Date: early 19th century

Geography: Attributed to present-day Uzbekistan, Nurata

Medium: Silk embroidery on cotton; couching, chain, satin, and buttonhole stitches

Dimensions: H. 85.5 in. (217.2 cm)
W. 67in. (170.2 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Embroidered

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1907

Accession Number: 07.72


Nurata is a large village in southern Uzbekistan inhabited by Tajik people. It is known for its exquisite suzanis. These large embroideries are used during wedding ceremonies to decorate interiors, drape the wedding chamber, and divide spaces reserved for guests. Suzanis were an integral element of a dowry and were prepared by the bride and her relatives long before the wedding. A mother who had a daughter would begin making suzanis shortly after the birth of a little girl. Once she reached the age of six, she would learn the art of embroidery.
Embroideries from Nurata use a very soft palette of colors. This example, which is characteristic of the type, includes a central medallion surrounded by flowering shrubs and floral sprays. The floral designs of the field have affinities with those found in Mughal textiles.