UNESCO presents the results of its 4th annual Handicraft programme in Central Asia

22 October 2007

Gathered in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, from 24 to 26 September, the UNESCO international jury of experts in handicraft has completed the judging of the 2007 submissions received from artisans from Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan participating in the UNESCO flagship programme ‘Seal of Excellence for Handicraft Products’.

Established to encourage craft-workers to use traditional skills and materials, the Seal of Excellence programme (referred to as the Seal) aims to ensure the continuation of traditional knowledge and skills and the preservation of cultural diversity in the region. By recognizing excellence in craftsmanship, the programme aims to set quality standards, raise international awareness and strengthen market demand for Central Asian handicraft products.

The Seal programme was initiated in 2001 by the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Office in Bangkok and the ASEAN Handicraft Promotion and Development Association (AHPADA). In 2004 the programme was expanded to Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). In 2006 the UNESCO Beijing office successfully launched the Seal programme in East Asia (China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Republic of Korea). UNESCO's partner for the Seal programme in Central Asia since 2004 is the Central Asian Crafts Support Association (CACSA). In 2007 Iran joined the Seal programme in Central Asia.

"The handicraft sector is a major contributor to sustainable economic development and the eradication of poverty in local economies," says the Regional Advisor for Culture, UNESCO Bangkok, Richard Engelhardt. "It is an important industry that encourages innovation whilst preserving culture and local traditions. The Seal is awarded to products that meet high standards of quality, social and environmentally responsible production as well as cultural authenticity, and as such plays an important role in promoting handicrafts to capture consumer confidence which will strengthen new markets."

The panel of judges and experts in design, marketing and handicraft production met in September at the "Lakhuti" Theatre, Dushanbe, Tajikistan to review the submissions of crafts ranging from jewelry and toys to household decorations and garments. Each craft item was reviewed according to 5 key criteria including excellence, authenticity, innovation, marketability and eco-friendliness.

The UNESCO Seal of Excellence was awarded to 37 handicraft products out of 120 entries: 16 from Kyrgyzstan, 2 from Kazakhstan, 6 from Iran, 2 from Tajikistan and 11 from Uzbekistan.

Dinara Chochunbaeva, President of CACSA, says that "the results of judging showed that it is necessary to continue work on improving the quality of handicraft products and increasing the awareness of artisans in the field of marketing and pricing."

The regular implementation of the UNESCO Seal of Excellence for Handicraft Products in Central Asia is an important contribution to the promotion of traditional Central Asian craftsmanship in the world crafts market, to the mutual enrichment of Central Asian traditional cultures, a better understanding of other cultures and development of intercultural dialogue for peace and security in the region as well as globally.

The Award ceremony and Press-conference are scheduled for 1 December 2007 in Almaty, Kazakhstan during the Annual Central Asian Crafts Fair.

Results of the Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts Programme in Central Asia for 2007

The Seal of Excellence programme for Handicraft Products in Central Asia - 2007 was implemented by CACSA in close cooperation with the UNESCO Bangkok Office, UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office and the International Artisans Foundation “Haftpaikar”, Tajikistan.

Partners of CACSA are its member-organizations in the countries of Central Asian region:

Kazakhstan: Public Foundation “Our Heritage”

Kyrgyzstan: Artisans Group “Kenesh”

Iran: Ministry of Industries of Iran

Turkmenistan: NGO “Folk Artisans”

Uzbekistan: Bukhara Crafts Development Centre

The UNESCO Seal of Excellence was awarded to 37 handicraft products: 16 from Kyrgyzstan, 2 from Kazakhstan, 6 from Iran, 2 from Tajikistan and 11 from Uzbekistan.

In 2007 there were 120 submissions in 6 categories (textiles, natural fibers, c eramics, wood, metal, o ther):

Kyrgyzstan: 46 submissions

Kazakhstan: 8 submissions

Iran: 19 submissions

Tajikistan: 12 submissions

Turkmenistan: 7 submissions

Uzbekistan: 28 submissions

International Jury members in 2007:

Chairperson :

Ms. Vanessa Achilles, Programme Officer, Office of the UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO Bangkok Office

Members :

Mr. Yuri Peshkov, Culture Specialist, UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office

Ms. Mimi Robinson, International designer, creator of the programme “Bridging Cultures through Design”, USA

Ms. Dinara Chochunbaeva, International expert, President of Central Asian Crafts Support Association, Kyrgyzstan

