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Handicrafts and art of Uzbekistan.

The art of carpet weaving in Uzbekistan.

The traditions of national carpet weaving in Uzbekistan are very ancient. They are the result of labour and artistic explorations of many generations. Carpets, creating by many good hands, who worked at home, mostly in rural areas of Uzbekistan, are perfect according to techniques and decorative appearance. Today the national good hands keep and develop beautiful traditions of carpet weaving.

The Uzbek carpets are divided into three types: short pile carpets, long pile carpets - djulhirs, and carpeting cloth. Deep red-brown gamut, lighting up by harmonious lights of coloured details of main medallions, often of geometrical shape, is typical for short pile carpets.

The best Uzbek short pile carpets are highly estimated for their decorative quality, depth and transparence of colours, peculiar simplicity of ornaments.

Long since the long pile carpet djulhirs was spread among Uzbek country people. This type of carpet weaving was not known in carpet weaving of other people in Central Asia.

Today it acquires wide popularity for its decorative quality and similarity with modern tendencies of world carpet weaving, increasing production of long pile carpets. The carpet djulhirs is delightful by composition, simple by ornament, effective by colour. Carpeting cloths of Uzbekistan are various.

Kohma is a cloth, which consists of various colour plain stripes, terma and gadjari, weaving in tracery by different methods of "sort out techniques" and ornamenting small geometrical and geometrizing vegetable ornaments with zoomorphic motifs, and arabi, which is fulfilled by so called "clearance techniques".

All kinds of carpeting cloths are sometimes supplemented with superimposed drawings. This complicated technique, which creates an impression of embroidery, is called beshkashta.

For the last of 50 years the technique and ornamentation of whole-floor carpets arabi spread not only among the Uzbek population, but also among people of all Central Asian Republics. Carpet weaving was exclusively a woman home trade of rural population till the beginning of the 20th century. One didn't make carpets in towns, though demand for carpets was here also stable and high. The demand was satisfied at the expense of carpets import from other regions of Central and Western Asia. Carpet workshops under small producers' cooperative of Republic were established in Soviet time. And since 1960 small factories in Hiva, Andijan and Shahrisabz were also established.

However manual home carpet weaving is still very popular among population of Uzbekistan. 

Ganch carving of the Uzbek national masters is presented by a rich arsenal of ornamental vegetable-geometrical arabesque buildings, in the manner of flat-embossed carving. A special sphere in ganch carving of Uzbek masters is a complicated art of volume stalactite cornices manufacturing - sharafa, which designs a crossover from a wall to a flat ceiling or a high dome, and often fills this dome. Such cornices, ceilings and domes are richly decorated with polychrome painting.

Another type of decorative ganch works is tracery carving of gratings - pandjara. Masters use the method of casting in order to make cornices and gratings.

Ability to rapid stiffening underlies in the basis of the art and technique of ganch carving, which contains a big quantity of gypsum. Ganch is processed, the main processes of which are burning, cleaning, mixing of ganch powder with vegetable glue. 

One cuts with sharp metal cutting tools on a damp ganch plaster outline of a tracery at first and then deepens background and trims relief. There are different traditional working methods of relief by sharp and oval cuts, thin insets.

Varieties of no-background three-edged emarginate carving are used by Uzbek masters mainly in framing. Masters achieve refined development of patterned relief, especially in design of flower rosettes, using plastic properties of damp ganch. Decorative resources of ganch are various. Original technique of coloured ganch numbers many methods of carving on two-coloured or many-coloured plaster. It is known that these methods were used extensively in medieval Bukhara and Samarkand. Aspiration for polychromacy of carved tracery is expressed in undercolor of white ganch by cold bluish- blue or warm orange-red colours. There is a picture with carving against the bluish background from Marginal of the beginning of the 20th century in the album. This method continues in the art of modern Tashkent masters, works of whom are presented here.

Masters know how to brighten up white cold ganch, how to fill it with rhythms and motifs of their fantasy, how to find plastic of relief tracery in it, how to create harmony of incontrollable material. Ornamental ganch and wood carving, which doesn't lose valuable local traits, lives on in a new architecture and joins in the dynamics of modern building, having gone through traditional framework system of local architecture and having not exhausted its decorative resources. This kind of art develops successfully, assimilating new scales of monumental buildings, filling modern public buildings with peculiarity of nation. In our days carved ganch is performed by hand and also mechanized method of casting.    



Wood carving in Uzbekistan.

Wood carving in Uzbekistan is performed on extensive range of goods - from massive ceiling beams to tiny child's amulets.

The development of this art in the past was connected with mounting of local architecture constructions and details, where rack-mount beam system of overhead covers offered extensive use of timber-based materials. Carved wood was a single decorative element in decoration of doors, shutters, gates, ceiling beams, columns on the open terraces - aivan and shiipan, in the traditional architecture of the 19-20th centuries, about which one can judge by true samples. Carved wood, which played the considerable role in architectural décor of Uzbekistan, was used extensively in production of household articles, stands, trunks in order to fold up blankets, cupboards, caskets, pencil cases, neat low tables - khan-tahta, national music instruments and also decorative many-sided tables, cabinets, which were in demand among European population in the second half of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century.

Masters distinguish three main style composition groups in ornamental flat-embossed carving for all richness and variety of drawings: bagdadi, islimi and pargori. Ornamental motifs and compositional constructions, methods of carving and effects of patterned relief characterize every group.

