Nomad Kuchi Ethnic Ceremonial Child's Garment, #897

$ 1,000.00

Nomad Kuchi

Ethnic Child's Ceremonial Garment

897. Description: Ethnic handmade Kuchi baby garment. Vintage Traditional Nomad child's ceremonial garment.The piece is decorated by hand with hand made tassels, metals, coins, silver, shells, beads and other ornaments to protect against the evil eye. Front and back are heavily adorned with all these materials. It is a one of a kind piece of art for home decoration and/or a wall handing .

Dimensions: Length: 19", Width: 16".

Condition: Excellent Condition for its age and use.

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Some background on the Kuchi: The Kuchi (The Afghan Nomads): The nomadic Kuchi are potentially the largest vulnerable population in Afghanistan. For centuries their semi-annual migrations with their herds of sheep, goats, donkeys, and camels led to important contributions in terms of skins, meat, and wool to local communities. More than 80% of Afghanistan's land is suitable only for sparse grazing making this sort of seasonal migration ideal. After the war against the Soviet Union, the subsequent years of foreign-imposed war, drought, and ethnic tensions, however, the number of Kuchi, as well as the size of their herds, has dropped dramatically.

The Kuchi were once celebrated in the west as handsome, romantic nomads adorned with silver and lapis jewelry. Traditionally, they have lived by selling or bartering animals, wool, meat, and dairy products for foodstuffs and other items with villagers. As they move from pasture to pasture, the Kuchi are able to escape the limits on the size of local herds, a restriction villagers are subjected to.

Since the fall of the Taliban, life for most Afghans has improved. However, this has not proved true for the Kuchi. Since the 1960's, 70's, and early 80's, the Kuchi population has shrunk by 40% and many of them reside in refugee or displacement camps.

The reasons are numerous. The demise of the Kuchi tradition is the result of continued war, destruction of roads, drought, air raids, Soviet bombing and other war-related causes. These problems were further compounded by the fact that the drought from 1998 to 2002 caused the loss off 75% of the Kuchi herds. Pastures have still not recovered sufficiently. In addition, landmines and other un-exploded ordinances have restricted the areas available for grazing. War also forced many Kuchi to flee their summer grazing lands in parts of central Afghanistan. When they returned, they found that locals in the areas had converted much of their pastures to farming lands.

Consequently, some Kuchi have given up their nomadic lifestyle and have taken up residence on the outskirts of cities, working as laborers. Many express a desire to return to their traditional role, but many aid agencies, however, concentrate on short-term economic and humanitarian aid, rather than the sort of long-term aid the Kuchi would need to rebuild their herds. (Source: Embassy of Afghanistan)
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Some information on the Evil Eye Follows:
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The evil eye is a curse believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury.Talismans created to protect against the evil eye are also frequently called "evil eyes".

The idea expressed by the term causes many different cultures to pursue protective measures against it. The concept and its significance vary widely among different cultures, primarily in West Asia. The idea appears several times in translations of the Old Testament. It was a widely extended belief among many Mediterranean and Asian tribes and cultures. Charms and decorations with eye-like symbols known as nazars, which are used to repel the evil eye are a common sight across Turkey, Greece, Albania, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Southern Italy (Naples), the Levant, and Afghanistan and have become a popular choice of souvenir with tourists. (Source: Wikipedia)