Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

Bukhara, situated on the Silk Roads, is more than two thousand years old. It is one of the best examples of well-preserved Islamic cities of Central Asia of the 10th to 17th centuries, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact.

 

Bukhara was long an important economic and cultural center in Central Asia. The ancient Persian city served as a major center of Islamic culture for many centuries and became a major cultural center of the Caliphate in the 8th century.

 

With the exception of a few important vestiges from before the Mongol invasions of Genghis Khan in 1220 and Temur in 1370, the old town bears witness to the urbanism and architecture of the Sheibani period of Uzbek rule, from the early 16th century onwards. The citadel, rebuilt in the 16th century, has marked the civic center of the town since its earliest days to the present.

 

 

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  1. Key craft with significant impact on social, cultural and economic development

After the independence in 1991, Bukhara handicraft having a centuries-old history has again revived, developed and took the path of ascent. It is an integral part of our culture. Works of art masterfully created by skilled craftsmen are a contribution to the spiritual heritage of not only the country, but of all the mankind.

Traditional art and craft is the voice of ancestors, because they reflected the way of life of people who lived centuries ago. If people preserve traditional arts and crafts, carrying them through the ages - this indicates a strong internal connection with the past, respect and esteem for their culture and history. Respect and esteem of ancestors is an original inherent feature of the peoples of the East and Uzbekistan hasn’t become an exception in this sense.

So, from generation to generation, arts and crafts are passed from a father to a son, from a master to a learner. Education in the East is learning from heart to heart, in a direct communication. Master ("Usta") being in a close contact with the student gradually conveys the secrets of his craft. Having devoted years to the practice of technical performance, the learner eventually opens up a qualitatively new meaning in what he does - he is the bearer and continuer of tradition. Through the "Master-apprentice" schools, new jobs are created by teaching the secrets of the craft to younger generation. More than 5,000 new job opportunities have been created.

 

It is important that masters create the platform for the preservation and further development of the secrets of folk craft and applied art. By now in Bukhara, not only preserved, but also gained their further development and such world-famous types of folk arts and crafts as carpet weaving, embroidery, gold embroidery, miniature, copper chasing, jewelry and ganch (plaster-gypsum) carving, as well as many others crafts.

  2.Origin, history and traditions, of the crafts as well as their cultural identity

Gold embroidery

Gold embroidery of Bukhara has been developing since ancient times, is considered one of types of folk applied art. From archeological excavations and historical sources it is known that in I-II centuries the clothes sewed or embroidered in gold were widespread in Bukhara. According to the description of Narshakhi, one boot embroidered in gold by the queen Hatun, was estimated at 200 000 dirhams by Arabs who received it in VII century.

In 1403-1406, in his diary about travel to Samarkand, the Spanish ambassador Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo repeatedly mentions the ornaments on cloths and the clothes decorated with gold embroidery in Temur's palace. This once again proves that gold embroidery in Bukhara in XIV-XV centuries was very developed. In the beginning of XIX-ХХ centuries Bukhara gold embroidery started to develop and to improve. At that time only men were engaged in gold embroidery. In the beginning of XXth century 350 gold-embroidery masters were working in Bukhara. Workshops of court gold-embroidery masters were located in Ark of Bukhara and they generally sewed clothes for emirs and members of their families, court grandees and prosperous, rich people. Today clothes embroidered in gold for the last representatives of a Manghit dynasty of the Bukhara Emirate are stored in the museums of Uzbekistan. With the fall of the Bukhara Emirate, gold embroidery, as well as the rest folk applied art types, fell into decay. Sewing craftsmen began to work unitedly in small artels. The factory of gold embroidery was formed in Bukhara in 1963.

 

During the years of independence the art of gold embroidery was restored and the attention paid to this form of crafts increased immensely. The majority of craftsmen, who enriched and modernized traditions with new approach, ideas and innovations were appropriately awarded. Particularly, Muyassar Temirova was awarded a high rank of "The Hero of Uzbekistan" and Munnavar Farmonova (2002), Robiya Yunusova (2004).

 

Silk embroidery

Traditional silk embroidery is one of the applied art types of Bukhara which brightly stands out due to its ancient origin. Spanish ambassador Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo in his «Diary» wrote about Uzbek embroidery products which he had seen in Amir Temur's palace. Sometimes “beyts”

- couplets in Arab, Farsi or Turkic languages were embroidered for decorating big buildings and tents. To paint silk threads in natural colors, coils with thread were dipped inti the water with dissolved alum, then boiled in infusion of onion peel or pomegranate skin; afterwards they were dipped in acetic water a dried. After drying the thread was re-coiled and straightened with a smooth, flat board.

 

In the second half of the XX century, after introduction of embroidery machines which replaced manual work, a mass production of fabrics began, causing extensive damage to art's style and to the development of national art embroidery as a whole.

