The hatter of Mashtagha

Mirbakhtiyar Akhundov was born in 1967 in the village of Mashtagha, on the outskirts of Baku. They were 10 siblings in the family: 6 sisters and 4 brothers. All of the children received a religious education: “Very early on in our childhood, my father taught us to read the Quran. As time passed, he put us into religious school, where we perfected our knowledge of the Quran.” says Mirbakhtiyar Axundov.

One of Mirbakhtiyar’s brothers died. The others live in different villages on the outskirts of Baku. Now, he works as a hat maker in Mashtagha. In particular, he makes Azerbaijani


Despite a lack of interest these days in the purchase of these special Azerbaijani hats, Mirbakhtiyar continues on with his work: “It’s been a long time that I’ve worked with papakh. They are not modern – I prefer to make hats similar to the ones worn in and around the villages around Baku.

Nowadays, few people wear these hats and thus the number of my orders has decreased as well. Earlier, I may have received 10 – 15 orders for hats per month. Now, I receive just 1 or 2. The hats that I make have different prices, starting from 80 and going all the way up to 300 manat. Sometimes, the hats that I make I just can’t sell, and I give them away to my close ones.”

Sometimes, he also enjoys painting. “In my childhood, I used to draw different kinds of pictures and images. Becoming more interested in Islam, I also became more interested in drawing. I drew pictures on the walls of my house. Because house paints have become more expensive, I prefer to paint my own pictures on the walls.” says M. Akhundov.

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