Traditional ceramics of Rishtan

The art of Rishtan ceramics had arisen in a deep antiquity. Discovery of its history covered by set of legends is lie ahead. Small in the past the settlement situated in the south of the Ferghana valley on half of way from Ferghana up to Kokand, at border of modern Uzbekistan and Киргизстана, Rishtan is known today as a city of the foremen, one of the largest in Central Asia centers of manufacture of unique glazed ceramic.
Rishtan people brought in existing from the earliest time art bright and original features distinguishing them from everything that was created in this area not only by other peoples but also by neighboring Uzbeks in the ceramic centers. The traditions, being used in the beginning XX of century, by the end of century had disappeared. In this point modern Rishtan craft is by itself the certain phenomenon of stabile development of traditional craft, during many centuries practically without changes kept its stylistic integrity.
Thin ceramics made on a pottery wheel are characteristic for whole Rishtan region and reflect stability of tradition. They distinguish by their grace of a free list, richest vegetative ornament and special color that sounds by all shades of lazurite and turquoise under a thin layer of a transparent glaze. This refinement of a constrained color palette – white – light-blue bichrome gamma with delicate dissemination of brown and lilac colors – determines the style of Rishtan ceramic decor, occasionally surprising with polychrome of warm sunny-yellow tones – relapse of the far past.
Rishtan ceramics cannot be considered in a separation from Ferghana and Uzbekistan ceramic as it is. There is a lot of evidences about its connection with traditions of other pottery craft centers of the Ferghana valley – Kokand, Namangan, Gurumsaray, Andijan, about close relationship with pottery crafts of the Tadjik part of Ferghana valley- Hodjent, Kanibadam, Hurrah – Tube, Chorku, and some similarity with ceramics of old Tashkent, Bukhara, with Horezm foremen technological receptions.
Manufacture of painted ceramics in the territory of the Ferghana oasis is known from the epoch of bronze. While addressing to its sources, we should recollect cultures of ancient tribes, populated a valley Parkana (Ferghana) from II-I c., up to AD – far ancestors of the nowadays Uzbeks and Tadjiks living here.
History of Rishtan ceramic craft remained insufficiently known beginning from of its occurrence down to the middle of XIXc., that is caused by absence of archeological researches on a place of its occurrence. According to the legends, which still exist among the foremen, the ancient potters’ city is in the one of old quarters in modern Rishtan (Roshidon) – mahallya Chinnigaron, near grave yard Sohibiy Hidoya. (Shortly here will begin archeological researches). One of the legends carry its occurrence to the very beginning of XII century (sometimes even to the end of Х century) and craft development connected to the foremen arrived from Bukhara and Samarkand. According to another legend, Rishtan foremen moved to Samarkand in the beginning of XIV-XV c. from mahallya Dahbed and began making painted pottery there and participated in decoration of architectural complexes. The street, on which lived Rishtan foreman, till now known as Dahbedskaya. The related connections between the Rishtan and Samarkand inhabitants, Kanibadam and Hurrah – Tube are still kept. Probably, forthcoming archeological expedition in Rishtan will give not less interesting ware material on a history of potters’ city, than excavations of other ancient cities of the Ferghana valley, and will allow to fill in white pages in its history.
The development of pottery manufacture in Rishtan was promoted by presence of local raw material. Practically all suitable for manufacturing ceramic utensils of clay and the dyes, except for lapis-lazurite and cobalt Rishtan foreman extracted on the place and in the nearest areas. In Rishtan there is reddish clay – hoki surh. “Rishtan potters consider, that their clay is so good, that preliminary processing and exposure time does not require at all “. For manufacturing utensils chinni is used special clay from various places of the Ferghana valley – Chimion red, Uchkurgan yellow fire-resistant or white, friable clay from Tashkent (Angren) or Osh. Necessary components for making up glazes they bring from neighboring places: quartz – ok gosh from Soh or Gurumsaray, white quartz sand – ok kum – from Shibrona or river delta Lailak. For manufacturing angoba they use greasy clay from Isfara, Angren or Kyzyl Kiya. In the past quartz and potash for manufacturing they bought in a ready condition at the Kirghiz, and mineral dyes – at the dealers in Kokand. Nearby from Rishtan, on the slopes of Alay range they got extracted manganese – magl, necessary for extract darkly lilac and dark brown paints, ferruterous clay – jusha, malgash mountain breed, rich with ferrum and chrome oxide, which went on drawing up of a yellow paint. The basic colors of a palette – turquoise and ultramariene – were reached by application brought lojuvard – rock lyapis of a glaze extracted in mountains Badahshan.

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