Patterns of Afghanistan: Inspired by Tribal Embroidery Motifs 183838913X, 9781838389130

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Patterns of Afghanistan: Inspired by Tribal Embroidery Motifs
 183838913X, 9781838389130

Table of contents :
Cover
Foreword by Shoshana Stewart
Contents
Sima Vaziry
Introduction
Zarnaz – Baluch of Afghanistan
Nooria – Hazara
Jamila – Kuchi
Roshana – Nuristani
Alina – Pashtuns of Afghanistan
Nargis – Tajiks of Afghanistan
Nafisa – Turkmen of Afghanistan
Chinara – Uzbeks of Afghanistan
Resources
Back page

Citation preview

Patterns of Afghanistan INSPIRED BY TRIBAL EMBROIDERY MOTIFS By Sima Vaziry

Patterns of Afghanistan INSPIRED BY TRIBAL EMBROIDERY MOTIFS

By Sima Vaziry

Foreword by Shoshana Stewart There is something wonderful about holding in your hands something that was handcrafted by an artisan, inspired by their heritage, and made using traditional materials Shoshana Stewart and techniques. There are CEO of Turquoise Mountain stories behind it, not only of the person who made it, but the person who taught them, where the materials came from, and why the motifs and techniques are the way they are. These traditions are everchanging, and very personal to the artisan and the designer, but can be a window into a world of interconnecting traditions. I remember a piece of jewellery exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington – over three hundred slightly differently sized and shaped emeralds in a rectangular panel with yet more emeralds dangling on strings from the panel. But it came alive when you met its maker, Saeeda Etebari, who describes its Turkmen roots, why she chose to include a secret box on the back to hold soil from her home in Afghanistan, and that the dangling strings remind her of falling rain and swimming. Sima is giving us a way into this world, not only to enrich our understanding but to enable young artisans in Afghanistan, and people around the world to use and innovate from these traditions. Sima has been working with artisan jewellers for over a decade – and she has always prioritised the historical roots and heritage stories in each of her designs. While Sima’s background is in graphic design, over the last

decade her jewellery designs have grown from a passion into a career, with designs commissioned by the British Museum, first for their Afghanistan exhibition and then for subsequent exhibitions on Assyria, Egypt, and the Hajj. Since Turquoise Mountain was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to preserve Afghan culture and heritage, and provide jobs and skills through that, we have trained and worked with hundreds of jewellers, calligraphers, painters, woodworks, weavers and potters at the Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture. But central to their success is collaborations with – and mentoring from - designers like Sima. Working with these artisans, Sima has designed eight collections drawing inspiration from different Afghan tribal design patterns, with each collection taking its name from a women’s name that is popular in Afghanistan. The “Alina” collection, for example, took embroidery motifs such as stars, flowers and petals and expressed these motifs with semi-precious stones from Afghanistan such as lapis and turquoise. The designs also recognise and celebrate that embroidery is a craft that women – in Afghanistan and across the world – have often used to express themselves. In this book, Sima has drawn on her experiences to simplify and modernize the traditional patterns from across Afghanistan to make them more accessible. I hope the designs in this book can inspire and engage designers and artisans to adapt and create, while celebrating the beauty and heritage of Afghanistan. And I look forward to seeing what comes from it. Thank you Sima. Shoshana Stewart CEO of Turquoise Mountain 3

Copyright © 2021 by Sima Vaziry Cover and interior design by Sima Vaziry Cover and interior design copyright © 2021 by Sima Vaziry All rights reserved. No part of this book or this book as a whole may be used, reproduced, republished or transmitted in any form or means without prior written permission from the publisher. Published in February 2021 by Sima Vaziry 103 Oxo Tower Wharf Barge House Street London SE1 9PH United Kingdom www.simavaziry.com A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978-1-8383891-2-3 (ebook) ISBN: 978-1-8383891-3-0 (paperback) ISBN: 978-1-8383891-4-7 (hardback)

