(Persia Digest) – “Luck tarashi” or “Cho tarashi” is an original hand art of Mazandaran Province which is on the verge of extinction as urban communities grow larger and lifestyles change. Wood carving is an almost lost vocation of locals here, rather popular at one time in forested areas and villages where these products were used in daily lives. “Choub” in Persian is “wood”. In the local dialect of Mazandaran this is pronounced as “Cho”, and “tarashi” means carving, making this the art of carving wood.
Villagers in Mazandaran used the wood of their forests to provide for most of their needs in past times. Tree trunks and roots were used to carve most utensils such as wooden bowls, pots, pitchers, and small and large spoons. These were all used in everyday life for cooking and eating food.
The designs on these utensils are inspired by nature and legendary tales. Archaeological sites discovered in Mazandaran show that settlements in this region go back to 7000 years ago. Due to its arboraceous forests, wood carving also goes back a long way here. People living in the forests always used wood and roots from trees for their needs and gradually became skilled carvers.
Utensils made from the wood of trees are lighter and more resistant to heat and cold. They do not crack or break easily and sometimes last as long as one-hundred years depending on the quality of the wood. Some household objects are made using the root connected to the trunk which has penetrated soil at a gentle angle, because they have had less exposure to rain and snow. The wood must not be wet. The sap must be allowed to dry completely. This wood carving skill was registered as a National Heritage in Iran last year.
Photos: Seyed Mohammad Akbar Mousavi
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