Kalpuregan is an ancient village, 25 kilometers away from Saravan, Sistan and Baluchestan Province. Based on many shreds of evidence, the art of pottery in this village is 7000 years old, and surprisingly this art has not changed through all these years. This means they don’t use Pottery machines and it is purely handmade. The pottery of Kalpuregan is quite distinct from other parts of Iran because of the magnificent manufacturing process and its magical color.
The history of living in this region dates back to about 10 thousand years old and the Pictograph and Petroglyphs of Saravan, the largest known petroglyphs in Iran, proves this fact. Kalpuregan, a small village with only 300 people, is the first village in Asia that is named on the UNESCO world heritage list. Majority of the people are farmers and their main products are dates, citrus fruits, and vegetables. However, the only feature that distinguishes Kalpuregan from the rest of Iran is its pottery, which remains intact, since about seven thousand years ago.
Jay Gluck, in his famous book “A Survey of Persian Handicraft” mentions Kalpuregan along with northern Thailand and Japan as the three main origins of the innovation of pottery. Unlike other parts of Iran that pottery is usually crafted by men, the history of Kalpuregan pottery belonges to women, because men were hunting or farming, and according to historical evidence, women were the cultivators of pottery art.
The pottery of Kalpuregan has unique features, as mentioned before, every part of the manufacturing process is handled by women. There are no glazes and the patterns and designs of Kalpuregan pottery are geometrical. These features remind us of ancient patterns and that is what makes them so valuable.
In the heart of Kalpuregan, there is the Kalpuregan Clay Living Museum which was made during the Pahlavi dynasty. In this place, rural women sit and make pottery. Without a pottery wheel, with an empty hand, and sometimes with a piece of wood for finishing touches. It usually takes a week for each piece of clay to turn into pottery. In this living Museum, they teach you how to make pottery and you can build your own. If you have enough time you can wait a few days, and they will bake your artwork and hand it to you.
Building your own pottery with your own hands is an incredible experience. You will never forget this memorable and exciting moment, and you can only enjoy it in Kalpuregan.
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