Contents Foreword by Shoshana Stewart

3

Sima Vaziry

7

Introduction – Ethnic groups of Afghanistan 8 Zarnaz – Baluch of Afghanistan patterns 13 Nooria – Hazara patterns 35 Jamila – Kuchi patterns 57 Roshana – Nuristani patterns 79 Alina – Pashtuns of Afghanistan patterns 101 Nargis – Tajiks of Afghanistan patterns 123 Nafisa – Turkmen of Afghanistan patterns 145 Chinara – Uzbeks of Afghanistan patterns 167 Resources 188

I would like to dedicate this book to my husband Hamed Seraj Great grandson of HM Habibullah Khan, the King of Afghanistan from 1901 until 1919

Sima Vaziry

My early memories of life from before the Iranian revolution and war are of an idyllic family life in a traditional, southern Iranian home. I enjoyed sixteen years growing up in Persian culture. I did not realize at age 14, during a short stay at a UK boarding school, that my future would eventually lay in the West, rather than in the home I loved. I came into jewellery making as a second career from a 25 year graphic design background and what initially started as a hobby, turned into a business. SPECIAL THANKS TO: Mr Hamed Seraj His Excellency Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad Mrs Shoshana Stewart Turquoise Mountain Mr Sotis Filippides Dr Amanda Williams MBBS, MSc, MRCPCH Mrs Emily Mah Tippetts Mr Omar Masom

I support several charities which are close to my heart, including Afghanaid, Turquoise Mountain and Magic of Persia. During the research for the Alina jewellery collection for Turquoise Mountain, I drew inspiration from Afghan embroidery patterns and found that there was an absence of good reference materials, covering all the ethnic groups and tribes making up the Afghan population. This meant that I had to find and collate a great deal of material and felt it would make for a great design reference book and to my knowledge, it may be the first of its kind for Afghanistan. I work from my shop at the OXO Tower, where I continue to make my collections, create bespoke items for private clients and supply the British Museum. I also try to pass on my knowledge through teaching and delivering talks in and around London. For more information, please go to www.simavaziry.com 7

Introduction THE ETHNIC BREAKDOWN OF AFGHANISTAN It is worth noting that urbanization has led to making ethnic lines more fluid. The map attempts to show areas where the strongest ethnic cultural presences would traditionally be found. Uzbek Turkmen Tajik

Nurestani

Tajik Hazara

Pashtun

Baluch

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The patterns in this book are designed by Sima Vaziry and rooted in the research done for the Alina jewellery collection, which was created in collaboration with Turquoise Mountain, a British not-for-profit organization, supporting traditional Afghan crafts.

ETHNIC GROUPS OF AFGHANISTAN

The designs are based on traditional Afghan embroideries which have been simplified and modernized. A range of different colour palettes has also been added to make them more versatile and widely accessible, keeping current tastes in mind. By making these time honoured styles more usable and practical for use by new generations of designers worldwide, it is my hope that it can in a small way help create a bridge between cultures.

ETHNI C G R OUPS OF AFGHAN ISTAN Afghanistan is a multiethnic society, consisting of a number of ethnic groups or tribes, which have collectively resided in the region for hundreds of years. They each have their own culture and specific ways of living, defined by unwritten codes and customs, and this is often reflected in their traditional embroidery.

EM BR OI DERY Embroidery in Afghanistan is done by women and young girls who create exquisite work to express themselves. They communicate visual stories to their close relations, from mother to daughter and tribe to tribe, and maybe even to the wider world, thus ensuring the survival of their handed down traditions. The women equally embroider for their values and the love for their husbands and children. The embroideries serve to decorate a large variety of items, including curtains, cushions, dresses and shawls, and they are also used to mark and celebrate festive occasions. They are works of beauty and love, sparkling with motifs and patterns representing the sun, the moon, fruits, animals, landscapes, stars, exotic trees, flowers and petals. The patterns in this book take inspiration from Afghan Baluch, Hazara, Kuchi, Nuristani, Pashtun, Tajik, Turkmen and Uzbek designs and the collections are named after popular Afghan women’s names.

