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Tashkent in paintings of XIX century
Published: 11 april 2016

We can observe Tashkent in many paintings of artists XIX - XX century. Works of Richard-Karl Karlovich Zommer (1866-1939) deserves special attention. The artist doesn’t hide his admiration and delight and depicts sunny Tashkent, beautiful landscape and shows daily life of local people. Zommer’s art Zommer is the author of a large number of paintings and graphic works that have predominantly genre-ethnographic character. He shows scenes of everyday life of ordinary people, old quarters of Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent. The pictures accurately convey the mood and the special atmosphere of the time. Since 1894 his works are exhibited at the St. Petersburg exhibition, as well as at Russian and Tashkent annual exhibitions. Other artists Old Tashkent was clearly expressed in the works of Werbowy, I. Golovin, V. Krylova, V. Rozwadowski, N. Grechaninovv, Kazakov, S. Yudin, N. ...

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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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Bukhara in famous watercolours
Published: 29 january 2016

Bukhara is a unique city where craft has always been art. There were and are many remarkable artists here and each is working in its own style. Some prefer drawing large canvases, others try to imitate old masters’ work or capture perishing antiquity. Artist Ulugbek Mukhamedov One of the most interesting Bukhara artist is Ulugbek Mukhamedov. He discovered his own path and transfers his own vision of Bukhara, its local people and nature. He creates small watercolours, but they are very deep and make us to ask questions and seek answers on them. Mukhamedov participated in many exhibitions in Uzbekistan and abroad also. Artists of France, USA, Russia and Switzerland know him and his art is highly valued abroad. Ulugbek try to comprehend the very essence and his polysemantic experience helps him to make it. That is why his works is so depth and philosophy. “One image inside the...

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Minaret, a symbol of East
Published: 04 november 2015

Minaret is one of the most interesting and mysterious forms of Oriental architecture. It’s a mandatory element of urban architecture and often is a symbol of the city. The word ‘minaret’ or Arabic ‘minara’ means ‘place where something is lit’, or ‘emanating light’. We are talking about spiritual light that symbolizes human soul. Minarets constructions  Most researchers consider Syria to be the place where minaret first appeared in Islamic architecture. The first minaret was with quadrangular plan and after some time it took more rounded shape. On the territory of Central Asia construction of minarets began after Islam spreading.  But before this time we can also see special towers of different types on the territory of Central Asia. They mostly were the part of the fortress wall. There were also Burji towers in each city wit...

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Eastern turban
Published: 02 october 2015

The most famous head-dress in oriental Muslim countries was turban worn by people of all ages and groups of society. At fist turban used as a protection against the searing sun and wind. But later it became a symbol of Islam and even a sign of the government, so it is put on the head during the coronation. Turban is the main head-dress With the adoption of Islam turban has become a mandatory turban headdress. It was forbidden to visit mosque and tombs without turban. To show reverence and respect at the meeting with Sheikh a man has to remove the turban from his head. In childhood boys wore special children's hats, but later it was changed to turban. Turban could tell almost everything about its owner. Even passers can know about social status of a person, his income and other information by the manner of wearing the turban, its size and color. Thus, the court, emirs, sultans and khans...

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Musical instruments of Temurids
Published: 25 september 2015

During the reign of Amir Temur and Temurids instrumental music was actively developed. Musical instruments were usually used for aesthetic purposes. That’s why viewing platforms were constructed in front of palace’s goals. It was the place where gathered numerous viewers. Musical instruments were used during the military campaigns, appointment of military ranks, religious and hunting activities. Amir Temur was very strict for musicians, checking their professionalism and personally appointing musicians and heads of music groups. At that moment experienced and famous musicians were coming from different countries to Samarkand. Most of them were invited for the exchange of experience. In such condition musical art had been developed at high level. Folk festivals and holidays had been celebrated widely and attracted many locals. Musical instruments The most famous and freque...

