Kyrgyz Traditional Clothing

The traditional clothing of the Kyrgyz is an important component of the culture of the people as a whole. It was inherent in peculiar features typical of the clothes of nomads, which finds an explanation for the whole historically established way of life associated with nomadic cattle breeding. Climatic conditions also had a great influence on clothes, the Kyrgyz prevailed a warm look of clothing on a cotton basis or from the fur of wild animals. Since the main trade lines of the Great Silk Road passed through the lands of the Kyrgyz tribes and Central Asia, Kyrgyz involved in international trade and were well aware of the textile production of neighboring peoples. Joining our handicraft tour you would know more about Kyrgyz traditional clothing and arts.

Women’s clothing, jewelry.

Women’s clothing consisted of underwear and outerwear. The main dressing is- shirt – koinok and harem pants. The headdresses of the girls usually decorated with feathers of birds, various ornaments sewn to them: silver, pearls, coral, etc. There were such types of headwear for girls – a skullcap – topu and a fur hat – tebetei. A short or long sleeveless jacket – chyptama, a camisole with short sleeves – kemelsel, a quilted robe – chepken, chapan – put on over a shirt dress. The embroidery on the chest of women’s shirts or a bib put on. Children’s and girls’s clothes also decorated with silver buttons – treadmill, various amulets and charms, and corals – shuru.

Unique elements of women’s clothing were a swing skirt – beldemchi, a headdress – a turban of a married woman – elechek. Women used to have long velvet stripes in the form of tubes, in which braids were hidden – chachkap. Various decorations were sewn on them. Depending on age categories, women wore various silver jewelry and an amulet: these are oblique jewelry – chach uchtuk. Graceful, relief and contour carving, painting are the oldest traditions of metal artwork (mainly they worked with silver and semiprecious stones), folk jewelers – zerger of mouth have preserved to our time. The women’s jewelry made by them of high artistic dignity: bileric-bracelets, shakek-rings, soyko-earrings, bow and head ornaments made by craftsmen are able to satisfy the most demanding tastes of even modern fashionistas.

Men’s clothing and accessories.

Ak – kalpak – a conical-shaped felt headdress with curved fields embroidered with an ornament in contrasting colors. Kalpak is a universal men’s headdress that protects from heat in summer and from winds with frosts in winter.

Tebetei – winter hat is an indispensable part of the Kyrgyz man’s costume. Its edges trimmed with fur – martens, arctic fox, sable, fox.

Apparently the nomads felt hats – they began to wear it from ancient times, most likely, since the discovery of the technology of felt manufacturing itself, the Kyrgyz love and still wear it in droves. In order to maintain national traditions, our country even celebrates – The Day of the White Kyrgyz Kalpak.

The main accessories of men’s wear for the Kyrgyz were a shirt and trousers – (koinok, shym). In cold weather, men wore bathrobes – chapans, chepken, fur coats – ichik, ton. An obligatory detail of a man’s suit is the belt with which outerwear was a belt. Wide leather-Kemer belts trimmed with silver jewelry, with a massive buckle, reminiscent of ancient Turkic type belts. Men’s shoes consisted of leather boots – otyuк.


Written by Aisha Mambetalieva

17, February 2020

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