 

Independence not only returned us the self-sufficiency and freedom, but also, along with the forgotten national traditions and customs, restored our national embroidery craft. Bukhara National embroidery art attracts attention with its originality, beauty, colorfulness, application of technologies of natural coloring of threads, application of ancient ornaments on silk fabrics. The job of embroiders is very laborious, demanding a lot of time and energy. Schools of national art embroidery are promptly developing in Gizhduvan, Shafirkan, Vabkent and Karakul districts of Bukhara region. Conceived ornamental compositions in manual embroidery are creations of a poetic image of beauty of the nature, reflection of surrounding world. Suzanes and other products embroidered in these schools have some special features like the usage of an embroidery skillful stitch called «yurma». The harmony in the combination of blue, flower, violet, pink, light yellow, red and crimson colors can also be observed. The Bukhara embroidery art is brightly distinguished from others with its «yurma» stitch, composition, structure, beauty and the variety of ornaments. Gizhduvan embroideries are generally performed on white, ashy, light yellow and of course on a white karbos, colored adras and silk fabrics. Mavlyuda Narzullayeva in her work over large decorative products uses ornamental compositions which are created from bushes with blossomed flowers, blossoming trees, buds on thin stalks, sprouts, circles, in combination with images of birds, animals and forms called kushkurak, anguri and shobarg. In Gizhduvan

embroidery the edge ornamentation is widely applied, the ornaments located on the center of the area are performed in "islimi" style. In Bukhara embroidery the Shafirkan school stands out for its elegance and miniature.

 

Nowadays the leading master of this school is Zukhra Oblaberganova. If Bukhara embroideries performed on a white natural karbos, Shafirkan embroideries are executed on white, yellow, light orange, green and dark-violet silk material and khisor. Closed composition, fringing is usually seen in the center and at corners of the product.

 

The method called "karsduzi" is applied in Shafirkan crafts. The masters of Shafirkan school very often use ornaments called «doiragul» (round flowers), «tupbargul» (bushes of flowers), «gulisafsar», (white iris), «chinnigul» (garden carnation), «nomozshomgul», «bodom» (almonds) and «qalampir» (red pepper) during creation of their product: and this ornaments give a special look and beauty to their works.

 

Such embroiderers as Iroda Makhmudova, Ahmad Arabov, Zaynab Muradova, Bakhadir Gulov, Madina Kadirova, Sanjar Nazarov, Surayyo Khalilova are considered to be the leading representatives of Bukhara traditional embroidery school.

 

Copper chasing

Metal engraving is one of the applied art types in which craftsmen mainly use a floral ornament «islimi», the embossing on metal laces and flat metal covering ornaments are usually applied in creation of unique decorative products - trays, plates, teapots, drinking bowls, narrow- necked copper jugs for washing, metal objects from copper and brass. Earlier objects were covered with the images of mythical heroes. But under the influence of Islamic culture lines from Koran written calligraphically were engraved on the surface of objects instead of mythical heroes.

 

In the last quarter of the XIX century, with the growth of the need for cheap products, factory production of goods made from aluminum and other materials was launched. As a result of this process the demand for popular and traditional copper-embossed products sharply declined.

 

The Bukhara school of embossing art based generally on methods of carving and embossing was created in XIX century.

 

Copper and embossing products are distinguished by their form, simplicity, strictness, complex ornament and grace. The art ornament of products inherent to this school is a little large and is used in decorating memorial constructions.

 

In the XIX-XX centuries calligraphically inscriptions began to be filled with floral ornaments. The representatives of Bukhara copper embossing school, masters of copper embossing Shodi Muhammad (XVIII century), Hakim Bukhari (XX century), Alim Abdusalamov, Gulyam Khasanov, Allayar Yuldashev (beginning of XX century), Mukhtar Mukhsinov, Mukaddam Mukarramov, Abdusalom Hamidov, Usta Salim Hamidov (mid XXth century) made a great contribution to development and improvement of this type of art.

 

Bukhara masters of the copper-embossing decorated products with glass, turquoise, covered embossing with colored lacquer, sometimes decorated exterior with jewelry in form of cover plate. From 20's of the XX century copper embossing craftsmen began to unite in artels. At the beginning of 60's artels were closed, and the production of copper - embossing products started at enterprises of local industry. Copper embossing masters S. Hamidov, M. Mukarramov,

A. Hamidov developed a new style copper embossing and engraving school. In 1968 with a direct

contribution and initiative of Usto Salimjan Hamidov Republic's first Bukhara school of art embossing was founded.

 

Independence opened great opportunities for the development of Bukhara's school of copper embossing and engraving. Young talented craftsmen study subtleties and secrets of this art and continue the work of famous masters.

 

Today's leading masters: N. Saidov, S. Mukhsinov, N. Anisimov, T. Kasymov, Usto Sharif,

R. Fatkhullayev, Sh. Gulyamov, B. Zairov. Zh. Gulyamov, M. Mamurov and others, having visited almost the whole world, glorify skills and talents of the Uzbek people with their works and products.

 

Art of miniature painting of Bukhara

Miniature is one of the most famous works of art among Uzbek people. The first miniatures with varnished painting were found in Bukhara, dating from the 15th century.

 

Unfortunately, in the middle of the 20th century, many unique technologies were forgotten, but in the 70s, Uzbek artists created a special studio to restore this art of miniatures. It was a painstaking process, time-consuming, because it is not only the formation of miniature art, but also the artistic and stylistic school as a whole, including the varnished miniature coiled image on the skin and fabric.

 

Modern masters continue the work of their ancestors - Behzod Kamolidinov and Mahmoud Muzahib - unsurpassed miniature masters of our time.

 

This process is simply fascinating when you watch how masters use the masterly technique of fine painting on the cover of manuscript books, tables made of precious wood, sideboards, chess boxes.

