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Skull-cap (tyubiteyka)

Today I would like to talk about a skull-cap. There is a legend about the creation of the skull-cap. According to this legend, in old and ancient times there were disputes between supporters of orthodox Islam and representatives of nomadic culture, for whom the strict and severe prohibitions of religion were alien.
Arab missionaries wanted to force a young beautiful woman living in the steppe to put a headscarf on her head, following which a fierce struggle was unleashed. As a result, this headscarf was torn out and only a small piece of fabric remained. Having been tired after the long struggle the parties decided to make piece. The woman was allowed not to wear a headscarf, but as a respect to a foreign culture, the same small piece of fabric was to remain on the top of the head. However, winds raged in the steppe, which often carried it away. After that the nomads decided to give it a new shape and created a skull-cap, which is also worn by men. This is just one of the legends.
The name “skull-cap” or as local people call it “tyubeteyka” comes from the Turkic word “tuba”, which means «a peak”.
In Central Asia, skull-caps appeared long before the Muslim religion came there. For example, the symbolism of the ancient Aryans was embroidered on Badakhshan skull-caps.
Unlike our contemporaries the ancient people wore skull-caps not on the very top of the head, their foreheads and even eyebrows were covered by the skull-cap. According to ancient beliefs doing that they covered their “third eye” from the effects of negative energy. A cone-shaped head-dress in those days was supposed to serve as a connection between a man and space. However, skull-caps have a more practical function. As we know, the climate of Central Asia is very hot and most of the time the sun is very severe. In this climate, cotton skull-caps protect your head from the sun. And during sleep they are even used as a night cap.
Today, we will carefully consider the most popular Uzbek skull-caps and reveal the hidden meaning of their ornaments.
Chust skull-cap
This tetrahedral (and it is no mere chance) head-dress has become one of the symbols of Uzbekistan.
Four faces that divide the head-dress into equal parts are designed to protect the wearer from evil forces from all over the world. The black color of the skull-cap symbolizes space and darkness. The ornament is usually embroidered with white thread. Four elements on the upper part of the skull-cap are calampir peppers symbolizing a symbol of life, family well-being and protects from the evil eye.
Sixteen elements in the form of arches deposited on the lower part of the head-dress represent the cyclical nature of life and death. According to legend, these elements attract wealth and give a supply of vital energy. Lamb horns inscribed in arches mean strength and courage.
Bukhara skull-cap
Many tourists acquiring memorable souvenirs prefer a gold embroidered Bukhara skull-cap. And it is not a surprise as some samples can be called and look like a real work of art.
Ornaments embroidered with gold and silver threads can tell a lot. They indicate the high status of the owner and carry a certain ritual orientation symbolizing the purpose of the event for visiting which they put it on.
The main elements are the nightingale’s eye, the sparrow’s tongue, the dome, stars and circles, symbolizing the goal.