Day 4 -Margilan

This morning we went shopping at the Kumtepa Bazaar, one of the largest markets in Uzbekistan. It opens on Thursdays and Sundays when locals come from all over to purchase their necessities.

The ikat shops pop with color.

Our guide assured me that these coats are very popular with the locals.

The market sells all kinds of items, from sewing supplies,

to sausage meats,

to colorful cradles

to cuts of carpet.

A little jewel at the market.

I came across three ladies in a row selling the black hats worn by many of the local men from their handbags.

One of the ladies offered me a hat, and we began an interaction. I wasn’t sure whether the hat was a gift or a sales offer. Finally a young boy came over and translated the price of 50,000 som or about 4 dollars. I wanted to support these kind ladies so bought the handmade hat, which folded up nicely into a small, flat package.

The woman wanted her picture taken but not with her gold teeth showing.

We laughed a lot at her efforts, and she finally gave a smile.

Her friends were more serious.

Next we visited the Yodgorlick Silk Factory where we were greeted by this enormous mulberry tree, planted in 1890.

Silk worms start out the size of a pin head and after 30 days of eating mulberry leaves, they are ready to spin their cocoons.

Silk from the cocoons hang on the workshop walls.

The silkworm pupae, a byproduct of silk production, are eaten in many places in Asia. The guide told us that a Korean visitor tasted one of these on display and suggested they needed salt.

Drawing silk fiber from the cocoons.

Pomegranate rinds sit in the sun to demonstrate their use for natural dyes.

We were shown a demo of resist dyeing.

And a carpet in progress.

The looms are beautifully decorated.

On the last night for many in the group, we celebrated with a fashion show of their purchases.

It was Eunice’s 80th birthday, celebrated with pizazz.

Our young waitresses enjoyed dancing to the Middle Eastern music, and we quickly joined in.

Our group will become much smaller now as we head toward Kyrgyzstan.

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