South Kyrgyz embroidery is the fruit of centuries of artistic creation. Its characteristic features are highly developed stylization and decorativeness. The embroidery technique of the southern Kyrgyz is more diverse than that of the northern Kyrgyz. Such types of seams as “ilmedos”, “duria”, “muskul”, “jormo” are very characteristic of the south. Among them, the Ilmedos stitch remains the most stable, creating the specifics of South Kyrgyz embroidery. For the most part, southern Kyrgyzstan is characterized by such embroidered things as “dikek” – horse blankets, “kep takya – a woman’s headdress,” zheek “- an embroidered braid, braid” duria “, men’s belt scarves,” balysh “,” jazdyk “- pillows.
What is preserved
In the ichklik group, until the first decades of the 20th century, ancient types of appliqués and embroideries on the skin and ancient compositional techniques were preserved. These techniques are expressed by breaking the embroidered plane into geometric shapes. Women of the Ichkilik group do not make embroidered panels “tush kiyiz”, abundant embroidery on the beldemchi skirt, but embroideries on the decorative strips of “tegirich”, on curtains for the yurt’s door, and embroidery on white homespun fabric were greatly developed.
There are several variations of the composition of the pattern on duffel bags – a headpiece, and the presence of a border is characteristic of all. The most typical types of compositions:
- For old embroidery, dividing the embroidered surface into triangles, rhombuses and filling each of them with one ornamental motif is characteristic. Such a compositional solution is very ancient. This is evidenced by the embroidery found in the Kenkol burial ground.
- In the center is a socket, from which there are lines at the corners that divide the embroidered surface into four parts. Around each line are patterns symmetrically. Such an arrangement of the ornament is also characteristic of old embroideries on leather and, more recently, velvet embroideries.
- The surface is filled with four or five outlets (in the latter case, the fifth is located in the center). Such a composition is typical for velvet embroidery.
In embroideries on a hinged door in a yurt (light felt or home-made fabric), the pattern of wood, branches, bouquet, flower with motifs of curls is usual.
These embroideries are distinguished by the ratio of background and pattern.
The pattern occupies a much smaller area, which is not typical of Kyrgyz folk art.
Ancient Kyrgyz embroidery is characterized by a limited combination of colors. In the embroidery with woolen threads, the favorite Kyrgyz colors were used – red, crimson, blue, green, as well as white and yellow. When choosing flowers for embroidery, the craftswomen show a great sense of proportion, there is an artistic selection of the gamut of colors, strict consistency of tones.
Ancient Kyrgyz embroidery was performed on leather, suede, felt, home-made woolen fabric. Purchased fabrics were also used – red cloth, black velvet, which were highly valued.
Great art is manifested in a combination of ornamental motifs. Symmetry, rhythm, cruciform composition of motifs, their doubling, and arrangement along the vertical axis are characteristic.
The embroidery collection of the National Historical and Archaeological Museum Complex “Sulaimanto” shows the high artistic skill of women in antiquity. I must admit that such skill, unfortunately, is unattainable for modern folk craftswomen.
But the artistic work of ancient craftswomen will remain the benchmark in Kyrgyz folk art, an inexhaustible object of study and a source of inspiration for contemporary artists.