Photographer's Note

Xinaliq is an ancient and remote Caucasian village high up in the mountains of Azerbaijan. Nestled in the Eastern Greater Caucasus mountains, it is the most remote, isolated, and highest village in Azerbaijan (2400 m) and locals claim it to be the second highest village in whole Caucasus. The beauty and uniqueness of the village makes it a worthwhile destination on its own, and Lonely Planet guidebook rates Xinaliq as the single best tourist destination in Azerbaijan.

As some other Caucasus villages, Xinaliq is also linguistically unique: its language, descending from the ancient language of Caucasian Albania, is spoken only by the inhabitants of this village (around 1000-1500 speakers only). The language has 77 letters and 14 grammatical cases(!), and there is even a grammar of Xinaliqi, published in Germany(!) Although the Xinaliqians speak Azeri as well, they are considered to be a different ethnicity.

I'll upload some views of Xinaliq later; but I want to start with this "portrait" of a local woman cleaning a carpet, against the surreal backdrop of grass-covered mountains. It is great to see people living the traditional way there, almost untouched by civilization...

Update: a general view of Xinaliq can be found here

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Additional Photos by Alexander Pasternak (pasternak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1341 W: 179 N: 3373] (15185)
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