VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Woman’s wedding headdress (saukele)
439-21
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

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.

History of the Object
It is possible, that such high cone-shaped headdresses have a thousand-year-old history and originate from 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 bride had 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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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
velvet, silk, silver, cornelian, coral, glass, otter fur, felt, woolen cloth, chintz, galloon, pearls 
Measurements
Height 45 cm Length 230 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Kazakstan 
Geography
Kazakstan 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century 
Function
Headdress 
Acquisition
Lakzhan Birkimbayev's and Khasan Imambayev's gift to the museum 
Copyright
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Russian Federation 
Museum
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) Russian Academy of Sciences 
Credit line
 

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