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What are the singing cultures related to
carpet waving in Iran?

THE ROLE OF SINGING CULTURES
AROUND CARPET WEAVING IN IRAN

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The mention of Persian carpets conjures images of realms of colorful woven materials as well as perhaps the materialistic and tangible value they hold.

The Woven Sounds research project, aims to investigate the intangible cultural heritage surrounding the process of carpet weaving in Iran. Just like other types of works songs, such as those sung when fishing, during crop cultivation or during the winnowing of grain, which exist in traditional societies around the world - the singing culture around carpet weaving has evolved and shaped the craftsmanship and artisanship of weaving itself.

The mention of Persian carpets conjures images of realms of colorful woven materials as well as perhaps the materialistic and tangible value they hold.

The Woven Sounds research project, aims to investigate the intangible cultural heritage surrounding the process of carpet weaving in Iran. Just like other types of works songs, such as those sung when fishing, during crop cultivation or during the winnowing of grain, which exist in traditional societies around the world - the singing culture around carpet weaving has evolved and shaped the craftsmanship and artisanship of weaving itself.

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Carpet weaving in Iran, which has formed throughout history synergic exchanges between labor and artistic creation, has developed its own unique style of work melodies intertwined with the weaving process. Despite the widespread culture and variety of traditions in carpet weaving across Iran, no studies on the intangible cultural heritage around carpet weaving could be found. Many of these traditions, along with the accompanying craftsmanship, are vanishing rapidly, which in turn has highlighted the urgency of conducting the present research.
The Woven Sounds research project, aims to investigate the intangible cultural heritage surrounding the process of carpet weaving in Iran.

The specific research focus is on the musical cultures relating to this topic. In particular, I will analyse the development, distribution, structure and practice of a phenomenon addressed in my present research as Naqshe-Khani (Pattern Singing) and its effects on carpet weavers and the process of carpet weaving itself. After an intensive research, I found scarcity of research on the intangible cultural heritage around the process of carpet weaving, despite the widespread culture and the variety of traditions across Iran.

Many of these intangible traditions are rapidly vanishing today along with the accompanying craftsmanship. In my project, I focus on elaborating on the historical development of carpet weaving in Iran, the emergence of Naqshe-Khani, the process of implementing it and the scale of the practice today in 4 provinces in Iran. 

 

This project draws on the preliminary results of series of fieldwork trips carried out between 2017 and 2022 in Esfahan, Fars and Kerman and Bakhtiari provinces.

FULL DOCUMENTARY

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About the autor

Mehdi Aminian is currently an employee at VLACH Commission and he is carrying out his PhD at the University of Vienna

(supervisors: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thede Kahl, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Julio César Mendivil, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Tiago de Oliveira Pinto).

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