Cavaliers du Caucase shawl 140 - flat

The story behind

Poised between East and West, and between the Caspian and Black Seas, a chain of mountains extends for over 1,200 kilometres: the Caucasus, source of many ancient myths, like that of Prometheus, the fire-stealer punished by Zeus, king of all the gods. Life is harsh in this landscape of tall peaks, deep valleys, forests and barren wilderness, with one of the most diverse populations on Earth. In the north, where Mount Elbrus rises to a height of 5,642 metres – the tallest peak in the Caucasus, Russia, and the whole of Europe – the republic of Karbardino-Balkaria is home to the Circassians, noted for their fine looks, fierce pride and courage. Women hold a place of honour in this matriarchal society. In the past, richly-attired men and women would ride out together on the region’s Kabarda horses, bred for their robust strength, agility and endurance: long tunics for the men, open-fronted dresses over richly-embroidered blouses for the women, each man bearing his silver powder-casket, each woman her finely-engraved dagger. Annie Faivre’s scarf is a richly decorative tribute to their culture, strewn with embroidered fabrics, objects and jewellery.

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