Carving of the bagdadi style had rather simple geometrical structure. Varieties of the bagdadi style were used extensively to decorate household articles in days of old.

Then one shows typical patterns doors of the bagdadi style of Samarkand and Bukhara masters.

Countless and sometimes very complicated vegetable and vegetable-geometrical variations about commonly used classical ornament of the islimi style, which is known in the Middle East long since, underlie in the basis of the islimi style carving.

This ornament has strict rules of ornamental forms and compositions construction. It consists of rhythmically climber stalks, which are sown by buds, leaves, flowers, weaving into fanciful medallions. Ornament of the islimi style is made in technique of flat-embossed carving with a chosen background, often with rich decoration of relief and background.

The particular variety of delicate background carving is the carving of the pargori style. Geometrical net of circles, squares and triangles lies in the basis of the pargori style.

Pargori patterns are presented by works of outstanding Tashkent carver Suleiman Hodjaev and famous Kokand masters Haidar Nadjmeddinov and his son Kadyrdjan Haidarov below. This master knows well all kinds of carving and also technique of decorative carving, and often combining the pargori and islimi styles together.  

Kadyrdjan Haidarov worked only in the style of pargori carving in his youth. He made a table and several stools in this style, which he presented to V.I. Lenin in 1923. These things are kept in V.I. Lenin's Museum in Gorki (a settlement in the Moscow region) in Moscow till now.

In spite of advanced age Kadyrdjan Haidarov worked a lot and very effectively. His apprentices and he made carved panels for circus in Tashkent in 1975.

The best local srecies of wood such as nutwood, plane tree, elm tree, archa (juniper), mulberry tree, poplar, apricot tree and others are used for carving in Uzbekistan. Modern masters use also imported species of wood such as beech, oak and pine.

One of the methods of the Uzbek national masters is revelation and preservation of wood beauty. Rich and deep traceries of carving, which diversify surface of wood by relief, don't break its natural beauty, but they show peculiarities of texture and colours. An Uzbek carver usually cleans out only surface of relief very thoroughly, and he uses a light toning and transparent lacquers, which preserve thin lace of carved tracery, giving it more expressiveness, in carving of different decorative articles.   

The wood carving was connected in Kara-Kalpak with decoration of nomad's tent - yurta. Doors, household articles such as cabinets, stands for food, dishware, musical instruments, toggery, and instruments of labour were decorated by carving. Kara-Kalpak wood carving had ornamental character with geometrical, vegetable and zoomorphic motifs often of archaic type. In the past Kara-Kalpak masters used in the wood carving a superimposed bone, which was decorated by geometrical engraving, and also peculiar inlaid work by red cloth, combining these methods with flat-embossed carving very effectively. Wood was coloured in dark brown and black colours during this process. The well known Hivin and Kokand schools of carvers keep their art meaning. Creativity of Tashkent masters is very interesting and diverse. The art woodworking is used also today by modern masters and painters of Kara-Kalpak. Carvers continue to work, manufacturing musical instruments and many utensils. The modern art of wooden sculpture, which develops in modern Kara-Kalpak very actively, is connected with the national tradition of the wood carving. 


Golden embroidery of Uzbekistan. 

The conception about embroidery art of Uzbekistan is incomplete without its rare type of gold embroidery.

This kind of art achieved success in Bukhara in the middle of the last century. Skilful masters decorated splendid clothes a ruler and his suite in workshops of emir (emir is a lord in Muslim countries) castle. Golden seamstresses were, as a rule, men, who demised handicraft to their sons. Men's shavecoats, chalma (turban), tuybeteika (skullcap), sharovary (wide trousers), shoes; woman's clothes such as dresses, housecoats, headbands - peshanaband, headscarfs, boots, and shoes were embroidered by golden and silver threads.

Golden embroidery with inclusion of precious stones and small metal domes of kubba (Muslims consider kubba as deposition) decorated articles of furniture in a castle, and also horse cloths, saddle cloths. 

The art of golden broidery achieved perfection of compositional traceries construction and its technical implementation in the middle of the 19th century. Masters drew traceries on a kidskin or cargon, and then they carved, attached to a stretched on the fingers cloth and sewed by golden and silver threads. Definite method of covering was used for every decorated article. These methods were the following: solid covering - zaminduzi, and covering along a carved drawing on a free background - gulduzi. Every part of tracery was embroidered by a definite stitch. It was known more than 30 such stitches.

Masters embroidered on the velvet of dark colours such as dark cherry, dark blue, violet, brown, and crimson. Soft depth of velvet intensified decorative effect of golden embroidery, brought out peculiarities of complicated relief tracery by contrast. The richest and the most outstanding local aristocracy worn clothes with golden broidery. It is natural that this kind of art had the features of stateliness and magnificence, which turned very often into ornamental oversaturation.

Today details of festive clothes are decorated by golden embroidery: stylish tuybeteikas (skullcaps), women's sleeveless jackets, shoes, handbags, and also spectacle cases, pillow shams, bindings for albums, decorative coverlets and other things. These articles are made on gold embroidery factory in Bukhara; during its   existence women mastered the art of golden embroidery. Large-scale unique articles such as theatre curtains and wall pictures are also are created on this factory.  




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