Armenian Marash Embroidery

Armenian embroidered bundlecloth
Armenian embroidered bundlecloth

 Attached image is an Armenian interlace embroidery that my grandparents used as bundle cloth to carry their belonging from Marash, Turkey to New York City via Ellis Island during the first Armenian Genocide in 1896. The city of Marash was a renowned cultural, professional and trade center situated in the territory known as the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. Marash Embroideries are made with three different stiches resembling satin stich, outline stich and stem stich. The patterns are generally stylized birds, flowers, trees, leaves, fruits and are worked in rich multicolored silk, highly twisted mercerized cotton or gold thread (“Armenian Needle Lace and Embroidery”, Alice Odian Kasparian, 81). The significance of this piece not only represent my family’s immigration to the US but also illustrates the cultural heritage of the local Armenians that only few have survived. Since only limited pieces known have survived the burning and looting of Armenians homes currently one could only find them in possession of museums and private collectors. It is prominently displayed in our family room to remind us to be proud of our heritage. 

Place(s): Western Armenia, Armenia, Marash Turkey, Ellis Island, New York
Year: 1896

– Louise Demirjian

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more