Supporting Kazakh cultural preservation and craft in Western Mongolia
In 2012 Daughters Rising’s co-founder Hannah Herr traveled to Mongolia on a Fulbright scholarship during which she spent 10 months learning from and collaborating with Kazakh-Mongolian women artisans. During this time she developed a collection of products using recycled vintage hand-woven Kazakh “tus kis,” or wall hangings, that are sold exclusively to Daughters Rising.
Kazakh Rope Necklace
Simple yet bold, these ‘stackable’ necklaces are hand-crafted by Kazakh artisans in heart of Mongolia’s Altai mountains. Combining delicate Kazakh-patterned ribbon with repurposed rope (usually utilized for traditional herding lifestyle), these necklaces can we worn casually or to dress up any outfit. Available in a variety of colors, they are perfect for wearing layered together!
Each necklaces measures approximately 24″ long and the rope is 1/2″ in diameter. (Please allow for slight variation as these pieces are handmade!)
Vintage Embroidered Kazakh Bracelet
Made from recycled scraps of Kazakh embroidered wall hangings- called ‘tusk-is’- these bracelets are handmade by women artisans in the heart of Mongolia’s Altai mountains. By repurposing pieces of old wall hangings no longer in use (because of damage or age) these bracelets bring new life to an old labor of love!
Traditionally, the embroidered wall hangings that decorate the inside of Kazakh nomadic houses- called ‘ger’s- are started by a mother when her daughter gets married. After 1 year of marriage this first wall hanging is given as a wedding gift to the couple as their first decoration for their new home. Afterwards the task falls to the daughter to create more wall hangings to decorate her home, until the entire ger is covered in beautiful embroidery! This process can take many years, but the results are always spectacular!
As each bracelet is taken from a different section of a wall hanging, each one is unique! Our color palette options are: Neon mix, Tropical mix, Red/White mix, Blue/Orange mix and Swirled Blue, Pink or Green/Red. They feature a velcro closure which is able to be adjusted to fit.
Kazakh Rope Bracelet
Industrial yet feminine, these rope bracelets are hand-crafted by Kazakh artisans in heart of Mongolia’s Altai mountains. Made from repurposed rope (usually utilized for traditional herding lifestyle) accented with an intricately patterned Kazakh ribbon bow, these bracelets are the perfect splash of color for any outfit. Available in a variety of colors, they are perfect for wearing stacked together!
Each bracelet is adjustable (tied to fit) and the rope is 1/2″ in diameter. (Please allow for slight variation as these pieces are handmade!)
Each piece in Daughters Rising’s Kazakh Collection was collaboratively designed and handmade.
PRESERVING CRAFT IN THE MODERN AGE
The Kazakh population in Bayan-ulgii Mongolia is one of the last remaining areas where traditional Kazakh lifestyle is practiced. As a community nestled in the heart of Mongolia’s Altai mountains, its culture is arguably more traditionally “Kazakh” than even in Kazakhstan, and is consequently the epicenter for traditional Kazakh crafts. However in the age of modernization, the continuation of this craft is at risk, as many of the younger generation abandon the traditional herding lifestyle. The tus kis which make up Daughters Rising’s jewelry are traditionally hand-embroidered to decorate the inside of the Kazakh nomadic house (called a ger) and are initially created as a wedding gift from a mother to a daughter. The mother starts the embroidery at the wedding and gives it to the couple after their first year of marriage. In subsequent years the bride then creates more tus kis herself until the entire ger is covered, making the inside of kazakh gers some of the most spectacularly decorated interiors in the world! Kazakh embroidery (as well as traditional weaving, felting and wool-wrapped straw) are techniques passed from mother to daughter, and are a pillar of Kazakh cultural identity in Mongolia.
CREATIVE COLLABORATION ON THE STEPPE
Each piece in Daughters Rising’s Kazakh Collection was collaboratively designed and handmade by Hannah Herr and the talented Kazakh artisan Inargul (Inaa). Inaa collects vintage tus kis (no longer in use because of damage or age) from other Kazakh nomadic herders and repurposes them into various products. The Kazakh Collection takes that recycling process a step further, using the embroidery scraps left over from other products to compose beautiful and one-of-a-kind jewelry such as collage necklaces andcuffs. The collection also combines traditional Kazakh-patterned ribbon and ropes used for herding into striking necklaces, bracelets and belts.
BRINGING THE ART OF THE ALTAI TO THE WORLD
With the purchase of each Kazakh product, you are reinforcing that Kazakh craft is a valuable tradition that should be preserved, and bringing awareness of the beauty of Kazakh culture to the world! Wear your Kazakh Collection jewelry in solidarity!