Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Chuvash Groom's Kerchief, Sulak
The design is often asymmetrical, as in this example.
If you look closely at the man on the right above, you will see that the two inner corners that can be seen each have a different design. This is another source of asymmetry. It is also common that two different designs are used to embroider the edges, as in this example.
You will notice the same color palette. This item was, of course, embroidered by the bride as part of her trousseau. In all traditional cultures in Europe and many elsewhere, a girl started her trousseau as soon as she could hold a needle. Men and women both worked very hard, but textile production was mostly the domain of women, who raised the flax, processed it, spun it into thread, wove it on the loom, sewed it into garments and house linens, dyed the thread and embroidered these articles. To show her competence at this very important part of the self sufficient rural life, she made her own clothes, embroidered sheets, pillow cases, towels, table linens, and often a special shirt for her groom. This is one extra example of an item that she made. The bride also had a veil that she holds over her head during the wedding, which is much larger. You can see a photo of one in my posting on Chuvash Costume.
I have included some more examples of the Sulak in the photos following. Some are old pieces in which the silk ribbon is very worn.
I hope that these inspire you to go and create something, perhaps a piece of beauty for your home or perhaps a new tradition for your life.
Feel free to contact me with requests for research. I hope to eventually cover all of Europe and the Former Russian Empire/Soviet Union. I also gratefully accept tips on source materials which i may not have. I also accept commissions to research/design, sew, and/or embroider costumes or other items for groups or individuals.Roman K.
Tatyana Razina et al, 'Folk Art in the Soviet Union', Leningrad, 1990
E. Medzhitova et al, 'Chavash Khalakh Iskusstvi, [Chuvash Folk Art]', Cheboksary, 1981
Evgenia Zhacheva, 'Chavash Terri, [Chuvash Embroidery]', Cheboksary, 2006
Vasilij Nikolaev, 'Chavash Tume Avallakhran Paianlakha, [The Chuvash Costume from Ancient to Modern Times]', Cheboksary, 2002