 

The theme for the paintings is taken from folk art, often from the works of the great Uzbek poets – Navoi, Jami, Furkat, Nizami and Umar Khayyam.

 

All these wonderful miniatures can be seen in the Museum of Applied Arts of Uzbekistan.

You can also see even more works of art if you visit other cities of Uzbekistan.

 

Archaeological excavations carried out on the territory of Uzbekistan show that in ancient times the peoples living in this territory had their own written language. Sogdian written sources suggest that books in Central Asia existed before the advent of the Arabs. The manuscript book, which was the keeper of the diverse heritage of the written culture of the Bukhara oasis, played a big role in society. The appearance of the miniature is associated with the creation and design of handwritten books. A prominent specialist in the study of Central Asian miniature painting, Mukaddima Ashrafi, in her work on Bukhara miniature painting of the 40s and 70s of the 16th century, presented a picture of the development of this wonderful art form in Bukhara.

 

The history of Bukhara's miniature cannot be imagined without beautiful monuments stored in the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University in Cambridge, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Freer Art Gallery in Washington, the Sackler Gallery in the Metropolitan Museum, the Pierpont Morgan Library, and the New York Public Library”.

 

XVI - VII centuries were the time of rapid development of Bukhara miniature painting and book culture. The heyday of the Bukhara school came in the 60s and 70s. XVI century Bukhara miniatures testify to the mass production of a manuscript book in Bukhara.

At present, a modern miniature school is developed. In the city of Bukhara there are more than 100 artisans who are engaged in this kind and each miniature has from 5 to 10 students. The most famous in the city of Bukhara is the school of Toshev Davron. He has a miniature center and produces silk paper as well.

 

Also, along with them there are famous miniaturists of the Safarovs dynasty, Avez Sherali and his family, Orziev Jasur, Khamraev Muhammadali, Temirov Feruz, Abulov Jahongir and many others who put great effort into the development of this school.

 

Jewelry making

The most ancient jewelry in the territory of Central Asia was found in Bukhara and Kharezm, it belongs to the middle of the first millennium B.C. It is possible to find a lot of rare information about jewelry craft in the book of Narshakhi «The history of Bukhara». Jeweler's art began developing in the period of Bukharkhudat reign.

 

In the middle ages this type of art reached the highest level of development, but during the Soviet period it fell into decay. Although many jewelry factories were built subsequently, their products were all the same in forms, and masters gradually began depart and move away from the existing traditions.

 

After the declaration of the independence of Uzbekistan, along with other traditional crafts, jewelery art revived and got a second wind. Thanks to independence Bukhara jewelers have an opportunity to work fruitfully today. Masters conduct work in two directions: restoration of the forgotten ancient jewelers' traditions and the development and creation of various products, objects and samples using modern methods.

 

Today more than a hundred jewelers work and demonstrate their products in Bukhara. Such master jewelers as Ashur Khasanov, Alisher Haydarov, Shadmon Saidmuradov perform great work on studying the traditions of jewelry of ancient and eternal Bukhara, their revival, restoration and progress as well as the development new methods of production.

 

The ancient directions of Bukhara school, intertwining closely with new ideas, create unusual modern jewelry. The originality of modern jeweler's art of Uzbekistan consists of synthesized versatility of creative opportunities and means of art expressiveness determined by unusual richness of material and technical means of decoration.

 

Carpet weaving

Carpets from silk and wool were always woven in Bukhara and its subordinate territories. Nevertheless, already in XIII century there were first appreciative responses about works of native masters. The very fact of visiting these lands the historic figure - Marco Polo who has written:

«The thinnest and the most gorgeous carpets in the world are manufactured and weaved here»!

 

In XV century, the ambassador of Castile, Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo was stunned, and highly praised the by the abundance of « bright red carpets» seen at the courtyard of Amir Timur.

 

One can see these remembered silk carpets on ancient miniatures and works of medieval European masters. At all times Bukhara silk carpets varied with its beauty and diversity of patterns. Exclusively natural colors were applied to dye the selected fiber. But with the lapse of time production of carpets has fallen into decay and by the end of XIX and at the beginning of the XX century were lost almost all secrets of craft. Only in years of independence it was possible to recover and revive already forgotten craft of silk carpet weaving.

Today it is completely recuperated the well-known craft in Bukhara, have remembered woolen along with silk carpet weaving and production of tapis, napless carpets for which ancient Bukhara was famous too.

 

Young and talented craftsman Ulughbek Kosimov has especially succeeded in this business. He has regained some ancient silk products of Sassanid times, and manufactures of ancient Sogdiana and Varakhsha. Alongside with him it is important to note other talented masters as Shukhrat Pulatov, G. Fattaev, Kh. Zhuraev and other representatives of Bukhara school of silk carpet weaving.

 

Ganch - Gypsum carving

Gypsum carving is a widespread type of applied art. Even in the first century people living in the territory of Bukhara were engaged in this craft. As a result of archeological excavations in Paykend, Varakhsha and Ark ganch carving fragments and terracotta figurines were unearthed, and they obviously confirm the antiquity of this profession. With the arrival of Islamic culture the place of drawings in decoration of majestic buildings was occupied by the decorative carvings executed in style of ghyrih and islimi. Historical monuments of the XVII-XIX centuries, decorative ornaments of Abdulazizkhan madrasah and Sitorai Mokhi Khosa prove formation of a peculiar school of ganch carving during that period.

