The Islamic, Russian and European influences have shaped the civilization of Azerbaijan to a mixed and enriched culture full of colors and grace. Having a strong historical background, presently the culture and clothing of Azerbaijan is being dominated by the Western prerogatives. This part of the world was inhabited by the humans thousands of years ago so there is a wide range of the traditional dress of Azerbaijan. These traditional Azeri costumes are displayed in full rhythm in the folk dances and festive occasions of Azerbaijan. There is a tremendous variety of the Azeri dances which actually represent the characteristics of Azerbaijan’s people.
The typical traditional dress of Azerbaijan consists of under and outer garments and clothes for the upper and lower body. Dizlik is the form of pant or trouser which is used as the underclothing and Shalwar is usually worn over it. Similarly Koynek is worn as a shirt along with the several tunic skirts used on top of one another. It would be an astonishing fact that the Azeri Women used to wear three and sometimes as many as 12 tuman or skirts that were outer garments. They also used to cover their body with a cloak or a Chadar while moving outside. Similar in the past, being an Islamic society the Azeri women also used a facial scarf with a falling net to hide their faces from the strangers and it was known as “Niqab” or “Veil”.
The headdress used by the Azeri women was consisted of leather in form of suck or caps of different forms. Over it were worn several headscarves. Azerbaijan women also had complete sets of ceremonial costumes, which were not subject to regional variations. The women from different age groups used distinct styles of dresses. Young ladies wore more colorful and bright dresses.
The prominent fabrics used in the traditional dress for men in Azerbaijan were silk, cashmere and satins. The double breast “Arkhaliq”, the humeral outerwear “Gaba” and “Chukha” were the noteworthy male dresses of Azerbaijan. “Kurk” was a fur coat made of lamb fur, without fastener, with collar, decorated with embroidery. Papaq was the most popular headdress for men which was usually stitched with lamb fur and it was symbol of dignity and prestige.
The traditional dress of Azerbaijan is full of fascinating designs colors and decorations. It truly reflected the artistic sense and the aesthetic taste of the Azeri nation. This is extremely attractive and perhaps one of the most elegant traditional dress of this region.