If suzanis were flowers, I think they would be dahlias or zinnias. Not only are they happy and colorful, they are remarkable, intricate hand stitched textiles with great meaning and historically deep traditions. The name “Suzani” is derived from the Persian word for “Needle”.
Customarily upon a daughter’s birth in Uzbekistan, the women of the family would begin working together to create these hand sewn masterpieces for her dowry. The strong bonds of the female family are evident in the thousands of stitches and masterful techniques passed down from one generation to the next. The craftsmanship, patterns, and vibrant colors were a source of pride for each family. Often the most proficient and pleasing suzanis would convey the talent of the family and thus help make a more prestigious match for the daughter’s marriage. The notably important wedding ceremony in Central Asian tribal society represented the fusion of two families and the strengthening and longevity of their tribe. The suzanis were obviously cherished and the colorful art form was used in the wedding celebration as well as the couple’s newly shared home.