 

At the beginning of XX century this school was managed by Usto Shirin Muradov. Earlier the ghanch carving craft passed from father to son, in form of method called «Usto-shogird», but since 1960's teaching of this craft began in artistic educational institutions and in amateur art activity groups.

 

Since the second half of XX century it is possible to see samples of Bukhara ganch carving school in such buildings as Uzbek national history museum, palace of Friendship of Nations, Turkistan palace, State museum of Timurids' history, the building of Oliy Majlis and others. Bukhara national craftsmen participated in construction of these administrative and public buildings. For example, masters under the direction of Usto Shirin Muradov participated in capital repairs and restoration of the building of opera and ballet theater of Alisher Navoi, in decoration of its foyer and halls.

 

Since the time of independence a special attention has been paid to development and improvement of ganch carving art. Bukhara masters Alisher Gaibov and Arif Kadirov carry on national traditions in this craft, enriching them with modern methods. The Bukhara international airport (1997), and the foyer and conference hall of Bukhara State University (2002) were decorated with ganch carving and engraving by these craftsmen.

 

The electronic library of the Bakhouddin Nakshbandi complex (2008), the hall of receptions (2011), the tomb of Bibi Arifa the spouse of respected grandee, mosque and terrace, the palace of forums adjacent to the complex, the hall and the foyer (2013), the altar (mekhrab) in an internal wall of a Hanaki mosque (2014) were reconstructed and decorated with ganch carving.

 

Blacksmith. Art of metal processing and knife making

The production of knives is considered to be a peculiar branch of metal processing in applied art of Uzbekistan. The production of knives and their ornamental decoration began during the initial Paleolithic era, and in Bronze Age reached the peak of its development. Knifes produced according to the rules of national art of knife-making vary in form depending on features of the district of production and school. The use of iron played a great role in development of this craft. In a number of archaeological sites of Bukhara oasis, particularly in Kuyimazor (III century B.C.) iron bows and spears (weapon) belonging to 2nd millennium ВС were unearthed, also in Paykend ruins daggers aged III-IV century were excavated, all these archeological findings once again

testify that processing of metal was shaped as a separate peculiar branch in this region. From wall drawings in Varakhsha we can understand that the knife was not only a household item, but also a military weapon.

 

At the end of XIX and the beginning of XX century Bukhara craftsmen lived together with their colleagues being united in small artels. The territories where they lived were called: Degrezon, Chilangaron, Akhangaron, Ahchagaron or Sufikordgar.

 

Bukhara's smiths were divided in several small branches: mechanics, locksmith-specialists, tinmen, nalgars, nailmakers and others. Usto Kamol is a leader master-ustoz of Bukhara knife maker smiths. About 10 representatives of the Kamalov's dynasty: sons of Usto Kamol -Sharif, Tesha, Zakhir, Zakir, Iskander, Jakhangir, Shavkiddin, Zavkiddin, Mirshod, are successors of traditional knife-making art and they glorify the craft of their ancestors.

 

    

  3. Utilitarian, ornamental, and/or ritual usage of the crafts

Today, the crafts products of Bukhara masters are used for three purposes. Consumer goods mainly include household items, clothes, tools etc. Decorative products as artistic or design works for interior or exterior decorating, gifts and souvenirs. The ceremonial products used for weddings, funerals and religious purposes.

 

Gold and silk embroidered clothes, bed linen, pillows, bags, women's, men's, and children's clothings are daily used. Suzanes, curtains and wall panels are used to decorate homes. Wedding dresses, “chimildiq”, bridal suits are made for various religious and traditional ceremonies.

 

Copper chased household goods made as bowls, teaboiler, pots, trays, pans, tableware, kettle bowls, horse saddles used both in utilitarian and decorative purposes. Door and gate handles or locks, chandeliers and bras ae used for decorating theaters, mosques, museums, hotel gates and other large buildings.

 

Ganch carving is mainly used in a decoration. Historical and modern buildings, houses and hotels are decorated with traditional ganch carving. There are also many types of chandeliers and bras.

 

Silk carpets serve in decorating houses or as a valuable gift.

 

Miniature painted products as boxes, drawings are mainly decorative and utilitarian. The products of knife-making are mainly used as utilitarian and souvenirs.

 

The jewelers produce various accessories for women, men and children - jewelry, belts, amulets, watches for daily use or as souvenirs.

 

  4. Where is the craft produced? For example work sheds, crafts peoples’ homes, museums, studios, etc

In accordance with craftsmanship opportunities in Uzbekistan, each craftsman can work in his own home or workshop, which is allocated by the state for the construction of workshops, craft centers, shops or producing raw materials (wood, etc.). It’s given a 50% discount privileges on the use of state-owned property for workshop, showroom or shops. Also, there are special credit lines for preferential mortgages, consumer loans and purchase of raw materials and machinery at low interest rates. In addition, all bazaars in the city, as well as historic sites, provide space for artisans to trade and operate. More than 150 artisans operate at their own studios, home workshops and showrooms.

Each master in his/her house has own workshop, where all the conditions for the development of their craft are created. Masters have the opportunity to easily demonstrate their products to local and foreign tourists. There are whole streets, mahallas, which are engaged in a certain type of craft. These masters have all the conditions for their work, they conduct master classes for tourists, demonstrating the secrets of their craft.

