Traditional Uzbek and Tajik Ceramics from the Collection of the Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw

  • Karolina Krzywicka (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


The Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw holds a significant collection of traditional Uzbek and Tajik ceramics representing the main centers of its production: Khorezm, Ferghana Valley, Bukhara and Samarkand. It was amassed by an outstanding Russian ethnologist Grigoriy Derwiz and the museum’s friend, artist and collector Andrzej Strumiłło during the years 1985–1990. The collection numbering nearly 250 objects consists mainly if decorative polychrome and enamel utensils i.e. large bowls badia, pilav plates lagan, bowls kosa and small goblets kosacha. The separate part includes earthenware toys – ocarinas khushtak in the form of fantastic animals, which were created particularly in workshops of famous masters: Hamro Rahimova from Uba in Uzbekistan and Gafur Khalilov from Ura-Tiube in Tajikistan. The dominant part, polychrome and enamel ceramics can be divided into two groups depending mainly on glaze color and style. The most numerous part of the collection is the characteristic, blue and white ceramics created since hundreds of years in famous production centers in Khorezm in central Uzbekistan and in Ferghana Valley in northeastern Uzbekistan and northern Tajikistan. Ceramics from Ferghana and Khorezm are characterized by their color based on shades of blue, turquoise and cobalt on a white background. The common feature for those products are intensive and bright colors which are obtained by a potassium enamel which also gives a specific blue shade. Objects from Khorezm have an orderly composition with symmetrical and rhythmical ornaments. These are the works of an outstanding artists: R. Matchanov from Khanki village near (Uzbekistan), S. Atajanov from Khiva (Uzbekistan) and Y. Sapayev from Kunya Urgench (Turkmenistan). The group of objects with varied ornaments and colors originates from several production centers in Ferghana Valley. They were created among others by Sohibov brothers from Chorku (Tajikistan), Y. Meliyev and B. Mavlanov from Kalibadam (Tajikistan), M. Rahimov from Gurumsay (Uzbekistan) and I. Kamilov from Rishtan (Uzbekistan). The other part of the collection is rather modest and consists of brown, green and yellowish ceramics, which has engraved decoration made of graphite originating from regions of Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent. That group is dominated by massive lagan plates from the workshops of Z. Muzafarow from Shahrisabz (Uzbekistan), M. Ablakulov from Urgut (Uzbekistan) and B. Khalilov from Denan (Uzbekistan).