Woman’s wedding headdress (saukele). Kazakh.

Woman’s wedding headdress (saukele)
Collection MAE RAS: № 439-21
Image ID: 4009229
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Title:
Woman’s wedding headdress (saukele)
Ethnicity:
Kazakh
Location:
Central Asia
Date:
mid-to-late 19th c.
Materials:
velvet, silk textile, silver, carneol, coral, glass, otter fur, felt, woolen cloth, chintz, silk thread, passementery (braid), pearl, gold plate
Collector:
Birkimbaev Laikzhan, Imimbaev Khasan
Commentation:
This is the first sample of such headdresses that was acquired by the Museum. It is a unique example of the traditional art of the Kazakh people. This headdress is very richly decorated. It is possible, that such high cone-shaped headdresses have a thousand-year-old history and originate from the Scythian times. No two identical saukele can be found: each headdress has its own peculiar features, though they also preserve the same shape and are decorated with the traditional patterns. Saukele were worn by brides, who inherited them from an elder female relative, normally, from the mother. A year after the wedding, the wife got the right to wear a married woman’s headdress. Thus, a saukele indicated that a woman was going through the transition period in her life: from girlhood to motherhood.