Azerbaijan International

Spring 2005 (13.1)

Sofi Hamid

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This woman, standing beside the grave of her mother, told us that if she had had enough money, she would have preferred to make a memorial from black marble, not the more traditional limestone. It seems that between the years of about 1998-2002, black marble became very popular. This was a trend that existed during the Soviet era as well. Portraits were etched on the stone (sometimes standing in full length). These days, the limestone carvings are again more popular. The stone carvers told us that people are choosing the limestone again these days, because they prefer that the gravestones "resemble a carpet", possible referring to the use of symbols and ornamentation around the borders that are reminiscent of carpets. Further research would be required to determine if aesthetic reasongs are influencing this decision, more than economic, or perhaps even religious factors. Photo: Betty Blair

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