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Surkhandarya people clothing
Published: 28 august 2015

The national costume can tell us about age-long traditions, customs and aesthetic priorities typical of each regional culture. Uzbekistan clothing is special but of different regions of Uzbekistan it differed. Clothing of Surkhandarya people, and first of all of the Kungrats, is especially interesting. Women clothing Women clothing is very complex and had been forming for centuries under the influence of local conditions, climate and occupations. It includes under-dress and dress, pants (lozim), overclothes, headwear and footwear. But everything depends on the age of the women, that’s why the standard costume can be changed and decorated more freely and interesting.   At the second half of the XIX c. married women wore the straight wide dress with long sleeves. Under the influence of the Russian fashion the dresses with upstanding collar became popular. With the passage of ...

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Dairy products of Uzbekistan
Published: 18 august 2015

Milk in Uzbekistan is the starting ingredient for producing many different products. It’s kaymak, katyk, suzma, kurt and interesting drinks as ayran, chalop, goudja and even soups. The methods of processing of milk go back to remote ages and each Uzbek dish holds a great historical logic and wisdom.  Otherwise how we can explain that milk wasn’t spoiled at the temperature of 40-50C. Kaymak Kaymak is the whipped fatty part of milk that can easily substitute butter. Milk in Uzbekistan is very fat (5.2% fatness) and that’s why it takes only to boil milk and skim fat to get kaymak. The product is often spread on bread or added to different dishes and delicate sauces and dressings. Katyk Katyk is sour milk, the nearest relative of clabber. It’s produced from skimmed milk where we add the starter. After 6-8 hours the most delicious drink appears. There’re ...

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Saint place of Burchi-mulla
Published: 14 july 2015

Whenever going to Burchi-mulla it is reasonable to visit one saint place. It is situated almost at the start of this village. Having stopped in the road you have to go down. What is the most interesting about this place? First of all it is its location. Not many people know about it. Second the popularity of this place. Coming once you can notice there are not many people there as it can be seen in such kind of places. Legends The legend says that Prophet once was going across these mountains. There was the namaz time but he couldn’t make washing before pray. So he asked God to help him. God said him to put his hand on the ground, so he did and from each finger one small source started to come. So in this place you can see 5 sources – one is big like our thumb and others smaller like other fingers. The coming water is helpful in many cases like local people say. You can be...

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Blacksmithing of Bukhara
Published: 05 july 2015

Bukhara was a center of development of handicraft production for many centuries. Nowadays the work of revival the crafts is being actively carried out. It’s blacksmithing, dyeing, silk weaving, wood carving and others.  Rites of initiation into masters Young people learn from the masters all the tricks and intricacies and then become masters. There’s particular rites of initiation into masters that is very interested for tourists. This rite takes place in a solemn and festive atmosphere.  Parents present robe and belt for master, because he has prepared young artists to work independently and adjusted to a positive result.  Initiation rites are also carried out in silk weaving, but in this case the master puts on the disciple robe and ties it with a gauze bandage (about 5-6 meters). In addition, as a sign of blessing, the student receives the tools and materi...

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Creative textile of Uzbekistan
Published: 19 june 2015

Nothing can characterize art culture of Uzbekistan except bright, open and luscious colors. Through colorful designs of carpets, embroideries and textiles masters tells life optimism of Uzbek people, nature beauty and special energy charge. Bright embroidered geometric patterns, colors and special signs are perfectly combined with green gardens and heavenly blue. A traveler von Schwartz also noticed it during his travelling in XIX century. He wrote: “As for the spectacular selection of colours and expensive fabrics, people of Central Asia surpass all European painters who are accustomed to the lead-colour sky”. The main motives Favorite color combinations are using from ancient times and became classical. Masters used a simple principle when pure tones are selected by contrast and also selected shades of the same color. It’s used no more than 15 basic colors and it al...

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Yallachi art
Published: 28 may 2015

Yallachi are actresses, acted in female cultural events and rituals. They danced, sang songs and put small comic performances. Yallachi were very popular in Kokand khanate and also in Ferghana Valley. Actresses mostly acted at the wedding ceremonies and other calendar holidays, but they also acted on the sad events. In that case the repertoire changed. Sad songs began in the room and then continued in the courtyard, when girls and women gathered around a campfire. Repertoire of yallachi In every event sounded the same songs as Yor-Yor, Lapar and Yala. But actresses often improvised, made new songs verses and sometimes represented their own works. Dancing occupied a special place – everybody liked to dance or to watch dances. That’s why no one event passed without dancing. The dance movements are often used in the cycle "Kata kyin" and "Honabazm." It’s whirling (Charkh...

