Shahmaran: A Legend in The Under Glass Art


Shahmaran is a fantastic creature with significant importance in Middle Eastern mythology and folk tales. This legend is commonly narrated in the Turkish, Kurdish, Arab, and Mesopotamian regions. Though there are various versions of the Shahmaran story among different communities, its core elements remain mostly the same.

Shahmaran Under Glass Picture in Mardin

The name “Shahmaran” is derived from the words “Shah” (queen) and “mar” (snake), meaning “snake queen.” According to the legend, Shahmaran is a woman known for her beauty. However, this beauty transforms her into a dangerous and magical being. She is depicted with the upper half of a human and the lower half of a snake. Shahmaran is often portrayed as a creature capable of communicating with humans and guiding them.

As the myths narrate, Shahmaran possesses wisdom and magical powers, and she is known for her willingness to help humans. While she is sometimes depicted as a benevolent character, some stories also present her as a dangerous being capable of harming humans. Therefore, Shahmaran appears as a complex character in mythological tales.

Historically, there is no concrete evidence of Shahmaran being an actual person. She is a mythological creature and has endured through myths and legends.

Under Glass Art, also known as “cam altı sanatı,” is a unique branch of glass craftsmanship that involves decorating glass by embedding thin gold or silver wires underneath. This art has been practiced as a traditional handicraft from the Ottoman Empire to the present day, especially in Turkey and some Middle Eastern countries. Glass bowls, vases, plates, and other decorative items are commonly used in glass underlying.

Shahmaran Picture
Shahmaran Under Glass Art

Traditionally, geometric and floral motifs are created with thin metal wires placed beneath the glass. This process is labor-intensive and requires skilled craftsmanship, often executed by experienced masters. The rarity and aesthetic value of this art add worth to the Under Glass Art products.

While Under Glass Art remains among traditional crafts, modern design and production techniques have led to the creation of new and contemporary pieces. As a result, Under Glass Art has evolved into unique works of art that combine both traditional and modern styles.

Mardin is a city in the southeastern region of Turkey, distinguished by its historical and cultural richness. The legend of Shahmaran is also widely narrated in Middle Eastern regions like Mardin. As a result, Mardin has many stories and cultural traditions related to the Shahmaran legend and figure.

Shahmaran Master
Hasan Özcan – Shahmaran Under Glass Art Master in Mardin, Turkey.

Under Glass Art is a rare and labor-intensive art, and the number of traditional craftsmen practicing this art may have decreased in modern times.

However, in regions like Mardin, where traditional handicrafts hold significance, there are still individuals interested in and practicing the art of glass underlaying. By visiting local handicraft workshops and engaging with local artists, you may have the opportunity to learn more about Under Glass Art and Shahmaran motifs in Mardin.

If you are traveling to Mardin, you will have a favorable chance to explore the city’s historical texture and experience local handicrafts. Nevertheless, the presence of artists and the availability of handicraft masters may change over time, so it is advisable to contact local sources before your visit to obtain up-to-date information.

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