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Lahic (Lahij or Lahich) is a village and municipality on the southern slopes of Greater Caucasus within the Ismailli Rayon of Azerbaijan. Population is approximately 860 people who speak the Tat language, also known as Tati Persian, a Southwestern Iranian language spoken by the Tats of Azerbaijan and Russia.
Lahij is a notable place in Azerbaijan, with its authentic handicrafts traditions, particularly related to copper. The village's carpet and rug crafts are also well known in Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus. Lahij has an old sewage system (some experts claim that it was built 1000-1500 years ago). Due to frequent earthquakes local people have developed sophisticated and authentic construction techniques.
Lahij is one of the most ancient human settlements in Azerbaijan. The Lahij District is located in the Ismayilli region of the Republic of Azerbaijan, on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range at a height of 1211 meters above sea level.
During the Medieval Period, Lahij became an important centre of craftsmen in Azerbaijan. Lahij master craftsmen could create forty types of items related to Folk Art. These skilled craftsmen included jewelers, blacksmiths, carpenters, carpet makers, engravers, painters, tanners, shoemakers and bast shoe makers, sock weavers and others. Many valuable examples of the products of these skills are exhibited in famous museums and collections.
Copper work is the most important of the skills developed by Lahij craftsmen. Lahij is renowned for its production of arms and copper items, decorated with carved ornaments. The development of copper production triggered the formation of such professions in Lahij as tinsmith, blacksmith and others, together with the creation of bituminous coal. The structure and supplies of copper workshops, as well as its traditional external look and its production processes remain preserved today, as they were in previous centuries. Written sources, as well as, the rich copperware collections that may be seen in the museums of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russian and Europe, prove the existence of over 80 types of copperware equipment used in copperware manufacturing in Lahij.
Leather goods' manufacture was the second biggest craft skill in Lahij, after that of coppersmith. The local leather goods' master craftsmen were expert in using shagren, tumaj and yuft as raw materials for various products such as shoes, belts, leather quilted jackets, book covers and bridles. Leather production in Lahij created suitable conditions for the development of other craftsmen, with associated skills - such as saddle makers, bridle makers, cobblers, hat makers and sheepskin makers.
The development of international tourism, together with more knowledge about the people and cultures, has resulted in a gradual interest in the cultural diversity of the Region. Lahij, in recent years, has attracted the attention of many tourists visiting from countries worldwide and as a result Lahij is now included in the travel tours of several leading tourism agencies.
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