Patch works are widely spread in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz
kurak is highly developed applied art which reflects nomadic style of life.
For patch works use various materials, it could be cotton, velvet or leather.
There are also various styles of Kurak, which represent skills of masters, traditions
of different regions of Kyrgyzstan, and complexity of composition (squares,
triangles, stripes etc.): Kattama kurak - small stripes of various colours;
Boru koz - the eye of wolf; Kara koz - black eyes; Kerege koz - lattice eyes
Using Kurak techniques produce wall hangings and panels
- Tush-Kiyiz, blankets - toshok, shelving - tekche, bags and sacks - ayak-kap
and other things useful in housekeeping.
Tush-Kiyiz - is a wall hanging or wall panel.
Originally Tush-Kiyiz was used in yourts where they were used.
Most of Kyrgyz handicrafts are made of felt, Tush-Kiyiz,
however, are not made of felt but consist of a cloth background onto which is
sewn a montage of bright designs. There are no identical, or even similar Tush-Kiyiz
in nature. It is usually sewed by grandmother for a young married couple. Some
of them have the names of the couple, sometimes the name of maker, or some special
dates if dated to smth., - sewn into them. A base or background of soft cloth
is used, and onto this is sewn in relief, to create a montage, what are apparently
abstract realisations of natural things, such us plants, flowers and rarely
animals and people.
There are actually two types of Tush-Kiyiz. Some are
large and one of this type would cover much of a wall. With this type, the middle
of the wall panel is non sewn work but is made only of the original material
base. The sewn montage work appears around the edge, like a fringe, although
triangular shaped pieces of it will protrude towards the middle of the panel.
The triangle is called Tumar in Kyrgyz, and since time immemorial was considered
as amulet. Visiting a Kyrgyz home, the one can see large types hangings on the
walls. Other Tush-kiyiz are smaller and would be used as headboards for beds
or as a sofa or divan covering. But this type are now particularly hard to find,
especially in good condition. Today, sadly, Tush-Kiyiz are becoming much rare.
Nowadays, not that many people live in yurts and although the Tush-Kiyiz survived
the transition into fixed houses, the skill is dying out as cheaper but les
interesting machine made materials are available and as traditions change. A
good Tush-Kiyiz might have taken several months to make, although probably the
grandmother who made it did not work on the design for more than a few hours
daily, given all her other tasks.
It is now rare to find new Tush-Kiyiz and it is also
rare to find any that are elder then 40-50 years. Some of them will have the
date sewn into them.
Being nomadic for centuries the Kyrgyzes had travel
a lot within the valleys with their cattle, so they need a number of various
bags and sacks for keeping and transporting of their belongings.
On the north such bags called ayak-kap, on the south
Being usually squared, some samples still have orbed
down parts, which was decorated with fringe or trimmed with wool lace.
The bag had a patterned flap closing over the top.
The pattern on the flap is differ from the one on the bag. With time Bashtyk
had lost its practical matter as bag, but became purely decorative article still
placed in yurta.
Ancient bags from felt and leather were later replaced
by square bags made of homespun, velvet or cloth embroidered with wool, silk
or cotton threads on the right side.
Not less interesting cloth cupboards which were hung
on walls and known as Tegche. Tegche is a rectangular carpet which were folded
and made into containers for clothes and other items. Some Tush-Kiyiz are also
could be folded to carry the same functions.
Noticeable and original detail of internal yourt decoration
were Syulgu - embroidered decorative towels, made of flax or silk fabric. The
towels were hung on kerege or tush-kiyiz and could be observed from both sides,
therefore the embroidery was usually performed on both sides.
The smaller was a thing the more mastery it required.
Using all the fantasy and unselfish propensity to beauty Kyrgyz women created
this not really important things in householding, but needed while wandering
to keep tea and salt, scissors and mirror, crockery and spoons.
Being hung on walls of yurta this countless sacks,
cases and containers were original and colourful decorations of the interior
and also told about mistress, her qualities and diligence.
Wicker - work was also very popular. Laces were
tatted holding one edge of them in the mouth and binding the knots with the
hands changing threads.
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