History of Khoshmat - Dr. Mardiros H. Chakoian

Editorial note


Vartan Vartanian


Chapter 1: Palu and the fort

Chapter 2: Monasteries and Sanctuaries


Chapter 1: Education in Palou

Chapter 2: United Association of Armenians in Palou

• Havav

• Nerkhi

Chapter 3

• Villages of Palou

• Statistics of Palou Armenian-inhabited villages

• The Great Earthquake of Palou


Chapter 1

• Khoshmat

• The Holy Mother of God Church

• The Church of Khoshmat

• Priests

Chapter 2 : Sanctuaries

• Abdul-Mseh (Donag)

• Holy Cross

• Holy Cathedral

• St. Giragos

• St. Mangig

Chapter 3

• Springs

• Field Springs

• Humanlike Stones

Chapter 4

• Tbrotsasirats Association and the School of Khoshmat

• Teachers (1880-96)

• The First Graduates of the School of Khoshmat

• The Last Graduates of Khoshmat’s High School (1913-1914)

• Khoshmat Through My Eyes

Chapter 5: The Intellectuals of Khoshmat

• Arakel Babajanian

• Bedros effendi Fermanian

• Hampartsoum Oulousian

• Vahan Oulousian

• Vartan Dirad

• Garabed Klanian

• Sarkis B. Klanian

• Toros Klanian

• Bedros Papazian

• Boghos H. Chakoian

• Haroutiun Vartanian

• Manoug Dzaghigian

• Kapriel Frangian

• Dikran Ghazaros Bedigian

• Hagop Ghazaros Bedigian

• Mikayel Khodjoian

• Boghos Deradourian

• Hampartsoum Harutounian (Bournousouzian)

• Bethlehem Markarian (Shaghougian)

• Mgrdich Malian

• Boghos Papazian

• Karekin Garabedian

• Father Manoug Khodjoian

• Hovhannes Klanian

Chapter 6 : The Important Initiatives of the Tbrotsasirats Association of Khoshmat

Chapter 7 : Ladies Auxiliary Society of Khoshmat

Chapter 8 : Architects

• Aznavour Efendi Khodjoian

• Toros Khalifa Malian (Ghazarian) Kara Toros

• Mardiros Ghazarian

• Simon Khalifa Bedigian or Melkonian

• Arakel Milidosian

• Garabed Milidosian

• Sahag Oulousian

• Haji Krikor Milidosian

• Donabed Khabloian (Arghntsonts)

• Markar Shaghougian

• Kokona Vartan

Chapter 9 : Various types of crafts

• Joinery

• Masonry

• Carpeting

• Pottery

Chapter 10 : Manufacturing

• Oil presses of Khoshmat

• Hand Millstone

• Fruits

• Vegetables


Chapter 1 : Traditions and Customs

• New Year

• Christmas

• Paregentan

• Easter

• Wedding

• Life of the Bride

• Songs

• Popular Medicine

• Wishes and blessings

• Curses

• Things portending misfortune

• Dream interpretation

• Riddles

• Sayings (Fables)

• Provincial Proverbs (Talks)

• Commonly used phrases

• Games (for boys)

• Words of wisdom from the elderly people

Chapter 2 : Historic Characters and Famous Events

• Father Khachadour Shiroian

• Father Reteos Simonian

• Mardiros Shahen Chakoian

• Sarkis effendi Dzaghigian’s royal medal

• Boghos Harutounian

• Nazar Nazarian

• The Power of the Pitchfork and Khachig Chakoian

• How Sarkis Vartanian Drowned

• Fragment of Soukias Depoian’s Life

• How We Left Khoshmat and The Intercession of St. Mangig in 1896

• Farewell of Seven Young Men

• Fragments of Simon Simonian’s Life

• Abduction of Paro (A Group of Pilgrims)

• Tax Collectors

• Incident with Bedros Simonian

• Interesting Memoirs of Krikor Der Khachadourian (Koko)

• Mardiros Shaghougian (Kaloian) - One of His Episodes

• Fragment of Sarkis Shahin Chakoian’s Life

• Hagop Tatigian (Ali Baba)

• Haroutiun Deradourian and the Incident with the Box of Eggs

• The herdsman of Khoshmat, by Sarkis Shahrigian

• An Interesting Incident in the Life of the Herdsman


Chapter 1 : Notorious Beys of Palou

• Keor Abdullah bey

• Khoshmatlian Dynasty and Beys

Chapter 2

• Khoshmat Resistance – 1897

• The Bloody Fight

• Trial of the Beys

• The End of the Beys

• The Meliks of Khoshmat

Chapter 3 : The Order to Begin the Massacre

• The Role of Garabed Klanian and Misak Shaghougian (Kaloian)

• Khachadour Shiroian’s memoirs (From Canada)

• Mgrdich Taraian (from Marseille): Taken from his Bloody Memoirs

• Apkar Simonian

• Baghdasar Deradourian (from Marseille): Memoirs

Chapter 4

• Soldiers of Khoshmat

• Khoshmat Volunteers

• A Fragment of Volunteer’s Life

• A Fragment of Benjamin Shaghougian’s Life (A Volunteer)

• Other Soldiers Native of Khoshmat

Chapter 5 : Photos of Khoshmat Armenians

Chapter 6 : People of Khoshmat in Constantinople (Taken from the notes of the late Toros Klanian)

Chapter 7 : People of Khoshmat in Diaspora

• People of Khoshmat in France

• People of Khoshmat in Soviet Armenia

• People of Khoshmat in Syria

• People of Khoshmat in Canada

• People of Khoshmat in America

Nazar Nazarian

This tall large man with black mustache was one of the bravest young villagers in Khoshmat. He was fearless and could be vengeful, but he was also very kind and merciful deep in his heart.

