Vanderlei J. Pollack - Jan 20, 2009

Masouleh inarguably, is one of the most ancient, civilized villages in the world with almost 1000 years of recorded history, 150,000 square meters surface area and less than 4 thousands people, situated in the northern parts of Iran, adjacent to the world"s largest enclosed body water, Caspian Sea.

The fluctuation of temperature in Masouleh makes an enjoyable weather in summers and cold winters. Moreover, the annual average of precipitation is 713 millimeters which has helped to the emergence of many rivers all around the village where "Masouleh" Rud could be mentioned as the longest one of all. It has got two branches merging into it – Andareh and Nilikhali.

People residing in Masouleh are mainly from Talesh ethnic group and speak Taleshi, as well. Taleshi is just one of the hundreds of local dialects which could be found all over the Greater Iran. To describe the overall appearance and outfit of Masouleh, one should note that this ancient village is located in a mountainous region and that"s why agriculture and industry are not as developed. Nonetheless, the majority of business is stockbreeding, animal husbandry and handicrafts production. The handicrafts of the natives in Masouleh constitute of Gelim (rugs made of goats’ coat), Jajim (fine carpets made of wool or cotton), Knives, Wool Socks, Traditional Dress, Chamush (kind of traditional leather shoes), Spades, Axes, Scythes etc.

There is a roofless and oriental bazaar in the heart of the village dedicated exclusively to the supplement of handicrafts created by the rustic artists, where they display and sell their productions personally. Perhaps their haggling with the customers would be the most interesting part of the whole deal!

Aside from all, the majestic village has an unprecedented and unique architecture that captivates and enchants almost every visitor. The paramount feature that Masouleh retains is its staircase structure – a group of mud-brick houses with their wild-fern roofs are constructed on the slope of mountains in a way that roofs of the lower houses serve as the yards for the upper ones.

All around the ancient village of Masouleh, one can behold the eminent presence of lattice windows, adobe-incrassated walls, traditional doorknobs and a virgin tranquility that congregate and inaugurate a matchless exhibition of Persian beauty, craftiness and aptitude.


By Ahmadreza Tavassoli


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