Traditional female costume in Surkhandarya

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Traditional Female Costume

Traditional female costume of Surkhandarya is distinguished by its bright colors. A scope of female apparel includes: lower and upper dress, trousers, outerwear, headwear and jewelry.

Headwears and Dresses

For casual and dressy apparel, women used cotton and semi-silk fabrics of local handicraft production – striped apache called “norpushti”, “kirmizi”, “mozori” and “amiri” were produced in Baysun. Along with local fabrics silk and semi-silk fabrics of other regions (Bukhara, Karshi, etc.) were also in use. Female outerwear was “Chopon” [1]– a quilted robe. In contracts to the male chopon it was cut out with open collar and the sleeves were relatively short. In the full set of female clothing a unique headdress – turban-shaped “bosh” or “salla” should be highlighted. The basis of “salla” is a round cap “kiygich”, the front of which is decorated with multi-colored embroidered silk or paper fibers by “iroki” stitch (cross) in form of tape. Sometimes in ornament of the tape one can find "tamga" pattern, which indicated the tribal affiliation of the headdress owner. The second part of the salla is a solid foundation on top of which they wound a red cloth 3–5 meters of length (at rich women the length could reach up to 14 m). Then, a few colored scarves (6 or more) were folded in narrow strips and wound in the form of steps. Tadzhik women headdress was simpler and consisted of a hat with plait (or without) and various scarves. Later, they used skullcaps. Since the mid-twentieth century a round skullcap embroidered with beads-“grillok duppi” was common practice. Leaving the house, a woman wore head cover –“kurta” or “dzhelyak”,[2] which was a robe with wide long false sleeves, folded and fastened on the back.


Jewelry being considered an integral part of a costume also reflected the history and culture of the people, as one of the symbolic models of life, cultural and historical ties. Many ornaments of Surkhandarya women especially after wedding had a protective nature from evil force and eye, protecting the health of the woman for procreation. Ornaments endowed with sacred power were –“hapamat” and “gulband”[3] which were woven together or in the form of colored beads grid. All kinds of hapamat – talismans were mainly in the form of triangle and connected with the name of the goddess Umai, who protected children and their mothers and was the goddess of fertility. Another type of women’s jewelry was “gulband” consisted of scores of beads strings, sometimes intertwined. The number of strings reached 80. The name “gulband” came from the words “gul” (among the local population- rubella) and “band” (knot). Therefore, it was thought that wearing of “gulband” prevented from stone (mostly carnelian) – “bobohur”, located in the center. Young women wore it as a talisman of family happiness, as protection of hearth and marriage. Among jewelry earrings[4] (sirga) of several forms were very popular. The most popular were circular earrings with five (or beshoyok, beshpoya sirga), seven (yettioyok sirga), nine and eleven pendants and “uch kuzacha”. Since these earrings were bulky they were worn on the ears with loop of extra thread. Another type of earrings was dome-shaped earrings – “uy sirga”,[5] because their shape at the kungrats was associated with a yurt. At the Tadzhiks they were called “kafasi halka” (kafas – cell). In addition, ornaments of Lokay and Tadzhik jewelers were particularly highly prized. According to the locals, very often people bought cheap jewelry from free-living Gypsies – (Luli). Earlier Kungrat women wore earrings –“letiba” or “lituva” in the nose (often on the right nostril). Thus, the traditional female dress of Surkhandarya under influence of some historical and economic changes began to change, but kept the original nuances of the region.


  1. Chopon is also worn by women making modern style, in these days
  2. “kurta” and “dzhelyak” are very special head cover for mostly Surkhandarya population and “kurta” has another name like “kurtakur”
  3. “hapamat” and “gulband” are names of the patterns which Uzbek nationality like ecpeiall women
  4. sirga is the translation of earring in Uzbek people
  5. uy means house in English language and “sirga” means earrings