Nazar wasn’t educated. He was always busy in the fields. The only weapons he had were his two-edged dagger, shotgun, and pitchfork. A pitchfork was a popular weapon in Khoshmat. They were made of oak and could fight any sword and spear. The villagers used to make pitchforks in the following way: after burning the wood in the tandoor (tonir,) they peeled it and let it stay in oil for a week so that it could completely absorb the oil. Then the villagers would burn the wood in flax seeds for an hour and would put it in the oil again where it stayed for another week. This way the wood was hardened and didn’t crack.

Three edged and eleven-edged weapons were made in exactly the same way. However, they were mainly used in the fields. Each villager had his personal pitchfork which could be longer or shorter depending on the person’s height. Realizing the power of the pitchfork, the government forbade the people of Khoshmat to carry it with them in the town. The pitchfork (chatal) played an enormous role in Nazar’s adventurous life.

One day Nazar was coming back to Palu from Diyarbekir/Dikranagerd with prominent Aghas and Effendis, who were surrounded by armed guards. When the caravan reached a Kurdish village, the dogs of this village started barking. The villagers immediately got out of their houses to see what was going on. They were instantly attracted to the huge number of products that the mules of the Aghas and Effendis were loaded with. They took their weapons and started following the caravan, their dogs trotting behind them. Hardly had the caravan crossed the border into the village when the Kurds gave their dogs a signal to attack. The villagers fired into the air for a few times and scared the visitors. They robbed everyone in the caravan except Nazar, who steadily kept his eyes open ready to kill anyone with his pitchfork. The bandits began searching the pockets of the Effendis, stealing their possessions. The Effendis felt deeply humiliated. Nazar advanced towards the Kurds with his head held high and forbade them from touching his possessions.

An old Kurdish man responded to him: "Please stay out of this! No one is going to touch your belongings. Their problem is with the Effendis and not with you."

Nazar replied to him: "These passengers are my friends and it would be shameful of me to watch them being robbed and do nothing. I order you to immediately stop treating them like that. You’d better not mess with Nazar from Khoshmat!"

At this moment a Kurdish man hit Nazar over the head with his stick. The others rushed to take away Nazar’s pitchfork, gripped tightly in his hands. Nazar pulled himself together and, attacking the Kurds with renewed force, threw them to the ground. In the blink of an eye Nazar turned back and saw another Kurd who was about to slash his neck with a naked dagger. Nazar threw him ten steps away with a violent blow. Reloading the pack animals with the products that had been taken from them, Nazar and his companions left the Kurdish village. Suddenly one of the Effendis ordered the caravan to stop. He thanked Nazar for his courage and ordered one of his servants to give Nazar his volley gun because, in his opinion, such a hero deserved to carry a better weapon with him.

Nazar modestly refused to accept this gift, saying: "Effendi, I’m pleased with the weapon I have as I made it with my own hands."

The passengers gave Nazar 10 Ottoman liras as a reward, after which the Effendi made this announcement: "From now on you will be called Lion Nazar." Nazar thanked the Effendi and humbly accepted the gift.

An eyewitness's story about the courage of Nazar

On May 15, 1887 several people from Khoshmat and nearby villages went to Constantinople through Erzurum/Garin and Trabzon under the leadership of Nazar Nazarian. In those days Nazar was a mule owner.

Nazar was walking to the mountains underneath the burning sun with his wide chest open and his two-edged sword hanging from his back. The caravan was moving toward the mountains through deserted canyons, narrow, winding paths and gorges. Leaving Kghi and getting to Yerznga/Erzinjan, they decided to advance to the fields of the province. At the foot of Mount Avzad an armed Turkish horseman with his four servants and mules joined the caravan. Half an hour later another group of four armed Turkish horsemen joined the passengers. The leader of this group approached the caravan and said: "Hey, friends, this caravan is besieged by bandits. Yesterday three men were killed. You’d better capitulate if you don’t want to meet the same fate."

Upon hearing these words four soldiers appointed by the Government and responsible for the security of the area climbed out of the crevices that concealed them and ran away. Realizing that the situation was dangerous, Nazar quickly came down from the mountain and approached the bandits wandering in the forests. Speaking to them in the Kurdish language, he let them know that he was the leader of the caravan and, hence, he was ready to fight if a fight was what they wanted.

Impressed by the courage of Nazar and having heard about his heroic acts, the leader of the Kurds stepped aside to make way for him. Nazar walked up to the Turkish horsemen and informed them of the decision of the Kurdish leader. Nazar advised them to avoid fighting and to join the caravan instead. At this moment one of the Turks rode toward Nazar with a sword in his hands and tried to run over him with his horse. Stepping aside, Nazar knocked the poor animal’s head and made him fall to the ground. When Nazar took out his stick and was about to bash this Turkish bandit, the other horsemen begged him to have pity on him.

This is how Nazar saved the caravan comprised of 98 people. The first Turkish horseman who had joined the caravan approached Nazar and, getting off his horse, told him: "You are really a courageous man!" Thus, the caravan safely reached Trabzon. (Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of a person who witnessed this incident because there was no signature on the documents provided to us.)

Nazar was the life and soul of Khoshmat. His courage and impudence always led him to victory. He was the first to attack in the fight which took place between the villagers of Nerkhi and Khoshmat. And though it was Melik Sdepan Milidosian who attacked the enemy first in the fight against the Beys, Nazar also played a crucial role by dealing a devastating blow to the enemy at the end of the fight. Nazar displayed courage and played an important role in the abduction of Paro as well.

During the imprisonment of Boghos, Nazar stayed in his small house build at Khorodig and in winter he often had to fight the roaming wolves, bears and other wild animals. There is no fight Nazar didn’t take part in. He always won the enemy with his pitchfork.