Armenian Women

in search of Herstory

Arzu Khatun (12th-13th century)

Image

Embroidery and weaving

Arzu Khatun was the wife of Vakhtank, prince of upper khachen. With her husband, she participated in founding different churches and monasteries and was close to  the Armenian legist ,  Mkhitar Gosh  who later dedicate to the the couple the first copy of his book of laws.

Arzu Khatun was known for her expertise and skill in weaving and lace making. She offered her handmade finely decorated curtains to different churches like Dadivank and Haghbat.

After the death of her husband in 1214 she built a magnificent monument-church  inside the monastery of Dadivank called Surp Katoghike which still stands today.

Kirakos Gandzaketsi a 13th century Armenian historian from Artsakh, praised Arzu-Khatun for her wonderful talent in embroidery and lace making:

“ It was a marvel to those who beheld it…dyed with diverse colors and illustrated with images very precisely executed as if they had been carved, depicting the Savior’s incarnation and [lives] of other saints… Those who saw it would praise God for giving women the wisdom to produce tapestries and the genius of embroidery”

Source: R. Hovannisian, The Armenian People, 1997

Armenian Women Encyclopedia, Amaras, 2011

Photo: Armenian Embroidery www.thetextileblog.blogspot.com

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