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WATCH LIVE: Reviving a Silk Road Tradition on NHK World Japan, Asia Insight

by Bibi Hanum February 21, 2019


Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent was once an oasis along the Silk Road. Today, local fashion workshop Bibi Hanum is creating items that use the patterns and crafts of ikat, a traditional woven fabric. Workshop founder and designer Muhayo Aliyeva works with the rural artisans who have kept the technique alive. She creates modern dresses and accessories as a way to convey the beauty of ikat to a wider audience. Aliyeva hopes to not only conserve traditional crafts, but to also increase female employment through her workshop and partners’ studios. Follow Aliyeva as she works alongside local women to revive the traditions of the Silk Road.

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7 thoughts on “WATCH LIVE: Reviving a Silk Road Tradition on NHK World Japan, Asia Insight

  • Chris Martens

    What Muhayo has done single-handedly is build a social enterprise from the ground up, dedicated to learning, teaching, and exploring the great potential of her rich Uzbek culture and traditions. Kudos to Muhayo, her family and the talented women whose skill, perseverance and kindness bring it all to fruition.

    February 26, 2019 at 2:12 PM
    • Bibi Hanum

      Thank you Chris for your kind words. We truly appreciate your support throughout the time that you have been around us. Love, Muhayo

      February 26, 2019 at 5:52 PM
  • Michaele Thunen

    Dearest Muhayo,
    This is such an exquisite film of you and your workshop. I feel honored to have met you and to have so many beautiful ikat pieces of clothing, shoes and handbags that you and your “work family”
    made. I feel as though they were made especially for me. I have worn them with joy and pride, receiving comments from men and women of all ages, which allows me to share Uzbekistan with them. This then, enables me to explain your forward-thinking means of preserving this incredible craft, by employing talented women, who have previously not been able to work outside their homes. And I have to say, having been in your workshop, I can attest to the feeling I received from the beautiful Uzbek women who work for you…they are indeed happy, gracious and open to engaging with a stranger from the United States, who doesn’t speak one word of their language. That didn’t stop you, or them, from welcoming me into your world.
    I admire and respect your tenacity, your drive, and your goal to revive and share this amazing craft, with the world, as well as your ability to “do it all”. You’ve kept your family, lovingly intact, while at the same time, you have provided a space for your personal family and your work family to intermingle, and thrive, at their home away from home. You and a handful of other like-minded artisans enriched my “trip of a lifetime” to Uzbekistan. I can hardly wait to return to your open-hearted country and love sharing your story with everyone I meet. I look forward to seeing you, once again, in Santa Fe, this summer. With Nothing but Admiration, Michaele Thunen

    Other talented artisans from Uzbekistan:
    Madina Kasimbaeva – Hand Stitched Suzani’s and Clothing – Tashkent, Uz
    Rasul Mirzaakhmedov – Hand-Woven Ikat Fabrics – Margilan, Uz
    Yuriy Pak – Hand Wood Block Printed Scarves – Tashkent, Uz
    Nargis Bekmuhamedova – Hand-Made Clothing using vintage Textiles – Samarkand, Uz

    March 03, 2019 at 3:58 AM
  • Bibi Hanum

    Dear Michaele,

    Thank you for these positive remarks. We are very happy that we have such supporters like you. I look forward to seeing you again.

    Warmest regards,

    March 04, 2019 at 7:02 AM
  • Anonymous

    This was an interesting program, touching on a variety of issues. It had particularly resonated with me, because Uzbekistan used to be a Soviet republic and I am familiar with that region. Since gaining its independence it has struggled with the same problems as other newly independent former republics, such as corruption and failing infrastructure, but, in addition, Uzbekistan has its own unique set of challenges as well. As this program alluded, the tribal patriarchal society stifles development in many areas. It is quite remarkable, then, that Muhayo Aliyeva was able to build her own successful business, and she is bringing incremental changes to the lives of people around her. Ms. Aliyeva is a woman of many talents, and seems to be equally good navigating such diverse areas as languages, marketing, fashion, and management. Seeing her at work, hearing her thoughts gave me enormous respect for this woman. The program is commendable for not only selecting such an inspiring subject, but also for placing her story into the context of Uzbekistan’s society.

    March 28, 2019 at 3:42 PM
  • Anonymous

    To begin, I have to say that I feel this is one of the best episodes that NHK World-Japan has ever produced, of any show. The topic was interesting and engaging, and I found myself totally drawn into life in Uzbekistan and the career of Muhayo. I became very fascinated with her journey and all she has accomplished. What struck me the most was how she built up her company from nothing, learned from failure, and began to thrive. I was impressed with the way she and her sister run the shop, and the comfortable work environment they have created. Building that type of work opportunity for Uzbek women is nothing short of amazing, considering what I have learned from this program. Muhayo is very inspiring to me, and I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this program. I wish it had been longer. Excellent.

    March 28, 2019 at 3:42 PM
  • Anonymous

    I’m watching “Asia Insight” for years already, but I still think the opening is stunning. Today’s episode was great – the theme was interesting and inspiring, the content covered many aspects and topics and was very informative yet easy to follow and comprehend. And all questions that arose during this program received a sufficient answer. For example, how 90 percent of the purchase orders come from abroad. Explaining why the fashion brand didn’t find so many admirers at home, and even showing hate comments, was done understandably and at the right time in the program. The introduction was excellently done and intriguing. The choice and order of themes were good too. The focus at the end shifted a bit more to the female inferiority in the Uzbek society, but considering how this influences the brand’s work, it was tolerable.

    March 28, 2019 at 3:42 PM