On October 3rd, 2014, the Nor Serount (New Generation) Cultural Association organized a presentation and exhibit about traditional Armenian rugs, their historical roots, cultural uniqueness, influence on the world rug weaving industry, and its compensation towards the preservation of Armenian identity. The lecture was presented by the renowned rug designer, master weaver and restorer of ancient hand woven textiles and rugs, and overall expert on Armenian Rugs Mr. Hratch Kozibeyokian.
The event took place at the Glendale Public Library, with Nor Serount Chairman Mr. Harut Der-Tavitian giving a brief bio on Mr. Kozibeyokian. Mr. Kozibeyokian, raised in a family with a rich tradition of weaving craftsmanship and migrated to the United States in 1977 to join his father in the Oriental rug restoration business. In 1979 he settled in Los Angeles and earned a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Chapman College. In 1990 he established KO ‘Z’ Craft, a workshop to restore and conserve hand-woven antique textiles and carpets, and an exhibit gallery in West Hollywood’s design district.
Mr. Kozibeyokian delved into the historical aspects of rug weaving and the Armenian rug, touching upon the unique “texts” composed of the ornaments where sacred symbols reflect the beliefs and religious notions of the ancient ancestors of the Armenians. The immitation and presentation of one and the same ornament-ideogram in the unlimited number of the variations of styles and colors, as well as type of color dye utilized, contain the basis for the creation of any new Armenian carpet, while keeping the historic tradition alive. The Armenian tradition of rug weaving and artistry also played a major role in historical aspects of Armenian life. It helped Armenians utilize rugs and rug weaving to attain the tradition during different Armenian Kingdoms and diverse conquering empires. It also helped Armenians to overcome and persevere near annihilation and be reborn in refugee camps in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide, perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire to the present day condition and within the Diaspora, and the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh.
Attendees of the presentation were given a rare opportunity to examine and compare different types of a century old Armenian rugs from various regions of Armenia, historic Armenia and the Diaspora.