This illustration is named Nayiri which is a powerful, authentically Armenian name used by any gender. Historically, Nayiri has been used interchangeably with the name Armenia. In official documentation, the Kingdom of Urartu (590 BC) is referred to as the lands of Nayiri. The literal translation is the land of canyons or river. There are too many different ways to spell Nayiri for me to list here. I’m going with the Nayiri.com version.
Anush means “sweet” in Armenian. The word is also used to describe someone’s kind personality or the sweetness of a food and is interchangeably used as a word for dessert.
ARMEN (awr-men) means someone who belongs to or is a member of the Armenian nation (or people). So basically it means “Armenian.”
“Hars U Pesa” translates to “Bride and Groom”. One of the most beautiful traditions of the Armenian wedding sacrament is when the priest crowns the couple as the king and queen of their new kingdom.
“Hrag” (huh-rawg) is a very popular boy’s name in Armenian. The direct definition is “one with fiery eyes!” It happens to be one of my all time favorite names.
Kohar means JEWEL in Armenian. It is also my aunt’s name (my mom’s sister) who’s one of the strongest women I know and has been a second mom to me. My daughter Sosse’s middle name is Kohar in honor of her.
Lori is a province in Northern Armenia, bordering Georgia. Vanadzor is the capital and its largest city. In the drawing, Lori is surrounded by pomegranates which are icons of fertility and abundance in the Armenian culture.
ALIN (ah-leen) has historically had two meanings: bearer of light; and a fertile, healthy woman. The costume in this illustration was designed by the talented Vartan Aghajanyan.
Alique (Aw-leek) means “wave” in Armenian (such as the waves of the ocean). It is truly one of my favorite girl names.
The name Araz is used interchangeably for one of the largest rivers in the Caucasus, Arax River, with one of its borders being Armenia,. Arax was the name of my Maternal Grandmother and Araz is the name of one of the most important people in my life.
Arax River is one of the largest rivers in the Caucasus, with one of its borders being Armenia. Araxie was the name of my Maternal Grandmother and in her honor, I changed my middle name to Araxie when I became a US citizen.
Arpi in Armenian translates to “the rising sun”, “sun” or “sunshine” depending on how it’s used in a sentence.
Nareh (Nah-reh) is a diminutive of the Armenian name Narineh, which means either pomegranate or made of fire, since pomegranates are the color of fire.
The drawing is inspired by a very special lady who is a living legend in the Armenian dance community. Seda has been performing and teaching for over 73 years all around the world. She was the Director of the Vannig Children’s Dance Group as well as the Vasburagan Armenian Dance Group of Washington. In the illustration, she is dressed in authentic Vasburagan garments.
The name Ani in Armenian means unique, beautiful and exotic.
Between the years 961-1045, Ani was the capital city of Armenia. It is best known as the city of a 1001 churches.
Arev (Ah-rev) is the word for Sun in Armenian. All the Arevs I know have the most contagious smiles so naming her was easy.
This was a very special commissioned piece of a beautiful American-Armenian young lady named Ashkhen (Awsh-khehn) who is named after one of the Queens of Armenia (287-330 AD).
NAZELI (Naw-zeh-lee). Nazeli is an all encompassing word used to describe someone who is pretty, graceful, delicate and dainty.
Sevan is the name of the biggest lake in Armenia, Lake Sevan, also the name of my youngest daughter.
This drawing was created when I found out a very dear friend was battling cancer. Baydsar (bye-dzahr) means “clear and bright.”