This long and richly illustrated article offers, first, an overview of the twentieth-century development of traditional crafts in Soviet and post-Soviet Central Asia, by discipline of creation: pottery, copper embossing, jewellery, felt products, carpet-making, fabrics, printed cloth, embroidery, leather goods, bone and wood carving, wood painting, miniature painting.  The author’s discourse is limited to the identification of the main typological features of national, local and regional schools.  The study is continued by chapters on modern painting (other disciplines have been purely and simply omitted), country by country, focusing on the last decades of the twentieth century.  Curiously enough, no reference has been made to the impact neither of Soviet state command nor of socialist realism.  Generally speaking, the whole article seems to have been written, in a neo-traditionalist mood, in order to cast a veil of oblivion on the Soviet heritage of an idealised, untouched, trans-historical Central Asia.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-4.4-366