SHIKAK'AR - SHUSHI
FREEDOM MUST BE DEFENDED
Written by Gevork Nazaryan
Shushi, in the early Middle Ages known as “Shikak‛ar” [Red Stone], later Karadlukh and finally Shosh or Shushi, is located in the heart of Artsakh.
In the seventeenth century, Shushi was an important center of the Varanda principality. In the eighteenth century, Shushi [Shoshi] was a major Armenian military and defensive base. Demographic changes in Artsakh began to gradually take place in the middle of the eighteenth century. Several Turkish-speaking nomadic tribes settled in the territory of Artsakh, including Shushi which had become the center of the Karabagh khanate and continued to be the administrative center of Artsakh until the 1920s.
A YOUNG ARMENIAN LADY FROM SHUSHI WEARING THE TRADITIONAL ATTIRE
THE CATHEDRAL OF VARARAKN-STEPANAKERT.
In the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, after annexation of Eastern Armenia by the Russian Empire, Shushi became one of the important cultural, economic and socio-political centers of Transcaucasus. Numerous schools functioned [Eparchic, Real, St. Mary’s Maidens’ School as well as numerous rural schools]. Dozens of magazines and newspapers were published, the most notables being -- Haykakan Ashkhar, [Armenian World], Gorts [Business], Krunk‛ [Crane], Azgagrakan Handes [Ethnographic Magazine], Karabagh, Tsiatsan [Rainbow], Paylak [Summer Lightening], Neghuk, Aparaj [Cliff Stone], Gharabaghi Surhandak [Courier of Karabagh], Nor Kyank [New Life].
THE TRADITIONAL SACRED PATTERN OF VISHAPAGORG [DRAGON RUG].
IMBUED WITH PERENNIAL ARMANI SYMBOLS OF LIFE AND ETERNITY.
THE COSMIC WHEEL-SWASTIKA [WITHIN A SQUARE AND -- BLACK AND WHITE
BORDER] IN THE CENTER SURROUNDED BY SPIRALING
DRAGON-SERPENTS FACING IN AND OUT
[SPINNING IN FOUR CARDINAL DIRECTIONS AND
EIGHT CARDINAL POINTS]. ALL WITHIN AN OCTAGON DIVIDED BY A
MERIDIAN [EVENT HORIZON]. THE DIAMONDS OF PERFECTION
[HEAVEN+EARTH UNION] ARE SURROUNDED BY
TRIANGULAR RAYS OF ENLIGHTENMENT.
TRADITIONAL ARMENIAN HANDCRAFTED FOLK ART WITH SYMBOLS OF
L I F E A N D E T E R N I T Y.
A flourishing theater and a library
were in the center of Shushi. Many churches and cathedrals were built in the
traditional Armenian architectural style (Meghretsots, Aguletsots, Kanach Jam,
the Russian Orthodox Church, Kanants Jam) which were sanctified by St. Saviors’
-- Ghazanchetsots Cathedral.
SADDLE CARPET WITH THE ARCHAIC SYMBOLS AND PATTERNS THAT GO BACK
MILLENNIA IN HISTORY. THE ARMENIAN CAUCASIAN RIDERS WERE RENOWNED
CAVALIERS PROFOUNDLY RESPECTED FOR THEIR CHIVALROUS AND VIRTUOUS ETHOS.
GUIDED BY HIGH PRINCIPLES OF COURAGE, HONOR AND TRUTH.
ARMENIAN CAUCASIAN WARRIOR IN TRADITIONAL DRESS.
XIXTH CENTURY ENGRAVING.
TRADITIONAL ARMENIAN CAUCASIAN DECORATED DASHUYN [DAGGER]
WORN BY THE WARRIORS. NOTE THE CIRCLE IN THE MIDDLE WHICH
THE DAGGER IS SYMBOLICALLY PASSING THROUGH.
TRADITIONAL ARMENIAN GULPA [SOCKS] AND GDAK [HEADDRESS]
MADE OUT OF PURE WOOL AND INTERWOVEN USING THE BEAUTIFUL
NATIONAL GEOMETRIC HARMONIOUS PATTERNS AND SYMBOLS.
ON DISPLAY IN THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ARMENIA IN YEREVAN.
