A landlocked country bordering China, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the “land of the Tajiks” has ancient cultural roots. The people now known as the Tajiks are the Persian speakers of Central Asia, some of whose ancestors inhabited Central Asia at the dawn of history. The tradition of artistic embroidery has long been a part of Tajik culture.
In Tajikistan we are working in Khujand, one of Central Asia’s oldest cities in the north of the country. There we have partnered with a social enterprise called Ozara, who coordinate the work of a large number of embroiderers. The craft of embroidery has been passed down by women from generation to generation, and artisans are skilled in bosma and chain stitch embroidery, which is applied to furniture, clothing and decorative items.
Following independence in 1991, Tajikistan faced a series of crises, economic collapse and civil war. Today the country has high emigration, and the many men emigrating to Russia leave large numbers of women and children behind. Jobs are needed in these marginalised communities, giving people a viable alternative to migration. The EFI is now working in Tajikistan to support artisan communities and create employment.
EFI’s work in Tajikistan is proudly supported by the European Union’s Identity Building and Business Sharing Initiative.