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Hunting cloth (chireh), used in North Afghanistan to disguise the hunter. Afghanistan, mid-20th century. TRC 2016.1773Hunting cloth (chireh), used in North Afghanistan to disguise the hunter. Afghanistan, mid-20th century. TRC 2016.1773As part of the 2017 Asia Year celebrations in Leiden, the Textile Research Centre is presenting a fascinating and colourful exhibition about textiles, dress and jewellery from Central Asia: the so-called ‘Stans’ (‘Land of…’), namely Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The exhibition includes traditional textiles, garments and accessories for men, women and children, from all parts of this vast and relatively unknown part of the world. On display there are many items including ikats, velvets and embroideries from the ‘Stans’ in general. But there are also more specific items, such as Afghan chapans (the type of coat made famous by ex-President Hamid Karzai, and which he wore during his visit to Leiden in 2008), buzkashi apparel (used in the "goat-grabbing" game of Central Asia), as well as hunting hoods and cloths, used to 'hide' the hunter. From Uzbekistan there are examples of the famous suzani embroideries and ikat dresses and coats.

An important element of the exhibition is a beautiful collection of ethnic jewellery from among the Turkmen of Afghanistan, on special loan from May and Rolando Schinasi, who lived and worked in Afghanistan for many years prior to the start of the civil war in 1978.

A digital TRC exhibition on the same theme can be viewed here.

The exhibition has been sponsored by the Leiden University Central Asia Initiative.

The exhibition is open to the general public from 12th September until (and including) 21st December 2017.


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Hogewoerd 164
2311 HW Leiden.
Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 /
+31 (0)6 28830428  

Open on Mondays - Thursdays
from 10.00 - 16.00.

Bank account number:
NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59,
Stichting Textile Research Centre

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome!

TRC Gallery exhibition:
5 Febr. -25 June 2020: American Quilts

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The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Stichting Textile Research Centre.
Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
Financial donations to the TRC can also be made via Paypal: