South Kyrgyz Embroidery
South Kyrgyz embroidery is a result of long centuries of art creation. The characteristic feature of that embroidery is strongly developed stylization and decorativeness. Techniques of South Kyrgyz embroidery are more varied than North Kyrgyz. Such kinds of stitches as “ilmedos”, “duria”, “mushkul”, and “jormo” are very typical for south. Most stable of them is “ilmedos” specific to South Kyrgyz embroidery. Generally in South Kyrgyzstan are embroided such things as “shirdak” or “terdik” (sweat-cloth), “dikek” (horse-cloth), “kep takyia” (head-dress), “djeek” (a kind of collar), man’s waist band – shawl, “balysh”, “jazdyk” ( kinds of pillows). In the group of ichkiliks up to the first years of the 20th century remained ancient kinds of application, embroidery on leather and ancient compositional methods. These methods mean dividing of embroidered surface to geometric figures. Ichkilik women didn’t make embroided wall panels “tush-kiiz”, heavy embroidered skirt “beldemchi” but developed decoration stripes of jurta – “tegirich”, embroidery on white handmade textiles.
There are several variants of composition on kit-bags – bashtyk. Bordering is characteristic to all of them. Most typical variants are:
1. For ancient embroideries – dividing of the surface to triangles, rhombs and filling each of them with one and the same motive of ornament. This way of ornamentation is proved by founding in Kenkol burial.
2. In the center is situated a rosette from which to corners goes lines dividing the surface to four parts. Patterns are arranged around every line symmetrically. Such arrangement of ornaments is characteristic both for ancient embroidery on leather and for later ones on velvet too.
3. The surface is filled by four or five rosettes (in the last occasion – the fifth is the center). This is typical to velvet embroidery.
The embroidery on the door panel in jurta (light felt or handmade textile) is usually made by patterns of tree, branches or twigs, bouquet, flower with motives of curls. These embroideries are differed by ratio of the background and pattern. The pattern takes rather little area. That is not typical for Kyrgyz folk art.
For ancient Kyrgyz embroidery limited color combination is typical. Embroidery by wool threads Kyrgyz women like to use red, crimson, dark blue, green colors as well as white and yellow. In choosing colored threads a good hand at embroidery revealed great sense of limits and tact. One can mark artistic choice of color range, strict coordination, agreement of tones. Ancient women worked on leather, suede, felt, handmade wool textile. Bought textiles – red cloth, black velvet were also highly valued. Combination of ornamental motives also shows high mastership of the works. Characteristic to embroidery are symmetry, rhythm, cross-shaped composition of motives, doubling, arranging by vertical axis.
Several embroideries from the collection of National Historical Archeological Museum Complex “Sulaimantoo” (Osh, Kyrgyzstan) demonstrate high distinguishes in art of common Kyrgyz women in old time. We must confess that such mastership can’t be achieved in modern folk art. But art distinguishes of ancient masters will stand as a standard in Kyrgyz folk art, inexhaustible object for investigation and the source of inspiration for modern artists.
Leader of Scientific Funds Department of “Sulaimantoo” National Historical Archeological Museum Complex