First off let us state our general unfamiliarity with the main issue you present.
It is precisely for the reasons you enumerate that RK avoids concentrating on historical references to try and understand weavings. We concentrate on the weaving themselves and their relationships to other of similar, as well as dissimilar, types.
We leave history to historians because the validity of historic references is always something to question.
You are probably standing on strong ground when you state your position vis-à-vis the Armenian carpet-question. However, this issue and your desire to see it corrected is something that is not of much interest to RK.
That said we will be delighted to give you a forum, and a readership, to do with as you wish. The only requirement is your presenting factual information that can be independently verified.
So please be sure to always cite your references(as you have done in your post below).
Please do not use this forum to discuss politics, only carpets as RK will not allow the use of our facilities for partisan gain.
As for mr oCONnel?
Well, we have written about him and his sorely deficient rug expertise.
Frankly, we believe o,CONnell is about a pathetic a rug commentator as is Virginia Commonwealth University professor steve, the rug-dummy, price.
On a personal note let RK say we look forward to more of your comments on the Armenian rug-question you have posed and if you would like to email us please do so at:
My name is Aykhan Mammadov. I live in Baku-capital of Azerbaijan Republic,
independent country formed in the result of Soviet Union ( USSR) crash in
1991 ( one of 15, and one of 3 in Caucasus).
My predecessors - mother , father, their fathers and mothers, and etc... all
are from GAZAKH region of Azerbaijan, they were born there ( I was born in
Baku).Yes, Gazakh exists. It is the name of the region of Azerbaijan, that is all.
Similar to states in USA. But there is not ethnic group such as Gazakhs,
they are absolute Azeri-Turks. Similar to the fact that there is not
Californians as nation, there is not Gazakh ethnic group, there are Azeris
Gaz means in ALL Turkish languages Goose and Akh means White,
that is Gazakh means White Goose - it is armorial bearing used on flag of
some of Oguz Turkish tribes.
That is the following similarity
is not accidental - "Kazakhstan" Republic and "Gazakh" ( Kazakh) region in Azerbaijan.
There are a few nations living in Azerbaijan - Azeri-Turks (main and
majority), Talyshs, Tats, Kurds, Lezgins, Ukrainians, Russians, lived many
Armenians but they were expatriated after next-in turn betrayal.
I'm not professional in carpets, just began to check what is what and was looking for a carpet for my
house as suddenly found the site www.spongobongo.com founded by O'Connel.
I have noticed the following "Armeniziation" and falsification of the reality in his pages about Caucasian carpets concerning Rugs from Gazakh and some other regions of Azerbaijan.
" This is not to say however that
Kazaks wove the rugs that we call Kazak. The rugs we see are mostly post
1830 when most of the weavers of Kazak rugs were Armenians."
This is the LIE.
Armenians never were carpet makers, I even checked with people in age lived in Gazakh region of Azerbaijan. There lived some Armenians in Gazakh (formerly in Elizavetpol Gubernia of Russia) beginning from times when Russians moved them from Persia and Turkey to Caucasus, but they were mainly traders, shoe makers, and builders. U can read the letter of Russian ambassador in Persia and famous poet A.S. Griboedov to general Paskevich in 1828 proving such an immigration.
The author James Barry O'Connel is happy. He writes that he called to the Armenian George Bournoutian ( see here http://www.spongobongo.com/Cauc1.htm ) and that the professor agreed with him. It is interesting to know what could he expect from the guy who is Armenian by nationality ?
Could that Armenian tell that " No, we don't have any relationship to Azeri-Turkish carpets" when all Armenians in the world are busy with that how to call Azerbaijan music as their, Azerbaijan territories as their, and to prove that there were not Azeris in Caucasus, and that whole Caucasus must belong to them and etc..?
What could tell the representative of the nation which is dedicated itself to the falsification of the history ?
Every carpet specialist knows that Tebriz rugs are woven in Azerbaijan province of Iran ( in Iran officially 24% of the population are Azeris, and in Azerbaijan province probably 90%), that Heriz carpets are made in Azerbaijan, that it is old Azeri-Turkish tradition existing today in Gazakh, Garabakh, Shirvan, Guba and etc... , why to write suddenly that those carpets were woven by Armenians knowing that this Azerbaijan tradition is very ancient?
And why to concentrate, Mr. O'Connel just on carpets after 1830, how about those prior to 1830, say in 1800, and why to mention that in general ?
And what is more important - the world permanently DOES SEE that these carpets are living, new rugs appear every day - from Baku, Shirvan, Gazakh, Tebriz, Heriz, but the world doesn't see and doesn't know what is Armenian carpets, Azeri tradition lives and continues, as well as Turkmen, Uzbek, Turkish, Fars ( Persian) tradition.
His proof - kameralnaya opis doesn't show the number of weavers in Elizavetpolskaya Guberniya ( Gazakh and Akstafa were in Elizavetpolskaya Guberniya, see http://maps.genealogia.ru/maps/map_m_elisavet_jpg.htm )
,it shows Erivanskaya Guberniya and Mahal( ?? what is Mahal, in Azeri-turkish Mehle means a court) , moreover rarely it could be serious and precise, because in doezns of villages of Gazakh doezns of families woove rugs from ancient times, and rarely in 1829-1830 during Permanent Russian-Turkish, Russian-Persian wars, during massive immigration of Armenians into Caucasus really somebody could precisely go house by house to every family in every village to check how many red or blue dyers do they have.
Isn't it ridiculous ?
And I don't know where are originals of those kameralnaya opis and were not they written by same Armenians.
I'm asking the following.
Imagine that u have dedicated some article and page in yr site to toreadors of Spain where at some times of the history lived some quantity of say Indian peoples. But is such a fact so important that u'd remark it on the page dedicated to Spain and their culture ?
Of course, not.
And if further, suddenly u'd state that all toreadors after the year 1830 were Indians, all Spanish people will just smile.
So isn't it ridiculous that all Azerbaijan rugs are accompanied by recalling "Armenians" in this regard just because beginning from 1800+ they were moved by Russians into Caucasus? Where are then for example Georgians, why not to recall Lezghins and etc. who always lived there ???
That is it is personal job of Mr. O'Connel to write what he wants, but in my opinion the authority can't write unchecked facts.
That is, Sirs please don't let Armenians cheat u, at least don't rely neither on Armenian data, nor on Azeri data, only on your eyes and facts how u see it today.
If it is interesting what happened in Caucasus u can read the book of somebody independent - neither Armenian, nor Azeri, say Russian specialist Velichko ( his book of 1901):
it is small file 472 kB.
Also try to find Armenia on this map:
Any response and objections are appreciated.
With Best regards,