and in London nearly 40–50 thousand people .Ganja city ,that gave to the world such great thinkers and word masters as Nizami Ganjavi, Abul-Ula Ganjavi, Mehseti Ganjavi, Raziyya Ganjavi, Mirza Shafi Vazeh, in XII–XIII centuries restorated its high status and became one of the great cities, that kept alive the whole science, culture and state traditional system of the East [2].

Sheikh Nizami also has got both of the primary and secondary, and scientific education in his favorite city in Ganja. He had two main reasons ,why he didn’t go to Baghdad and other centers of science.He loved his native city, land , was charmed of it , and also he knew ,that Ganja had the high scientific potential .So the great thinker has never left his homeland and thought about it. Historically, Ganja city has been managed by government agencies, along with the elders. Folklore materials, collected from Ganja and historical information are confirming sayings. Generation «Akhillik», which covered in VIII–XIII centuries Iran and Central Asia, wide-spread the and played an important role in public life of Ganja. Comard Gassab’s tomb in the territory of ancient Ganja belongs to the member of this generous Comard Gassab. Also there is supposed, that the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami was a member of the «akhi».

Until the middle of the twentieth century, the city was ruled by elders, elders played a role of bridge between the people and official government agencies. The most important of customs and traditions is forgiveness. During transaction people give each other forgiveness. If the patient going to die also people give him forgiveness and receive from him forgiveness. So they say: «without forgiveness will not be blessed». Neighborly relations are kept and preserved strictly in Ganja. People don’t buy a house, before they interesting in neighbor’s character. They say: «Don’t buy house, buy neighbor»; «the nearest neighbor to distant relation». In Ganja relationship ties are very strong. It is the tradition of Ganja people to often visit relatives, and to share their sadness and happiness. «If also relative will eat each other’s meat, they won’t dispose each other’s bone», – they said. In Ganja people mostly pay attention to real-generation, family. If someone wants to marriage his son or daughter, he interests with generation and family of the opposite side. Sometimes, when families can’t pliable with each other, they say: «Our bone connected with their bone». When they speak about bone, they mean father’s line, about milk they mean mother’s line. In this way Ganja people were able to kept and preserved pureness of generation [3].

Ganja people are very strong in friendship. Also they can die for friend .Friend will pay all the needs of friend, will be his back-support. The equality in friendship is very important: «Show me your friend, and I will say you who you are». Ganja is famous for its hospitality. Most traditions of meeting guest are followed today. For guest in Ganja, as a rule, separated a special room – sitting room. This room is decorated with expensive carpets, put delicate dishes, silk bedding for the guest. For breakfast of guest put cream with honey. For dinner and supper are prepared delicious foods. Among them a plov seasoning with meat and lamb meat kebab are take a special place.

Ganja people put all kinds of table-blessing for guest. In addition they tell to guest kind words, and take to interesting places, worth visiting and pilgrimages. They never ask, when the guest will return. This act shall be considered as disrespect. «The guest is God’s guest», – say Ganja people and meet the guest with honor, various gifts and send with respect. One of the more preserved customs and traditions of Ganja, that has deep historical roots, is the tradition of the wedding. Wedding, that full of rites and ceremonies is a whole holiday of elin. In this case, the close people, relatives and kin are more active. In the past there were various games, competitions and races in Ganja weddings. Now, some of these wedding’s traditions arev forgotten. Ganja didn’t have girl’s wedding. Instead of it, there was «Parchakesdi» («piece cutting») ceremony. «Parchakesdi» was replaced girl’s wedding .And now the tradition of cutting the girl’s wedding piece is also preserved. Such traditions as «khınayakhdı», «uchashi», «evgordu» are live on nowadays [4].

As all the parts of the world, mournful funeral ceremonies in Ganja hold very sadly. Relatives of dead man put on black clothes, don’t go to parties for a while, and don’t listen to music. The first day of man’s dead, third day, seventh day, 40th day and «adna» days (Thursdays) funeral ceremonie is continue. Ganja’s funeral ceremonies can’t be without rose water. Good smell of rose water eliminate man’s pain. When people live funeral ceremony, they give condolences to the owner of mourning. Khidir Nabi and Novruz holiday in Ganja are celebrated ceremonial .In holiday of Khidir Nabi people roast wheat, and set Khidir’s table. Then the flour of roasted wheat people put to secret room. Khidir Nabi comes at night, and put on finger to flour of roasted wheat. In house, which Khidir entered, there will be abundance.

