Suzani Hand Embroidered Decorative Tapestry "Marhamat" ("Welcome")-Fair Trade

  • Hand embroidery on cotton, traditional suzani style
  • UNESCO Award of Excellence for Handicraft
  • Adras ikat (60% silk/40% cotton)
  • 50 cm. X 50 cm. (Approx. 20" X 20")

    This mixed technique wall decoration has been handmade with love by using local nature friendly materials and methods. It is a perfect gift for a loved one as it carries many special wishes. Every detail in this wall decoration has been carefully chosen and carries a historic meaning and a good wish.  The tajik word for a wall decoration is suzani, that comes from the word suzan, which means needle. Hanging embroideries on walls has a long history in Tajik art, especially in the Sughd region.  The colours used in this wall decoration are typical for the Panjakent region. White represents the purity of the soul when we are born, black represents darkness and red with pink symbolize life and birth. Together they carry the meaning of the duality of life like the sun and the moon. Every day has light and darkness, every life has good and bad, every human has better and worse days.

    The teapot embroidering in the middle represents hospitality. And also the long tea drinking traditions of Tajikistan. The surrounding embroiderings with tree elements carry the symbols of a long life, good health and inner growth. The five leaved flowers inside the bigger round flowers represent humans protected and surrounded by the sun. In tajik art a circle and the sun symbolize eternity, paradise and love.

    The frame is made of traditional patchwork called tumar, that has a traditional meaning of keeping safe from the evil eye and expresses the wish of protecting the home.

    The patchwork and embroiderings on this item have been made by unemployed Panjakenti women living in the mountainous areas.  This panno is part of ZDTA’s (Zarafshan Toursim Development Association) handicraft project, which aims to both conserve, nurture and develop local art traditions and also improve the life quality of women living in Panjakenti rural areas by involving them in local economy.  

    Armughon Handicrafts is the handicrafts arm of the Zerafshan Tourism Development Association (ZTDA) in Panjakent, Tajikistan, just across the border from Samarkand. ("Armughon" means "gift, a reminder of a place" in Tajik.)   ZTDA works to preserve, nurture and develop local art traditions, while also improving the quality of life for women living in the Panjakenti rural areas by involving them in the local economy. ZTDA designer Munira Akilova creates new products that incorporate traditional suzani (embroidery) and quroq (patchwork) techniques and traditional patterns and ornaments from the Zerafshan Valley. As she explains,  "Each piece has its own meaning, [and] a part of Zerafshan."  Several of her designs have received the UNESCO Award of Excellence for Craft.

    Click here for more information about Armughon Handicrafts.

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