Forgotten craft of weaving Gabbeh revived in Hamedan

October 13, 2021 - 18:30

TEHRAN – The art of weaving Gabbeh, a handicraft field that was quite obsolete in Qahavand, has been revived in the deprived and rural areas of the ancient county, which is situated in the west-central Hamedan province, the deputy provincial tourism chief has announced. 

The training of over 60 villagers is currently underway in this field of handicrafts, Hashem Mazaheri said on Wednesday.  

He also expressed hope that the county will soon become a hub for weaving Gabbeh in the province. 

Gabbeh is a traditional flooring similar to carpet but they differ from one another in motifs, size, colors, and the number of its long and thick wefts.

They are woven usually by nomadic people using handspun wool. Their patterns are of a simple type with only a few elements of decorative, mostly rectangular objects containing animals.

The motifs and patterns of Gabbeh are not the same as the carpet. Gabbeh may do not have any margin, or may not be symmetrical. Many of its motifs look like paintings of children, quite simple and primitive, but inspired by nature and surroundings.

Patterns of Gabbeh are created by the memory of their weavers. They are completely free to use any motif and they can place it anywhere they desire in the pattern. Another major difference between Gabbeh and carpet is the color palette used in them. 

The weavers are mostly women and girls who each have a special kind of motif on their minds and they skillfully weave them.

Known in classical times as Ecbatana, Hamedan was one of the ancient world’s greatest cities. Pitifully little remains from antiquity, but significant parts of the city center are given over to excavations. Ecbatana was the capital of Media and subsequently a summer residence of the Achaemenian kings who ruled Persia from 553 to 330 BC.

Hamadan has had many names: it was possibly the Bit Daiukki of the Assyrians, Hangmatana, or Agbatana, to the Medes, and Ecbatana to the Greeks. One of the Median capitals, under Cyrus II (the Great; died 529 BC) and later Achaemenian rulers, it was the site of a royal summer palace. 

About 1220, Hamedan was captured by the sweeping army of Mongol invaders. In 1386 it was sacked by Timur (Tamerlane), a Turkic conqueror, and the inhabitants were massacred. It was partly restored in the 17th century and subsequently changed hands often between Iranian ruling houses and the Ottomans. 

Sitting on a high plain, Hamedan is graciously cool in August but snow prone and freezing from December to March. In summer the air is often hazy. Ali Sadr cave, Ganjnameh inscriptions, Avicenna Mausoleum, Hegmataneh hill, Alaviyan dome, Jameh mosque, and St. Stephanos Gregorian Church are amongst Hamedan’s attractions to name a few.

ABU/AFM

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