The dramatic silk costume of this Bukharan official denotes his high rank. In Central Asia, richly decorated clothes and luxurious silk fabrics were important symbols of wealth and status. At home, in the mosque, or at work, the choice of garments was significant. In ancient Bukhara, an ostentatious display of wealth was not a whim but a social norm. Clothing showed rank and status within the rigidly structured society of oasis towns. The quality of the fabric worn was proportional to the importance of the individual, and age-old dress codes prohibited one from wearing robes above one’s social station.


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