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


New Year used to be followed by a custom which has been popular among the people for ages, despite the fact that it was not associated with Christianity in any way. The worship of Paregentan was adopted by Armenians and called amenaper, which means omniferous, fertile. The Lord of the festival was Vanadur, settled in the province of Pakrevant, in the village Pakavan. Other worship customs popular in the past were soon replaced by the celebration of Paregentan.

The province of Daron (the village Ashdishad) was known for the temple of Vahe Vahian, where the feast of the deities Vahakn, Anahid, and Asdghig was celebrated. The first 7 days of the year were dedicated to them. The kings with their families and ministers also took part in this important feast to celebrate Navasart.

Located near the province of Daron, the town of Palu also adopted these customs. In Khoshmat, Paregentan was extremely popular. It was celebrated as in ancient times and lasted for seven days, but of course, it was then already considered a Christian festival. Paregentan, being traditionally associated with a forty day fast of Jesus, was celebrated on the eve of the Great Lent.

In exactly the same way, Vartavar was associated with the Transfiguration of Jesus. Our ancestors celebrated Vartavar with fanfare. They were baptized by priests in front of pagan temples, in the Aradzani and Dghmoud Rivers. They drenched each other with water.

This is how this feast called Paregentan has been celebrated since ancient times.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the glorious celebration of Paregentan in Khoshmat in order to see the enjoyment of the villagers during these seven days.

During Paregentan, everyone is joyful and well-dressed. Usually, people gather on flat roofs adjacent to one another where people can dance, play, walk or sit in any way they want. The elderly people smoke cigarettes beneath the sun and play dama or cards. Meanwhile the children play “walnut and knuckle”. The purpose of this game is to point the knuckle at the walnut from a distance and throw the walnut out of the circle. Other children play choor, while others prefer playing kujge-troog, when one leans and the other jumps over him.

The most interesting thing to watch is the dance of the villagers in the center of the square. The young boys whose hearts are filled with a desire to love spend hours dancing in a ring holding hands with young ladies. The young girls, in their turn, gracefully drop hints to the young boys they like. Wearing colorful dresses, shining beads around their necks, or a sting of huge gold beads on their foreheads, girls check out rapturous young boys and drop subtle hints to them at the same time. Understanding the desire of the young ladies, some of the elderly women force them to join the dancing crowd. The elderly women usually join the feast singing about love, cheating, marriage and happiness holding blue handkerchiefs in their hands.

A group of people first takes the leading role in singing for the dancing people, and then the others follow them, repeating the words of the song. Or the leader of the circle dance sings the verse of the song and the others join him, singing the chorus.

For example:
Yes veren gookayi tu tooru patsir.
Tserkt dzotsit darir, akh esir, latsir,
Esir garnim, garnim, ori khapetsir?

A few elderly women standing a little away from the dancing crowd start whispering to each other:

"Shushan, look at that girl! Isn’t she Derdrants Boghosaper’s daughter Sro? Look how flirtatious she is dancing and leading the crowd! She is playing with the hearts of our young boys."

“You’re right, sister Yeghso. Honestly, she seems very skillful. One will be blessed to have her as a wife.”

“Sister Shushan, if you don’t mind, I will tell you what I think about this situation…”

“You know her family very well but, believe me, I know almost all her ancestors too, so I have no doubts that she will become a good wife.”

“Then why don‘t you consider her for your Bedo?”

“I am not sure how the girl’s family will react to that.”

“Would you like my husband to visit Boghosaper in the evening to know the latter’s opinion on this matter?”

“Oh, sister Yeghso, do what you think is right. Boghosaper won’t be able to refuse your husband’s request. What is important now is just to know Boghosaper’s thoughts in this regard.”

“If God wills, everything will work out very soon.”

“Look at our Bedo! He is constantly trying to stay close to Sro as if he can’t get enough of her smell. Oh, dear, this love can make you suffer. My poor son will get sick.”

“No, no, don’t worry about that! You know me well. If needed, I will directly go to her mother. She is our relative from my maternal side, you might say. Sister Trvanda won’t refuse my request. They must beg to give their daughter to Bedo. He is tall, and well-shaped. He can read and write to some extent due to the education he received at college. He can speak languages we don’t even know. Thanks be to God he is not like the other illiterate young men. He is also very brave; he can squeeze water out of stone (an expression used to emphasize how courageous a man is. She refers to Moses the Prophet who squeezed water out of stone.) I speak well of him not because he is your son. I have heard a lot of people saying that your Bedo is a good young man. May God bless him with a long life and grant him his wishes. They say he is also a good reader in church and can read the Psalms like a priest.”

The young man’s mother replies: “Yes, sister, he is just like that. Our Bedo is very smart, but please don’t tell anyone about it. I don’t want our neighbors to know that. You know how envious people can be. Let’s create a solution to this problem now and then we will invite everyone to the wedding. May God help us to arrange a marriage between my son and Sro…”