Kyrgyz ornaments and their meanings

Since ancient times, ornaments have been used in almost all spheres of Kyrgyz life. Patterns on clothes served not only as decoration, but also conveyed a certain semantic meaning. It is like a secret code that only the Kirghiz knew among themselves. Moreover, on their basis, they made certain preferences.

The Kyrgyz, with the help of patterns, coded prosperity and happiness for the future family life of their children, and decorated with ornaments “tumars” – amulets from the evil eye and misfortune.

The Kyrgyz are one of the peoples who expressed their feelings, desires and thoughts through ornaments and patterns.

Similar elements in the ornaments are linked by a chain and constitute a complex of the fine arts of the Kyrgyz people.

Let us look at one of the main household items of the Kyrgyz people. Beautifully embroidered felts and “shyrdaks” – traditional carpets were one of the irreplaceable items in the life of the nomadic Kyrgyz people. Like other products, their beauty and the art of embroidery distinguished them. These items have become widely used in everyday life, and we still find them in almost every Kyrgyz family.

Kyrgyz felt ornaments reflect the realities of the environment, from which you can see the flora and fauna, people, various household items, livestock, nomadic way of life.

One of the main elements of the ornament on shirdaks is the “ram’s horn” or “goat’s horn” ornament. Ornaments in the form of horns complement each other and add flavor to each other. Moreover, there are still three final patterns called “crow’s claws”.

Nowadays, traditions for the production of clothing and household items have been preserved and passed down from generation to generation from mother to daughter. On a larger scale, household items are made in the regions of Kyrgyzstan such as Naryn, the village of Kochkor and the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul.

For example, in Kochkor there is a cooperative of women who work together on one product. Many of them should know the drawing of the Kyrgyz ornament and its semantic meaning.

Also in the village of Kyzyl Tuu there are craftsmen who make traditional Kyrgyz yurts. After preparing the main details of the dwelling, Kyrgyz artisans begin to decorate with patterns by burning or engraving a part of the wooden door of the yurt after decorating with felt. The form of the Kyrgyz yurt differs from the Kazakh and Mongolian yurt in its size, rounded shapes. Kyrgyz yurts are taller, as they are not as susceptible to strong steppe winds as in Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

Modern architects and folk artisans strive to preserve the originality of traditional forms of Kyrgyz ornament. Color plays an important role in the interpretation of Kyrgyz ornament. Color not only introduces rhythmic alternation into the composition of uniform motives, but also creates an ornamental figure, makes possible a different perception of the same patterns.

Looking closely at the Kyrgyz ornaments, you can see the harmonious proportion or golden ratio, which was guided by the famous artist Leonardo da Vinci.