0925 GMT January 17, 2022
Kalpurgan is an ancient village with only 300 inhabitants, located 25 kilometers east of Saravan in Sistan and Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran, surfiran.com wrote.
The name comes from a medicinal herb which almost exclusively grows in its region. The village, however, has earned its reputation for something less natural. It is believed that the art of pottery in the village dates back to more than 7,000 years ago. Their magnificent art remained intact during the course of history as generations after generations refined its craftsmanship and passed it over to their successors for thousands of years.
It is the unique expertise of the region’s women to create wonderful artifacts out of dust and mud, using only their hands without any tools like wheels or pottery-making machines. In fact, the only tool they use is a manganese stone — which they call it tituk — to draw patterns on potteries which resemble ancient decorations. They produce all types of potteries, ranging from bowls and vessels to cups, and all of them are unique in their own way because of their amazing manufacturing process and magical color and patterns.
Although the region predates recorded history, it is the pottery industry that distinguishes Kalpurgan Village. According to Jay Gluck, an American archaeologist and historian, and his famous book ‘A Survey of Persian Handicraft’, Kalpuregan is one of the three main origins of the innovation of pottery along with northern Thailand and Japan. And it is even more interesting to notice that, unlike other parts of Iran, the rich history of pottery making belongs to women.
Men are not mainly involved in this process, except for some menial tasks like preparing the clay. Each significant part of the production is only handled by women.
They tend not to use glaze, and by drawing geometrical patterns with primitive methods similar to ancient ones on these products, women produce artifacts which seem as ancient as those which have been unearthed in the region, which makes them even more valuable.
The diversity of these handicrafts is also incredible. Women produce a variety of forms and models, such as vessels shaped like animal heads or camels and pomegranate-shaped incense burners. Thus, visitors and travelers will have plenty of options to choose their souvenirs from.
Kalpuregan Clay Living Museum is located in the heart of the village and can be considered the most famous spot for tourists. In this museum, established more than 44 years ago, one can find rural women going through the process of pottery making, which enables the visitors to observe their innovative art and follow the whole process closely. It would be a great opportunity to become involved in the creative process of pottery-making which is only accessible in Kalpurgan, the first village of handicraft in the world registered on World Crafts Council (WCC) List.