 

  5. What are the raw materials used, how are they made and what are the techniques of production

Gold embroidery. The field of applied art, embroidered with gold, silver and silk threads, embroidered with threads, fine wire and silk, is distinguished by a unique and inimitable gold embroidery. Gold embroidery designs (flower, pattern) are embroidered on velvet, silk, leather and other fabrics embedded in a rectangular frame. Sometimes in embroidery metal, stone, glass beads are used as well. It is widely used copy paper prepared by the masters.

 

The paper on fabric (embroidered or glued) is embroidered on top with one-side using gold yarn suitable for reinforcing stripes, as a result the floral pattern is covered with golden metallic yarns and with a floral pattern on the back as well. There are various ways to create gold embroidered patterns: “Zaminduzi” and “gulduzi”, as well as “Birishimduzi” (using silk yarns), “Pulakduzi” (using metal buttons or discs). The skillful use of several types of reinforcing and fringing strips and their combination of decorations add charm and elegance; their artistic value depends on the design, raw materials, sewing, as well as the master’s fantasy. As patterns they are widely used traditional floral motives and geometric ornaments, such as davqur, darkham, butador and others.

 

Silk Embroidery. In silk embroidery the patterns (flower designs) are created by the embroiders or draftsman. The main working tools used in embroidery: needles, hook needles, hooks, wooden frames, anglers, rods, etc . The most common types of embroidery are: needle embroidery, hook embroidery, cross stitching – iroqi. Raw materials used for silk embroidery are silk or silk/cotton blend fabrics, silk yarns twisted in multiple plies dyed with synthetic or natural dyes as indigo, madder, onion skins, walnut shells, pomegranate and cochineal. The peculiarity of the Bukhara embroidery is that the round flowers are attached to a thin lines, surrounded by floral motives. Typically, the ornamental flowers are embroidered in “yurma” style by needle and “bosma” by hook.

 

Copper chasing is a field of engraving, using bras or copper and molding, form making (using molding), as well as with wires making parts (caps, sticks, etc.). On the surface of the item as plate, tray, jar, vessel or vase traditional floral or geometric motives drawn first with a pencil. Then pattern or image base is chased deep or shallow with the use of steel pencils by beating with a hammer. The background could also be painted with shallow colored varnishes, finished, smudged and polished cross sections. The metal surface is also used to create patterns or ornaments by applying chemical solutions.

 

Ganch engraving. Gypsum carving is widely used in interior design, in architectural details, in plastering walls and ceilings with creating ornamental patterns and forms. There are two ways of ganch carving: the method b applying gypsum plaster on the surface of wall or ceiling and carving while its soft and not dried yet. The mold method is used to make forms and prepare large quantities of decorations at once. Thus, this craft has been developing from generation to generation as a historical tradition.

 

Jewelry. The design of jewelry (ornaments) made of gold, silver, copper, tin, and other metals requires a certain skill and knowledge. In making jewelry items it is widely used methods of casting, hammering, gold or silver plaiting, engraving or forming. They also use Jewelry is made of precious stones.

Carpet weaving. The carpet weaving profession has been widely used in Bukhara since ancient times. Carpets made from cotton fiber, wool (sheep, goat, camel's wool) and silk. For weaving the carpet wool or silk is cleansed, combed with iron, and spun a yarn. Then the threads are colored with different natural dyes. That is why the colors of the rug do not change or lose its quality. The carpet is woven on the ground floor (horizontal) and standing (vertical) frames. Where carpet weaving is advanced, weaving looms or frames have been greatly improved, and a wider width frames been created where several weavers seat side by side. The weaver can tie knots looking at the draft or from the memory. The types of carpets are different as pile cap or napless.

 

Miniature. In Bukhora, miniature and traditional ornament painting have been developed since ancient times. Usually a miniature is drawn on paper. Today, the master Davron Toshev has restored the technology of making silk paper in Bukhara. Most of the masters working in 14- 15th century styles paint miniature artworks on silk paper, wooden trays, boxes and paper-mache. Miniature is a type of fine art that painters can paint with thin brush. Some use gold and silver leaves. Then they put lacquer over paintings on wood and paper-mache. This will ensure that the image of the product does not disappear for a long time. Today in Bukhara varnished miniature is also developing rapidly.

 

Knife-making. A knife is made by knife-maker and stamper in a large workshop. It’s handle is made of bone, horn or wood. The knife-maker uses a furnace, a hammer, a sledgehammer, cutters, metal saw and many others. The metal cut into the blades and the piece is heated in the fire, put on the cylinder and beaten by a hammer to get balde shape, then pressed into water to reach more sharpness. This process is called watering. Water is supplied depending on the hardness of the blade steel. Then it is nestled in the trunk and rubbed with rasp and the blade is sharpened, rubbing along the edges. The blade is immersed in zoc (liquid) to make it dark. The handle is then mounted.

 

The knives produced in Bukhara are not only household and household items, but are also highly regarded as gifts for foreign tourists.

 

  6. Markets – who buys the craft from the craftsperson? Are they sold in retail locations, museums, stores, traditional markets or boutiques?

First of all, handicrafts are manufactured to meet the daily needs of the population. In all the markets of the city craft products are sold and also in special shops and boutiques in old city part of Bukhara. Craftsmen of ganch carving, in addition to the production of small souvenirs, also take part in the repair and construction of buildings.

