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Handicrafts

Zoomorphic images of Central Asian ceramics
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 16 february 2016

Central Asian ceramics is very popular all over the world. It’s beautifully decorated and also transmits traditions and customs of local people. Central Asian ceramics is of high-level quality – it doesn’t change glitter even after many years. Masters use different images in decoration: simple geometric pattern, a complex plant or interesting zoomorphic and anthropomorphic images. The zoomorphic images Central Asia masters actively use a variety of zoomorphic images. They are fantastic birds with magnificent plumage appearance, small ears and a stripe running from the beak to the back. No less popular motif was the fish (in its external appearance resembling sturgeon), as well as  leopard curved and forked at the end of the tail. Siren is also frequently used image – it’s a bird with a woman's head, which hoisted a strange headdress. It’s pictu...

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Traditional shoes of XX century in Uzbekistan
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 11 december 2015

Uzbek shoes of XX century were produced by special masters - usto. They used different types of leather, getting it from sheepskin, goat skin and cowhide. The leather for shoes usually was covered with the desired color, decorated with paintings and traditional patterns. Footwear of men The most popular footwear for men was kavush (shoes with high heels and twisted nose). In winter time men put on boots (chorik) with thick but very soft leather. It’s interesting that the popular color of boots was yellow or brown. Lighter boots were made from goat skins. They were fully embroidered with silk threads and had a high heel. But such kind of boots was available only for wealthy young man. Ordinary citizens put on mostly ichigi - boots without a heel with soft soles. Locals call them makhsi and used only with kavush. According to traditions men were taken kavush before entering the house...

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Gijduvan pottery
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 21 october 2015

Uzbek ceramics is very rich and diverse. It varies greatly depending on the region where it’s producing. Each region has its own school and traditions. The most interesting ceramics is produced in Gijduvan, a district center near Bukhara. It was the ceramics center for many years. Masters from other cities usually come here to study and to know secrets. Gijduvan ceramics For making ceramics Gijduvan masters use exclusively white clay, which is imported from Gozlika (a place near Bukhara). They also add to clay a reed fluff to protect the product from cracking. During firing the fluff completely burn out, forming a cavity. These cavities are required to prevent products cracking at high heat. Gijduvan pottery is recognizable by its greenish-brown color, as well as by figurative painting and abr stains that resembling patterns Uzbek fabrics. Unique patterns There are more than 300 st...

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Central Asia сalligraphy
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 06 april 2015

In ancient times state and economic paperwork was based on the Arabic script on the territory of modern Uzbekistan. Central Asia calligraphers have been actively developing the craft and soon it became not only writing but the real art. Calligrapher was an honorable profession Calligraphers’ work was difficult but through it they could put into practice their creation. That’s why the profession was honorable and calligraphers belonged to intelligentsia. But not every calligrapher was talented – there were only few of them. The rumors about talented people spread rapidly around all khanates and high-ranking officers contacted with such kind of people. There were special schools in each city: Tashkent, Kokand, Khorezm, Samarkand and Bukhara. Each school has its particular qualities and specialists could determine who has written one or another inscription. Different s...

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Jewelry of Turkish women
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 16 march 2015

Turkish women liked jewelry very much and wore them from ancient time. Zargar (jeweler) was famous profession, but his work was very difficult. Master had to have a sense of colors, special taste and feel the beauty of nature. The jewelry of XIX century was very rich and could have different forms and colors. They were used for headdress and outerwear decoration. There were special schools of jewelers in Surkhandaria, Bukhara, Khorezm, Fergana and Tashkent. Kinds of jewelry At that time jewelry was very diverse. Turkish women wore chains, hanging caskets, brooches and small flacons on the chest and neck. To hairs women attached elegant pendants with gold and silver coins. Diadems and crowns were put on head. The main jewelry was earrings that manufactured in wide range. They could be short, in crescent form, with gems and others. Women’s wrists were decorated by wristlets that c...

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Uzbek straw art
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 24 february 2015

Straw is a popular nature material, which is widely used for furniture decoration and paintings. The craft goes from ancient time, when people had a cult of white straw crops.  People believed that the grain has divine power and tried to use it for home decoration. The art was widely developed in Poland. Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, Belarussia and Russia. The straw was used for decoration of expensive furniture, creation of ornaments and decorated panels. Uzbek straw art More than ten years ago new methods and technology of straw art were developed in Uzbekistan by A. Solihov and A. Yuldashev. They presented unique work made from straw.  The brand name of “Uzbek straw art” appeared in 2004 and now is actively developed and improved. The artists first used multilayer composition, when each element has its own level and can be located on each other. So composition lo...

