Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"Beşik"...old-fashioned...no...vintage cot...

There is a saying in Azerbaijan “aşıq gördüyünü çalar” what translates as - “aşıq”, a musician that plays the instrument called “saz”, sings what he sees, meaning that people talk about what they see or what is “close” to them.

Thus I will continue the subject of children and motherhood and traditions in Azerbaijan :)

Today I will be talking about “beşik”, kind of swinging bed (cot) used for babies in Azerbaijan historically. How long ago? Well, I was a baby in late 1970s and we didn’t have “beşik” in our house in Baku but to bring up children in Sheki “beşik”s were still used then and earlier.
To use “beşik” mothers had to kind of fasten the baby to “beşik” for safety reasons and since babies were swaddled (as everyone believed that swaddling was the proper thing to do as babies wouldn’t wake themselves when moving their hands)…Today in era of democracy and liberalism people might consider “beşik” as the first try to bind and limit babies thus infringing their rights :)

“Beşik” has a kind of accessory where babies can pee and poop, what is very considerate and comfortable; women then had quite a lot to do in their households and diapers were not invented yet (don't ask me how the accessories looked/worked since it is a bit complicated to describe but everything was well thought through and working!) “Beşik”s are quite low and they were comfortable when women would sit on the floor and swing “beşik”s, as well as breastfeed the babies without unwinding them.
Nowadays “beşik”s are mainly kept as family relic and used very rarely (I am not sure about all the regions but I think this is the case for Sheki)…
It was not easy to find picture of “beşik” in internet, this is what I was able to find.
I must say that beautifully made “beşik”s are real pieces of art....and...history...
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5 comments:

Glennis said...

Very interesting, I would like to see the accessory for toileting, never heard of such a thing. Imagine no nappies or diapers for babies, honestly i can't imagine it only lots of wet soggy and filthy beds! But what a big saving not having to wash napkins!
The crib besik does look beautifully crafted, made with love to welcome a new life.

Jenn said...

We call this type of bed a "craddle" because it rocks/swings the baby to sleep. If the legs were flat to the floor it would be a crib. The one in the picture is beautiful.

Ayten Qiyas-Rustamova said...

Hi, Glennis. I will try to take pictures of accessories while I am in Sheki next time :).

Best wishes,

Ayten :)

Ayten Qiyas-Rustamova said...

Dear Jenn, thats the word!! Yes, thank you! This is "craddle" indeed.

All the best,

Ayten

Mike Mikailov said...

Where. can I order one?