Exhibition “Peoples of the South Caucasus. Late 19th – early 20th century”

The exhibition "Peoples of the South Caucasus. Late 19th - early 20th century" is the part of the big expositional complex "Peoples of the Caucasus" on which the work is still going on. The design of the permanent exhibition lets us create a view on the region located South of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range and reconstruct the architecture of the museum halls projected in the early 20th century. Small town streets, village house, abbey metochion, countryside picnic - on the display visitors are able to travel through the different cultural landscapes (the display brings visitor to the different cultural landscapes). The subject of the exposition is supported with historical photos on the walls.

The exposition highlights ethnic culture of the Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijan. According to the overall design scenes and object sets form so called "exposition of local type", where general cultural components of the South Caucasus as well as materials on ethnography of different peoples of this region are reflected. The display is divided in to two parts: the right part of the exposition is dedicated to women's life, the left one - to men's life.

Men occupations are shown as a complex of the cultural and productive activity. In Armenian display there such specialties as stone milling, black smithing, copper work, cloth printing, jewellery, making music instruments are presented. The Scene "The Tea house" on Azerbaijanians describes the elite subculture of well-to-do Eastern citizens. As for the Georgian men, the display underlines the majority of such subjects as weapon and personal martial prowess of the Georgian hill man.

Historically women role of a daughter, wife and housekeeper is common for this region. In the "Armenian" display women are placed in the context of a house space. She is "a girl", "senior mistress", "daughter -in-law". In the "Azerbaijan" section one of the wedding rites is shown - "Braid farewell with the parent's house".

One of the major parts of the exhibition is a variety of religions in this region. It is regarded as a basis of their worldview, identity and cultural features of the peoples of the South Caucasus. The Caucasus is a crossroads for the major world religions. Christianity has very ancient roots in the Caucasus. In world history, the Armenians and the Georgians can consider themselves to be the outpost of Christianity in the East.

Armenia was the first country to recognize Christianity as a state religion. The main dogmas and practice of the Armenian Apostolic Church played specific role in the preserving of the ethnos in another confessional and other peoples encirclement. This idea is reflected in the monuments united official church and traditional life-style of the Armenian culture that presented in the exposition.

Georgia adopted the Orthodox Church a bit later. In this part of the exposition two topics are marked out. On the one hand it shows the early recognizing of the Christianity and its huge role in the independence of the Georgian Orthodox Church in the spiritual people consolidation; on the other hand exposition underlines the synthesis of the Orthodox orthopraxy with the local religion cults.

The section on "the Azerbaijanians" notes the role of the Moslim in the South Caucasus and shows the specific of the Shiites which consist in the fest - mystery Ashura (in honor of Saint Ali and Hussein), cult symbols and the special role of amulets and fortunetelling objects.

Exhibition closes with the common for the whole region subject of the folk and musical culture of the peoples of South Caucasus