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Museum of carpet weaving history
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 13 february 2015

Staying in Bukhara city during the tour around Uzbekistan, don’t miss the chance to visit Museum of carpet weaving history. The exposition was opened in the building of ancient mosque Magoki Attory in 1991. Here you can see all kinds of traditional carpet, palas and felt weaving. In XIX-XXth centuries carpet of the Uzbek tribes “mitan”, “yuz”, “kurama”, “nayman” were of big popularity in Central Asia. Sources of carpet weaving origin in Central Asia refer approximately to III-II nd centuries BC. Traditions of carpet weaving in Bukhara oasis passed from father to son and during centuries they were improved. The museum exposition The museum collection consists of 104 samples of the carpet products used in the life of people in Uzbekistan - Uzbeks, Tadjiks, Jews, Turkmen, Kazakhs, Kirgiz, the Central Asian arabs and Uigurs. The co...

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Chust knives
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 19 january 2015

 Since ancient times Chust knives have had a great popularity not only in Uzbekistan but beyond. Chust is a small town in the Namangan region, which is famous for the manufacture of knives. Uzbek knives have peculiarities inherent to the culture of the Central Asia. Therefore, the width of the blade is more than the diametre of the handle. Knives can have typesetting or wooden handle. Besides, skullcaps and colorful woven belts were embroidered in Chust. It is considered that every man must have these three things. Uzbek knife is not a weapon but the object to emphasize the status of the owner.  Chust knives are distinguished by their lightness and elegance, the tip of the blade is curved upward and the “nose ” of the handle is slightly folded down. Masters will always offer you a large selection of knives: with threaded, patterns, with bone or wooden handle, and al...

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Carpet factory in Samarkand
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 14 august 2013

Where else but in the East, one can observe an abundance of bright colors and tints. And oriental carpets are still famous for this.Uzbekistan has always been famous for producing carpets. Uzbek carpets are rich in embossing and drawing. While being in Samarkand, you of cause will see carpets of unusual colors, weaved by skilled girls, who produce this beauty by their hands.In Samarkand you should visit the carpet factory “Khudjum”, where for many years the famous silk “miracle” has been producing by hand. Only natural silk threads are used for this, and carpets are weaved on vertical or horizontal weaving looms.Unfortunately, the technology of producing these unique articles by the middle of the XIX century had been almost lost. And only by the end of 90s of last century by laborious task, step by step the forgotten trade was restored in Margilan, Khiva and Samar...

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Marghilan atlas
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 09 july 2013

  Marghilan is one of the oldest cities of Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan. The city is famous for beautiful fabrics produced here. In Marghilan local people have engaged in manufacturing of silk fabrics since ancient times. Silk was known to be one of the most popular commodities of merchants, who exported it along the Silk Road in Greece and Egypt, Iran and China. At the end of XX century large population of Marghilan were weavers and artisans.   Today Marghilan is one of the main centres of rich traditions of silk weaving with its style, originality and techniques. Silk fabrics are produced here: adras, bekasami, benesary, light and thin silk for women's clothing – shoyi and madali, thick purple cloth-turm, which are original in contrast, and also abr atlases; from Persian “abr” means “cloud” that is light, weightless.   It is not surprisingly...

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Paper mill in Samarkand
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 19 june 2013

Today, in the 21 century, it is difficult to imagine the modern activity of humanity without paper. In spite of ultramodern IT-technologies, paper remains the main medium.The famous historical fact is that paper was born in China. China held the monopoly for many centuries, keeping the secrets of its production. But the history points at the fact that paper was also produced in other countries.In July, 751 on the river Taraz (Talas) the Chinese army invaded to the territory of Central Asia. But the ruler of Samarkand Abu Muslim directed his army against foreigners and captured twenty thousand of the Chinese. Among the Chinese soldiers there were many origins from craftsman families, including those who produced paper. Evidently, saving their lives they exposed all secrets of the technology to the local craftsmen. From this time, beginning from the VIII century, paper was produced in Sama...

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Rishtan ceramics
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 04 june 2013

Rishtan is a city in Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan. It is known for its pottery and ceramic products. Rishtan ceramics has its unique features. Secrets of making dishes are passed on father to son. A man participates in the basic technological processes of production, as it is very difficult to manufacture such kind of dishes. Women are respectively are engaged with painting and decoration. Masters of Rishtan mainly use floral patterns, so the geometric pattern in their work has never played a major role. Rishtan ceramic is very varied and picturesque, has the ability to play sound of high quality porcelain. It is believed, if the sound is louder, the quality of dishes is better. There are three main things in the manufacture of tableware: a special form of patterns, a certain color of paint and unique glaze. This glaze is called ishkor so Rishtan ceramics are sometimes called ishkor. Ris...

