patterns of naturecity of craftsmen
From your very first step in Lahij, you’ll understand that this is no ordinary mountain village. The streets made of large river stones, mosques and buildings designed by local architects and even the arrangement of the neighbourhoods reflect the fact that Lahij’s culture and craftsmanship date back thousands of years.
The village is best known as the “copper capital of Azerbaijan” and the Lahij art of coppersmithing is even included on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. However, the repertoire of Lahij craftsmanship is actually much wider. Some of the ancient crafts have sadly been forgotten, but others, such as coppersmithing, blacksmithing, carpet weaving, masonry, carpentry, tanning, and hat making, are still alive – as you’ll see if you give yourself a few hours to explore the village.
To dive into the dazzling world of Lahij copperwares, make your way to the workshop of local coppersmith Nazar Aliyev, who often organises masterclasses for tourists. For blacksmithing, head to the workshop of Khosrov Abbasov, who’s been practising the craft since the age of 8. His workshop was built by his great-grandfather in the 19th century and ever since has been resounding to the same rhythms of hammer on metal.
Elsewhere, visit the workshop of Sulhiyya Aliyeva, who’s been weaving carpets for 50 years, to plunge you into a magical world of patterns and witness Sulhiyya creating them with her skillful fingers. And be sure to meet Dabbagh Mukhtar Mahmudov and his son Rasul Mukhtarov, masters of making hats for national dances. The shop of another local hat maker, Abdulla Dadashov, is adorned with eye-catching headwear of various shapes and sizes. Another famous Lahij artisan is Agamashadi Huseynov, who makes whips and saddles for horses, which are still the main means of transport in this region.
You can visit any of these workshops, passed down within families from generation to generation, to attend masterclasses or purchase handicrafts, which make for ideal souvenirs from Lahij. For more information on the masterclasses, please contact the Lahij State Historical and Cultural Reserve.
Tel.: +99451 817 2100