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Women of the East by Shakhnoz Abdullaeva
Published: 15 may 2015

Shakhnoz Abdullaeva is a famous Uzbek artist. The main themes of her works are the women of the East – legendary poetesses, queens and goddesses. Her works fascinate by its elegant color combinations and interesting stories. We can often see images of moving Central Asian Arba in her works. Through her work artist is trying to determine the position of women, building a balance between the thoughts and cultural memory. The art Since 1997 the artist’s work changed as she began to use limited palette. Because of this the works became more sophisticated and refined. Backgrounds are also changed and become more complex and differ from the usual associations. Her beauties turned into angels with sensuous character and emotion. It’s especially manifested in the works of "Nostalgia" and "Pearl" (1997).  Since 2003 the works of artist changed again – we can see mo...

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Roxana, a wife of Alexander the Great
Published: 16 april 2015

Alexander the Great longed for the Orient and he started all-Hellenic campaign. He was surprised by heroic resistance from the locals but it was ruthlessly suppressed. But all resistances were suppressed and one day among captives was a Bactrian noble man – Oxiart.  He had a daughter, named Roxana. She was very beautiful girl with luxuriant hair and sparkling eyes. Though she was a captive, Alexander decided to marry her. Alexander and Roxana There’s a famous picture “Wedding of Alexander and Roxana” by Greek artist Rotari. There the master depicted an episode of Alexander and Roxana’s encounter. He painted the picture by the books of Plutarch. We can see the Princess surrounded by crying maidservants - she was standing decently before the astonished commander.  It’s interesting that the master depicted a Greek girl instead of the daughter of...

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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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Vanishing Asian Sea
Published: 27 march 2015

It is considered that the Aral Sea is just 10 000 years old. When the riverbed of Amu Dariya and Syr Dariya divided the Turan lowland was filled with their water. The scientist considered that during its existence the Aral Sea changed its borders 9 times. Now when the bottom of the Aral Sea is seen scientists discovered some trees which have grown here before. Just in the middle of 19th century it was known the borders of this Sea and it was researched properly. The reasons of the Sea vanishing The first and the main reason of The Aral Sea drying is unlimited usage of its water for watering cotton. At the start of 20th century Uzbekistan was the agricultural country where cotton was the base of economy. The second reason is raising land. This process started in 1965. And in 1983 the Sea lost its fishing meaning in Uzbekistan. The canning factory stopped working. Nowadays The Aral Sea w...

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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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Emir Zindan
Published: 10 march 2015

Zindan (“zina” - "crime" and “dan” – “room”) in Persian means an underground prison. It’s the most mysterious monument of Bukhara built in XVIII century. It’s situated inside the city (Shakhristan) and consists of several wards, dungeon made of brick with a diameter of about 5 meters and a depth of 6.5 meters.   Zindan was accommodated not more than 40 people and it’s not a serious amount if compare it with population of medieval Bukhara. It means that crime rate was low at that time. The prisoners were usually debtors, criminals and condemned persons.   Punishment for the guilty   The Bukhara Khanate was the state where religion played a major role in the lives of citizens. One of these requirements was the daily five prayers. There was a special officer - Rais who kept order. He came to mosques every day and n...

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Uzbek bread
Published: 02 march 2015

Bread is a very important staple for Uzbek people at all times. The bakers are baking round bread with love and doing their best. That’s why round bread whether for wedding, holiday or for every day is beautiful and tasty. Breads There’re a lot of sorts of bread in Uzbekistan. The round bread with meat, onion and even pumpkin is very popular among Uzbek people. Bread was often made from cornmeal in ancient time. To make it more nutritious, bakers add pumpkin inside. The popular sort of bread is patir. Dough is made from milk with yeasts and butter. Then dough divided into small part and is rolled out. After making round share it’s baked in tandir (a special oven). There’s another sort of round bread – shirmoy non. The dough’s made from crushed peas and brewed by anis.  After it the bread are baking in tandir. At the end of XIX century there was...

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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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