 

Bukhara is one of the most developed centers of tourism in Uzbekistan. Not only the locals but also foreign tourists buy various products made by them. There are art galleries and shops for sale of handicraft products all over the city, in historical centers and in the modern part of the city. There are also a special demonstrations in the houses and homebased workshops that are included in the tourist routes. There are crafts and souvenir shops at the stations and airport throughout the region.


 

  7. Statistics on craftspeople– traditional trained, studio crafts, etc

According to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated November 17, 2017 "On measures for further development of handicrafts and comprehensive support for craftsmen", 2117 artisans are members of the Bukhara Regional Office of Hunarmand

Association in 34 directions of national crafts. Of these, 9 are engaged in gypsum plastering, 27 in copper chasing, 130 in embroidery, 40 in miniature painting, 71 in jewelry, 35 in carpet weaving and 64 in gold embroidery. In addition, 539 masters are training 4,063 young people for the skills of crafts on the basis of the traditional master-apprentice school. They continue to work in the hands of their teachers. These young people will receive free vocational training, and the Ministry of Labor and Employment will award masters and student with scholarships. In addition, these schools are funded by the foundation established by the Hunarmand Association. Young people who have completed their studies are given a special certificate. They will continue their activities as independent craftsmen. The apprenticeship period is included in the seniority. They also assign salaries for students who want to continue their co-operation with their masters.

 

Once they join the association, they are also registered as an individual entrepreneurs. Their membership certificates are issued for one year. Upon expiration, the membership fee will be paid and prolonged. Craftsmen pay monthly social security insurance at the rate of one minimum salary. They are exempt from any other tax payments. This period added to their seniority. They may withdraw from the membership at any time and continue their activities as an individual entrepreneur. At the same time, they pay all fixed taxes. Tax privileges apply only to artisans who are members of the association.

 

  8. Trade in craft

Craftsmen set independent prices for their products based on the cost of raw materials, labor and time. Exemption from tax on craft products sold. They can display and sell their products wherever they want - in markets, in stores, at trade fairs, exhibitions, festivals, boutiques and online shops, websites and social networks. At the customs check an art examination under the Ministry of Culture is undertaken to determine whether the handicraft products to be exported abroad are not antique and produced by the craftsman in less than 50 years. This will help to prevent illegal leakage of cultural assets in the country. Demand for traditional handicraft products is high not only in domestic but also in foreign markets. Regional artisans annually participate in many prestigious exhibitions, including Santa Fe, Berlin-Bazaar and other exhibitions.

 

  

  9. The relationship of craft to local tourism

Bukhara is one of the tourist centers of Uzbekistan. The city has more than 400 cultural sites, and tens of thousands of tourists visit the city every year. The national craft products are the main brand in promoting tourism. Annually in Bukhara the international festival "Silk and spices" is organized. The festival is held in May when is the most highest touristic season. Many tour agencies offer special packages for this period. During this time tourists will have the opportunity not only to visit the city's sights, but also to learn about crafts, music, dance, gastronomy and other ethnic traditions.

 

In addition, there will be held "Tourism on the Silk Road" festival at the national level, with participating well-known travel companies from all over the world. A special place will be given to Bukhara crafts. Many artisans' home museums and workshops are included in the tourist routes. Tourists are offered vocational training through master classes. Craft shops are also set up at all tourist visiting areas, train station and airport of the city.

 

Craft education (not all of these questions will apply to every applicant)

  1. How do the craftspeople learn their trade? Are the traditions passed down in the family or community?

Craftsmanship in Bukhara is largely based on the traditions passed down from generation to generation. That is, the craft goes from father to son, mother to daughter. In addition, students

will be selected from the youth who are interested and talented based on the master-apprentice tradition. The master teaches his students all the secrets of his knowledge and skills. Each craft has its own little booklet that contains all the secrets of the profession, the principles of mastery and disciple-making, and occupational safety. Such pamphlets are still in the hands of many masters who continue their dynasty. It is shown to only a few people and is usually kept by many masters.

 

In addition, all secondary schools have special hours in curriculum lessons that teach the basics of applied arts and crafts, which teach the history of the arts and theoretical information, and conduct small classes.

 

The special schools and colleges of the Republic have departments of applied arts and crafts where young people are taught various subjects (miniature and ornamental painting, gold embroidery, jewelry, national costume, design, etc.) in 11 and 3 year education. Students become not only theorists, but also true craftsmen. The majority of craftsmen are students of secondary special education.

 

In addition, there is an opportunity for higher education in applied arts and crafts. In all pedagogical universities, students of the Kamoliddin Behzod Institute of Design and Art can get a higher education and become professional specialists in applied arts and crafts.

 

The Institute of Art Studies operates under the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan. There scientists and art critics conduct research on the theory, problems and development of applied arts and crafts. The results of these studies will be put into practice.

 

  2. Are there design schools and designers who work with the craftspeople?

Creating national costumes in Uzbekistan is also considered as a form of craftsmanship. 217 artisans work in this direction. They showcase their costumes on local and foreign podiums. The designers from Bukhara mainly collaborate with gold and silk embroidery and jewelry masters.

 

In Bukhara there are professional design studio "Bukhara Brilliant Silk", theater studio "Ovation", "Zinnur", "Sadbarg" which closely collaborate with craftsmen. And the most famous designers are Irina Sharipova, Hodjaeva Shokhista, Kobilova Umida, Maminova Feruza, Semya Baratovyx, Ruziev Aziz and others.

