A collector in Duhok keeps a thousand cultural artifacts
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A man in the Kurdistan Region's Duhok province has dedicated his life to protecting Kurdish cultural heritage artifacts, collecting about a thousand cultural items.
Saeed Barani has been researching, collecting, and protecting valuable Kurdish cultural objects for over 31 years.
The number of cultural artifacts collected by Barani has reached one thousand pieces.
At first, he had no place but his house, so he turned his house into a museum for such cultural objects, and now he is protecting these artifacts in a humble corner of the Youth and Sport center in the town of Bardarash.
Barani told Kurdistan 24 that he was always fascinated by Kurdish cultural heritage but in 1976 he visited the Mosul museum and that’s when he first had this idea of collecting and protecting cultural objects.
There are two reasons that led Barani to spend the past 31 years collecting and preserving Kurdish cultural artifacts.
The age of technology and globalization has endangered cultural artifacts of which many ceased to be used and some had undergone changes over time.
During Saddam Hussein's genocide campaigns many villages of the Kurdistan region were destroyed, very few artifacts survived and in around 100 villages of Bardarash, many artifacts persisted.
After the Kurdish uprising in 1991, Barani had the opportunity to work and start his journey of finding Kurdish cultural artifacts and finding a place for them to be protected.
He would visit villages and collect culturally valuable objects that were no longer used and on brink of extinction.
Among artifacts protected in the museum is a traditional bracelet that is 149 years old.
Each artifact has a different story, for instance, a pair of women's shoes is kept inside, 80 years ago a man in Bardarash traveled a thousand kilometers buying that pair for his fiancé.
Quern-stone, Kurdish traditional clothes of old styles, rugs, pottery, old vase, kitchen utilities and farming equipment, and many more decorate Barani’s museum.
There were efforts by the directorate of culture and art in Duhok to construct a museum in Bardarash, but they didn’t bear fruit because of the fight against ISIS in 2014 and the financial crisis that ensued.
Barani hoped that work can restart on the construction of such a museum so that he can find a more proper spot for these valuable artifacts in the Bardarash area.
One must protect his past in order to have a clear future ahead,’ said Barani.