Family photos

At the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century Baku was largely inhabited with Armenians. The two third of the Armenian community of Baku was formed of peasants, artisans or workers emigrated from different parts of the region (mainly from Artsakh, Syunik, and Iran), who moved to newly developing industrial city to find a job. Gradually integrating into urban life, the Armenians of Baku developed into a unique community with a new mode of life and new customs. Rapidly growing urban culture had its reflection on the values and gender relations of the Armenian traditional families. Prosperous Armenian families mostly sent their children to get education in famous educational centers in Russia and Europe, where they became the bearers of the advanced culture of the time and upon returning to Baku they put their knowledge in practice. 

Step by step traditional lifestyle yielded to the set of values appropriate to European culture. The procedure of the formation of a new kind of family relationships stimulated the increase of the Armenian girls’ educational level, which in its turn contributed to the women’s involvement into cultural and social life. Thus, within a short period of time Armenians of Baku formed a prosperous community which had an important and unique role in the life of the city.

Important sources concerning the lifestyle and customs of the Armenians of Baku are the numerous family photos, which we have due to the profound Armenian photographers’ work.