As a result of the violent attack carried out by the Tatars in 1905, thousands of Armenians died, and hundreds of Armenian houses (around 400 houses) were burned down.
XIXTH CENTURY DETAIL-CRAFTED HAND KNITTED NEEDLEWORK.
A TYPICAL XIXTH CENTURY HOUSE OF AN ARMENIAN FARMER IN THE SUBURBS
OF SHUSHI. ENGRAVING BY VERESHCHAGIN.
XIXTH CENTURY EMBROIDERED TOWEL FROM ARTSAKH.
PHOTOGRAPH OF ONE OF THE DISTRICTS OF SHUSHI AT THE BEGINNING OF THE
XXTH CENTURY BEFORE THE CITY WAS RAISED AND BURNED TO THE GROUND,
WITH VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE ARMENIAN INHABITANTS KILLED
BY TATAR TURKS IN 1920. IN THE FOREGROUND THE ARMENIAN GYMNASIUM
FOR GIRLS. ARMENIAN GIRLS AND WOMEN WERE AMONG THE BEST
EDUCATED WOMEN OF THEIR TIME PERIOD. IN FACT IN THE FIRST
REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA WOMEN VOTED ALONG THAT OF MEN.
TAKING IN FACT THAT THE WOMEN IN UNITED STATES
FOUGHT AND RECEIVED SUFFRAGE AS LATE AS 1920 -- THIS
WAS OVERWHELMINGLY PROGRESSIVE ATTRIBUTE.
COAT OF ARMS OF THE SHUSHI. AN ANGEL WITH A TRUMPET
UPON A SHIELD WITH TWO FLANKING TOWERS [SYMBOLIC
OF THE ANCIENT FORTRESS OF SHOSH/SHIKAKAR.
AT THE BOTTOM, THE WORD - SHUSHI, IN ARMENIAN - UPON
THE RIBBON LINING. THE TRUMPETING ANGEL IS FROM THE
STATUE OF THE BELFRY OF THE ALL-SAVIORS CHURCH OF SHUSHI [BELOW].
THE ALL-SAVIORS CHURCH OF SHUSHI REBUILT AT THE END OF
XXTH CENTURY AFTER THE LIBERATION OF THE ANCIENT ARMENIAN
CULTURAL CITY IN 1992. THE LIBERATED CITY IS NOW EXPERIENCING
A CULTURAL RENAISSANCE AS THE ARMENIAN CREATIVE SPIRIT
IS GIVING ONCE AGAIN TO BUILD AND INVENT ANEW...
ORDER AND HARMONY OF ARMANI SANCTUMS.
BREATHTAKING AND MASSIVE ARMENIAN CHURCHES OF BAKU BASED ON
SACRED ANCESTRAL ARCHITECTURE, BLUEPRINTS FROM THE TURN OF THE
CENTURY WERE NEVER TO BE ERECTED BECAUSE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
WOULD BE CARRIED OVER AND IMPLEMENTED IN BAKU THAT WAS IN MANY WAYS
A CENTER OF ARMENIAN CULTURE AND IRANIAN [NEVER TURKIC IN
ITS PREPONDERANCE CHARACTER].
CHURCH OF THE FOUNDING APOSTLES [SS. THADDEUS AND BARTHOLOMEW].
THE MAGNIFICENT ARMENIAN CHURCH OF BAKU WAS NOT TO COME ABOUT...
THE CREATIVE HAND AND SPIRIT OF ARMENIAN PEOPLE WAS STRUCK A DEATH
BLOW BY THE TURKS IN BAKU EVEN BEFORE THE YEARS OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE...
DECADES LATER THE REMNANTS OF THE ONCE VIBRANT ARMENIAN COMMUNITY OF
BAKU WHEN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ARMENIANS WERE
KILLED AND DRIVEN FROM THEIR HOMES BETWEEN 1988-1990.
EASTERN FAÇADE OF THE CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES.
X V I I T H C E N T U R Y V I S H A P A G O R G [D R A G O N R U G]
H O L Y C H A L I C E PLACED ON AN EMBROIDERY OF A RADIANT SUN
SURROUNDED BY TWELVE ANGELS [HOUSES OF THE ZODIAC]
SUPERIMPOSED ON STELLAR STAR PATTERN. XVIIITH CENTURY.
SILVER BELTS MADE BY THE ARMENIAN MASTER GOLDSMITHS.
