Straddling Central Asia's great watersheds, Uzbekistan was an early cradle of Zoroastrian, Greco-Bactrian, Buddhist and Islamic civilization. It was part of the great Persian and Mongol empires that stretched across much of Asia and the homeland of Tamerlane and Babur. The Samanid, Timurid and other dynasties left some of the most brilliant monuments of the Silk Road in cities like Samarkand and Bukhara.

Uzbekistan has been independent only since 1991. With a population of nearly 30 million, it must overcome poverty and limited democratic traditions despite internal strains and a land-locked position.

Ikat weaving, in which thread is dyed with a complex pattern before being woven, has been practiced for centuries in Indonesia, Southeast Asia, China, and India. The common term ikat is Malay-Indonesian, though the poetic Uzbek term “abrband” translates as “cloud tying.” The ikats of Uzbekistan are considered the finest in the world. Traditional ikats use natural dyes such as pomegranate and saffron to weave patterns of peacocks, stylized people and trees of life.

During the Soviet Union’s seven-decade rule, regional crafts in Central Asia mostly declined. Since Uzbekistan’s independence, ikat, ceramics, suzani embroidery and a number of other crafts have re-emerged as important cultural exports.

Mir-i Arab Madrasah, Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Photo courtesy of Jemima Montagu.





Products in this Country

Small Ceramic Dipping Bowl - Multi-stripe - Uzbekistan
Small Ceramic Dipping Bowl - Multi-stripe - Uzbekistan $20.00
+ Quick Shop