Ganja people is going to celebrate Novruz holiday within a month. They keep in order house a, different kind of sweets are prepared. Among them Ganja’s pakhlava take more attention. Pakhlava, which consists of nine layers decorates tables. Eggs are colored, «nazik» (sweet bread) are cooked. Bearing a grudge are reconciled, people visit sick, lonely relatives. People skipped over the bonefire, In whole Ganja’s traditions are leading to spiritual pureness, they are collection of the universe laws to perfection, way of nation. In Ganja, which has ancient and rich culture and traditions of the table, still has preserved Azerbaijani national cuisine traditions . Ganja kitchen with its national characteristics is differs from other regions of Azerbaijan. The cooked dishes, prepared sweets, sherbet (sweet drinnk) are differing for their tasty and manufacturing technology. Ganja has a positive impact on national food composition in the human body, is the health service. Ganja harmoniously combines kitchen culture, its history, philosophy, table psychology, traditions, physiology, hygiene, chemistry, equipment, ethics, esthetics, poetry and other aspects of the culture of the table. Most unique culinary samples of Ganja , including plov, kebab, changal, chıgırtma, pity, dovga, cream, cheese, oven bread, thin, lavash, pakhlava, zirviyye, sherbet, rose water, lemon tea, different kinds of jam, acids and other meals are extremely delicious. Most of the meals,including to Ganja cuisine are Turkish origin. For example, «dolma» comes from the word «doldurmaq» (in translation it means «fill», «basdirma» from «basdirmaq» (means landfill cover), «chigirtma» from «chigirtmaq» (make cry), «bozartma» comes from «bozartmaq» (to boil). Measured at the thousand ages, ancient Ganja’s national kitchen culture as a result of old experience of our progenitors, from generation to generation came to the present day. After spreding Islam religion in Azerbaijan, Ganja got a satus of the provincial center of the Arab Caliphate, and in whole Islamic world found fame as a center of science, education and culture. Creation heritageof the great poet and thinker of Azerbaijan Nizami Ganjavi (1141–1209) on the universal importance gave a rich information to the national culture, and also influenced to the development of literature and art .Nizami’s characters have become the symbols of the culture of Azerbaijan. Many composers created vocal works, operas and ballets, symphony and other eternal music, that praised Nizami’s poetry in music, and enriched world’s culture. In traditional production of cloth manufactory trade historically played an important place. This kind of craft, that developed on the basis of local raw materials, was tied with cotton-growing economy. Since the time of the early Middle Ages, Ganja as Tabriz, Ordubad have been the main center of Azerbaijan in production of cotton cloth. In this ancient city printed cotton and calico fabrics have been widely produced. In traditional cloth productions the main place took the urbanmines. In the early 30s of the XIX century in Ganja there were more than 164 people – weaving. The majority of these artists were weaving. In Ganja, which was the most important center of cloth production were produced different kinds of cotton cloth. Only in the 30s of the XIX century in Ganja were presently working 30 cloth bench. During one year this machine were producing 2000 of white cloth, 200 top of red cloth (shile) and nearly 400 benchchalamaya (thin cloth) spoke. In general, in Ganja from textile there were made cotton cloth with simple painting, various kinds decorations. In most cases, in the XIX–XX centuries after coars calico coloured in white colors of, it coloured to different colors. There is no any source about glass production in and around Ganja. The majority of archaeologists agreed with the idea, that the homeland of glass production is ancient Egypt, but the famous English archaeologist, Egyptologist Petri Flindris thought, that it could be Mesopotamiya or the Caucasus. Taking into account that cobalt, used in glass coloring wasn t in Egypt, the scientists thought that, it could be in the Caucasus, also in Dashkesan. Samples of glass decorations, of BC, we met in the patterns of Ganjachay, Mingechevir, Xachbulaq and others. In these areas, the first centuries BC were found in samples of the glass plate. The majority of containers and the analysis based on graphical elements of the Roman scholars came to the opinion that the samples of the same scale as the Roman Empire through trade. There are more than 2000 beads in complex materials. Colored beads have prepared of different types products. Mostly distinguish beads, that prepared from blue green and grey paste. A group of beads made of bone and antimony. A part of the hanging beads were prepared from cockleshells «Nassagibbosula» and «Suraeva Moneta». According to experts thoughts, such kind of cockleshell, that widely spred in the Indian and Pacific Ocean, also the Eastern Mediterranean region, were put to Azerbaijan with economic relations.

Among the materials of Borsunlu Complex are differ with number of beats in majority and form.

In III–V centuries, the local craftsmen themselves also became to produce better-designed containers. Among the local clay and glass utensils that found in and around Ganja there were big similarity in the form and also in the decoration.

All the glass dishes found in and around Ganja are similar with the local clays on decoration of that period. Glass dishes were containing of Iron, cobalt, magnesium and other elements, that were specific elements for Ganja and its surroundings. The development history of this sphere of craftsmanship can be determined only through archaeological research. In general, information about the development of this sphere of were found in 1959–1960 years, glass products in and around Ganja were obtained only at the end of the twentieth century.

