Museum reveals Ottoman folk dresses and jewelry

Museum reveals Ottoman folk dresses and jewelry

BURSA - Anatolia News Agency
Museum reveals Ottoman folk dresses and jewelry

DHA photo

Uluumay Ottoman Folk Costumes and Jewelry Museum, founded in Bursa, draws attention from academics and students. The museum is also very popular among fashion designers coming from the United States and Europe.

Located in Bursa’s Muradiye Complex, the museum is the assemblage of folk art collected from various geographical areas of the Ottoman Empire, including the Caucasus, the Balkans, and Anatolia. The collection features over 400 pieces of Ottoman-era jewelry, plus household items, saddlebags, silk scarves, and silver watch fobs, to name a few.
Speaking to Anatolia news agency, Esat Uluumay, the museum’s founder and collector, said he collected pieces for 50 years from the Caucasians, Iraq and Yemen. The museum’s collection captures a very wide geography, Uluumay said.

Interest in folk dances

There are many accessories in the collection such as jewelry and objects of handmade art. Uluumay began collecting accessories and clothes from the Ottoman Empire because of his interest in folk dances. Uluumay started his collection, which he said is built on a love and interest in collecting, in the 1960s.

 “The museum is better known in the United States and Europe than in Turkey,” Uluumay said. No one from Turkey has come to the museum to do any research, according to Uluumay.

Within just a few days more than 15 professors and students from the international academic world visited the museum, he said. “Many people came from the Netherlands,” said Uluumay. “The museum reveals the past lives of people who lived during the Ottoman era,” said Uluumay, noting that designers come to the museum to learn more about the lives of past people.

The museum held workshops on the embroidery found on Ottoman era costumes. “Israeli women who were visiting Turkey and Bursa came to the museum. They loved the embroidery style on the clothes and we gave them a workshop [on the embroidery style],” he said.

The Israeli women visiting worked for one week to learn and practice the exclusive embroidery style found on the Ottoman clothes, Uluumay said. “I have heard that currently they are exporting this exclusive embroidery style to other countries from Israel,” he said.

The clothing used in TV series

Uluumay also spoke about the clothes that are used in “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century), the Turkish TV series.

“No one came to the museums to gather information about the clothes. They can go to Topkapı Palace, where they can do research,” said Uluumay, adding that if the show’s creaters would have done a small amount of research they could create better clothes.

The clothes in the TV series are designed according to popular culture, according to Uluumay. “The clothes are not reflecting the real life during Ottoman times,” he said.

“They try to resemble the clothes to the past times clothes but I cannot say that they are the real clothes. They do not reflect the real clothes during that time,” he said.

Uluumay’s collection has grown so large that he currently does not have enough space at the museum to display it in its entirety. “I can only exhibit half of the collection,” he said. “I would like to open a new museums just to exhibit the handmade crafts, clothes, accessories, jewelry, Ottoman kitchen accessories and Turkish bath and coffee sets,” he said. Out of his collection Uluumay could build six different theme museums.

Uluumay’s biggest ambition is to exhibit the collection in a madrassa in Istanbul. “I really would like for all the fashion designers to come to the museum and see the collection and take inspiration from the collection,” Uluumay said.