Decorations of tatar
The jeweler’s art of the Volga Tatars is wholly associated with the decoration of a women’s costume, which clearly reflects the peculiarities of their way of life, culture and artistic taste. Like most of the peoples of Russia, for centuries Tatars have carefully preserved their traditions in the field of form and ornamentation of national clothes. The costume of the XIX century inherited ancient features associated with the remnants of the nomadic way of life. The female national costume had much in common with the male costume: in both of them the basic elements were a shirt and trousers. In women, he consisted of a free long dress-shirt with a low standing collar and a longitudinal cutout on his chest, trousers such as trousers and a camisole.
The dress always had a coquette or frill of various widths, which somewhat varied its simple, concise form. Over the dress, a sleeveless camisole was put on, finally becoming fashionable in the 19th century. Sometimes, for decorative purposes, the jacket was covered with fur. Pants, the same for men and women, always refueled in stockings or boots – the douche. The latter were typical for the Tatars kind of shoes and made up the most original part of their national costume. These boots were sewn from pieces of colorful leather and, along with a smart headdress, served as an important element of the bright color of Tatar clothes.
Multicolored, built on the most unexpected color combinations, gave the costume of Tatar women an amazing expressiveness. The materials were motley fabrics – from simple chintzes to rich elegant brocade. Most often in their ornamentation oriental motifs were used.
Polychrome fabric, being the main artistic means of decorating a costume, excludes embroidered decoration, popular with other peoples of the Volga region.
Organic addition of the colorful color scheme of clothes were numerous jewelry – head, neck, chest, wrist and other, multi-colored stones and gilding of which further enhanced the decorative merits of the costume and made up with him a single composition ensemble. Tatar jewelry was distinguished by a significant variety of types, forms, techniques and decorative solutions. Some of them performed, besides decorative, utilitarian functions, being used as collars of a collar of a dress and a camisole. All of them occupied their specific place in the women’s suit and were its obligatory accessory.
Of the many types of women’s jewelry, the most original cervical and breastpieces. Among them, the most specific decoration, characteristic only of the Tatar national costume, was the so-called collar clasp with pendants. This very unusual antique decoration consisted of a rectangular, oval or leaf-shaped closure itself that fastened the ends of the collar of the dress, and several chain-pendant chains that consisted of large plates or coins. The fastener had two identical parts connected together by means of a hook, each half of which was firmly sewn to the fabric of the collar. Similar buckles without pendants served to fasten the jacket. As a rule, the collar buckle was rarely performed in one technique. Sometimes it combined elements of filigree and chased work. The abundance of stones and gilding made this interesting decoration very spectacular and colorful. Collar fasteners were most widely distributed among the wealthy Tatars and were particularly popular in the XIX century, pushing to the background second-place necklaces that were widely used once.
Another, not less original, typically Tatar breast ornament was a sling. It was worn over the shoulder, made of fabric, which was sewn all kinds of small metal products: plates with stones of various sizes and shapes, tokens, coins, chains, buttons and objects of an amulet character. The more wealthy the owner of this decoration was, the richer it was decorated. Since ancient times the sling was, obviously, connected with the custom of wearing amulets and was used exclusively as a festive decoration.
The original decoration of the Tatar women’s clothes was a breastplate that covered the cut of the shirt on his chest. A variety of metal objects were also sewn onto its fabric base.
To the group of head jewelery, widely distributed among the Tatars, include hocks and earrings. Both these products were constantly worn and equally respected by all classes. Nakonniki were the most ancient and traditional decoration not only of the Tatars, but also of many peoples of the East and Central Asia. Tatar women, regardless of age, braided two braids, to the ends of which this ornament was attached. Simple hosniki consisted of coins on a cord, woven into a braid; more complex – from one or more decorative plates with stones and pendants in the form of coins and buttons. To the upper plate always soldered the ear for the passing of the lace. There were also double hairs, which were attached immediately to the two braids.
With a considerable variety of forms and decorative solutions, the Tatars did not produce a national type of earrings. Often there were earrings, similar to Russian and Oriental models. Tatars wore earrings as small in size, and quite large, all-metal and openwork, with inserts of stones and without them. By design, the earrings most often consist of two or three movably connected parts.
Ornaments of hands – bracelets, rings – were also worn constantly. Among the bracelets, three main varieties can be distinguished: undivided lamellar, consisting of two or three fragments and chain-shaped.