Results of archaeological excavations in the territory of Azerbaijan and research show that in the preparation of glass utensils were two technical methods: casting method and the method of blowing. The first of these methods is more ancient, but in the Early Middle Ages and Middle Ages were used both of them.

Producted glass alloys were transparent colored. By the addition of dusts of various metals in glass alloys people got colored glasses. We can see also to get her with different tinted green glasses also parts of blue, black and pink colored glass dish in sections of IX–X century in Shatal and Ganja. In IX–X centuries appeared dishes, that had handle and spout.

Glassproducts, obtained in Ganja and Shatal in the IX–X centuries, find their similiarities in in dwelling places of the Middle Ages in Barda, Beylagan, Mingechevir, also in the obtained materials of the neighboring republics of the same period.

Among decorations of that period yellow, white and red beads of round and plain form are met mostly. At the beginning of X–XIII centuries development of production of glass in and around Ganja characterized by improvement from the technology point of view.

Archaeological researchs show, that outside of the cities in the VIII–IX centuries, also big settlements were established. This is often due to density in cities [5–7].

As in many places, production of wool, cotton and silk in and around Ganja made necessary emergence and development of weaving .Becoming weaving one of the ancient spheres of crafts in and around Ganja was connected with the rich raw material base here . Presence of useful plant species for textile , including cotton, high level development of wool area of agriculture- sheep and goat breeding, camel breeding, horse breeding, presence of cotton cropping in Middle Ages and finally, regular expansion of silkworm breeding in this area created a foundation for growth of weaving here. In addition, during the research work in Mingachevir, Kazakh, Shamakhi, Sargah, Pirsaat River Basin monuments there have been found whole and parts of weaving loom and different sizes of clay and bone samples, that consist to weaving.

Moisey Kalankatly notes, that, along the banks of the Kura River... there are a large amount of silk (mulberry tree)... and cotton. Arab author who lived in the X century Al-Istaxri gives big information about, that in Barda in ownerless gardens were cultivated mulberry leaves and silkworm, then mulberry silk sent to Farsistanand Khusistan for sale. His contemporary and fellow townsman Ibn Hovqal gives information about preparation of silk clothing from them.. Also, Al-Istaxri provides detailed information about cutting of textile in Derbend.

The art of Textile materials, that concern to weaving craft, consists of spindle heads and needles. The remnants of dying from the Shamkir, Ganja,Shatal and Khunan proves development of dying here. Plant remains have been widely used in dying [6].

In the territory of Azerbaijan the oldest samples of wood treatment were found in the territory of ancient Ganja. Around Ganja area – in the region of Lake Goy-gol in the IV–III millennium BC have been discovered wooden thicker board, also wooden sugar bowl, that concern to the end of the II millennium BC, found in Mingechevir pitcher grave are material evidences of science thoughts. Along with the works and notes of medieval authors and travelers, a lot of material samples, found in the territory of ancient Ganja, also found in Mingachevir and concern to Middle Ages trough, ladle, wooden threshing board, shows that in Ganja wood treatment and sculptor art have a rich tradition [5–7].

Along with the mosque Juma (Shah Abbas), that constructed in 1606,local samples of trade ornamentalist, that built in Sheikh Javad Khan Street, that have 3 century history and was built in the nineteenth century in building of Sheikh Nizami Ganjavy’s (1141–1209) representatives Sheikhzamanlys property and, that was restored in 2011, are attractive especial attention. History and art of Azerbaijan people as rich and colorful as its nature. On decorations of this descriptive art are reflected spiritual world, living style, customs and traditions of our nation. These pearls of art on material preparing and processing techniques are divided into different kinds. Among these types of craft metal treatment is mostly developed and has ancient history.

The craftsmanship of carpet-making is one of the important cultural achievements of the Eastern people in Azerbaijan production of carpets appeared in the I millennium BC. But carpet –making in the first period of middle Ages has turned to the in depend sphere of craft. In Ganja, that has minimum 3000 years history, production of carpets differed with quickly development. In this ancient city, that is native land of great Azerbaijani poet and thinker Sheikh Nizami Ganjavi, were weaved very uncial, inimitable kinds of carpet. In Ganja, that has rich traditions, were prepared carpets with various characteristics. For this reason one of Azerbaijani carpet groups are Ganja carpets or (Ganja–Khazakh carpets) [8].

The work is submitted to International Scientific Conference «Fundamental research», Jordan (Aqaba), June, 9-16, 2013, came to the editorial office 05.04.2013.