Central Asia, Uzbekistan or Tajikistan
19th Century, Silk, cotton
76.2 x 76.2 cm (30 x 30 in)
Marshall & Marilyn R. Wolf Collection
The powerful, abstract simplicity of this embroidery is typical of the Lakai and Kungrad nomadic tradition of southern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Within a village community in which most households are weaving or making embroideries, there will be a few women who stand out for their artistic vision and sensibility. This is just such a case, as evidenced by the way the interior of some motifs has been left blank, so that the midnight-blue ground, surrounded by a contrasting color, takes on a slightly different hue. The individual motifs are not all the same size, and their varying orientation draws the eye from one to the other. Such textiles were used for decoration, in continuation of a tradition in which similar items were used as containers.