19th Century Lakai Shield

This is a Lakhai (Lakai) embroidered shield made in Uzbekistan in the 19th century. It is made out of wool with a cotton backing, embroidered with silk and with silk tassels.

The Lakhai (or Lakai) are a nomadic tribe of Uzbekistan, northern Afghanistan and Tajikistan. They are known for their brightly colored geometric embroideries. These textiles are highly individualized, made up of abstract designs chosen by the women who made them. Some of these abstractions are sourced from the animal world, though they are expressive rather than representational. Motifs that can be described as scorpions, spiders, snakes, birds of prey and rams’ horns were commonly used, but the individual embroiderer had the freedom to alter these shapes and create her own composition as she saw fit.

This shield is decorated with antler motifs and stylized solar motifs.

Circa: 19th century

Origin: Uzbekistan

Material: Silk embroidery on wool

Condition: Some embroidery worn, ground in good condition

Dimensions: 15" x 22"

Inventory number: TX761



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