The Warp and Weft of Soviet Asia the Textiles of Bukhara Display the Skill of the Region's Weavers

By Tsuda, Margaret | The Christian Science Monitor, January 4, 1993 | Go to article overview

The Warp and Weft of Soviet Asia the Textiles of Bukhara Display the Skill of the Region's Weavers


Tsuda, Margaret, The Christian Science Monitor


BUKHARA was one of the three famous oases on the western end of the famous caravan route, the Silk Road, to and from China. Samarkand and Tashkent were the other two. Textiles and their raw materials were a very valuable part of the trade. One can imagine cotton being sent east from Egypt and silk west from China, where it was considered precious enough for the Chinese to guard the secret of its origin for 1,000 years by threatening anyone divulging the secret with summary execution.

Bukhara was once called "The Noble," a city of mosques and mina-rets when it was the center of an important khanate under the Islamized descendants of Genghis Khan. Today it is undistinguished, having lost, along with many of its architectural monuments, the lingering glamour cast by Venetian Marco Polo's 13th-century accounts of his travels along the Silk Road.

While some historians feel that Bukhara was founded in the 1st century AD, the actual date is unknown. The city is first mentioned in Chinese chronicles of the 5th century.

For centuries, the city was a busy trading center peopled by a mix of Uzbeks, Tajiks, Arabs, Russians, Turkmens, Persians, and Chinese. The Russian czar added the area to his empire around 1868. The interesting buildings crumbled, and only one tall minaret remains.

After the Russian Revolution, Bukhara became the center of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. Ethnic nomadic traditions were repressed, and industrialization was implemented. The two rivers that ran through the dry steppes were diverted to irrigate large-scale cotton growing, with the result that now the water level of the marshy Aral Sea has been significantly lowered and the environment degraded.

In 1991, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan, where Bukhara is located, joined the Commonwealth of Independent States, and there has been an increasing desire to acknowledge and learn about its cultural heritage.

Textiles have always been a very important part of this heritage. The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., has mounted a striking exhibit of traditional weavings from the area. These are not ancient, as they are deemed to have been worked during the period between the annexation by the czar and the formation of the Soviet Union, but tribal patterns have changed little over centuries and therefore can be accepted as representative of traditional local design and execution.

THIS exhibition introduced me to many designs of the region. My previous acquaintance was only with the knotted pile rugs called "Bokhara" in older references. (Other phonetic spellings of the name also appear.) These "Oriental" rugs were extremely popular in Europe and the United States, especially during the latter part of the last century and the beginning of this one.

Their patterns were neat, tight geometrically stylized motifs whose backgrounds were usually deep and glowing reds. They were woven by the more-or-less nomadic tribes who roamed the estimated 85,000 square miles of what was then referred to as Turkestan. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Warp and Weft of Soviet Asia the Textiles of Bukhara Display the Skill of the Region's Weavers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.