Cover image for Armenian folk arts, culture, and identity
Armenian folk arts, culture, and identity
Abrahamian, Levon.
Publication Information:
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xi 312 pages : illustrations (some color), color map ; 29 cm
Origins. In the beginning / Hamlet Petrosyan -- Symbols of Armenian identity. The world as a garden ; The sacred mountain ; The temple ; Writing and the book ; The khachkar or cross-stone / Hamlet Petrosyan -- Settlements, dwellings, and inhabitants. Home as the world / Harutyun Marutyan -- Artifacts and artisans. Wood / Harutyun Marutyan ; Clay / Hamlet Petrosyan and Harutyun Marutyan (with material on salt jars and salt by Levon Abrahamian ... [et al.] ) ; Copper / Hamlet Petrosyan and Harutyun Marutyan ; Carpets / Ashghunj Poghosyan ; Needle arts / Anush Sharambeyan -- Personal adornment. Costume / Svetlana Poghosyan ; Jewelry / Hrachya Margaryan -- Fight, feast, and festival. The blacksmith / Aghasi Tadevosyan and Hamlet Petrosyan ; Festival and feast / Hripsime Pikichian (with material on royal feasts by Hamlet Petrosyan) ; The call of zurna / Hripsime Pikichian ; The wedding tree / Hripsime Pikichian.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GR280 .A67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



A rich exploration of the history of Armenian culture as seen through arts and artifacts.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Armenian Folk Arts, Culture, and Identity, edited by anthropologist Levon Abrahamian and artist and art historian Nancy Sweezy, traces this ancient culture from the end of the fourth millennium B.C., when the Kura-Arakses civilization occupied the Armenian highland, to contemporary Armenian wedding ceremonies (wherein "the bridegroom, in his role as king during the wedding ritual" becomes "transformed miraculously, once in his lifetime, into the symbolic defender of the Armenian people"). Color images of ruins, landscapes, artifacts, art, households, businesses and people, as well as maps, manuscripts and paintings, appear on every page, accompanying the essays by assorted scholars. This comprehensive scholarly and pictorial history will make anyone of Armenian descent proud. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

English-language information on the cultural products of Armenia is scarce. Present-day Armenia, located east of Turkey and northwest of Iran, is a small fraction of the much larger historic territory that is the geographic basis of this book. Appropriately, then, the nine contributors to this scholarly work take a historical and anthropological approach in their examination of Armenian architecture, costume, festivals, and artifacts (including carpets, sculpture, funeral arts, articles of clothing, and jewelry). Edited by an anthropologist and an art historian, respectively, this thorough treatment of Armenian folk arts is based on a variety of sources, ranging from ancient and medieval inscriptions to modern travel narratives, and is generously illustrated with more than 60 color and 200 black-and-white photographs, many offering a glimpse of the rich collections at the State Museum of Folk Art of Armenia. Highly recommended for academic libraries and public libraries needing materials related to Armenian culture. [For more on Armenian art and culture, see Vrej Nersessian's Treasures from the Ark: 1,700 Years of Armenian Christian Art, LJ 8/01, Nersessian's The Bible in the Armenian Tradition, LJ 10/15/01, and Thomas F. Mathews & Alice Taylor's The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor, LJ 10/15/01. Ed.] Nancy B. Turner, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This lushly illustrated reconstruction of Armenian culture and society through its material artifacts was put together by Armenian scholars. The first chapter pieces together possible histories of the Armenian people from archaeological evidence and discusses the role of geography and interaction with other peoples in the development of a unique Armenian culture and, later, national identity. The remaining chapters analyze cultural symbols and practices, folklore, styles of settlements and dwellings, traditional crafts, personal adornment, and community celebrations. Artisans and their artifacts are represented in the context of everyday life. The response of artisinal production to such factors as dislocation, industrialization, and tourism also is addressed. What distinguishes this book is the rich interplay of sources, incorporating archaeological remains, legends, paintings, a variety of written accounts, and all manner of material culture, as well as contemporary observations and interviews. These sources are woven together into an eminently readable account, supported by lavish illustrations and photographs. Some reference is made to differences and hierarchies within Armenian societies (whether by region, gender, or status), but these are not pursued. The result is a slightly homogenized and romanticized, but entertaining and informative, celebration of Armenian culture. All collections. J. B. White Boston University