The textile arts of Central Asia are rich in colour, pattern
and texture. They reflect many things:
differences within the region
lifestyle of nomadic people and oasis dwellers
and settled lifestyles
The people of Central Asia have traditionally followed either
a nomadic (pastoral) or a settled (agrarian) way of life.
These two lifestyles were fostered by the geography. The north
was arid and mountainous, best suited to seasonal grazing.
The south was more fertile and hence more settled. Nomads
and oasis dwellers were always interdependent. In exchange
for nomads horses and animal products, oasis dwellers traded
their silk crafts and agricultural products.
influenced textile arts
Central Asia has a long, complex and often violent history.Through
the centre of Central Asia, between China and the Mediterranean,
ran the Silk Road (a network of trade routes). Continual interaction
took place via these trade routes between raiders and conquerors,
traders, nomads and oasis dwellers, resulting among other
things in the transfer and blending of ideas, motifs, technology
and commodities. This is a primary reason why the textile
arts of Central Asia are so rich in colour, pattern, motif
That transfer of ideas, skill and design continues today.
Contemporary designs are still influenced by the costume,
textile arts and furnishings of Central Asia.
the newly independent Central Asian states of Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the
lives and contemporary craft production of the oasis dwellers
and those who cling tenaciously to nomadic life continue
to be enriched and influenced by the great arts of the
(Sumner, 1999: 8)
Case studies developed by the Professional Support and Curriculum Directorate and supported by the Multicultural Programs Unit of the NSW Department of Education and Training in partnership with the Powerhouse Museum