Saturday, August 29, 2015

The origin and meaning of the word “Mazda”

Ahura Mazda (right, with high crown) invests A...Did you know that the Mazda Car is named after the Zoroastrian God Ahura Mazda?

The Mazda company’s name, “Mazda,” derives from Ahura Mazda,  the Zoroastrian god of wisdom, intelligence and harmony. Used by the company as a symbol of the origin of both Eastern and Western civilizations, and also as a mark of their automobile companies work culture. 

The ancient religion of Zoroastrianism was founded by its prophet, Zoroaster (Zarthusthra in Avestan) believed to have been born in ancient Khorezm near the town of Khojeli in Karkalpakstan. It is believed to have arisen during the 10th or 11th BCE, though some believe that he lived some time between 1750 and 1200 BC. And the Parsi people of India, Pakistan place him at about 6000 BC. Zoroastrianism is a peaceful religion and is all about doing good (its morality is summed up in the phrase “good thoughts, good words, good deeds”).

The car company Mazda began its life in 1920 as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. in Hiroshima, Japan. At the time, there was a cork shortage because of World War I, so the company was founded to process a cork substitute made from the bark of an Abemaki or Chinese cork oak tree. It was a good idea at the time, but shortly afterwards Japan could get real cork again and the company foundered.

In 1927, Jujiro Matsuda came onboard to lead the company and started manufacturing tools, three-wheeled "trucks" and then cars. After World War II, the company formally adopted the name Mazda named after the Zoroastrian god Ahura Mazda (and was close to an anglicized pronunciation of Matsuda the founder's name).

Logo: In the 1936 logo, the M shaped curve was inspired by the emblem of Hiroshima city. The 1991 and 1992 logos symbolized a wing, the Sun and a circle of light. Mazda's current logo, nicknamed the "owl" logo, is a stylized "M" that look like stretched wings.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monuments of ancient art of Karakalpakstan

At the lower reaches of the Amu Darya is located the Khorezm oasis, whose fertile lands are surrounded by deserts of Karakum, Kyzylkum and vast open spaces of the Aral – Caspian.

Within this rich delta nowadays divided today among Rep. of Karakalpakstan, the Khorezm region (both in Uzbekistan) and the Dashkhovuz viloyat of Turkmenistan, in far antiquity arose and blossomed the civilization of ancient Khoresm. Many outstanding monuments of art have been found belonging  to this extraordinary and mysterious Civilization.

It is as ancient as the great civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia and India. Almost three thousand years of continious civilisation making it the oldest in Central Asia.  Its unique architectural monuments also compare to the Egyptian pyramids and Iraqi Zigurats and Greek temples very different from culture of other regions of Central Asia.

Archeologists have found magnificent examples of ancient Khwarazmian art including numerous finds of terracotta, clay statues and bas-reliefs, frescos and ceramic ossuaries enabling them to learn a lot about about the life of ancient population of the delta lands.

Khwarazmian painting and sculpture, whose development was integrally linked to that of architecture, glorified fertility and deified the power of the king; typical examples of this art are the painted clay statues and bas-reliefs and the multicolored decorative paintings, executed in natural pigments, that were found at Toprak-Kala. A unique form of Khwarazmian art are the ceramic ossuaries in the form of statues (fifth century B.C. to the early Common Era), which present a stylized image of the deceased. Terra-cotta statuettes, fashioned throughout Khwarazm, depict goddesses of fertility in a style that reflects the tradition of the Southwest Asian kore; other terra-cotta statuettes include small figurines of horses and, more rarely, men in “Scythian” dress. Typical of the fourth and third centuries B.C. are ceramic flasks with bas-reliefs depicting mythological subjects.


See the article in Sanat by Professor Vadim N. Yagodin Head of the Department of Archaeology, Research Institute of the Humanities of Karakalpak branch of Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan for more detailed information.