Satkınbibi Levent, who came from Kyrgyzstan to Turkey, teaches the art of rug weaving she learned from her mother to trainees in Çubuk Public Education Center in Ankara province. Levent, 42, both earns a living from her craft and is trying to sustain this almost-forgotten profession.
Working as a master teacher at Çubuk Public Education Center for two years, Levent told Anadolu Agency (AA) that she came from Kyrgyzstan to Turkey with her family and lived in Van province for many years. She added that they settled down in Çubuk district seven years ago.
Noting that she learned rug weaving from her mother at a very early age, Levent stressed that this job is their lifestyle; however, she never dreamed that this would become her job in the future.
Participants creating a colorful and authentic rug at the training center.
Levent explained that the authorities at the public education center discovered her work. She has been teaching rug weaving to more than 60 women for two years. Levent remarked that these women contribute to their family's budget by selling the rugs that they weave.
Reporting that the weaving she teaches to trainees is very special and requires a gentle touch, she continued: "I try to sustain this historical art that I inherited from my mother here. Rugs are a kind of weaved product used in the floors, walls and environment of Turkish tents in Middle Asia. I started to learn this art from my mother when I was 5 or 6. It had a place in my mind in time. I fondly perform this art, which I did in my youth for the needs of our house. It is our lifestyle. I can help my four children receive an education thanks to this profession. I am so happy."
Çubuk Public Education Center Director Recai Özdemir said she met Levent while looking for who was using the iron machinery that he saw on a roof by chance. He learned this iron machine was a weaving loom. Then, they decided to create a course to protect the art.
"We met Satkınbibi Levent. She told us she knows the craft and could teach those who are interested in it. We saw the work that she weaved in her house and admired them. Then, we started our courses. Our courses have been ongoing for nearly two years. From now on, we hope we will sustain rug weaving by teaching it to our women and helping our women have a profession," Özdemir said.
Rug weaving as a profession
One of the trainees, Zeynep Doğan Demir, said she is pleased with the course and stated: "I attended the course by thinking that we could sustain rug weaving. I will spend my free time learning it and will go into this profession. I am happy to weave rugs and earn money from this work."
Physically handicapped Fatma Taşçı also attends the course. Noting that the course has helped her forget her physical obstacles, she emphasized the happiness she feels from producing something: "I felt tired, exhausted and useless before. This course is so good for me. I feel so good physically and economically now. I forget my physical obstacles here and am more social."