VERY FINE, DETAILED CRAFTSMANSHIP.
NEEDLEWORK OF RIGHT AND LEFT SPINNING COSMIC WHEELS OF ETERNITY.
A PORTION OF THE CITY OF SHUSHI BEFORE IT WAS DESTROYED
DURING THE MASSACRES OF SHUSHI IN WHICH THOUSANDS OF ARMENIANS
WERE BUTCHERED BY THE TATARS, WHO WOULD LATER CALL THEMSELVES
"AZERIS" AFTER THE ANCIENT IRANIAN NAME FOR ATRPATAKAN WHICH WAS NEVER
NORTH OF ARAXES RIVER. THE NOMADIC ROAMERS OF THE FAR AWAY
ALTAI AND SIBERIA - WHO FROM THEIR OUTSET BEGAN THE
EXTERMINATION OF NATIVE ARMENIAN POPULATION
TODAY OUT THAT NOT ONLY THE OCCUPIED ARMENIAN
LAND IS "TURKIC" BUT ALSO VAST PARTS OF NEIGHBORING IRAN ARE ALSO
"TURKIC" THAT MUST BE USURPED AND UNITED WITH THEIR PAN-TURKIC
KINSMEN IN TURKEY AND AS FAR AWAY AS SIBERIA, THUS STAKING
CLAIM TO TERRITORIES OF COUNTLESS NATIONS INCLUDING RUSSIA
AND CHINA. IT WAS THIS EXTREME INTOLERANCE THAT GAVE BIRTH TO
THE INHUMAN IDEOLOGY OF PAN-TURKISM WHICH PROCLAIMED ITS GOAL
THE "UNIFICATION OF ALL THE TURKISH NATIONS" WHICH RESULTED
IN THE HORRIFIC ATTEMPT AT THE WHOLESALE
EXTERMINATION OF THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE WHO IN THE EYES OF THE
CRIMINAL TURKISH GOVERNMENT STOOD IN THE WAY FOR REALIZATION
OF THIS "PLAN FOR AGES TO COME."
THOUSANDS OF ARMENIAN INHABITANTS OF SHUSHI WERE BUTCHERED
WHILE RESIDENTIAL HOMES, SCHOOLS, MONASTERIES, LIBRARIES AND HOSPITALS
WERE SET ABLAZE AND LEFT AS RUINS. THE MASSACRES WERE ORGANIZED
AND IMPLEMENTED BY THE "AZERBAIJANI" [TATAR] GOVERNMENT
THAT WAS RUN BY THE PAN-TURKIST MUSAVAT PARTY,
WHICH WAS ESSENTIALLY THE "AZERI" WING OF THE SAME
CRIMINAL PAN-TURKIST "YOUNG TURKS" WHO IMPLEMENTED THE
THE ARMENIAN RUINS OF SHUSHI AFTER THE MASSACRES OF MARCH OF 1920
WERE LEFT ABANDONED FOR DECADES.
Artsakhtsi highlanders once again stood up in arms in order to defend their Honor, Life and Civilization against barbaric Turkish attacks.
T O A R M S !
The horrific events recurred several years later which culminated with the Armenian Genocide. The dark intentions of the pan-Turkist Musavatists [the ruling nationalist party of Azerbaijan between 1918-20] of eliminating Armenians of Eastern Armenia (while their Turkic kinsmen, filled with same hatred and racist ideology of pan-Turkism were completing the first genocide of the modern era in Western Armenia), were demonstrated in the bloody massacre of 20,000 Armenians on March 23, 1920. The picturesque Armenian town of Shushi was looted and burned to the ground. Not a single Armenian of Shushi was left alive.
XIXTH CENTURY BEAUTIFUL NEEDLEWORK OF 5 [10x10 SQUARE ALIGNMENT]
SPOKE COSMIC WHEEL OF ETERNITY WITH THE 8 POINTED STAR IN BETWEEN.
XIXTH CENTURY BEAUTIFUL NEEDLEWORK IN A FORM OF A TRIANGLE
The charred ruins of the burnt town remained until the 1960s -- when they were utterly destroyed together with the material, cultural and other historic monuments and tombs of murdered Armenians. After the massacre and the destruction of Shushi, Stepanakert became the administrative and cultural center of Artsakh.