Uzbek toy-pennywhistles khushtak
According to historical handbooks, the most ancient toy, preserved to this day is ceramic one. In this regard, the Uzbek national painted toy-whistles "khushtak" became very famous. "Hushtak" is an Uzbek clay toy - a whistle of very weak firing.
In olden times Uzbek toy hushtak was made for everyone individually, as it was a mascot. Our ancestors believed in its magical ability to guard against dark forces, protect from evil eye and disease. The whistling, for example, caused "water of mercy" - a spring rain – “obi rahmat”. It could cause the wind, scare away the evil spirit. Most often Uzbek national toys khushtaks were given a fairy-zoomorphic image in the form of lambs, horses, dogs, elephants, birds, as well as fantastic animals - dragons and animals unknown to nature, saddled with a rider.
The origins of the form of clay toys khushtaks go far into the period of Zoroastrism in the territory of Central Asia. Since ancient times Uzbek hushtak had a sacred meaning in itself; and served as a talisman.
It is curious that even with the advent of Islam, Uzbek toy khushtak continued to fulfill its role as a pre-Islamic cult. The production of these Uzbek clay toys, as a rule, was timed to coincide with the holiday of the spring equinox of Navruz - the beginning of agricultural work. Hopes for a harvest, for a life without troubles in the next year were associated with khushtaks. Uzbek clay toys hushtaks were made and handed out to children, so that, running around with toys through fields and gardens, they whistled off evil spirits and called for abundant rains.
This particular pottery fishery has come down to our days. The secrets of molding and baking were passed on to the families from generation to generation. Today, clay toys in Uzbekistan are fired, as in the old days, in special constructions of round and oval shape, similar to tandyrs (Uzbek traditional ovens). The products are specially laid with "kalanchiks" - fragments of broken utensils, to keep the identical temperature when firing.
Nowadays, such Uzbek traditional toys are being made in the vicinity of ancient Bukhara.
Kubaro Babaeva, known as Kubaro opa from the Bukhara region, the village of Uba is a hereditary toy-maker. The village of Uba is considered an ancient ceramic center. Kubaro opa is a follower of the famous craftswoman from Uba, Khamro Rakhimova. Khamro Rakhimova is the most famous craftswoman of the last century. Khamro Rakhimova lived all her life in the village of Uba, not far from Gijduvan, Bukhara region. And in due time, in the sixties she shocked archaeologists. Few people suspected which ancient skill Khamro Rakhimov kept. During the excavations in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) clay toys were discovered, the age of which was more than a millennium. And what was the astonishment of archaeologists when they compared the toys of Khamro Rakhimova with those found in excavations. They were practically indistinguishable. Uzbek traditional toys from the village of Uba are very canonic: in shape, in elements, in details, in clay and paints. These are most often animal figurines. Each of the figures can carry other figures.
Also, the real brand of Uzbekistan are ceramic "babaychiki" - lovely, brightly painted figures of funny people in Uzbek national costumes. Each figure is a work of art and unlike each other. Here is an old aksakal (alderman) with a bright yellow Uzbek cake in his hands; another mustachioed little man carries a watermelon and a melon from the market; a tea-man is next to a teapot or a shish kebab or a plate with pilaf; and here is an old man on a merry donkey. But all of them are united by merry and kind faces. These figures are made in different sizes - from a matchbox, similar to Japanese netsuke, to huge, in the growth of a person. And in both cases, all the features of the costume and objects are depicted in detail.
The Uzbek clay toy is a small, inexpensive, but an excellent souvenir and a gift for the memory of Uzbekistan tour package.