Objects
Woman’s wedding headdress (saukele), mid-to-late 19th c.
Woman’s wedding headdress (saukele), mid-to-late 19th c.
Number
МАЭ № 439-21
Title
Woman’s wedding headdress (saukele)
Ethnicity
Kazakh
Date
mid-to-late 19th c.
Material
velvet, silk textile, silver, carneol, coral, glass, otter fur, felt, woolen cloth, chintz, silk thread, passementery (braid), pearl, gold plate
Dimensions
height of hard cylindrical part 34.0; back height 45.0; upper scope 34.0; lower scope 60.0; length of cover 145.0; length of braids 55.0; length of beads 56.0; length of neck flap 85.0; length of tassels with beads 67.0; weight total 2700.0 g
Annotation
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.
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