Folk Tradition in Good Hands: A Visual Reminder

Anahid Kazazian inspecting Armenian Marash embroidery
Anahid Kazazian inspecting Armenian Marash embroidery

Anahid Kazazian inspecting Armenian Marash embroidery

Violin bowmaker David Hawthorne chiseling mortise
Violin bowmaker David Hawthorne chiseling mortise

Violin bowmaker David Hawthorne chiseling mortise

origami rose by Richard Alexander
origami rose by Richard Alexander

origami rose by Richard Alexander

Linda Lane making bobbin lace
Linda Lane making bobbin lace

Linda Lane making bobbin lace

Fisherman Marco Randazzo holding one of his rope sculptures
Fisherman Marco Randazzo holding one of his rope sculptures

Fisherman Marco Randazzo holding one of his rope sculptures

Ruben Arroco carving fruit
Ruben Arroco carving fruit

Ruben Arroco carving fruit

Dottie Flanagan cooking pierogi
Dottie Flanagan cooking pierogi

Dottie Flanagan cooking pierogi

Cambodian ceramicist Yary Livan carving clay
Cambodian ceramicist Yary Livan carving clay

Cambodian ceramicist Yary Livan carving clay

Alma Boghosian making Armenian needle lace
Alma Boghosian making Armenian needle lace

Alma Boghosian making Armenian needle lace

Karol Lindquist making a Nantucket lightship basket
Karol Lindquist making a Nantucket lightship basket

Karol Lindquist making a Nantucket lightship basket

Chent  Chow holding Chinese chop
Chent Chow holding Chinese chop

Chent Chow holding Chinese chop

Hands of Sicilian strega Lori Bruno
Hands of Sicilian strega Lori Bruno

Hands of Sicilian strega Lori Bruno

Secret stitch of Armenian embroidery revealed

Anahid Kazazian holding a piece of Marash embroidery. Photo by Maggie Holtzberg.

Many of us have family heirlooms — but how many have ones that were made in a far away country and date back to the mid-1800s? When Anahid Kazazian’s family fled their home during the Armenian massacre, and eventually made it to the United States, they brought with them treasured pieces of needlework with them. Including, this piece, which was made nearly 150 years ago by Anahid’s paternal grandmother, Lucia Dakessian, for her daughter’s trousseau. Anahid says, “We refer to it as gaghtnaker or “secret needlework,” because you can’t tell how the pattern is made by looking at it — you have to be taught.”

Anahid Kazazian will share her knowledge of Marash with visitors at the National Heritage Museum on Saturday October 11th from 1-3 p.m. She is a natural storyteller as well. Come learn about this sturdy and colorful needlework used to adorn textiles in the home for generations.

Listen to Kazazian’s audio stop from the Keepers of Tradition exhibition.