Online talk by Dr Gaybullaeva Yulduz (Webster University, Tashkent)

National clothes of Uzbek women in XIX-XX centuries  and what it tells us about the societal changes – 21st May 2021, 3.30PM – 4.45PM (London) /7.30PM – 8.45PM (Tashkent)

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Dr Gaybullaeva Yulduz is Deputy Director for Research and Innovations of the Centre of Educational Programmes at Webster University in Tashkent. Previously, she worked as Senior Lecturer at the National Institute of Fine Arts and Design named after Kamoliddin Bekhzod. In 2019, she defended her PhD thesis on “The History of Clothes of Uzbek Women (XIX-XX centuries)” at the Faculty of History of Uzbekistan (National University of Uzbekistan). Before that, she graduated from the same University with a Degree in English Philology.

Yulduz has authored and published over 25 articles dedicated to the key subject of her research. Yulduz is the author of the book “The History of Uzbek Women’s Clothes” published by Lambert Academic Publishing in 2017, Germany. She is a co-author of the book-album “Uzbek headgears”, developed in collaboration with Professor Naphisa Sadikova (1930 – 2015). Yulduz is a member of the UK Association of Dress Historians. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation and research projects led by the Ministry of Innovative Development of Uzbekistan.


In her presentation, Dr Yulduz Gaybullaeva will talk about the traditional female costume in Uzbekistan and its changes throughout the XIX-XX centuries occurred because of societal changes of that period.

Traditionally, the Uzbek women’s costume determined her age, ethnic belonging, social and marital status. Many features of the national costume were associated with certain beliefs and ideas. The costume was closely connected with the entire structure of the material and spiritual life of the people and its ethno-genesis. For many centuries, women were largely isolated from the rest of society, lived out their lives mostly at home, and were expected to be the guardians of the ancient Uzbek beliefs that pre-dated the conversion to Islam. However, the Russian Turkestan period (1865 – 1917) brought new changes to many aspects of life of the local indigenous society, including the female traditional clothes.  In the XX century, women’s clothing in Uzbekistan had been increasingly characterized by an erosion of their traditional function to denote age and status differences, especially by eliminating those features that distinguished girls from the married women.

As the old ways have faded away, some young women still follow those sartorial customs and beliefs, yet often understand less and less about their meanings. The aim of this talk, lavishly illustrated by the historical images from the archives of the ethnographic museums and collections from Uzbekistan, is to provide the expert’s insight into the history and evolution of the Uzbek women’s traditional costume throughout the XIX-XX centuries with all the sacred meanings and nuances that this process entailed. The speaker will also share her observations about the current trends and contemporary features of female national clothes in Uzbekistan.

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