What’s a trip abroad without souvenirs? Souvenirs are not just gifts for friends and relatives, but also a keepsake, a part of the country which you have visited. In Uzbekistan where culture mixed nomadic and farming traditions you will find a lot of Uzbek souvenirs to be taken with you. What souvenirs can be purchased in Uzbekistan, and where to buy, for example, ceramics or Uzbek carpets?
Uzbek ceramic souvenirs
Traveling along ancient Uzbekistan cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva you will find that every city has its own craft school and own style, different from other regions. Visiting Khiva, you can buy a lagan-dish or a badia-plate decorated with blue and ultramarine patterns with wide horizontal rims, which can be hung on the wall at home. A Khorezm Hum-vessel can be used as an original vase. Amazing Chiroki-lamp will create an environment of the East at your home.Various hand-painted pottery figures depicting national heroes, miniature camels and other animals will not leave anyone indifferent. In any oriental Uzbek bazaar, in shops, located next to almost each architectural monument, you can inexpensively buy a variety of amusing figures: this is a tea-house owner with a tea-tray and a cheerful watermelon trader and cunning old men next to it …
Carved wood and metal pieces of art
Almost in every Uzbek bazaar you will find shops selling knives, daggers and even swords, adorned with decorative carvings. Traditional Uzbekistan souvenir is a “pichok” knife, which has a peculiar form of a blade and handle. The most famous knives are made by Chust masters. Light and elegant, they have a curved up blade and dipped handle. Dark blade steel clanks in light collision and the sheath is decorated with a cloud patterns. The blade features the engraved Arabic inscription: Estalik uchun Chust – In memory of Chust.
Visiting Uzbekistan, it is impossible not to pay an attention to many articles made of carved wood. Uzbek masters perfected the art of ornamentation in wood carving and painting. From time immemorial, ancient Asian buildings were decorated with carved wood columns and massive doors, where the intricate floral pattern often featured the name of the master. You can buy a carved table with stools from elm, walnut and juniper for your living room. Collectors of oriental souvenirs should buy a laukh, a stand for books, which is carved from a whole solid wood bar, without any fasteners and hinges. Carved or painted fine wood boxes, painted with “islimi” floral ornaments will catch women’s fancy, because they can be used for jewelry, makeup and other women’s stuff.
National clothes, fur and embroidery
Uzbek embroidery is noted for originality and uniqueness. The most skilled embroiderers are from Samarkand and Bukhara. Famous Uzbek Suzannes resemble beautifully embroidered carpets. Especially it is worth to say about golden thread embroidery. Nowhere else you will find such skilled golden thread embroiderers like in Bukhara. Exotic embroidery will be a perfect decoration for any house. Kashkadarya embroiderers are noted for nice handbags, decorated with colorful national embroidery.
Oriental fabrics and carpets
Most famous Uzbek fabrics are abr and ikat, cloud-like silk fabrics with blurred patterns. Silk, made in Margilan, is one of the most famous Uzbek national fabrics, along with khan-atlas and adras. Uzbek carpets are renowned for its beauty and high quality. Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Kokand, Shakhrisabz, Karakalpak carpets and rugs are differed in techniques, patterns and purpose. Hand-woven carpets, made from natural fibers are quite valuable and expensive.
Souvenirs for collectors
Traditional Uzbek musical instruments can become a very unusual Uzbek souvenir or even a subject for a collection. Strings, percussion and wind instruments: kobuz, dombra, dutar, tanbur, ud, rubab, surnay, karnay, doira and many others are decorated with elegant patterns and provide rich deep sound.
A bottle of wine Uzbekistan may also be a good souvenir from Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is famous for Samarkand winemakers. In Samarkand, tasty Uzbek wine is sold in shops near attractions; sometimes small wine shops hold “shows” of Uzbek wines tasting, where for a small fee you can try white and red, sweet and dry, dessert and table local wine.
Also, the famous capital of the Tamerlane’s empire is noted for Samarkand paper, based on technologies of 10th-11th centuries and made from mulberry bark, silk fibers and flower petals. The Samarkand paper was in great demand due to its smoothness and color, but its main quality was the durability. The majority of documents written on the Samarkand paper preserved in good state up to date and are still kept in different museums of the world. It was this paper which was used by calligraphists for the texts and artists for the miniatures. The Samarkand paper was also preferred in book production.