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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

We get acquainted with the traditional pottery art of masters of Uzbekistan, admire the patterns of silk bedspreads and examine a vessel for tea.

In the exposition of the Museum of the East, you can find numerous vessels, bedspreads, garments and jewelry belonging to the culture of Uzbekistan. Ekaterina Ermakova, the chief researcher of the department of art of the peoples of the Caucasus, Central Asia, Siberia and the Far North, chose five exhibits and told them why they are interesting.

Lyagan (late 19th century)

It is believed that pilaf should be cooked in a metal cauldron, but you can eat only from earthenware. Pilaf is spread on large ceramic dishes – lagans, which were specially made by local potters.

In the Fergana Valley, the village of Rishtan has been famous for its ceramic ware from time immemorial, where there is a deposit of pottery clay. Rishtan masters (usto) make festive dishes with recognizable blue patterns. Ishkor glaze of a greenish tint, which in the old days was made from ash (ishkor) of a special plant kyrkbugin (forty-jointed), gives a special shine to Rishtan dishes.

The ornament of Rishtan products is distinguished by the clarity and clarity of the compositions. On dishes, images of jugs and knives are often found, as well as a lattice-shaped border running along the edge. Such a pattern was considered a talisman, like the lyagans themselves, which were sometimes hung in houses opposite the door from the evil eye.

The exposition of the Museum of the East has a ceramic dish found in 1989 on the floor of a dilapidated mosque when leaving the town of Shafirkan to Bukhara. It fell from the coffered ceiling, in the square cells of which several such dishes were later discovered. At the bottom, in good light, you can see dark patterns – three connected in the center of the wing.

Skullcap (1920-1930s)

The museum collection contains a rare male skullcap – kullokh. It is completely covered with a carpet pattern, embroidered with the finest vestibule – loop seam, so there is every reason to believe that it was made in Bukhara. The fact is that each district had its own tradition of embroidering skullcaps: local residents could easily distinguish such embroidery, for example, from Kokand, Margelan or Khojent.

In Tashkent, before the revolution, women did not wear skullcaps. An exception was the wedding: the groom could put this traditional men’s headdress on the bride’s head, and she gave him a hand-embroidered hat. At the beginning of the 20th century, the skullcap began to gradually enter into women’s costume – it was worn along with headscarves, depending on local customs.

In the Museum of the East, along with others, you can see various elements of a woman’s costume, for example, silk cords with silver domes, beads and beads (they were woven into braids) or a woman’s velvet hat with braid sleeves, which they began to wear when they got married.

Munisak (early XX century)

This is an elegant dressing gown for women, which was worn at various celebrations. It had a special meaning. In the old days, girls started wearing munisak when they were 12 years old. A robe of a special cut with folds under the armpits was first worn in a festive atmosphere during the Kaltapushon rite.

After the death of the hostess, the Munisak was given to the washer. It was believed that she only took it for safekeeping and on the day of resurrection from the dead would return the deceased so that she would be resurrected in female form. And if they wanted to use the robe of the deceased in the future, then it had to be left for the night on the roof under the light of the stars.

In the 20th century, the Munisak fell out of everyday use, but it continued to be stored in a chest for ritual purposes.

Choidish (19th century)

Tea drinking in Central Asia is a necessary ritual for receiving guests. It seems that tea has always been drunk here, but in fact this drink gained popularity only in the second half of the 19th century.

Along with tea, special vessels for brewing it also came into use. In wealthy houses, there were bronze jugs with a short spout, adjacent to a low neck. They are called choidish (the name can be translated as “tea – dishes”). Their pear-shaped shape allows the water to heat up quickly.

Tea was drunk from porcelain bowls that were brought from Russia and China. Sweets or katyk, a fermented milk product, were placed in ceramic bowls (scythe).

The museum exhibits a variety of choidish with ribbed, flattened or rounded shapes, decorated with engraving, with molded figured handles.

Suzane (XIX century)

One of the most popular types of folk art in Central Asia in the 19th century is embroidery. Large decorative bedspreads – suzane, that is, “sewn with a needle”, which were intended for the bed of newlyweds, and then served as wall panels, became widespread here.

Until the last quarter of the 19th century, suzane embroiderers used silk threads dyed with natural dyes. The tones turned out to be soft, deep. The patterns were drawn by a specially invited craftswoman – kalyamkash. She took a canvas (narrow strips fastened with a thread) and applied on it the contours of an ornament – most often a vegetable one.

After the pattern was applied, the narrow strips of fabric were sewn separately and then sewn together. Therefore, the pattern at the seams often does not match, and the details of the same ornament are embroidered with threads of different shades.

Each region had its own characteristic patterns, varieties of embroidery stitches, or a combination of these. For example, the suzani from Shakhrisabz, which do not have even a millimeter of free background, are dotted with the smallest crosses iroki, creating the impression of a carpet pattern.

Suzane was also part of the dowry that her mother prepared for the girl. On the eve of the wedding, in order to complete the laborious work on time, relatives and neighbors were called to help and everyone got down to business together. This is a kind of ritual that began with the reading of the Koran. When the veil was ready, it was used to decorate the house during the feast.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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