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ETHNIC GROUPS OF AFGHANISTAN

B ALUCH O F A FG H A N ISTA N The Baluch live in southern Afghanistan near the borders with Iran and Pakistan. Their traditional home territory is known as Baluchistan which covers an area spanning across Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They also have a sizeable diaspora in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in Oman. A feature of Baluchi women’s clothing is the embroidery, which once was largely hand worked. Baluchi caps are usually made of cotton with fine silk or cotton embroidery, using geometric and floral patterns. Tiny mirrors called shisha are also sometimes used. This section includes many of the following Baluchi elements: leaves and flowers, geometric shapes with right angles, rectangles and round mirrors.

HAZAR A The majority of the Hazara inhabit the mountainous central regions of Afghanistan, in an area known as Hazarajat, with some living in the Badakhshan mountains. They are traditionally mostly farmers and shepherds though many also move to the cities. A common Hazara garment is a woman’s waistcoat decorated with buttons, beads, silver coins and shells. This section includes many of the following Hazari element: geometric shapes, lozenges and triangles, sharp edges, arrow like shapes and trees, stars and organic flowers.

KUC HI The Kuchi are a social rather than an ethnic grouping, although they also have some of the characteristics of a distinct ethnic group and form an important part of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage. Traditionally nomadic, some still follow their traditional livelihood of nomadic herding, though many have become farmers or settled in cities. The embroidery or needlework is usually found on chest patches, sleeves and on skirts. Traditional dress consists of a blouse and skirt which is also used while performing traditional tribal dances. This section includes many of the following Kuchi elements: stitching pieces of mirror, decorative beads and coins onto clothes, use of patchwork and shells. 10

NU R I STANI

ETHNIC GROUPS OF AFGHANISTAN

The Nuristani people are an ethnic group native to the Nuristan region of eastern Afghanistan and are mostly farmers, herders and dairymen. Nuristan, which means the “Land of Light”, is a mountainous region which is very cold in the winter and both these factors have influenced the range of clothing worn. A distinctive feature of modern Nuristani dress is the Pakol hat. It is made of wool with a flat top and a rolled brim, and is available in a variety of earthy colours. Nuristani women traditionally wore trousers and a dress made out of dark coloured silk or cotton, with a neck opening at the front decorated with metal thread embroidery. This section includes many of the following Nuristani elements: numerous geometric stars, flowers, sharp angles, lozenge shapes, blooms and triangular mountains.

PAS HTU NS OF AFGHAN ISTAN The Pashtun are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and constitute about two-fifths of Afghan population. They can be easily distinguished from other Afghan ethnic groups due to their Pashtun language and their way of life called Pashtunwali. The homeland of the Pashtuns lies south of the Hindu Kush, but Pashtun groups are scattered all over the country. Most Pashtuns work in farmlands to earn their livelihood though some live a nomadic lifestyle. During the hot summer months, many of the women prefer to wear printed cotton and rayon fabrics in bright colours. The textiles are often embroidered with symbols that are related to good luck, prosperity and fertility. This section includes many of the following Pashtun elements: soft curves, organic flowers, curved trees, geometric patterns, including numerous stars, sharp angles, lozenge shapes and circular mirrors and coins.

TA JI KS OF A FGHAN ISTAN The Tajik are the second largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and live predominantly in the north-east and in the west though some also live in Kabul. Those living in rural regions engage in agriculture and herding.

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ETHNIC GROUPS OF AFGHANISTAN

Tajik dresses tend to have long sleeves and longish skirts. In general, they are not decorated with embroidery or metallic lace. Instead emphasis is placed on the use of different types of fabrics, often woven or printed with geometric and floral designs. This section includes many of the following Tajik elements: ikat, one colour changing into another in straight lines, parallel lines, circular tree branches with leaves, curvy and round flowers and blooms.

T URKME N O F A FG H A N ISTA N The Turkmen are an ethnic group who dwell along the southern side of Amu Darya (river). Most Turkmen are nomadic people who herd yaks and many nomadic Turkmen still live in dome-shaped tents based on wooden frames. The men wear coats with long sleeves, while women also wear long dresses to cover their hands in cold weather. An important feature of Turkmen dress for women is the addition of silver and, more recently, gold jewellery. Most of the jewellery is worn on the head, down the front and back of the upper torso and on the lower arms and hands. Another important element of Turkmen dress for men, women and children, is the inclusion of amulets. They usually take the form of a piece of cloth containing a text, which is sewn onto a garment. This section includes many of the following Tajik elements: Mixed curves, zigzags, lozenges and triangles.

