Hats

In nineteenth century Central Asia it was said that you could tell a man by his hat. His specific ethnic group, tribe, region, or even the town he came from could be identified from the patterns and style of his hat. Except for caps sewn by nomadic women or mothers for their young children, most skullcaps were made by individual craftswomen and sold in the bazaars. However, during the 1920s and ‘30s, the Soviets began organizing these women into cooperatives (artels). Regional styles, designs, and stitches were retained and new ones added. Three basic shapes prevailed – square, round, and conical.

Women also wore distinctive headwear. For everyday wear, Kyrgyz women wore tall, white, turban-like headdresses; Kazak women, white cowl-like headdresses; and Kungrat women in the southern regions of Uzbekistan an elaborate headdress of multiple scarves wrapped around a soft, rounded cap with a long embroidered plait-cover hanging down the back. Uzbek, Tajik, and Turkmen women and girls wore embroidered skullcaps in regional styles and patterns.

UZBEK-LAKAI HAT

(ATHNB-170) Uzbekistan, mid-20th century

20.5” circumference x 6.5” diameter x 5.5” high
Silk hand-embroidery on ikat
Applied hand-woven border around rim
Printed cotton lining
Excellent condition

This hat was most likely made in southern Uzbekistan by a woman from the Uzbek-Lakai tribe. Narrow rows of tight machine-stitches create a pleasing ribbed effect.
The hat would probably be best used for display purposes. It’s too small for an adult, but would fit a child.

Price: $60.00
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TURKMEN BABY’S HAT (ATHNB-168)

Central Asia, mid-20th century

14.5” circumference x 4” diameter x 3” high
Tiny, hand-embroidered stitches on natural handwoven cotton
Printed cotton lining
Good condition

As was the custom, a Turkmen mother (most likely from the Tekke tribe) made this little hat for her young child. The stitches are so tiny one needs a magnifying glass to see them clearly.
It was thought that a person’s head was a particularly vulnerable place for evil spirits to enter, especially a child’s head. Caps served as protection from these malevolent forces.

Price: $60.00
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UZBEK-LAKAI HAT (ATHBBNB-167)

Uzbekistan, mid-20th century

20” circumference x 6.5” diameter x 5.25” high
Silk hand-embroidery on ikat
Applied hand-woven border around rim
Printed cotton lining
Long black thread extending from peak
Very good condition

This hat was probably made in southern Uzbekistan by a woman from the Uzbek-Lakai tribe. Narrow rows of tight machine-stitches create a pleasing ribbed effect

Price: $40.00
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FERGHANA VALLEY HAT (ATHNB-145)

Uzbekistan, circa 1970s

21” circumference x 6” diameter x 3” high
Silk embroidery (tiny cross-stitches called“iroki”)
Black silk trim
Cotton lining
Very good condition

This girl’s hat is embroidered with a type of fine cross-stitch called “iroki”. It resembles petit point in appearance and covers the entire surface of the hat.
The brim of this hat has been stiffened – it was not designed to fold flat

Price: $60.00
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MAN’S CHUST-STYLE HAT (ATHSC-162)

Kokand, Uzbekistan. Late 20th century

21.5” circumference x 6” diameter x 5.25” high (when folded)
Silk(?) embroidery on cotton with a highly polished hard surface
Black silk(?) woven border around rim
Printed cotton hand-stitched lining
Designed to fold into a flat triangle for ease of carrying
Excellent condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 140

The ubiquitous square black skullcap worn mainly by men and boys throughout Uzbekistan originated in the city od Chust, located in the Ferghana Valley. It is characterized by four highly stylized “kalampir” (capsicum peppers). The intense heat of the peppers was thought to protect the wearer from evil spirits. The crown of the hat was encircled by a border of arches which some say symbolize gates through which no enemy can pass.

The pattern varies by region, yet it has remained basically the same since it first gained popularity in the 1920s. The surface of the black cotton on this hat has been finished in such a way that it looks and feels like fine leather.

The archival photograph is by the famous Russian photographer Max Penson. It was taken in Uzbekistan in the 1930s-40s.

