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03/12/10 - Uzbek Skullcap, Adornment for Everyone - traditional and at the same time modern, it has always been a favorite headwear

posted 19 Jan 2012, 05:27 by Ambasciata Uzbekistan
From the extreme past the Uzbek people were famous for the mastery of creating fine products of decorative-applied art. Manufacturing of skullcap that is considered the beautiful supplement of the Uzbek national costume is one of the most popular crafts widely spread all across the republic.  Men and women, as well as children wear this attire with great pleasure. Probably it is the secret of that this type of the art still exists and its traditions are passed over from generation to generation, getting acquired new shapes and colors. The contest “My Skullcap Embroidered with Gold” and exhibition-fair “Uzbek Skullcaps” took place in the Central Exhibition Hall of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan have turned the true illustration of it.

Huge diversity of head wears represented in the venue bewitched with their beauty, fine decoration, fancy and unsurpassed skills of female masters. Embroidering intricate patterns, they weaved into products their dreams and wishes of health and wellbeing, as, each pattern have its special features and meaning.
“The current final stage of the contest are participated by the best masters who won in the regional rounds,” underscored the deputy head of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan Ozoda Partiboyeva. “Uzbek skullcaps have certain meaning and symbol. When a craftswoman is engaged in embroidering she puts all her love and soul, dreams and expectations into her work. Each region has its traditions of sewing the skullcap. We want our youth know about this craft and preserve it for the future generation. This is one of the objectives of organization of the contest. The special feature of the event that it is attended by the hereditary masters with their apprentices.”
Today, Uzbek skullcaps deservedly enjoy a great popularity both within our country and far beyond. There are six basic schools typical to certain regions of Uzbekistan - the Tashkent, Farg’ona, Samarqand, Bukhoro, Qashqadaryo-Sukhondaryo and Khorazm-Qoraqalpok skullcaps. Features of some types are distinguished so greatly that it was possible to define the residing place of a headwear’s owner, and it was accepted to add the name of the place to the name of the skullcap where it was manufactured, for instance: Chust do’ppi, Qo’qon do’ppi, Shahrihon do’ppi, Marg’ilon do’ppi.
Participants of the contest familiarized visitors with all principal varieties of skullcaps by charming them with diversity of ornaments, colors and techniques used by masters for creation of this accessory of the national garment. Various images embroidered in skullcaps, as a rule, have their symbolic meanings.
The Bukhoro golden-embroidered skullcaps were most popular with the visitors. For manufacturing of these skullcaps only one-color velvet of various colors was used. The embroidery was done in special techniques – the main material used was metallic fibers, known among the Bukhoro masters as “kalebatun” (golden threads). Silk colored threads and applications were also used. Compositions and patterns of the embroideries of the Bukhoro golden-embroidered skullcaps are quite diverse. They are differed by the color combinations making the embroidery of special decoration and effect.
“I have been learning the art of making skullcaps already for three years,” says Muqaddas Saidova of Kogon, Bukhoro region. “I mostly like the golden embroidery that is used for making stylish skullcaps, for instance, meant for bride. We use old skullcaps of the 19th century as a sample. They were left from our great grandmothers.”
The Andijon skullcaps embroidered on velvet with white and colored beads with patterns in the shape of fruits, flowers and insects looked spectacular as well.
“I am the forth representative of the dynasty of embroiderers in our family” tells 62-year old Zumradhon Toshmirzayeva of Andijon. “My great grandmother, grandmother and mother were engaged in this craft from their early childhood. And now I train my grandchildren and great grandchildren to this craft. Our Andijan skullcaps differ with their fine and subtle work. People of not only our region, but other areas as well wear them with pleasure.”
The most wide-spread type of the male skullcap both in Farg’ona and Tashkent is considered the Chust skullcap. The black tone and white pattern in the shape of almond or pepper pod is typical to this skullcap. These ornaments mean fertility and life.
Most types of the ladies’ skullcaps in Tashkent were embroidered in the techniques “iroqi” – flower motifs on the white embroidered ground. Floral patterns are sometimes supplemented with images of bright birds symbolizing happiness. Straight lines and multi-leafed rosettes reminiscent of sunflower, sheep’s horn, as well as others prevailed in patterns of the Samarqand skullcaps. Symbolic image of the sheep’s horns embodies the power, courage and protection. The direction of stitches from the end to crown makes the headwear of cone shape. 
The Shahrisabz carpet skullcap “gilam do’ppi” differs in special circular shape, multicolor and decorative compositional construction of ornamental design. Artistic decoration of skullcaps of Urgut, Boysum and Khorazm are of special interest as well.  
Skullcaps have many names – qalpoq, do’ppi, iroqi, qalampir and others. Looking at such a diversity one could understand that the skullcap is not only a part of the Uzbek national costume, but the part of the national historical heritage. Bright modern, rarity, pastel, absolutely diverse, our historical head-wears demonstrate all the riches of artistic styles and techniques of their manufacturing.

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