Tajikistan is one of the new independent countries that emerged from the disolution of the Soviet Unuin in 1992. We have little information about Tajikistan, but we have some information on traditional Tajik clothing. The Tajik boy here wears a long coat-like garment, but I am not sire what it is called. Tajik clothing looks to be heavily embroidered. The Tajik spring celebration is called Navrus today. People often wear traditional costumes as seen here. It is a velvet outfit worn by boys and men. Mother
makes it at home. So the designs vary widely and come in different sizes. This student also wears matching trousers and white velvet shirt. There is also ornate head wear.
Tajikistan is one of the new independent countries that emerged from the disolution of the Soviet Union in 1992. Modern Tajikistan was created was created as an autonomous Soviet republic in 1924. The Tajik people are considered by ethnologists to have descended from the Aryan aboriginies of Turkestan and are related to Persians. Most are Sunite muslems. The country is situated on the high Pamir plateau north of the Hindu Kush mountains and west of the Sarikol mountain range. During the Soviet era Tajikistan was a major supplier of cotton, but Soviet-style agriculture has done considerable ecological damage. Other crops include fruit, cereal grains, and sugar cane. There is also is also coal, lead zinc, and uranium mining as well as petroleum explitation. Until World War II, Tajikistan was a largely agraian region, but there has since been considerable industrialization. The modern capital Dushanbe did not exist as the capital of Tajikistan in the late 19th Century. The city only grew in the 1920s when it became the centre of the Soviet administration of the region. It replaced the Ancient city of Hissor, which until then had been the regions
capital city when what is now Tajikistan was part of the Sultanship of Bakara.
A wonderful website with extensive information on Tajikistan is avilable here.
The two main population groups in Tajikistan are Tajiks and Russians. Many Russians moved to Tajikistan during the Soviet era. As a result, Russian and Tajik are the two most widely spoken languages. At the moment Russian is widely spoken but Tajik is growing in use and may one day replace Russian as the language of Government and commerce.Tajik and Russian are similar languages. The situation comparable to English/American, Dutch/Flemish/Afrikaans, French/Walloon/Canadian, Malay/Indonesian, ect. There is a small Turkish population and Turkish is also spoken. Turkish is quite different from Russian and Tajik. A Turkish education foundation, the Selale Education Foundation, currently plays an important role in Tajik schools. Children differ from the West (ar least Britain and America) in that they are brought up to speak several languages. Most families can speak at least two languages. These being Russian, Tajik or Uzbek and it can be both. The school teaches a foreign language and this is usually English but it might be German or French. The developing trend is for the mother tongue language to be Tajik and the main foreign language to be English. This is reflected on the country’s bank notes which are printed in Tajik on one side and English on the other. There are nine living languages spoken in Tajikistan.
We have very limited chronolgical inforation about Tajik boys' clothing. Even well into the 20th century, traditional clothing was still commonly worn in Tajikistan. After World War II, with the raid industriatizatin of the country and the influx ofincreasing numbers of Russians, modern European styles became increasing common. Today in Tajikistan, boys wear modern styles that are indistigishabe from contemprary European styles.
Tajijistan gradually began shifting from traditional to Western style clothing during the Soviet era which began in the 1920s. Gradually traditional clothing has almost disappeared, although it is worn for special dress up affairs. Today in Tajikistan children especially the boys, dress very similarly to boys in the West. While we have little information on specific garments, areader has contributed an interesting account of shopping for clothes in Tajikistan.
We have not yet assessed Tajik hair styles over time. We have no information on pre-Soviet times. Dyeing the Soviet era we note many boys had close-cropped hair. After World Warr Ii this begins ti become less common, but hair was generally cut short. We do have a modern account. A reader writes, "At the barbers last week. The client before me was a little boy. I'd say about 5. He came in with very long hair and the barber shaved it all off. There was not an hair left when he had finished. I hoped this was not to be my fate to come out bald.
Seems Spring time lots of boys kindergarten, primary and senior have their hair shaved. Might be religious. A kid in my class has had this type of hair cut. He is very embassed and will not take off his hat!" Apparently these close cuts are more popular with parents than the boys.
We have some information on traditional Tajik clothing. The Tajik boy here wears a long coat-like garment, but I am not sire what it is called. Tajik clothing looks to be heavily embroidered. The Tajik spring celebration is called Navrus today. People often wear traditional costumes as seen here. It is a velvet outfit worn by boys and men. Mother
makes it at home. So the designs vary widely and come in different sizes. This student also wears matching trousers and white velvet shirt. There is also ornate head wear. We noted that in Dunshanbe and other cities that children wear motly Western clothes. We thought that traditinal clothing might be more common in rural areas, but even in rural areas, Western clothing is very common.
We do not yet have much information on boys' activities and associated clothing in Tajikistan. Many such activities are similar to common activities in Europe. Sone of the traditional outfits associated with activities are quite destinctive. A HBC reader reports, "At the Opera House was a Traditional Music group dressed in their Uniform and playting a variety of ancient type instruments."
We have a few depictions of Tajik family life. We have a family photograph showing dad, eldest, daughter and son during the summer of 1995. A British teacher in Tajikistan has provided us some information on a modern Tajik family, the Abdullaev family of Dushanbe.
We do not yet have much information on Tajik art. Painting has not been a major art form in many Islamic societies, because some Muslims believe that people as beings with souls should not be depicted. This believe has not been universal as we have noted both Turkish and Persian paintings depicting people. Tajiks as a people of Persian origins in Central Asia have been strongly influenced by Persian art forms. Art historians note distinctive Tajik (Persian) painting dates back to the Seljuk period (11th-13th Century AD), which described as the "Baghdad School". Painting was primarily devoted to decorate manuscripts, especially editions of the Koran. During the Mongol period (1256-1394) paintings was also used to decorate books. Tajik painting and book illumination declined after the 14th century. Tajik art was primarily exopressed through crafts as metalwork, pottery and embroidery all forms creating household objects. Thus Tajik art was essentially devoted to crafts and a range of folk art. [Gorgâni] We have noted some paintings during the Soviet era, but have limited information about them. Presumably a more relaxed form of Islam was practiced during the Soviet era.
We will archive here, accounts about individual Tajik children. Our information at this time is limited. A HBC reader reports, "I was out with a Tajik friend last week when she drew my attention to a solitary boy child whose hair was very long but only at the back of his head. It was nornal length everywhere else. We also have some information about a Tajik girl. Her name is Munira Tamolova.
Fergusson, William. E-mail message April 8, 2004.
Gorgâni, Tirdâd. "Art of Tajiks in Central Asia" (August 2003).
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