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Kubatchi – aul of the gold-smiths

The Republic of Dagestan, Dakhadaevskiy region, aul Kubatchi

Aul Kubatchi is situated on a height of 1750 meters, its old part looks like a typical highland aul: houses, situated on a steep slope (of 2-3 floors as a rule, but sometimes even of 5-6 floors), are clutched to each other with picturesque terraces, forming disorderly labyrinths with narrow passages, stairs, galleries. Flat roofs of the lower houses often serve as inner yards for upper ones, and all the neighbors live in peace and complete agreement. The streets here are narrow, there are many old buildings and ancient towers left and also architecturally decorated springs.

Around the aul there are a lot of gravestones covered with splendid ornamental motives and story-compositions, referring to the circle of monuments of medieval culture of Kubatchi. In the lower part of the village there is a mosque of XVII century.From ancient times Kubatchi masters forged excellent swords, sabres, daggers, made firm and light chain mails, other armors. Secrets of craftsmanship were passed from father to son, whole dynasties were formed, many of which remained until present time.

Kubatchi art reached high level of perfection in XIII-XV centuries. Chain mails, helmets, swords, knives, copper dishes and women’s jewelry made there, were famous far beyond the borders of the Caucasus and Persia. In 1924 a jewelry artel was organized, which th en in 1960 was transformed into artistic complex which became the largest enterprise of national artistic trades, successor of old masters, where the main production was making of women’s jewelry (earrings, bracelets, rings), and also items of city demand (cigarette cases, spoons, graceful silver utensils), and of all metalworking productions making of daggers and mounted sabres are kept. A lot of Kubatchi works repeatedly got awards on domestic and international exhibitions, and some masters were honored with State award. Unique products of Kubatchi art are kept in collections of the largest museums of Russia and foreign countries, for example in State Historical museum and All-Russian museum of decorative and applied national arts (Moscow), Louvre (Paris), museum of Victoria and Albert (London), Metropolitan-museum (New York).

Kubatchi people tell with pride that two-horn helmet of Iskander Zulkurnay (mountain dwellers called Alexander the Great (Alexander of Macedonia) so) was made in their village. The sword given to Mstislav, the shield given to Alexander Nevskiy had no matches.   

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