Plate – solid obrupviznye or with open ends – had a different width and richly decorated with stones, gilding, chased or engraved ornamentation, tightly clasped the arm and had a clasp. This type of bracelets was the oldest and was the most common among the Tatars. Bracelets in the form of chains consisted of large stones in a frame or from identical, often filigree plaques, connected to each other.
The rings belonged to the few jewelry pieces that women and men alike wore. Usually the Tatars put on the bottom or two rings, but the richer decorated all the rings with rings. The most common were rings with inserts of colored glass, and also in the form of seals, decorated with black and engraved.
There were rings of Dagestan type – with massive opening flaps – and others, the flap of which had the form of a round or rectangular plate engraved on its surface with Arabic inscriptions. The latter, obviously, had the character of talismans. The inscriptions on the stones, playing and ornamental role, enhanced the decorative quality of the items.
In a special group of jewelry items can be attributed plaques of various shapes and sizes that did not have in the suit of independent value, and often were included as separate elements in other ornaments. In the artistic decision of these products the whole variety of technical and ornamental techniques, which the Tatar masters owned, could not be better reflected. Usually, these plates had a star or rectangular shape, with corners cut off. Their metal surface was decorated with chased or engraved ornamentation and was abundantly decorated with colored stones.
Various metal products were manufactured most often from silver of different samples, less often from gold and copper. A considerable part of the ornaments for ornamental purposes was gilded.
Of all the techniques that all masters have owned, special attention should be paid to the technique of the so-called knobby, or, as it was also called, relief filigree, the most common and characteristic for the Tatars, which requires the highest skill. In this technique, usually produced only expensive and valuable jewelry. The tubercle filigree is an exceptionally original phenomenon, the result of a rich heritage of local jewelry art. Its main difference from flat openwork and patch filigree is that the ornament in the form of cone-shaped tubercles, recruited from a thin wire, prominently protrudes above the surface of the product, giving it weight and volume. If only a few jewelers owned this complex technique, the methods of stamping, embossing, engraving, and mobile were widely spread and mastered by the masters. With their help, original ornamental compositions were created, the motives of which were plant patterns in the form of stylized flowers, leaves, branches. Such an ornament was characteristic of all areas of the artistic creativity of the Tatars, since the laws of the Muslim religion, which most of them professed, forbade the representation of living beings. Vegetative motifs of ornamentation of metal ornaments ranged from clear naturalistic images to strongly generalized, almost conditional ones. Always consistent with the shape of the object, the ornament was freely placed in its plane, covering most of the entire surface of the product.
Perfectly using the artistic expressiveness of the material, the Tatar jewelers skillfully combined various techniques of metal processing with bright contrasting stones, while achieving an exceptional decorative effect.
The stones gave the decorations a great color, typical for the whole Tatar art. The methods of using stones in jewelry are varied. In some, they formed the basis of the product, and the metal played only a subordinate role, performing purely constructive functions. In other ornaments, the stone was used on a par with metal and made up with it a single ornamental composition. Extremely rare products without stones. The stones in the ornaments were quite picturesque: often large stones were surrounded by small, sometimes inserts of colored stones covered the entire surface of the product or collected in the form of islets. The most favorite stones among the Tatars were carnelian, turquoise, amethyst, aquamarine. In various combinations they are found in almost every decoration, and despite some disharmony in their combinations, the color gamut of the products does not look rude and captivates with originality. The wide use of stones in Tatar jewelry is to some extent explained by the fact that the Tatars gave them a symbolic meaning and used them as amulets. Along with precious and semiprecious stones in all types of Tatar ornaments, colored glass was widely used, which were processed with the same care as any noble stone, and could equip it with one another in the same product.
The most famous center for making unique jewelry was Kazan for a long time. More mass products were created by the masters of the village of Rybnaya Sloboda, where the production of jewelry developed into large-scale handicrafts. In terms of the quality of the performance and the artistic level, the decorations made in the traditions of the Tatar art of the masters of the Fish Village were much inferior to the colorful and elegant products of Kazan jewelers. However, being more accessible to a wide range of customers, they were common everywhere among many peoples of the Volga region and beyond.
Following the established traditions, the Tatar jewelers created original and original decorations, many of which, in their aesthetic qualities and level of professional skill, were not inferior to the best examples of this kind of artistic creativity of other peoples of Russia.