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Villager spotlights native costumes

TEHRAN, (Mehr News Agency) -- At the historic village of Ebrahimabad, in the north of Semnan Province, villager Hossein Rahmati has gathered a large collection of ancient costumes. The items are of great anthropological value and he hopes one day to be able to establish a museum.

Rahmati, 57, began collecting the items when he was only 17. He has mainly focused on costumes once worn in his own village and the items date from the Safavid era to the late Qajar period.

"I have collected 600 to 700 articles of clothing which once belonged to my family in the village. I paid for them if necessary," Rahmati told the Persian service of CHN on Friday.

The oldest item of the collection is a Yal, a kind of garment worn by men in Safavid times, which is woven with silk and gold thread.

Rahmati made great attempts to purchase an abandoned bathhouse in the village to restore and convert into a restaurant offering traditional Iranian cuisine and where he also planned to showcase the items.

However, his dream never came true as bureaucratic restrictions thwarted all his creative plans.

Ebrahimabad has changed in many respects and few people are now wearing traditional costumes, Rahmati said.

"At present, the villagers dress like the people living in urban areas. Some people should try to update our traditional costumes in order to preserve the styles, which are a part of our cultural heritage. Otherwise we will be forced to adopt foreign ways of dressing," he added.

"Some factors make it difficult to update the long-standing designs of the costumes, but it doesn't mean that we can never use them as the basis for modern clothes' design," he explained.

Rahmati's collection also includes a number of historic marriage licenses, camel bells, ancient door-knockers, ancient bridal makeup materials, and stirrups.

... Payvand News - 8/30/07 ... --

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