This colourful women’s skull cap was purchased along with six more items by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli in 2023, from Augusta Auction Company, based out of Vermont, USA, to enhance The Zay Initiative collection.
This is a typical Turkmen women’s skull cap or (tahiya)/(taqiya) with a flat top and has been attributed to the Turkmen tribes of Afghanistan by the previous collector.
The previous collector had also attributed this piece as a men’s accessory, however, Turkmen men’s tahiya typically come with a conical crown while flat crown tahiya like this are worn by women.
It is hand woven in an array of colourful silk threads – orange, purple, black, yellow, and white – depicting abstract and geometric designs. It is very similar in style to the silk skull caps typical of Bokhara, Uzbekistan which are far removed from the typical black skull caps Uzbek men.
The base of the cap is possibly a thick layer of felt which has been thickly embroidered with silk threads. The piece is completely hand stitched and unlined.
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