Saturday, February 05, 2011

Mattresses and quilts...or...yorğan, döşək...

Today I am writing about something what continues to be a tradition for many regions including Sheki in Azerbaijan but less and less popular in capital...I will be talking about mattresses and quilts...maybe this sounds strange in English but for any Azeri equal phrase in Azeri sounds very familiar...i.e. yorğan, döşək...
Historically and traditioanally it used to be and continues to be the case for many that an important part of bride's dowry would be mattresses and quilts that she would take with her to new family...there would be two mattresses for master bed, mattresses as a present for her in-laws, couple of mattresses for potential guests and obviously the same number of quilts and even more number of pillows...I should mention right away that all would be usually prepared from sheep wool (needless to say that it involves a lot of labour to clean and bring wool to condition that would be approved by experienced grannies of the family), goose feathers and involve purchase of appropriate covers (appropriateness depends on many things including taste, image and quality of materials and level of income of course) and then actually making these mattresses, quilts and pillows.
When families have skilled grannies, mothers and aunties everything is prepared in house what gives extra pride and value to this important part of dowry...otherwise making of is outsourced...Since another must of dowry is a big chest then traditionally you would have a chest and then pile of these mattresses, quilts and pillows on it, in Azeri or since I am not really sure about literary Azeri in Sheki dialect this is called yük...Making this pile is also an art I would say because pile that is kind of not simmetric, without matching colours and bent to the left or right is not the pile that sophisticated Sheki women would like to see...this pile is put together with love and care and pillows and mattresses and quilts are used whenever necessary...usually when there are extra guests...Its a particular honour for the guest to be offered a mattress or quilt that newly came with bride's dowry...
In Baku fewer bride's would care to have extra mattress or quilt...everything is mainly bought ready...chests do not match to modern style furnitures...young generation would rarely know how to make these mattresses or quilts anyway so going forward I see this tradition as something else that we would see less and less...
Fortunately we continue to cherish in our family house in Sheki chest left from my granny where we have a neat pile of mattresses and quilts waiting for us...each time when all mattresses and quilts are used up we open the chest with sentimental hope that we would find there something forgotten long ago that would bring memories and sense of our childhood...
bringing wool to required condition requires hard work and patience...usually women get together and wash, dry, make it light and fluffy together...hard work is coupled with talks and tea (of course) and at the end there is super result and great mood of satisfaction...:) making quilt requires skills, ready quilts can become a real piece of art...
this summer in our house in Sheki...we were short of pillows and mom with her sisters made new ones, I asked to pause the process to take a photo for my blog :)...traditionally speaking mother of two should actually take part in this making of pillows process but I can go as far as making tea for those who are heavily involved, interrupt them with taking pictures and entertain them with some chit-chat...love the process! :)
asked my cousin Fatima to send me photos...many older houses in Sheki would have these wardrobes built in to the walls...can be used for many things including extra quilts...
chest, mattresses and quilts...
closer look...
another closer look...

In 2007 I had a post where I put a picture of my older son sitting in my grandma's chest...You can see it here :)...

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4 comments:

sameer said...

if u want to visit the home of quilt lovers or you can say antique quilts......then click on the link below:
http://www.vintageblessings.com/prestashop/

Anonymous said...

Ayten, sizde o geder doshek varsa onda bu yay biz sizdeyik, Shekide :)))))))))))))))

Yahshi yazirsan, hela Khinaliqa da getmek lazimdir, ela chihib ki, meslehetlidir:))))

Oldu, Opurem seni, see u this weekend ;))))

Heee, adim da, Roxy-bajidir:))))

Ayten Qiyas-Rustamova said...

Roxy, chox shadam ki, megsedime chatmysham her iki postumla. Gozumuz ustunde yeriniz var :) Opurem!! xxx

Ayten Qiyas-Rustamova said...

Thank you very much, Sameer.