chapter  13
21 Pages

Continuity and Modernity in the Costume of the Muslims of Central Asia

ByJennifer M. Scarce

The Oriental only here to be met with in his original purity and peculiarity, is fond of the Tchakhtchukh or rustling tone of the dress. It was always an object of great delight to me to see the seller parading up and down a few paces in the new Tchapan [dress], to ascertain whether it gave out the orthodox tone. All is the produce of home manufacture, and very cheap; consequently it is in the clothes market of Bokhara that 'believers' even from remote parts of Tartary, provide themselves with fashionable attire. Even the Kirghis, Kiptchak and Kalmaks are in the habit of making excursions hither from the desert, and the wild Tartar, with his eyes oblique and chin prominent, laughs for joy when he exchanges his clothes, made of the undressed horse-skins, for a light yetkey [a sort of sommer dress] for it is here that he sees his highest ideal of civilisation. Bokhara is his Paris or his London.1