UZB EKS O F A FG H A N ISTA N The Uzbek live in the northern regions of the country and are the main Turkic people of Afghanistan. They are famous for making beautiful carpets, as well as caps for men and dresses for women. The carpets, caps and dresses are always made by hand by both men and women. A feature of both male and female Uzbek clothing is the use of Ikat and embroidery. Women’s outfits often consist of baggy trousers and a wide dress embroidered with large, colourful floral motifs. This section includes many of the following Uzbeki elements: Circular flowers with large leaves, curved trees, soft flower petals and organic blooms.

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Zarnaz – Baluch of Afghanistan 90 modern seamless patterns based on Baluch embroidery motifs

Editable JPG and EPS vector files are available. Please see the resources page for more information.

Zarnaz – Baluch 1.1

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Zarnaz – Baluch 3.1

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Zarnaz – Baluch 4.1

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Zarnaz – Baluch 5.1

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Zarnaz – Baluch 5.2

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Nooria – Hazara 90 modern seamless patterns based on Hazara embroidery motifs

Editable JPG and EPS vector files are available. Please see the resources page for more information.

Nooria – Hazara 1.1

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Jamila – Kuchi 90 modern seamless patterns based on Kuchi embroidery motifs

Editable JPG and EPS vector files are available. Please see the resources page for more information.

Jamila – Kuchi 1.1

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Roshana – Nuristani

90 modern seamless patterns based on Nuristani embroidery motifs

Editable JPG and EPS vector files are available. Please see the resources page for more information.

Roshana – Nuristani 1.1

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Alina – Pashtuns of Afghanistan 90 modern seamless patterns based on Pashtun embroidery motifs

Editable JPG and EPS vector files are available. Please see the resources page for more information.

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Nargis – Tajiks of Afghanistan 90 modern seamless patterns based on Tajik embroidery motifs

Editable JPG and EPS vector files are available. Please see the resources page for more information.

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Nafisa – Turkmen of Afghanistan 90 modern seamless patterns based on Turkmen embroidery motifs

Editable JPG and EPS vector files are available. Please see the resources page for more information.

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Chinara – Uzbeks of Afghanistan 90 modern seamless patterns based on Uzbek embroidery motifs

Editable JPG and EPS vector files are available. Please see the resources page for more information.

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Resources More information on how to obtain digital pattern files is available here: www.simavaziry.com/patterns Sima Vaziry Jewellery 1.03 Oxo Tower Wharf Barge House Street London SE1 9PH www.simavaziry.com Turquoise Mountain Murad Khani Kabul Afghanistan www.turquoisemountain.org www.tmi.edu.af

BOOKS: Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures By Fredrik Hiebert Carpets of Afghanistan by Richard D Parsons Embroidery from Afghanistan by Sheila Paine Afghan Embroidery by Bernard Dupaigne and Cousin Francoise 188

Patterns of Afghanistan INSPIRED BY TRIBAL EMBROIDERY MOTIFS The patterns in this book are designed by Sima Vaziry and based on traditional Afghan embroideries, taking inspiration from Afghan Baluch, Hazara, Kuchi, Nuristani, Pashtun, Tajik, Turkmen and Uzbek designs. They have been simplified and modernized, and a range of different colour palettes has been added to make them more versatile and widely accessible, keeping current tastes in mind.

is giving us a way into “thisSima world, not only to enrich our

understanding but to enable young artisans in Afghanistan, and people around the world to use and innovate from these traditions.



SHOSHANA STEWART

CEO of Turquoise Mountain

Embroidery in Afghanistan is done by women and young girls who create exquisite work to express themselves. They communicate visual stories to their close relations, from mother to daughter and tribe to tribe and maybe even to the wider world, thus ensuring the survival of their handed down traditions. They are works of beauty and love, sparkling with motifs and patterns representing the sun, the moon, fruits, animals, landscapes, stars, exotic trees, flowers and petals. SIMA VAZIRY

Sima Vaziry www.simavaziry.com [email protected]

ISBN 9781838389123

9 781838 389123