Weaving kilims revived in southwestern Iranian village 

April 26, 2021 - 17:7

TEHRAN – Once fallen into oblivion, the art of weaving kilims has been revived in the ancient village of Gankhak-e Sheykhi in Bushehr province, southern Iran. 

Until two years ago, there were fewer than 10 weavers active in this field in the village, but now weaving kilims is being practiced by over 60 female crafters, the deputy provincial tourism chief has said. 

The choice of colors and patterns using in the kilims weaving in this village is minimal and they are not woven based on a premade pattern, which makes them unique and a good choice for modern decorations, IRNA quoted Leila Rahimi as saying on Monday. 

However, organizing training courses is also very important and needs to be taken into account, the official explained. 

Reviving this field could contribute to the empowerment of the female villagers since weaving kilim has been mostly their main profession and a source of income for them for years, she added. 

With over 6,000 years of history and significant monuments from the Elamite, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid eras, Bushehr Province is one of Iran’s most important historical centers.

Besides its cultural heritage, beautiful beaches and lush palm groves make it an attractive destination for world travelers.

The historical and architectural monuments of Bushehr include Islamic buildings like mosques and praying centers, mansions, old towers, castles, as well as gardens.

With 14 entries, Iran ranks first globally for the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council, as China with seven entries, Chile with four, and India with three ones come next.

In January 2020, the cities of Shiraz, Malayer, and Zanjan and the village of Qassemabad were designated by the WCC- Asia Pacific Region, putting Iran’s number of world crafts cities and villages from ten to 14.

Shiraz was named a “world city of [diverse] handicrafts”. Malayer was made a global hub for woodcarving and carved-wood furniture. Zanjan gained the title of a “world city of filigree”. And Qassemabad village, which is nationally known for its traditional costumes, was also promoted to a world hub of handicrafts. Chador Shab, a kind of homemade outer-garment for women, was, however, the main subject for the WCC assessment for the village.

Iran exported $523 million worth of handicrafts during the calendar year 1398 (ended March 19, 2020). Of the figure, some $273 million worth of handicrafts were exported officially through customs, and about $250 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through various provinces, according to data provided by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

Ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, the U.S., the UK, and other countries.

ABU/AFM

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