Southern Federal University, Academy of Architecture and Art, Russia
Carpet weaving is the oldest and the most common type of applied arts in culture of the people of the Northen Caucasus. Such a statement will not look abstract if we take into account the following facts: widely established and developed sheep breeding, providing row materials; climatic conditions which determined the need for home insulation, unemployment of female population for a few months of the year after the end of agricultural works; living in the immediate vicinity of the countries where carpet weaving was a traditional and established art (countries of near East and Transcaucasia).
Carpet weaving was ubiqutous, but in each particular district of the Northen Caucauses it had its own peculiar traditions. The art, based on old traditions, underwent significant development. Today it is the subject of study of many researchers. According to the technique, color scheme and ornamentation all rugs are divided into two large groups: first — carpets of Southern Dagestan, second — Central and Northen Dagestan. The first one is the most numerous and is subdivided into three smaller groups: carpets of Achts and Micrahs, carpets of Derbent and Tabasaransk’s carpets. The carpets in these subgroups are pile carpets, smooth unilateral sumacs, bilateral and numerous oriental rugs. The second group consists for the most part of smooth bilateral rugs, mats and felts. Quality and beauty of these rugs is achieved by a high performance technique. Carpets of Achtin and Micrah’s group have the highest density, that is 211,6 thousand nodes per one square meter. Carpets of Derbent and Tabasaran regions have less density — from 90 to 136 thousand nodes per one square meter. Short pile carpets are softer and silky. A distinguishing trait of Southern Daghestan carpets is, of course, the nature of their patterns. Pictures of Ahtin’s and Micrah’s regions count 15 main schemes and uncountable variety of versions.
Finally, material and spiritual background contributed to the specific character of carpet weaving in Dagestan, as the art of capet-weaving is based on traditional collective character of art and spiritual union of the community.