One of the main symbols of Uzbekistan is rightly recognized as the Uzbek skullcap. The very word “skull-cap”, according to one version, goes to the roots of the Turkic word “tobe” (“tyube”), which means “the top of the mountain”.
For a long time skullcaps wore only men. The reason for this is the history of the appearance of the skullcap. In the past, felt underwear was used as an element of the uniform of the tribal Turkic nomads. However, after settling in the localities, the uniform was not used. Therefore, some parts of the armor changed their purpose. So, the balaclava turned into an everyday male headdress.
Doing a tour along Uzbekistan, you will certainly meet local residents in the “Duppi”. “Duppi” is a tetrahedral black skullcap made of silk or satin, on which national ornaments of white silk threads are embroidered. Ornaments and patterns on skullcaps from ancient times carry a profound meaning.
Duppi, on each side, are trimmed with traditional patterns, presented in the form of “bodom” (almonds). This pattern serves as symbols of fertility and protection from dark forces. Sixteen arches are embroidered around the perimeter of the Duppi, which alternate in size. A small arch with dots around it characterizes a new life, whereas a large arch is the end of life. The difference in size is also not accidental; it means a long way of life.
The Uzbek skullcap is closely connected with traditions, customs and rituals. A few centuries ago, Muslim could not go out without wearing a skullcap. Now, the Uzbek skullcap is worn only on special religious holidays or events. Here are some of them:
- Entering the mosque
- Wedding (a skullcap is worn by the groom and the groom’s father)
- Blessing of the newborn
After a while, the skullcap began to appear on the heads of women. However, the female headdress outperforms the paints and the abundance of embroidered drawings.
You can consider the beauty of the national headdress during the tour to Uzbekistan. Especially you will remember Bukhara skullcaps, which are embroidered with gold threads. They can be purchased by walking along the streets of Bukhara during such tours: