A silver-mounted kamar belt




Central Asia, Bukhara


Late 19th or early 20th century


Forging, chasing, engraving, openwork carving, nielling, gilding, sewing, embroidering


Silver, leather, cotton fabric, silk


Length 972 mm; width 72 mm

The leather strip is covered on the obverse side with cotton fabric embroidered with colored silk threads in a geometric pattern. The massive two-section buckle, ten figured plaques and a small convex roundel are made of silver and decorated with stylized floral motifs using the niello technique. The buckle is flanked by openwork scrolls and fitted with an oval-shaped central panel, which is engraved and gilded with arabesque motifs (eslimi) on a niello background.

COMMENT. Kamar is a traditional Uzbek men’s belt made of leather, velvet, silk or cotton fabric. Silk and cotton belts are usually decorated with complex embroidery, while leather belts are often covered with embroidered fabric. The belt mounts including a massive buckle are usually made of silver. The most expensive belts have silver, rarely gold mounts that are inlaid with precious or semiprecious stones. Kamar has always been not only an important part of the Uzbek national costume, but also a symbol of manhood and an indicator of the owner’s social status.