Artists - Devlet Saray Museum

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The Crimean Tatars had an ancient tradition of craft production based on the use of local and partly imported raw materials. Social forms of organization and production technology, artistic design of products of Crimean Tatar artisans have experienced diverse cultural influences (Byzantine, Italian, Arabic, Iranian, Seljuk and Turkish-Ottoman). Evidence of these influences was not only the direct contacts of representatives of the peoples, but also the goods, a large number of which were supplied to the Crimea.

Crimean Tatar crafts reached their peak during the Crimean khanate. The level of development and specialization of crafts in the state reached such a level that craft workshops began to arise. They were well-organized organizations with their own written "selef-nameh" Charter-the rules of their ancestors. The elected bearer of this peculiar Guild code, developed on the basis of Sharia, was the Presidium of the production organization, consisting of three persons: "usta-Bashi" — the head of the masters, "Yigit-Bashi" — his assistant and "chausha" — the headman, who performed various technical tasks. Esnaf-Bashi, the head of the workshops, was in charge of all the workshops.

In the Crimea there were workshops of armourers, bakers, cooks, weavers, tanners, stonemasons, carpenters, blacksmiths, torbochniki, foundry-minters, potters, etc.; the number of them reached 50.

In the cities and villages of the Mountainous Crimea, specialized craft centers were formed: Bakhchisarai was distinguished by the production of copper dishes, leather, Karasubazar-koshma, Bakla-pottery, Ozenbash-charcoal, Sudak-kilims (carpets). In the trade and craft centers of the Crimean khanate-Bakhchisarai, Karasubazar, Gezlev, Akmesdzhit — craft workshops were located in rows on the main street of the city. Masters worked right in front of passers-by, never making a secret of their craft. The necessary goods could be purchased immediately.

Among the crafts, the shop of tanners enjoyed special respect among the Crimean Tatars. According to the Muslim legend about the origin of crafts, it was considered the earliest. The skins of goats, sheep, horses, and oxen were processed. Local craftsmen produced fine suede, shagreen, and Morocco. They were used for the production of horse harness, clothing, shoes, handbags, purses. The most famous were the Crimean saddles, which were valued in many countries for their convenience for riding, ease and beauty.

Weaving was widespread among the Crimean Tatars. In fact, every house had a loom in the hall. Girls from the age of ten were trained in the production of cotton fabric "Atma". Professional weavers were only men. Various types of fabrics were produced from wool, flax, hemp, and imported cotton. "Yuzbez" — towels, "marama", "feredzhe" — women's capes, "kilim" — carpets, clothes were made. These items were produced in large quantities, as they formed the bride's dowry, which was prepared long before the wedding. Felt and carpets covered the floor of the house, and bedspreads, towels, and embroidery were used to decorate the walls and ceiling.

In the production of metal products, iron, steel, cast iron, bronze, copper, tin, silver, and gold were used. The Crimean Tatars preferred copper dishes, which were built on "rafts" - shelves for home decoration. Crimean Tatar masters produced knives and daggers that were distinguished by the quality of the blade and the elegance of the handle. Knives were trimmed with gold and silver, inlaid with walrus bone and wild goat horn. The most common technique used by Crimean jewelers was the filigree technique. Jewelry was made of thin corrugated wire. Favorite ornaments of Crimean Tatar women were "Altyn-sealing wax" - brooch, "coupe" - earrings, "boyunjak" - beads, "bilezlik" — bracelets," Yuzyuk " — rings," gerdanlyk "-bib," sash — bash " - buckle.

Masters of the besikchi-ve-sandykchi workshop performed all kinds of artistic and technical work on wood decoration of mosques," K'ave-Khane " (coffee shops), palaces of khans, beys and murzas. There were also made beshik-rocking cradles for children, Sandyk - chests made of walnut wood inlaid with bone and light-colored wood, polyhedral tables "kursu", also decorated with inlay, various household items.

With the fall of the Crimean khanate, the crafts of the Crimean Tatars entered a period of deep crisis, and with the deportation of 1944 practically ceased to exist. Currently, the first attempts are being made to revive craft production, in particular, "kilims" (carpets), embroidery, jewelry.