Regional Handicrafts

Regional Handicrafts

GLASSWORK

As it is known, Antakya is one of the places where the glass was first discovered.

Specific green glass manufactured in and around Antakya has been dispatched to many parts of Anatolia and other countries since thousands of years.

Until 1940s, such production activities works were mostly conducted by mobile workshops. Traveller glass masters used to produce new glass objects by melting the broken glasses they gathered from Antakya and surrounding villages in their workshops and glass furnaces.

Starting from 1940s, glass production became an important industrial activity for Antakya and new enterprises were established constituting an income source for many households. The green glassware produced in Antakya has reached many parts of Turkey and found a place for itself in kitchen or cellar of many households.

LAUREL SOAP

Discovered in ancient times as a cleaning agent, the soap has been used as a medication in alternative medicine in addition to being a hygiene product throughout the history. Analysing the civilizations founded in Hatay region, we see that laurel soap is one of the most valuable products in Antakya.

The soap masters used to produce customized soaps for the families by getting their orders wandering in narrow streets of Hatay. Hatay is one of Turkey’s leading producers of traditional handmade soap.

The Mediterranean laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a species of evergreen bush or tree that has a very wide usage area.

Hatay plays an important role in agriculture exports by meeting 25% of world laurel leaf production alone and 35% of laurel leaf production in Turkey.

MOSAIC

Antakya, known as the “Queen of the East”, located in the middle of Amanos and Habibi Neccar Mountains on the edge of the Assyrian Ridge, is an important settlement area bearing the traces of the civilizations established in Anatolia.

The mosaics reflecting the riches of the city and bearing traces of magnificent periods throughout history have been unearthed as the result of the scientific excavations started especially in 1932. It was decided to create a museum for exhibiting and protecting dazzling mosaics and artefacts that was found during archaeological excavations.

After Hatay’s participation in the territory of the Republic of Turkey in 1939, the findings of the excavations are exhibited in this museum.

Hatay Archaeology Museum,  being 2nd largest archaeological museum in the world, exhibits the mosaics of the Roman and Byzantine periods produced between 2nd and 5th Centuries AD.

SILK WEAVING

In Antakya, silk weaving is among the oldest traditional handicrafts. There are few families surviving the tradition of natural silk weaving.

Nostalgic silk weaving looms standing at authentic sales outlets are still operable and actively used for producing silk.

There are many mulberry trees Hatay, Harbiye and Samandağ regions since ancient times. The people living here used to produce silk cocoon feeding silkworm on the leaves of the mulberry trees. Although the production of silk cocoon has declined over time, there are still few families left who produce still their own silk threads.

WEAVING WHEAT STEM

The basketry art that contributes to the culture history of the societies begins with the history of humanity.

Wicker baskets are handcrafted by craftsmen for centuries in Hatay using thin shoots of trees, green reeds unique to the Samandağ region, and woodened stems of plants. The elegance, colour, texture, patterns and shapes of the basket reflect the characteristics of the masters who are engaged in this delicate art.

The products created are mostly sold in other provinces and in abroad and in promotional days as well as domestic market of Hatay. Faced with the danger of disappearing 20 years ago, wicker basketry tradition started as an economic activity after increasing tourism activities in the region.

Masters dealing with weaving wicker baskets in the region express their determination to convey this traditional and cultural heritage to the future generations.

WOOD CARVING

The art of wood carving or decoration is one of the art forms that human beings use to express themselves. One of the most important passions of the human being is to design and embellish the environment he lived in and the tools he used.

Wood carving, one of the foremost crafts in Hatay region, is a characteristic feature that you may frequently encounter in all houses in the old streets of the city.

Different carving examples of the region can be seen especially in the houses of the rich families, from door to window, as they are fond of their comfort and relaxation.

 

Serpentine Stone Processing

Serpentine stone is generally identified with Hatay region. There is also green serpentine stone in Cyprus Magosa but the most beautiful tone comes out in our region. This stone, which is formed by a sepiolite-rooted, abundance-altered metamorphic rock and this rock can be easily processed. It is known that this stone, which is used by the Abbas cuts, has been processed and used since the late Hittite period.

Nowadays black ones that identified with Hatay are processed as gift products.

Reference, Erol Taşsöken