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Uzbek people Bedding decoration [segusha or saye gosha] early–mid 20th century Description: 'v'-shaped with stylised eagle motifs
Place made: north Afghanistan, Afghanistan or Uzbekistan
Materials & Technique: textiles, silk, cotton, printed cotton lining; cross-stitch embroidery, tablet or needle weaving, fringing
Dimensions: with fringe 73.0 h x 70.5 w cm without fringe 56.5 h x 55.0 w cm display size 60.0 h x 85.0 w cm fringe 16.0 h cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1985
Accession No: NGA 85.377

The Uzbek people are one of the various tribal groups inhabiting the deserts of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. Historically they were renowned as horsemen, fighters and brigands. Uzbek women embroidered decorative and functional bags and hangings which symbolised the lifestyle of a nomadic people. Embroidered in silk, these V-shaped objects adorned stacks of bedding when not in use.

Many embroideries would be included in the dowry of an Uzbek bride from a well-to-do family. These were made during the period of the bride's seclusion, just prior to her marriage. The brightly coloured embroideries incorporate auspicious forms that traditionally acted as charms against harm. The cross-stitch designs on these decorations are typical: one shows geometric lozenges, the other stylised eagles.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label