Ms. Mukarama Kayumova, Costume designer, President of International Artisans Foundation “Haft Paikar”, Tajikistan


Ms. Matluba Bazarova, Director, Bukhara Crafts Development Centre, Uzbekistan

Mr. Mohammad Reza Bazeghi, Iran Handicrafts Organization, Ministry of Industry and Mine, Iran

Dr. Hamid Hajipour, Representative of Iran

List of Central Asian handicraft products awarded with Seal of Excellence in 2007:

Kazakhstan :

- Set of cushions “September in Charyk”, Ms. Tatiana GUSEVA

- Wall hanging “Celestial Chariot”, Mr. Muhamedjan ZEINELHAN

Kyrgyzstan :

- Felt Shyrdak, Ms. Janyl ALIBEKOVA

- Family (six souvenir dolls), Ms. Kalipa ASANAKUNOVA

- Doll “Meerim”, Ms. Kalipa ASANAKUNOVA

- “Pictogram” line of scarves, Ms. Aidai ASANGULOVA

- “Flora” line of silk-felt scarves, Ms. Raikul AHMATOVA

- Flower “Aigul”, “Tatiana Vorotnikova” Design Studio

- “Bakhcha”, “Tatiana Vorotnikova” Design Studio

- Fauna of Kyrgyzstan, “Tatiana Vorotnikova” Design Studio

- Decorative cushions “Summer”, Ms. Erke DJUMAGULOVA

- Collection of baby’s bootees, Ms. Mira KABYLBEKOVA

- Felt boots “Day & Night”, Ms. Gulmira KUTUEVA

- Silk poncho “Life”, Ms. Burul MAMBETOVA

- Chopo-Choo traditional musical instrument, Mr. Bakyt ORMOKEEV

- Felt shyrdak, Public Foundation "MSDSP KG"

- "New Year", Ms. Galina TURDYEVA

- Line of silk-felt hats, Ms. Kadyrkul SHARSHENBIEVA

Iran :

- Khatam box, Mr. Mohammad Ebrahim Golriz Khatami

- Silver filigree chocolate basket, Mr. Abdolhamid Moharer

- Block printing (bed spread & prayer mat), Mr. Alireza Botlani Yadegher

- Inlaid with silver on rosary, Mr. Reza Nezamipoor Azari

- Napped carpet (Gelim Ghashghaei ) in two sides, Ms. Fatemeh Mohammadi Kashkooli

- Silk Varni (Azerbaijan local carpet), Mr. Mohammad Gholi Aghaie

Tajikistan :

- Ceramic set, Mr. Suhrob SAIDOV

- Silver set, Mr. Niezali ESHBURIEV

Uzbekistan :

- Collection of wooden pen-boxes, Mr. Amindjon AHMEDOV

- "Suzane" traditional embroidery with ancient ornaments, Ms. Matluba BAZAROVA

- Carpet of Boysun school with “Ok En” traditional embroidery, Ms. Holida BOBOHONOVA

- Carpet of Boysun school with “Kurbaka Pushti” traditional ornament, Ms. Holida BOBOHONOVA

- Line of shawls: “Morning Star” and “Orient”, Ms. Shoira GANIEVA

- “Shahnoza” fabric, Ms. Shoira GANIEVA

- “Adras” fabric in “Ikat” technique, Mr. Asatillo KOSIMOV

- Casket with “Gulchaman” traditional ornament, Mr. Zarif SATTOROV

- Gilded traditional ear-rings “Halki Bukhori”, Mr. Alisher HAIDAROV

- Casket with artistic painting, Mr. Shoolim SHAMANSUROV

- Carpet of Boysun school with “Imomsultoni Gilami” ornament, Ms. Roziya ESHONKULOVA

The handicrafts awarded with UNESCO Seal of Excellence during the programme implementation in the region were exhibited in 2007 in special booths of the world prestigious craft fairs: Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, USA and "Maison & Objet", Paris, France.

All handicraft products awarded with the Seal are listed on the websites of the UNESCO Offices in Bangkok, Beijing, New Delhi and Almaty by sub-region. Sealed handicrafts of Central Asia are exhibited in the CACSA salon at the address: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Manaschy Sagynbay street 162 a.

Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/unesco-presents-the-results-of-its-4th-annual-handicraft-programme-in-central-asia