Artsat Tel Vostayne
The Silver Web

Արծաթ Թել Ոստայնը

(ISBN: 0-9655507-8-8)
2006 Los Angeles
36 pages
Size: 8 1/2" x 10"
Language(s): Western Armenian

Additional Artists

Վաչագ (Արուեստագէտ) Vachag (Artist)

The book includes a compact disc of traditional Armenian Christmas carols: “Mamig-Mamig” (folk carol of Shadakh), “Avedis” (folk carol of Aintab), “Khungi Dzar” (religious folk song) and “Soorp Asdvadz” (from the Armenian Divine Liturgy). The songs are performed by Alidz and Areni Agbabian, Mary and Ojen Aslanian. In the style and format of a folk legend, The Silver Web is based on the story of the birth of Jesus Christ and his subsequent rescue from the wrath of King Herod. The Silver Web is an homage to the wonderful tradition of Armenian Christmas carols. It puts in the hands of Diaspora children and their families a specifically Armenian Christmas legend and a number of authentic carols. Incorporated in the story are narrative images and linguistic patterns from the Bible as well as the works of the tenth-century Armenian poet, philosopher and musician Krikor Naregatsi, in addition to traditional Armenian Christmas carols. On learning of a prophecy that the infant Jesus will grow up to become a “king,” Herod orders to kill all newborns in Bethlehem. Hearing of Herod’s orders, Mary and Joseph spirit the infant Christ out of his birthplace. On their way to Egypt, they take refuge in a cave, where a tiny spider, fascinated by Christ’s innocent and lovely features, weaves a great, protective web. When Herod’s soldiers arrive on the scene and notice the massive web at the entrance, they decide to continue on their way, assuming that nobody could be hiding inside the cave. Thus the good spider helps save Jesus’ life. Up until the last century, women in Kharpert—from where the spider legend hails—brought their lace handiworks to church on Christmas Day, in honor of the spider whose web shielded the infant Jesus.

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