About Uzbekistan

Uzbek traditional cap
14 September 2017
Uzbek traditional cap

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. 

skull caps from the region

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.

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Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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