On the roads to Samarkand. Wonders of Silk and Gold – Institut du Monde Arabe


Uzbekistan is located at the crossroads of civilizations, between India, Persia and China. Various religions and practices have existed side by side and influenced the handicrafts: Muslims and Zoroastrians in particular. The cities of Samarkand and Bukhara are on the route of the legendary “Silk Roads”.

The geography of the country has influenced the production of raw materials used in textile crafts. The oases are areas of cotton and silk culture. The steppes and mountainous regions provide an abundance of wool products. Thus, the art of weaving, felting and gold embroidery of a very high technicality were developed.

The textile pieces displayed in this exhibition date mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries. The embroidery techniques are very visible on chapans (men’s coats) and skullcaps (hats), but also on women’s clothing, carpets called ‘suzanis’, equipment for horses or children’s clothing.


Until June 4, 2023