People, Travel

History Meets Ceramic Art

History Meets Ceramic ArtHistory Meets Ceramic Art

From ancient times, as far as the history of Persia shows, pottery has been a well-practiced, popular craft among Iranians. This applies particularly to Lalejini ceramists in Hamadan Province.

Located in Bahar County, Lalehjin is currently one of the world’s major ceramic producing cities.

With a population of 55,000, the city is situated 20 kilometers north of provincial capital Hamadan at an altitude of 1731 meters.

Eighty percent of Lalejin’s population are potters, ceramists, or involved in related jobs.

As you stroll through the ancient city’s streets and districts, you see how people from almost all walks of life, young or old, male or female, are practicing their ancestors’ trade and tradition of creating works of art.

Over the last few decades, the Khoshuei Brothers have been among the prominent ceramists of Lalejin who have created the most significant works of art.

Both foreign and domestic tourists are drawn toward Lalejini ceramic products, most of whom show interest in purchasing pottery and visiting ceramists in their workshops.

They also have an affinity for local handicrafts such as ceramics, leather products, traditional Iranian glass, kilims, wooden crafts, and a variety of other traditional items.    

According to historians, during the invasion of Iran by Mongolian raiders, only seven ceramists survived and made tireless efforts to restore the pottery industry.  

In recent years, Lalejini ceramists not only have preserved the traditional Persian art and craft but  have also introduced a variety  of innovations which indeed is a source of pride.

According to officials, pottery production in recent years has undergone a process of major change, including changes in coloring compounds both in traditional and industrial paintings and the introduction of modern furnaces to replace the traditional ones.

It is said that a dynamic handicraft industry has a direct relation with economic growth in terms of employment, flourishing businesses, expansion of non-oil export, preservation of  cultural heritage along with the added benefit of introducing the true identity of Iranian civilization to the world.

According to archaeologists and historians, there is a long history behind this ceramic hub, dating back to the ancient Persian Empire.

Hamedan, also known by its ancient names Hegmataneh and Ecbatana, was the first capital of the Median Empire (678 – 549 BC), who were the first Aryan Kurds who settled down here.    

The great Greek historian Herodotus (484 - 425 BC), who visited the storied city of Ecbatana, hailed the city and its palace as glorious and stately.