 

  3. What is the creative industry like in your area? Are there institutions which promote craft or educate people about craft?

Since 1997, a center for the development of crafts of Bukhara has existed in the city of Bukhara, which promotes craft and educates people in craft. To date, the craft development center has revived more than 6 types of lost crafts and created about 2,000 new jobs among local populations. Gold embroidery, silk embroidery, carpet weaving, block printing (stamp on the material) were revived. With the help of this center, artisans actively participate in national and prestigious exhibitions. The center for the development of crafts still promotes the craftsmanship among young people.

  4. Awareness – are there award programmes and other types of recognition in place?

There are many state awards for craftsmen. The highest award in Uzbekistan is the title of Hero of Uzbekistan. And the only artist from Bukhara who was awarded with it was gold

embroiderer Muyassar Temirova. There are some other awards such as People's Master of Uzbekistan, People's Artist of Uzbekistan, Honored Art Worker of Uzbekistan, People's Teacher of Uzbekistan. In addition, more than 20 Bukhara artisans were awarded with medals such as “Mehnat shuhrati” (labor glory), “Do’stlik” (fiendship) and “Shuhrat” (glory).

 

  5. Do the local media and publications cover the craft industry?

The Republican Hunarmand Association established News Service Department, which regularly covers the activities of regional and district departments on craftsmanship. The association's websites, https://youngcrafters.uz, https://handicrafters.uz and social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, regularly publish articles, presentations and videos about Bukhara craftsmen. The activities of artisans from Bukhara are regularly covered by more than 100 media outlets, TV, radio, newspapers and Internet publications in Uzbekistan.

 

  6. Do you market in trade fairs, conferences, high profile events

Craftsmen of Bukhara participate in many prestigious exhibitions and fairs held both nationally and abroad. Nationwide events will be held in Tashkent, in the Shakhrisabz "Art of Maqom", in the Surkhandarya region "Boysun Spring", "Bakhshichilik", atlas festival in Margilan and at the International Craft Festival in Kokand.

 

Besides that, craftsmen of Bukhara regularly participate in international festivals and fairs as Folk Art Market, Santa fe, USA; Oymo, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Surajkund Mela, Naranya, India; Cultural Bazaar, Boston, USA; Maison Objet, Paris, France and so on.

 

  7. What is the approximate number of creative professionals in your area? What is the number of jobs created in the past 5 years?

Craftsmen are members of the Hunarmand Association in 34 directions. Along with traditional crafts, they operate in non-traditional directions. They produce hats, souvenirs, jewelry made of non-precious metals, toys, stone carving and other products. 2117 artisans are members of the Bukhara Regional Office of Hunarmand Association in 34 directions of national crafts. Of these, 9 are engaged in gypsum plastering, 27 in copper chasing, 130 in embroidery, 40 in miniature painting, 71 in jewelry, 35 in carpet weaving and 64 in gold embroidery. In addition, 539 masters are training 4,063 young people for the skills of crafts on the basis of the traditional master-apprentice school. More than 7,500 new job opportunities have been created over the past 5 years.

 

  8. Are there areas or neighborhoods dedicated to creativity (e.g. regeneration plans) – creative clusters and professional associations

In 1997 by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan the Hunarmand Association was established. The same year the Bukhara regional branch was established and today it has 2,200 members. The Department is a non-profit, non-profit organization that includes people working in the crafts sector. Based on the conclusions of the Art Council, artisans engaged in national crafts are voluntarily joining the Association. They pay the membership fees once a year and are exempt from taxes, while the Association provides artisans, space and raw materials, trade in products and legal protection.

 

  9. Does the area have an international reputation?

Bukhara is an ancient Uzbek city through which the Great Silk Road ran (the trade road connecting East and West). In the Middle Ages, the city was a major center of Islamic theology and culture. To this day, there are hundreds of well-preserved buildings (mosques, madrassas, bazaars and caravanserais), erected in the period from IX to XVII centuries.

 

In 1993, the United Nations Office for Education and Science - UNESCO listed the historical center of Bukhara as well as a number of historical monuments in the World Heritage List. UNESCO describes Bukhara's historical center as "a city located along the Silk Road, more than 2 000 years old, preserving its medieval cultural identity in its original form."

 

The 216-hectare historic site of Bukhara, which preserves its 10th-century monuments, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and its 339 hectares adjacent to the UNESCO buffer zone.

 

Bukhara has not lost its ancient historical significance even today. Industry, tourism and economy, arts and culture are rapidly developing in the city.

 

Strengthening cooperation with foreign countries. In particular, Memorandums on establishment of fraternal relations between the Chinese cities of Loyan and Vladimir of Russia and Bukhara were signed. Negotiations with Spain, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Latvia and Turkey are underway.

 

  10. Are there informal educational opportunities?

Craftsmanship in Bukhara is largely based on the traditions passed down from generation to generation. That is, the craft goes from father to son, mother to daughter. In addition, students will be selected from the youth who are interested and talented based on the master-student tradition. The master teaches his students all the secrets of his knowledge and skills. Each craft has its own little booklet that contains all the secrets of the profession, the principles of mastery and disciple-making, and occupational safety. Such pamphlets are still in the hands of many masters who continue their dynasty. It is shown to only a few people and is usually kept by many masters.