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Uzbek carpet weaving
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 20 may 2013

One of the oldest types of folk art in Central Asia is the production of silk and woolen carpets. Domestic carpet weaving is developed in Fergana valley, Nurota, Kashkadarya, Surhandarya and Syrdarya regions. In Uzbekistan the carpet is a symbol of wealth and comfort. Carpet is the necessary gift in Uzbek wedding. The Uzbek carpets are long-pile, pileless and short-pile. In the centre of carpet weaving the sketches of ancient national patterns and Central Asian symbolism are carefully preserved. Khiva factory received a great popularity for carpet production. In modern conditions the factory expands the opportunities. Portrait carpets are made here, the tradition of which was known in the East in the early middle ages.   Depending on the region, carpets are distinguished by color and ornaments. For example, Samarkand carpets have black, red and blue tones. Bukhara carpets are decora...

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Wood carving art in Khiva
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 06 february 2013

Wood carving art of Uzbekistan is the part of Central Asian art heritage and originates in ancient times.Khiva today also is one of the oldest centers of carving art in Central Asia.Carvers from Khiva from old times have been famous for their handicraft. The peculiarity of carving art of Khiva are decoration of doors, gates, cornices, columns and furniture. Carved doors are the distinctive peculiarity of the old city.Creations of wood carving in Juma mosque in Ichan-Kala are especially beautiful. It was rebuilt at the end of the XVIII century, but retained the features of classical buildings of the East. This original one-storied building without portals, arches and domes is a huge hall with a flat roof, which is based on 213 wooden carved columns. They, different in size, shape and decoration are the high artistic value of the mosque.Skilled carvers use wood of elm and other local trees...

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Gijduvan ceramic school
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 04 february 2013

One of the more ancient, extremely interesting types of applied arts of Uzbekistan, which kept till our days the distinctive positioning of local schools and traditions, is art ceramics.Ceramics of Gijduvan takes the special among the ceramic schools of Central Asia. The characteristic feature of Gijduvan ceramics is a solid pouring with dark green or brown glaze in combination of simple engraved ornament. This décor is common, but original.Gijduvan is located not far from Bukhara. From ancient times it is the center of national arts – ceramics. Gijduvan ceramic school is notable for using different forms and colors in ornaments, through which the inimitable features and uniqueness of culture of the Uzbek people pass.Guests of Gijduvan will be told about the stages of piala (drinking bowl) origin, they will be showed the process, and if the guests can stay too long, they wil...

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Uzbek ceramics
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 30 january 2013

Ceramics for many centuries has been the most highly developed kind of trade in Central Asia. Slip and not slip ceramics of the leading centers had local features, appearing in peculiarity of forms, ornamental décor and colour. Traditional centers of ceramic, which remained till today, are: Rishtan, Gijduvan, Khiva, Samarkand, Gurumsaray, Shakhrisabz, Urgut, Khorezm and Tashkent.In recent years historically formed centers of ceramics have been revived, the assortment of ceramic products is enlarged (dishes, drinking bowls, cups, vessels for water and milk, different khums for keeping products), their quality becomes better. The masters, having felt the support from the government, enlarge volumes of production for reaching efficiency and competitiveness of their produce.They approach to keep local peculiarities, restore forgotten forms and images. At the same time in the dé...

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Uzbek suzane
Rubric: Handicrafts
Published: 01 may 2012

Suzane- decorative picture, embroidered in silk or cotton.For many centuries different schools were formed in the art of suzane embroidery: Nurata, Bukhara, Samarkand, Urgut, Shakhrisabz, Tashkent and Fergana schools. Each school differs by its peculiarities of embroidery and original colours.Endless love for nature is reflected in the expression in embroideries of skilled seamstresses of Bukhara, their designs absorbed the symbols and forms of different epochs. Bukhara suzanes of the XIX century. are rich in flower and plant motives that convey the infinite beauty of surrounding nature – pictures of trees, flowering shrubs, different flowers: pinks, tulips, peonies, chrysanthemums and others. Bukhara suzanes are truly considered the most beautiful suzane in Central Asia.Samarkand embroidery dates back to the art of ancient Sogdiana. Samarkand handicrafts unlike Nurata and Bukhara,...

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