Women's Customs Among the Tajiks. Women's Tuesday, Bibi Seshambe


This photograph of a gathering of Tajik women ("Women's Tuesday" or "Bibi-Seshambe") is from Turkestan Album, one of the richest sources of visual information on the cultural monuments of Central Asia as they appeared in the 19th century. This multi-volume work was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of Konstantin P. von Kaufman, a Russian army general and the first governor-general of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire's Central Asian holdings were called. Kaufman held that position from 1867 to 1886, during which time he played a major role in establishing Russia's dominant position in Central Asia. The forces of conquest were followed by administrators and entrepreneurs, as well as scholars interested in documenting the region's cultural heritage. The primary photographic compilers for the Turkestan Album were Aleksandr L. Kun (1840-88), an orientalist attached to the army, and Nikolai V. Bogaevskii (1843-1912), a military engineer. The Tajiks, many of whom came into the Russian Empire after the conquest of the Khanate of Kokand, are related by both culture and language to the Iranian peoples. The women, in patterned robes and headdresses, are seated outdoors on a carpet, with a large earthen wall in the background. The basic component of their meal is a type of flat bread (lavash).

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Женские обычаи у Таджиков. Женский вторник, Биби-Сешамбэ

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen

Last updated: September 29, 2014