Farewell to Ashugh
Ashugh Hussein Sarachli (real name: Hussein Kurban Oghli Hasanov), a popular twentieth-century Azerbaijani ashugh, was born in 1916 in the village of Sarachli near Bolnisi.
An ashugh (from the Arabic for sweetheart, lover) is a public poet and singer in the Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Dagestan) and the Middle East (mainly in Turkey and Iranian Azerbaijan).
Ashughs compose (and often improvise) songs and tunes and perform them to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument (e.g. saz, tar, kamancha, chianuri). In the South Caucasus, the title ashugh first appears in the XVIth and XVIIth centuries, whereas in Georgia (predominantly in Tbilisi) ashughs emerged especially during the second half of the XVIIIth century.
Hussein Hasanov was one of the most prominent ashughs, and was awarded the title of ‘Honoured Figure of Georgian Culture’. He died in 1987 at the age of 71.