Friday, July 20, 2012

100 years of the first color images of Armenia

I photographed a Prokudin-Gorskii in Armenia? This question can be answered in monosyllables. On the territory of the modern Republic of Armenia - no. On the territory of historical Armenia - yes.
Exactly 100 years ago, at the end of March 1912 (April, new style), he traveled to Batumi Artvinsky County area. Then it was the edge of the Russian Empire, just outside the city began a different empire - the Ottoman.
Here, the pioneer of Russian color photography captures images of local people against violent nature of this land.
"Armenian women (Catholic) in the usual costume." Artvin, 1912:

The original settlement
The restoration of the image (and the majority of the following) - mine.


To readers it was easier to imagine the scene, I suggest a look at this map:

The area to the left of the purple border belonged to the Russian Empire in 1878, but in 1920 it was invaded by Turkish troops in 1921 the RSFSR and the Transcaucasian Soviet republics were forced to acknowledge its annexation by Turkey (according to the Moscow and Kars treaties). In 1945-53. The USSR was trying to diplomatically dobitsya return of these lands, but after the entry of Turkey into NATO and the death of Stalin officially declined further territorial claims.
By the time of travel Prokudin-Gorsky Artvinsky district was multicultural edge, where the Armenians were menshinstvo. They prevailed only in the Artvin.
Here is what wrote about the city in the Encyclopedic Dictionary Brockhaus and Efron:
"Artvin (Turk. Lebanon) - a district town of Kutaisi Province., 8000 inhabitants., On the left bank of the Coruh, at 80. From Batum. Gorge so narrow that the buildings clung to the mountains and the difference of level between the upper and lower part of the city more than 700 m Pravoslav. and in Armenian-Catholic. church, mostly residents of the Armenian-Catholic confession, according to local legend, their ancestors emigrated from Ani, the ancient capital of Armenia. in the town and surrounding villages, extensive orchards and olive groves. Post to Batum on the skiff (flat-bottomed boats) on the Coruh river rapid. "

The city is surrounded by mountains was very beautiful:

The original settlement
Rail link to Artvin was not, Prokudin-Gorsky to get here on horseback.
I think readers will be interested to know some details of this fotoekspeditsii firsthand.
Recently, the archives of the Russian Geographical Society was found a letter Prokudin-Gorsky sent from Batum March 30, 1912 the researcher to the Black Sea coast, a member of the RGS, Nikolai Vorobiev. Here are excerpts from it: "My job is moving, but not as fast as I would like - a big obstacle for the rains. On his arrival [in Batumi], which was 20, I went the next day the horses in the Artvin - a lot of shooting on the way. In the Artvin three consecutive days was a snowstorm and rain, then turned out to be a very good day, I did a lot of good shots, then came the windy storm. I wanted to be on the way back to the British brass mills, but on the advice of experienced people put it in August when the weather is stable. Out of Artvin Charohu I went down into the canyon and back to Batum 28. ». (Source - Russian Empire Prokudin-Gorskii. 1905-1916. Album. S.Garanina).

"St. George Street in Artvin":

The original settlement
This picture in the album from Prokudin-Gorsky was erroneously signed as "East of the Tiflis Botanical mountain slopes," but I was able to determine that in fact this is also Artvin:

The original settlement
It was found that this species is very fond of the publishers of postcards:


Unfortunately, much of the images taken Prokudin-Gorsky in the Batumi region in 1912, disappeared without a trace. In recent years, some of them have become known to us by name, others - by author reprodutsiyam printed in the book, AN Krasnov, "South Colchis" 1915 edition.
For example, a spectacular shot of the canyon Chorokhi this book, the film is not preserved:

.
Armenian women in holiday attire. Artvin:

The original settlement
With this snapshot from Prokudin-Gorsky's also got an error - an album he was glued to the signature of "Georgian woman in national costume."

The first general census of the Russian Empire in 1897 showed the following data on the ethnic composition Artvinskogo District ( data here) :
Lived in the district of 56,140 people.
Armenians - 7819
Great: 308
Little Russians: 714
Belarus: 4
Poles: 21
Germans: 13
Greeks: 67
Persians: 2
112 Kurds
Ossetians: 1
Georgians: 5506
Imeretians: 15
Abkhazians: 6
Tatars: 5
Turks: 41,468
Others: 79
Thus, the Turks were in the county is still the majority. How to write AN Krasnov vysheupomnyanutoy in the book, they lived quite separate lives, nothing is perceived by the Russian and hoped for the return of the territory of the Ottoman Empire.
In the Artvin Turks were also quite a lot in the city there were two mosques.
"Mullah Artomelinskoy with schoolgirls at a mosque in Artvin":

The original settlement
Mysterious nzvanie mosque "Artomelinskaya" apparently given by the author on the perceived comprehension name in Artvin district where it was (in Turkish, "Horta Melle" - "The middle part" of the city).

Although the Kurds in Artvinskom okrguge, according to the census, lived quite a bit, Prokudin-Gorskii devoted to them at least two pictures:


"The Kurdish woman with children. Kvartshana near the village":

The original settlement

Russian colonists in Artvinskom district was not enough. However, there was a military garrison, which had its own church,
"The first Russian church in Artvin":

The original settlement
In the photo captured the church with the 1st battalion of the Kuban bellies in the name of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul at the time of the completion of its construction.
March (when the battalion), the church was founded in 1875, it originally housed in one room of the barracks building regiment. In May 1913 the regiment was consecrated a temple (as a military church) at the expense of the treasury. The age of this temple was very short-lived - as early as 1914, Turkish troops have entered Artvin.

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