Suzani From Bukhara
Create a beautiful central Asian textile replica using the opulent colors of Crayola® Twistables Colored Pencils.
1. The central Asian country of Uzbekistan is rich in culture and traditions. Find the area on a map. A center of Sunni Islam, some people in Uzbekistan trace their heritage back to the empire of Genghis Khan. Cotton, the country’s primary crop, is used to make textiles such as prayer rugs, curtains, clothing, and wall hangings (friezes).
2. Decorative Suzani (su-za-NEE) friezes are embroidered with stitches in regional patterns that have been used for generations. They typically contain geometric or abstract images such as open flowers, circles, rosettes, leaves, and other natural subjects. The threads, made from silk, cotton, and now synthetic materials, may be dyed with vegetal ingredients such as pomegranate peel and walnuts. Find pictures of Uzbek textiles on the Internet or visit a store that carries items from central Asia.
3. To make a replica Suzani, sketch abstract shapes and patterns with Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils on white paper. Think of interesting ways to arrange your designs.
4. Draw your display Suzani on a recycled file folder. Fill in your patterns with the rich colors. Use hatched lines to simulate stitches.
5. With your classmates, display your Suzanis around a map of the country with a brief description of Uzbekistan’s culture and history.
Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.
- Do a textile survey in your home. Where are textiles used? How are they used? What kinds of fabrics can you identify?
- If possible, bring a sample of a fabric item from another country to your classroom (ask your family first). Display these examples together to show the diversity of international textile arts.
- On a large map, trace the routes along the Silk Road from Asia to Europe. Find out more about how and when the Silk Road was used. What is happening in areas along this route today?
- Older students may compare textiles from other Islamic areas to find stylistic similarities and differences.
- Assessment: Review the Suzani designs for authenticity in images and colors.