The Samarkand Museum of History and Art of the Uzbek People
Info on the most interesting museums in Samarkand
The The Samarkand Museum of History and Art of the Uzbek People and Art of the Uzbek People is one of the oldest and largest museums in Central Asia. It was opened in 1896 and is situated since 1978 in a separate building next to the Reqistan square.
The museum houses around 200,000 exhibits, including collections of archeology, numismatics, ethnography, manuscripts and historical documents covering the history and culture of the region from the early and middle paleolithic to the beginning of the 20th century.
Among the unique exhibits there are the bronze helmet of a Saka warrior dating from the 6th century ВС and a collection of the most ancient Graeco-Bactrian, Parthian and Kushan coins. Buddhist culture is represented by fragments of sculptures from a Buddhist temple in Kuva and copies of the famous frieze of the musicians from Ayrtarm; Zoroastrian culture by a collection of ossuaries (receptacles for bones).
The mural paintings and stucco panels from the palaces of the Bukhara Governors from Varakhsha and of the Samanids in Samarkand are of great interest, 20 pages of an 11th century Holy Koran are the most valuable exhibits in the museum.
The collection of applied arts, probably the finest in the country, includes fine carpets, embroideries and ceramics from all parts of the country as well as gold embroidered robes, dresses, footwear and saddle cloths from the treasury of the Bukhara Amir.
The copper globe which once belonged to famous educator Khodja Yusuf Mirfayyazov (1842-1924) is also of interest.
Despite the wide availabilty of modern clothes, Uzbek people have kept many aspects of national dress. For a long time clothes were made of cotton or silk fabrics woven on hand looms and coloured with natural dyes.
Traditionally, women's costume usually consists of a dress and wide trousers, men's of a shirt and trousers, As outer clothing both men and women wore loose chapans (coats) with coloured stripes or bright ikat patterns. Especially valued in the past were silk velvet coats embroidered with gold and silver threads.
Nowadays a Central Asian caftan is considered the best gift to an honoured visitor. The traditional headdress is a turban or light colorfully embroidered cap - tuppi.
Especially colorful suits for grooms and brides of the end of 19th the beginning of 20th centuries as well as suits of pilgrim and wandering Muslim ascetic are displayed in collections at Samarkand Museum of History of Culture and Art.
The 'Merosi' Samarkand Theatre of Historical Costumes organizes live shows at the museum where visitors can see costumes inspired by Central Asian clothes of the past.
Modern fashions using traditional fabrics and embroidery can also be seen at the "Bird" Gallery situated on the top floor of the Usto building, located in a19th century caravanserai at the bottom of Tashkentskaya.
Address: 1, Registan Str.
Tel.: (+ 998 662) 35 37 80