Lakai Embroidered Mirror Bag

Lakai Embroidered Mirror Bag


48 x 37 cm excluding fringes


This charming Lakai embroidered mirror bag was made in the early part of the twentieth century.

As with another Lakai embroidery on this website (see ), the silk is embroidered onto a red, finely woven cotton ground. It is worked in chain stitch for both the outlines and the areas.

The central motif of concentric circles with a flower in the middle has a spiral-edged circumference  which is sometimes called burni kiyushik,  or “crooked nose” (see Fitz Gibbon, Kate & Andrew Hale, Uzbek Embroidery in the Nomadic Tradition.  The Jack A. and Aviva Robinson Collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Minneapolis Institute of Art 2007, page 118). This is set within a rectangle contained by the same feature of purple and yellow as the inner circle. Around this rectangle is a display of eight flower heads interspersed with twigs with small white blossoms at their tips. The braiding forming the outer border is original, as is the green fringing as well as the backing of printed cotton (see additional image).

The overall impression is that of a cheerful, happy textile which not only served a practical purpose but also decorated the inside of the yurt when it was displayed (for further information see the description on the Lakai embroidered ilgich on this website, link mentioned above).

The mirror bag is in excellent condition. The purple is fuchsin, an early chemical dye which was introduced in the area in the late nineteenth century.