Uzbek Metal Art

Discovery of metal had made great changes in the life of ancient human being. There always was special attitude towards metal in Central Asian region, it was symbol of human being protection from many phenomena of nature.

Thus, the ethnographer О.Sukhareva reports about the fact, that some inhabitants of Ura-Tube and Kanuibadam link image of deva, mythological creature with tourbillion and dusty spout. According that legend the deva is located in spout itself and is moving together with it. If human being saw that the spout was moving to his side, then he was trying run away, hide, and if there was no possibility to runaway, the human being should throw something sharp knife or hoe. That is interesting, that they use in Khoresm and other provinces as protectors metal sharp objects: knives, sickles, scissors. They permanently put knife under the pillow of lying-in woman and in baby's cradle. Depiction of knives were embroidered on susane, entering bride's dowry. They were considered as protectors. Metal was used as the object for guarding from adversary extranatural forces. In Khorezm iron object served as guard from evil spirits. A man, who was going to sleep in the field usually put under head the working part of hoe.

Many various objects of household and decorations were made from metal in Central Asia Some words we should say about such unique vessel as jar. Image of jar in European culture is enveloped by special romantic, as old man Khottabych appeared from the jar, devas were appearing from jars, mystery was stored in jars.

But we are going to tell about usual jars, with which major part of workaday life of people of the region, traditional lifestyle.

Metal jars from copper, brass, bronze and silver and sometimes gold people started making since long, and according ancientry of origin they concede only ceramics.

In each region "viloyat", today they are called in different ways, thus one can meet in the literature kumgan, obdasta, oftoba, choidishi and tuny.

This is linked with peculiarities of household, cultural traditions of each terrain. Probably, if to follow the etymology of those words, they are similar in the majority: "obdasta" "vessel with water" in the translation from Persian, "kumgan" vessel for water according "Ancient Turk Dictionary". The attempt to see in the root of this word Turk "kum" "sand" is rather arguable. All vessels, as a rule, have globular corpus with stand, neck, completing with lid, handle and spout. Kuza differs, as it has no last element. And Khorezm "tun" has no handle.

Spout is extremely important detail, not only uniting, but allowing to differentiate vessels. Kumgan, oftoba, obdasta, tea-pots have dainty elongated, tipped to corpus spout. If spout is opened in the upper part and continues neck, creating slinkyflow; this is choyidish. Tun has tipped spout of exquisite form, in the form of swan neck. Such form of vessel without handle is distributed in Khorezm. By the way, talking about Khorezn school of art metal: cap of lid of Khiva kumgan of ХIХ century reminds shadow-figure of traditional cap of Khorezm inhabitant "chugurtma".

From the talk with Bukhara master Shakir Kamalov I had learned interesting information about functional meaning of "obdast", inhabitants divide it for four types. They separate distinctly vessels for drinking and for sanitary purposes, there are several jars in the household. The first one is for washing before prayer "tokhorat", the other one is for underwashing after sexual act "gusul oftobasy", the third one is oftoba with dastshuy is envisaged for guest hands washing, and finally "safari", this is flat jar designed for travelling.

Talking about ornaments decorating art metal, we'll have to do practically brief excursion into history of arts of Central Asia, as the whole pantheon of gods existing in the region had found its reflection in the metal. We have already mentioned about golden head of bull from Altyn - tepe, about Saks pot depicting the scene of cosmogony character. Greek culture influenced greatly on local culture, when antique torevrika вimplemented on metal, in particular, on silver winecup is "tree of life". Wingy camel, Zoroastrian god of victory and thunderstorm personification, is depicted on silver jar of ХП century.

According the measure for Islamic position strengthening the depictions were changing for ornaments. Though, even with that the previous traditions of figurative depiction had been left, but already in stylized manner. Zoomorphic motives are present on the tray of ХII century, at the bottom circle there are five running one after another animals, the tails of which outgrow into bines and leaves. The image of "blooming garden", "tree of life", buds, bines, leaves, having common for oriental ornament symbolic continues to exist. Similarity of ornaments with architecture d'cor and the whole of semantics is in the fact, that in the past "nakkosh", ornamentalist was compiling patterns both as for architects as well as for chasers.