Popular and one of the everywhere practiced national applied art forms of Uzbekistan has always been the uzbek tubeteika, which is a soft or hard scull-cap with a lining. The tubeteika is the integral part of the Uzbek national costume and is worn in modern everyday life as well as in the past. The name "tubeteika" derives from the Turkish word meaning "a top, a summit". It is not only Uzbek national headgear. It is worn by other peoples in Central Asia, in Afganistan, Iran, Turkey, Sinkiang, by the Tatars of Povolzhie, by the Bashkirs.
Short history of Uzbek Tubeteika
The history of uzbek tubeteika is centuries-old. Evidence of the headgear similar to tubeteika worn in ancienttimes was found in sculpture, numismatics, wall paintings, terracotta statuettes, and book miniatures of the 15th-16th centuries. The oldest of known embroidered tubeteikas stored in museum collections date from the middle of the 19th century. The common form of the Uzbek tubeteika is tetrahedral and slightly conical. Such form is assumed due to the special method of folding the cap right after the making of it has been finished. Tubeteikas are made of two or more layers of fabrics all quilted and stuck with silk or cotton threads. In most cases ready-made caps would be embroidered with silk, gold or silver threads.
Shapes, patterns and colors of Uzbek Tubeteika
Being the symbol of life and fertility the almond-shaped pattern "badom" is the most common on the cap. The thinner and longer variant of the "bodom" is called "kalampir" translated as "capsicum". The almonds and capsicum are depicted in the national arts for protection from evil spirits as it is believed in Uzbekistan. Flowers and fruits, vegetation patterns supplemented with colorful birds are also very often embroidered on tubeteikas. Sometimes embroideries have integrally intertwined Arabic letters of aphorisms, good wishes, and sayings, which intensify the aesthetic values. Long since it is mainly women who have had the skills of artistic embroidery. Every embroideress besides copying already known motifs often creates new original compositions of patterns and colors, which makes every tubeteika unique. Tubeteikas differ in shape, patterns, and colors depending on the region they are made in. For example, duppies from Chust have "steep" patterns and are high; tubeteikas from Fergana Valley have plain patterns; Samarkand ones are distinguished by the methods of embroidery, own patterns and colors; gold-embroidery Bukhara caps have always been popular for the richness of decoration. Thus, within the tradition the wide variety of patterns embroidered on tubeteikas have been developed during the centuries.