AUD $240.00

Uzbek, Jelak Cape.

An Uzbek nomad woman’s Cape that is worn over the head, usually over a broad turban “bosh”.
Made of burgundy floral damask silk with a brightly embroidered collar, further decorated with old white buttons and small metal discs.
The “jelak” like the Turkoman “chyrpy” appears to have evolved from an extra coat worn over the head, to cover the hair, often in combination with a horse hair veil or “yashmak”.
It too has the vestigial sleeves sewn together at the back, no longer able to take an arm.
Some have become too narrow, others are also sewn closed.
(I had hoped that these might easily have been converted for wear. But they are quite small and it would damage their appeal if it were attempted, if it’s not just totally impossible anyway.)

As well as the colourful embroidery done in cross stich on the collar, (which is actually worn accross the forehead and temples) there is also an overall subtle border design of fine white cotton machine linework.
These “jelaks” are highly sort after but are difficult to display as they don’t open out like a kimono (without having the sleeves cut apart, that is.)
They are used to define age, tribe and social position to mark lifes milestones like bearing the first child, or first son.
Given by her mother to the daughter during her “lying in” as she was now entering a new phase in her womanhood.
More were given with every child born but the first was kept as a special memento.

Mature women wore modest, darker plainer colours, whilst younger women/girls wore bright colours including ikat printed “atlas” silks and satins.

This fine example is in remarkable condition for its age, (usually the button and coin embellishments aren’t all there. And in this case they nearly all are.)
Unlined except where the extra embroidery needed reinforcement.
Then inside a collage of Russian Print Cotton combines rich roses and red/white Paisleys, with the reverse embroidery against these patterns an amazing feast is created that’s really not meant to be seen. Everyone who looks at this piece comments on this colourful collage.

It originated in the Dzijak region in Central Uzbekistan.

Age: Mid 20th Century, probably 1960’s.

Size: H 762 mm x W 106 mm (width spread wide.)

Weight: 416 grams.