K’ECH’IN VREN, (1*) Qechin vren, The FELTMAKERS’ DANCE – Armenia

*1st Generation dance. A dance that developed in a traditional way – not ‘taught’ by a teacher or choreographer, but ‘learned’ by observing and imitating others in your “village”, where the village’s few dances were the only dances anyone knew. It usually is ‘generic’ – the dance pattern is fairly simple and not tied to any particular piece of music. The dance phrase may or may not match any musical phrase, but the music’s rhythm must be suitable for performing the footwork. This dance may have many variations, but they’re performed at the whim or inspiration of the leader or (sometimes) any other dancer so long as it doesn’t interfere with the flow of neighboring dancers. For more, click here, here, and here.

Making Felt

Felt is the oldest human-made fabric. Here’s a YouTube of how it is traditionally made in Iran. Armenian felt-making would be very similar.

Found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85lEVFwpfw4 The caption section provides a translation of all that is said.

For more on the subject of how felt and various other cloths are made, click: https://folkdancefootnotes.org/clothing/a-brief-history-of-cloth/

K’ECH’IN VREN – The Armenian Felt Makers’ Dance

Here’s the Masunq folk ensemble explaining how felt is made and how the dance K’ECH’IN VREN helps feltmaking. Dancing starts around 3:00. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smRAhgNwALQ

A Google translation of a caption accompanying the above YouTube “A valuable example of work dance for us today is the “Dance of Kecha Lmel”. Making a blanket has been very popular in Armenia in the past. The blanket is usually made in late fall or winter after field work. Making a blanket was a laborious, powerful process, and the “gzrar” (lput) played a very important role here. The wool of the district was mainly the wool of sheep born in spring and cut in autumn.
After tearing the guzam (sheep wool), they spread it evenly on the cotton, wrapped it in the middle wood
[around the centre shaft – DB]. Wool soaked in water was regularly taken away by the victims [rolled around by the workers??]. Then they pushed forward with one right foot, then pressed and hit with the right foot. At first, when the wool had not yet hardened, it was slowly beaten and carefully rolled. And when they were convinced that the wool had already hardened [set, congealed -DB], and the patterns were in place, they began to strike harder.
Rudik Haroyan”

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