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Art in Khiva

Khiva is a city of handicraftsmen. Khivan woodcarvers were famous for their skill long since. Features of wood-carving art in Khiva are the doors, gate, eaves, columns and furniture decoration. The carved doors are a distinctive feature of the old city. The master woodcarvers used elms and other local trees. Cotton or linen oil was used for the surfaces conservation. They accustomed children to work here early. They become quite proficient in the trade at fourteen years of age.

The art of painting also developed in Khiva. Masters of art painting participated in the restoration of historical monuments and the decoration of contemporary buildings.

Three stone-cutting craft centres functioned in the territory of Uzbekistan at the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century: in the Khivan, Nurata Mountains (near the Gazgan deposit) and in Bukhara. Carvers of marble had one workshop for woodcarvers in Khiva, their designs were very common. The stone-processing masters commonly specialised in rich gravestones and bases for wooden columns, ornamental boards and the decoration of lyagans (dinner plates). The hereditary stone carver K. Rakhmanbergenov was considered to be the most reputable master in Khiva. His grandfather Khudaybergen Panaev and father Rakhmanbergen Khudaybergenov were also widely known.

The Khoresm potters were engaged in ceramics pottery and the creation of architectural decor in the XIX and beginning of the XX century. The variety of local schools, with an expansion of a range of subject images was characteristic for its modern ceramics. Masters have kept to traditional kinds of pottery - dishes, badiyas (bowls), pialas (cups) until today. They are made in different areas, and differ in colour, pattern, and the technique of their drawings. Khivan ceramics combine a turquoise glaze with a white background covering and vice versa. There is the same style of the pottery painting, as in the architectural decor. Local masters have replaced flat dishes - "lyagans", known in Uzbekistan, with deep bowls -"badiyas" and dishes on support -"chanaks". The Khoresm ceramics decor is constrained and noble, in relative isolation to cultural development in this region.

Uzbekistan has ancient traditions in the manufacture of art metal wares. The perfection of the bronze subjects, date back to the III and II centuries BC, and testify to this eloquently. Stamping - the art of processing of the copper - is one of the most ancient kinds of folk art in the region. Bukhara, Khiva, Kokand were the major manufacturing centres of ornamented products of copper. They applied blackening, enamel, precious and semiprecious stones, coloured glass and sealing wax, stamping, engraving and impression. The geometrical and vegetative ornamental designs cover all the surfaces of the processed subjects. The inscriptions, executed in Ihe Arabian type and sometimes using Arabian letters in various combinations, were popular decorative elements, especially on older products. There appeared new graphical elements in the form of a five-pointed star or a cotton design.

A small, but very original branch of metal art processing in Uzbekistan is the art of the manufacturing of knives with a peaked blade, and its leather sheath. This is subsequently decorated with metal overlays, embroidery, and painting. Such knives are named "guldor pichok" which means an elegant, decorated knife. Their forms are varied. Local features of the blades are narrow or wide, straight or bent and also the features of the handles - solid or composite, wooden or bone, incrusted or painted differs. Chust in the Fergana valley and Khiva in Khoresm keep to this day their importance as ancient centres of art knives manufacture.

Carpet art is traditional and highly developed in Uzbekistan. The carpets with long pile are most colourful. The unusual technique, using bright local colours of large ornamental patterns are characteristic for this kind of carpet. The tufted carpets differ with a repeated diagonal colouring of a central field composition, set off with the border. The composition remains open and the pattern is set in rows or stripes on pileless carpets (carpeting). At present, the manual production of carpets is concentrated at large factories of Khiva, Khodzheyli, Shakhri-sabz, Andizhan and other cities.

Sources of Uzbekistan jewellery art origin are buried deep in the heart of the millennia. Uzbekistan jewellers were famous for their artistic flair and delicate taste. They repeatedly used the most widespread fabrics and colours - red, green, dark blue in ornamentation enamoured with precious and semiprecious stones. Granulation, enamel,filigree, niello were used in the products in addition to precious stones. Uzbek jewels are subdivided on head, forehead, forehead-temporal, forehead-tem-poral-neck, temporal, occipital, plait, nasal, ear, neck, breast, shoulder, axillary, zonal, hand and foot on the standard classification. In spite of the fact that the materials were applied in the jewellery business (silver, red cornelian, turquoise, colour glass), it is difficult to find products which replicate each other.

Revival of national cultural traditions, the restoration of the lost forms and crafts, synthesis of initial norms and the individual creative approach promote further development of national traditiions and culture.

Governmental policies has been developed in order to provide help to craftsmen and create a sustainable environment as well as to encourage appreciation of Uzbek people toward their heritage and traditional cultural values.