Price: $75.00
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FERGHANA VALLEY HAT “100 YEARS” (ATHSC-161)

Uzbekistan, c.1970s

19” circumference x 5.5” diameter x 2.5” high
Silk hand-embroidery (tiny cross-stitches called“iroki”)
Black silk trim
Plain cotton lining
Excellent condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, page 295

This girl’s hat is embroidered with a type of fine cross-stitch called “iroki”. It resembles petit point in appearance and covers the entire surface of the hat.

The number “100” and the Cyrillic letters that spell out “YEARS” most likely celebrates the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth in 1870.

Price: $50.00
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FERGHANA VALLEY HAT “GULNOZ” (ATHSC-160)

Uzbekistan, c.1970s

21.5” circumference x 6.5” diameter x 2.5” high
Silk hand-embroidery (tiny cross-stitches called“iroki”)
Black silk velvet trim
Cotton lining – printed with a children’s pattern of bunnies and bears
Very good condition – lining fabric has damage
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, page 143

This girl’s hat is embroidered with a type of fine cross-stitch called “iroki”. It resembles petit point in appearance and covers the entire surface of the hat.

The Cyrillic letters spell out the girl’s name “GULNOZ” which means “Bloomimg”. Two small birds of happiness flank each of the flower heads.

Price: $50.00
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BOY’S CHUST-STYLE HAT (ATHBBSC-157)

Kokand, Uzbekistan. c.1990s

18.75” circumference x 4.75” diameter x 4” high
Silk embroidery on what appears to be green silk
Black woven border around rim – looks like cotton
Red cotton lining
Machine “quilted”
Designed to fold into a flat triangle for ease of carrying
Very good condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 140

The ubiquitous square black skullcap worn mainly by men and boys throughout Uzbekistan originated in the city of Chust, located in the Ferghana Valley. It is characterized by four highly stylized “kalampir” (capsicum peppers). The intense heat of the peppers was thought to protect the wearer from evil spirits. The crown of the hat was encircled by a border of arches which some say symbolize gates through which no enemy can pass.

The pattern varies by region, yet it has remained basically the same since it first gained popularity in the 1920s. This colorful boy’s hat is a departure from the usual black and white Chust-style hat. The archival photograph is by the famous Russian photographer Max Penson. It was taken in Uzbekistan in the 1930s-40s.

Price: $30.00
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KULTA (ATBBHNB-135)

South Uzbekistan. Third quarter 20th century

Cap 7” diameter; tail 16” x 7.25”
Silk hand-embroidery on gray cotton; hand-embroidered trim
Printed striped-cotton lining
Fair to good condition; embroidery fine, but cap has been patched and gray ground cloth has faded.

Some Uzbek and Tajik women wore soft rounded caps with a long embroidered plait-cover that extended down the back. Called a kulta, kultapush, or kiygich, it served not only to cover a woman’s head, but her long braids as well.

Price: $35.00
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FERGHANA VALLEY HAT (ATBBHNB-129)

Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan. circa 1970s

20.5” circumference x 6” diameter x 2.5” high
Silk hand-embroidery (tiny cross-stitches called“iroki”)
Black velvet trim
Plain red cotton lining
Good used condition – very slight color run

This girl’s hat is embroidered with a type of fine cross-stitch called “iroki”. It resembles petit point in appearance and covers the entire surface of the hat.
The hat has been worn and as such no longer retains the sharp squared-look. However it sits nicely on the head.

Price: $25.00
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FERGHANA VALLEY HAT (ATBBNB-128)

Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan. circa 1970s

19” circumference x 5.5” diameter x 3” high
Silk hand-embroidery (tiny cross-stitches called“iroki”)
Black silk(?) trim
Plain black cotton and plain white cotton lining
Excellent condition

This hat is embroidered with a type of fine cross-stitch called “iroki”. It resembles petit point in appearance and covers the entire surface of the hat.
The brim of this hat has been stiffened – it was not designed to fold flat

Price: $35.00
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