 

Today, many craftsmen established their own informal schools or training centers. For example, miniature artist Davron Toshev, gold embroiderer Bakhshullo Jumaev, Mahfuza Salimova and Nodir Rasulov, blacksmith Shokir Kamolov, carpet maker Ulugbek Kasimov and many others teach the secrets of their school. There are also non-governmental educational institutions and training courses in the city.

 

Information about crafts people

  1. Statistics on crafts people, for example are they traditionally trained in school or universities; do they work in studios, etc.?

Craftsmanship in Bukhara is largely based on the traditions passed down from generation to generation. That is, the craft goes from father to son, mother to daughter. In addition, students will be selected from the youth who are interested and talented based on the master-student tradition. The master teaches his students all the secrets of his knowledge and skills. Each craft has its own little booklet that contains all the secrets of the profession, the principles of mastery and disciple-making, and occupational safety. Such pamphlets are still in the hands of many masters who continue their dynasty. It is shown to only a few people and is usually kept by many masters.

In addition, all secondary schools have special hours in labor lessons that teach the basics of applied arts and crafts, which teach the history of the arts and theoretical information, and conduct small classes.

 

There are departments of applied arts and crafts in special schools and colleges of the Republic, where young people are taught various disciplines (miniature, ornamental, gold embroidery, jewelry, ceramics, national costume, design, etc.) for 11 and 3 years of education. Students become not only theorists, but also true craftsmen. The majority of craftsmen are students of secondary special education.

 

In addition, there is an opportunity for higher education in applied arts and crafts. In all pedagogical universities, students of the Kamoliddin Behzod Institute of Design and Art can get a higher education and become professional specialists in applied arts and crafts.

 

The Institute of Art Studies operates under the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan. There scientists and art critics conduct research on the theory, problems and development of applied arts and crafts. The results of these studies will be put into practice.

 

  2. What are the social conditions of the craftspeople? Do they have health care, retirement rights, etc.?

All social conditions are created for artisans. Every artisan can retire. All rights of artisans are protected by the government. According to the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated November 17, 2017 No. 5242 “On measures for the further development of craftsmanship and the comprehensive support of artisans”, all artisans of the Republic of Uzbekistan from December 1, 2017 are exempted from paying a fixed tax on sale of products (goods, works, services) and handicraft activities.

 

Once they join Hunarmand association, they are also registered as individual entrepreneurs. Their membership certificates are issued for one year. Upon expiration, the membership fee will be paid and deferred. Craftsmen pay monthly social security insurance at the rate of one minimum wage. They are exempt from any other tax payments. This period adds to their work experience. They may withdraw from the membership at any time and continue their activities as an individual entrepreneur. At the same time, they pay all fixed taxes. Tax privileges apply only to artisans who are members of the association.

 

The craftsmen retire at the age of 55 and the men at 60. He/she may continue to work even after retirement. They are currently receiving their full benefits and are exempt from social insurance and taxes.

 

  3. What are the working conditions of the craftspeople? What materials are used in the workshop? What are the environmental conditions in the working area, etc.?

Craft workshops are regularly inspected by state sanitary and epidemiological surveillance centers, fire departments and the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and appropriate penalties are imposed on those who violate safety regulations.

 

They fully adhere to safety regulations and instructions. Regular explanations are provided by local media. There are separate rooms for working in crafts workshops, dining and hygiene. The main work in the manufacturing process is done by manual labor, with the emphasis on using natural raw materials available locally and some imported abroad.

They are members of the National Revival Party of Uzbekistan and the Federation of Trade Unions. Working and training hours are set for no more than 8 hours and are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Artisans often work at home, setting their own time.

 

  4. Is there a standard rate of pay and if so how much?

Craftsmen are individual entrepreneurs who receive the full profit from the sale of their products. They pay monthly state social insurance contributions to the state at a minimum wage, and pay an association membership fee of four minimum wages. They also pay no fees and taxes. Students are paid on a monthly basis, depending on the nature of their work.

 

Are there creative partnership opportunities? (not all of these questions will apply to every applicant)

Artisans can collaborate with other artisans nationwide and internally. There is no barrier for them to produce and sell products together. They can collaborate on art projects and open up shop. There are many such craftsmen sharing experiences with each others. Just an example is woodwork masters and ornamental miniature painting masters collaborate together on producing woodcarved miniature painted plates, knife-maker collaborates with miniature painter on decorating handles of the knives and so on. In gold embroidery someone draws a pattern, someone cuts it with a piece of paper and sews it on a cloth. There are many such examples. In the end, each craftsman puts a price on his labor and raw materials, and the final price is agreed upon.

 

Partnerships – projects for intellectual collaboration with other craft cities

The cities of Bukhara and Santa Fe signed a memorandum of friendship. According to it, every year more than 5 Bukhara craftsmen visit Santa Fe, America, where artisans and city officials meet.

 

Crafts in Bukhara are also protected by local authorities. In all of the official visits of government officials to foreign countries, artisans also participate and share experiences. Also, artisans from more than ten countries visit Bukhara every year to share experiences.

 

Strengthening cooperation with foreign countries. In particular, Memorandums on establishment of fraternal relations between the Chinese cities of Loyan and Vladimir of Russia and Bukhara were signed. Negotiations with Spain, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Latvia and Turkey are underway.

To view the photos/videos of the Bukhara Evaluation visit held on March 28-30, 2022, click here