'Stans

Kaitagbook.jpg

I’ve always been intrigued by the ‘stans—Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Growing up, the names fascinated me. According to World Atlas, the suffix "stan" is an ancient Persian or Farsi word meaning country, nation, or land of.

As an adult, I was intrigued by them as homes of a wealth of textile techniques—stunning ikats, beautiful suzanis, hand-knotted carpets, felted rugs, and much much more.

A few weeks ago, on my way home from work, I was delighted to learn that my uber driver was an Uzbek. We spoke of the beautiful textiles of Uzbekhistan. Together we counted off the ‘stan’s. Was it five? Or seven? Seven. He nodded emphatically—seven.

But here I am, looking at book entitled Kaitag: Daghestani Silk Embroidery—another ‘stan? Why had I not heard of it before?

Brightly colored mythical beasts swarmed the glossy book cover. How could I have not known about this fabulous form of embroidery?

It was time to investigate the republic of Daghestan, part of the Russian Federation. It was time to take a virtual journey through the Caucuses Mountains, to learn of this Kaitag embroidery. Another article for WARP (Weave A Real Peace ) in the making.