The Armenian Highland is one of the cradles of rug weaving art. Not only rug weaving but many other branches of decorative art have been topics of occupation of the Armenian people for millennia.
The Artsakh Province had its unique place among the provinces of Armenia Major, where crafts and, in particular, rug weaving was also developed. The early written records referring the rug weaving culture of Artsakh date to the early Medieval ages. A vivid example of rug weaving art being widely spread and in high esteem, is the legend about the Armenian king Vachagan and rug weaver Anahit who, in response to prince’s marriage proposal, answers that she will give her consent only when he learns a craft. According to a 7th century record in Movses Kaghankatvatsy’s history “at that period silk and satin brocades, multicolor rugs and other textiles were woven in Artsakh”. Another important evidence of continuation and development of rug weaving culture in Artsakh is the existence of “Sunday” markets in Partav in the 10th century.
The land of Artsakh (nowadays Artsakh or Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) is one of the development areas of the Armenian people. Having lived in this area for millennia, though systematically subjected to attacks of foreign tribes, looting and robbery, the Armenian people has created its original and exclusive culture.
Rug weaving was inseparably connected with the Armenian households in Artsakh. The rug was not a simple object in everyday life, it was of ceremonial significance. It was an item of symbol, protection and cult. Rugs, particularly Armenian rugs, were gorgeous and expensive gifts which were exchanged by the kings of neighboring countries.
In all times, due to infinite love and esteem towards the Armenian rug weaving art of Artsakh, amazing and luxuriant rugs have been woven, characterized by the best technological features, which are now kept in the largest museums and private collections of the world.
The sleekness and finesse acquired by processing the local wool has been and is one of the qualitative peculiarities of Artsakh rugs and carpets. Besides, all Armenian rugs and Artsakh rugs as well, are splendid and call attention for their contents diversity and particularly for stylized ornamentation patterns. Traditional rugs of Artsakh combine realistic solutions, floral decorations, as well as geometrical forms as diamond-shaped, rectangular, triangular and others. All types of Artsakh rugs are well-known but most famous are dragon rugs and their varieties with geometrical intricate designs, all of which were typical of Artsakh rug weaving centers: Gardman, Djraberd, Gyulistan, Khachen, Varanda, Dyzak.
Because of geographical and political circumstances, Artsakh rug weaving art has had periods of fall and prosperity but it never ceased to develop. Many tribes and people, invading Armenia, among other valuable objects took away also Armenian rugs, moreover, they acquired the traditions of the Armenian rug weaving art.
Artsakh rug weaving traditions were spread in several rug weaving centers (Shirvan, Ghuba, Shaky, Gharadagh, Northwestern Iran, Asia Minor, etc.) by the people of Artsakh, for it was an inseparable part of their everyday life. The dissemination of specific Artsakh rugs in these rug weaving centers is a result of migration at different periods of time.
Armenians of Artsakh, being faithful to the century-old traditions, today, thanks to “Karabakh Rug” company, continue to present the Armenian, particularly, Artsakh rugs around the world, which are woven with enormous devotion and are of the highest quality as well. What is most important is that these rugs are made under the auspice of the Republic of Artsakh.