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The ceramic craft was in existence in Dagestan as early as ancient times. One of important early centers of pottery making in highland in Dagestan was the Lak village of Balkhar. The earthware of various sorts, manufactured in Balkhar, were widely known in many districts of Dagestan.
Today Balkhar ceramics number some thirty specimens – various kinds of jugs, pitches, dishes, and the like. Each of them is intended for special use: for water, milk, churning butter, salting cheese, storing different foods, etc. They differ in shape and design, and most of them are distinguished by beauty and symmetry of form. Recently the porters of Balkhar have begun to manufacture a great amount of decorative wall dishes, miniature sculptures and figurines.
In addition to ancients patterns, Balkharian porters also use modern patterns bearing human and animal images. Together with painted pottery, the carvings of birds, cows, and horses can be seen in almost every Balkhar house, figures of humans have also appeared. The technique of decorating toys and figurines is similar to that of pottery.