The art of carpet-weaving, as well as playing the tar and the way of its preparation are integral parts of the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people. Attempts to tear them away from Azerbaijani culture are doomed to failure.
Their historical identity is proved by a multitude of testimonies. Tar, like the traditional patterns of Azerbaijani carpets, reflects the oldest mythological traditions and religious beliefs of the ancestors of Azerbaijanis. Their rudiments are traced from the earliest eras of human existence in the Caucasus. And it was the Azerbaijani people who reached incredible heights in the art of playing on the tar.
"Considered the top of the musical instruments of Azerbaijan - tar - is directly connected with the name of Sadikh Mirza Assad oglu, born in 1846 in the city of Shusha. He first began to perform works on a tar, pressed to his chest, - before that, when playing, tar was held on a lap. It is impossible not to overestimate the innovations introduced by him. Before him, the tar was made with 5 strings, and he added 6 more strings, and to this day the compositions are performed on 11-string tars,” Zamig Aliyev, people’s artist of Azerbaijan told CBC.
The professor stressed that the Armenians cannot create anything unique, but only use the achievements and samples of skill shown by our tar players. He also noted that the tar is already included in the UNESCO heritage list as a cultural property of Azerbaijan, and the Armenians' claims to any features related to this musical instrument are groundless.
Tar, like any other instrument, any spiritual heritage is inextricably linked with the history of the Azerbaijani people. Numerous sources emphasize its Azerbaijani, Turkic, origin. The names of prominent political figures of medieval Azerbaijan are connected with the tar.
“Tar is a very ancient Azerbaijani instrument. In the most ancient sources on the history of Azerbaijan, even in the materials of archaeological excavations, we are faced with materials associated with tar. According to the original sources, the four-stringed tar was invented by Sheikh Heydar, the father of Safavid state founder Shah Ismail,” historian Aydin Mammadov told CBC.
The scientist noted that the outstanding Turkish traveler Ovliya Chelebi who visited Azerbaijan in 1647 in his work "Seyahet-name" writes that Mammadagha Nakhchivansky was the best tar performer in the South Caucasus. The historian also noted that the tar reflects the features of national philosophy, the worldview of the Azerbaijani people.
The specialist also stressed that carpet weaving is an original occupation for Azerbaijanis. Ever since the era of the Neolithic revolution, in the 6th millennium BC, the ancient inhabitants have learned the weaving craft. This is confirmed by numerous archaeological finds of fragments of tissues on the sites of ancient dwellings. Somewhat later, traditional patterns for Azerbaijani carpet weaving are being formed, which remain unchanged to this day.
"There are 6 elements in Azerbaijani carpet weaving. One of them is buta - associated with the ancient sun worship traditions. Another element are the images of dragons that came with the Huns from China, but reinterpreted and supplemented by local mythological representations. Azerbaijani carpets, you might say, are a living encyclopedia of the Azerbaijani people,” Aydin Mammadov added.
The scientist also explained that attempts to attribute Azerbaijani carpets with equilateral crosses to other peoples also do not have sufficient grounds. The image of the cross symbolizes not the confessional belonging of the weaver, but the philosophical representation of the four sides of the world. The ancient weavers with this image expressed their views on the variability of life, the continuation of the genus, the rich harvest, correlating them with each side of the world. Aydin Mammadov pointed out that the ethnographic feature of the Azerbaijani people is the use of carpet in childbirth and burial, which is typical for the Turkic peoples, as well as making woolly and lint-free carpets. He stressed that our neighbors do not have woolly and lint-free carpets. Thus, the Armenians' claims do not withstand any weighted and reasoned criticism. Scientists-historians and artists of Azerbaijan and many other countries, in relation to this issue, demonstrate a unified position that neutralizes the Armenians' attempts to recapture the historical and cultural heritage of others.