Kazakh women's national bridal headwear Saukele, which is a high conical hat. Saukele was a mandatory part of girl’s dowry, and was prepared long before the girls reached the age of marriage, together with a wedding gown, which was often made of expensive fabric. Bride was supposed to wear a saukele during the wedding ceremony, then it was worn on holidays for some time after the marriage. A broad ribbon of expensive fabric, decorated with fringes of gold thread, was also attached to the back of saukele, which went down to cover a part of the back of a girl. Compulsory supplement to saukele is a long suspension, called zhaktau, which is attached to it from both sides, reaching the waist of a girl. The most skilled craftsmen participated in saukele manufacturing: cutters, embroiderers, jewellers, who applied the moulding, embossing, stamping, etc. during the process of manufacturing. It took a year or even more to prepare one such saukele.
©New England Weddings by L&J Photography, LLC