Iran is a vast country with an astonishing diversity in culture, arts, cuisines, traditional way of clothing and handicrafts. Traveling each part of Iran provides you with different experiences. What you see, taste and learn in Northern provinces of Iran is very different to the south. And what you get to observe in the Western parts of this country is different to the east. Each region of Iran has lots of natural and cultural attractions in store for you. If you are planning to travel to the provinces near the Persian Gulf, booking a tour to get familiar with the handicrafts of Southern Iran will be a good idea to make the most out of your trip. Here’s a list of what local artists of southern provinces of Iran create and simply wow the tourists!
Sis-baafi in Hormozgan, the Art of Weaving Palm Tree Fibers
A very old art in Hormozgan Province, Sis-baafi refers to weaving the fibers of date palms in order to make goods such as baskets, ground cloths – in order to cover the floor – and even boxes for keeping hens and chickens. One of the delights of traveling to Hormozgan Province is to see how locals make use of whatever nature provides them with, especially parts of palms trees that may have always seemed useless to us.
Kapou-baafi in Khouzestan, Baskets Made from Palm Tree Leaves
Kapou is the art of making baskets by weaving leaves of Palm trees and another plant called Kartak which grows on the margins of rivers in tropical regions. These Kapou baskets are usually decorated with geometrical shapes created by colorful yarns. These baskets are usually used for keeping breads or sewing materials. There’s usually a round tassel woven on top the basket so that it’s easier to open it. Kapou-baafi is also used for making kettle coasters, vases and fruit containers.
Golabatoon-doozi, a One of a Kind Hand Embroidery
If you want to see the best examples of handicrafts of Southern Iran, you have visit some of the local markets in Hormozgan Province that sell Golabatoon-doozi fabrics. Marvelous ornaments on fabric made of white, silvery or golden threads that come in intricate shapes of plants are used for decorating traditional dresses of women, cushions, wall hangings and even backrests. Golabatoon-doozi is an art predominantly mastered by local women of Southern Iran and plays an important role in the economy of families living in Hormozgan Province. It’s also regarded as a very popular hobby for young girls.
Khous-doozi, Beautiful Traditional Scarves
Another celebrated example of handicrafts of Southern Iran, Khous-doozi is the art of weaving silvery or golden strips on tulle. The tulle is usually black, green or crimson and is mainly used as a kind of head scarf called “Jelvil Khousi” which is an element of traditional outfit of women in the southern cities. Most of Khous-doozi handicrafts are decorated with the shape of stars featuring 6, 8 or 12 angles.
Handwoven Carpets of Khouzestan, Not the Typical Persian Carpet
Unlike the elegant carpets that you find in bazaars of Tehran, Tabriz or Kashan, the handwoven carpet of Khouzestan in South of Iran is mostly characterized by geometrical shapes in red, pink, orange, black, navy blue and opaque yellow. Take one of these warm-colored carpets back home with you to remember your lovely voyage to the Persian Gulf!
Walking among souvenir shops and handicraft markets of each city means walking through a great avenue into the history and culture of that region. Go for a Hasir-baafi tour and get familiar with this anciet art of South of Iran. Hasir is a kind of straw mat and is made from leaves of palm trees. Widely known as the most famous example of handicrafts of Southern Iran, Hasir-baafi is mostly done by local girls and women of Hormozgan and Khouzestan. In addition to leaves, straws that are found near swamps are other elements for making Hasir. Not only is it used as a kind of mat, but it also serves as a nest for hens and roosters in villages.
Dodani-baafi, To Ward off the Evil Eye!
A long standing tradition in Sistan and Balouchestan Province – located in southeastern Iran – Dodani-baafi refers to the art of weaving herbage in a diamond shape in order to be hanged on walls as a protection against the evil eye. If you’ve bought the famous blue amulet of Turkey in your trips to Istanbul, we suggest you to buy a Balouchi Dodani to make your anti – evil eye collection complete!
Pottery, the Second Oldest Handicraft of the World
Pottery is the second oldest handicraft of the world after basket weaving and it makes for one of the most important handicrafts of Southern Iran. Visit the pottery shops of Hormozgan Province to see what a Jahleh is. The most unique kind of Iranian pottery, Jahleh is a kind of pitcher that is used for keeping water cool in the warm weather of Southern cities. Interestingly, the shape of these pitchers has not changed since the ancient times.
Artwork made by Seashells
This one is definitely a priceless handicraft that you must bring home from your trip to the Persian Gulf provinces of the country. Eye-catching accessories, unique picture frames, wall decorations and even statues made from seashells and scallops are some of the best handicrafts of Southern Iran.
Sekke-doozi and Ayneh-doozi, Decoration with Coins and Mirrors
Balouch people, who live in the southeastern cities and villages of Iran have a tradition of decorating bed sheets and other household elements with coins and tiny mirrors. It’s especially common to use these handicrafts for decorating dowries of brides. The high quality of the coins and mirrors alongside the high quantity of them depicts the high economic status of the bride’s family.
Similar to what you may find in the souvenir shops of India, anything decorated by Sekke-doozi and Ayneh-doozi has an obvious eastern identity. A small piece of Sekke-doozi and Ayneh-doozi artwork can be a good choice for anyone who wants to buy an authentic souvenir from southeast of Iran.
Wander among Handicraft Shops and Enjoy!
Hunting for souvenirs in Iran is a fun and entertaining activity especially in local markets that allow you to watch the craftsmen and craftswomen working on their pieces of art. This is a very precious experience. Even if you’re not willing to bring anything home, spend some time as an observer and enjoy the vibe!