National Arts of Uzbekistan
Handmade goods of Andijan's artisans
What a delightful visit the Andijan bazaar provides. Along the lanes, blacksmiths, coppersmiths, wood carvers, cooks, broom makers, and many other masters of handmade items sell their local wares, which you thought had long disappeared from this modern world. Everyone seems excited to see an unfamiliar foreign face (and potential customer), and you will probably be invited for chai (tea ceremony) more than once.
Hidden among the scythes and buckets and knives and baby carriages and jewelry and silk and ceramics and every other various assortment of handmade goods (yes, even an aluminum kitchen sink) sits the small unassuming building of the Artisans Association "Hunarmand".
You are met by a most eclectic variety of hand made dolls, a traditional Central Asian toy made of papier-machee or gourds especially shaped while still on the vine, dolls dressed in hand-sewn folk costumes, complete with minute replicas of Uzbek jewelry, each with her own personality.
Established by his grandfather at the beginning of the century Mirzabakhrorn's ceramic workshop is the last in Andijan, a town once known all over the region for its distinct pottery. Built into the earth, the workshop's temperature is perfect for keeping clay. Enjoy a demonstration of the master at work, hold one of Mirzabakhrorn's beautiful golden-yellow lagan plates and cups in your own hands.