Posted by Chuck Wagner on 04-20-2004 02:59 PM:

Saye Gosha

Hi All,

Some very nice embroidery and cross stich work can be found on pieces known as Saye Gosha, V-shaped strips of cloth that are usually about 24 inches along each edge, and 4 to 8 inches wide. Although dealer-lore has many explanations regarding their function, the most common one (and the one offered up by an Afghani I know) is as a decoration, to be draped over the top and edge of stacked bedding materials inside a yurt.

These pieces are found throughout southern Central Asia, made by Turkmen, Uzbek, and Kyrghiz handicrafters. Uzbek pieces generally have more cross-stitch work (Lakai Uzbek). Turkmen pieces often show designs such as the silhouette of a hand, stylized representations of the sun, and floral motifs.

Here is a typical Turkmen design that has a complex fringe netting made with a combination of solid and blown glass beads:

In addition to V-shaped strips, pieces made of whole squares of cloth (probably better described as diamond shaped because the intent is to have a corner point centered at the bottom of the drape) are produced and have embroidery work over the entire surface of the cloth. Here are a couple examples (note the Uzbek pieces on top of each of the Turkmen pieces):

There must be a few of you out there with nice pieces to show us !!

Chuck Wagner

Chuck Wagner

Posted by Steve Price on 04-20-2004 03:10 PM:

Hi Chuck

Saye gosha attributions are really a moving target for me. Years ago I was of the impression that they were all Uzbek products, the more geometric designs done in box stitch being Kungrat and the more exuberant designs in chain stitch being Lakai.

An alternative spelling for saye gosha is segusha, which I insert into this message in case some unsuspecting soul does a Google search for that term some day.

More recently, it appeared to me, the distinction between Kungrat and Lakai had blurred, but all were still attributed to Uzbek.

Your post is the first I can recall seeing that attributes saye gosha to Turkmen. I recognize that Turkmen and Uzbek are not mutually exclusive, so my muddled brain clings to the hope that the ones you refer to as Turkmen are made by Uzbek Turkmen. Is this correct?


Steve Price

Posted by Chuck Wagner on 04-23-2004 02:10 PM:

Hi Steve,

My attribution stands on thin ice. I haven't been to Turkmenistan,
and so, have no first hand knowledge of the use of saye gosha
by Turkmen people.

The folks that I deal with are Afghanis, and they discriminate
between Uzbek and Turkmen embroidered goods by the motifs
and the stitch style. They state that the use of hand motifs,
broad stylized florals, and motifs without outlines, AND
the use of a broad satin stitch instead of a chain stitch or short
satin stitch, puts a piece into the Turkmen category.

I'll note here that I failed to be very specific in my first post; the
second image shows an Uzbek piece (note the outlined motifs)
rather than a Turkmen piece as the post implies. Oops.

The cross stitch work seen on many saye gosha had always
meant Lakai Uzbek to me, but my dealer friends say that you have
to consider the motif as well as the structure, and that some
cross stitch pieces are Turkmen.

There is very little in the literature to help discriminate. Marla
Mallett may be able to add something at this point; she picks
her stuff up while travelling and may have some first hand
knowledge. Janet Harvey (in Traditional Textiles of Central Asia)
mentions that saye gosha are used by many Central Asian
people, but is not specific about which groups.

I'll also note that my dealers have little knowledge of antique
embroidered pieces; it's their opinion that there are not a lot
of such pieces around, largely because they were used and wore out,
and were either tossed out or cut up and integrated into newer work.

Or snapped up by collectors....

Chuck Wagner

Chuck Wagner

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 05-11-2004 04:48 PM:

Uzbek Saye Gosha or Segusha

Chuch, Steve and All- Another from Kalter.

Spoon bag, camel headress, bag shaped wall hanging, and of course the object at the bottom described as "ornamental strips for decorating the bedding stacked on chests", all from the Lakai Uzbek- Dave