TEHRAN – Several old-hand masters of blacksmithing have been invited to help revive the traditional skills of the craft that is on the verge of oblivion across Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province in southwest Iran.
“Some experienced blacksmiths of the province have been invited to set up training workshops is the first step to revive this field of handicrafts,” a local tourism official explained on Sunday.
“In the not-so-distant past, blacksmiths in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad made tools such as sickles, axes, hammers, saws, axes, horseshoes, carpet weaving tools, chains, scissors, rings, locks, keys and oven skewers using traditional manners, but this field is becoming forgotten,” Mohammad-Kazem Rahmani explained.
The cultural heritage, tourism, and handicrafts directorate of the province is developing an all-inclusive dossier of the indigenous art of Ahangari (blacksmithing) to be registered as intangible national heritage, the official said.
Traditionally, Chilan is a Persian word used to describe the tools and objects made from Iron such as chains, small rings, horse bridle, saddle, and many other light-weighted objects.
Chalangar or blacksmith is a craftsman who heats the iron in the kiln, forges, and turns them into desired objects. According to the Dehkhoda encyclopedia, Chalangar is a person who makes or repairs iron keys, locks, fasteners, shields, chains, pliers, nails, and other objects, and Chilangar and Chalingar are two other names for it.
A Chalingar usually works alone and they have no apprentice. In the past, the artists of this craft made scythes, hammers, horseshoes, nails, horse and cow bindles in the cities and villages.
Today since both agriculture and animal breeding have become automatic or semi-automatic, the blacksmiths now make applicable- decorative objects such as vase bases, dividers, window protectors, etc. The basics of blacksmithing are like making a knife and are done by heating the metal in the kiln, blowing, forging, and making attachments to make the final product.
In the past, doors and windows were different from their contemporary counterparts and metallic locks made by the Chalangars were attached to wooden windows. One of these locks is known as Kubeh, according to Visit Iran. Kubeh is an object that is attached to a metallic plate on the door of the house. A visitor could simply knock the Kubeh on Golmikh to make his presence known to the owner.
The lesser-known province is home to various nomads and is a top destination for those interested in visiting in person the nomadic life. Sightseers may live with a nomadic or rural family for a while or enjoy an independent stay and assist them with day-to-day life. It also opens up an opportunity to feel rustic routines, their agriculture, traditions, arts, and culture.