Museum Boots

Tatar boots (also Kazan boots, ichigi, chiteck) that date centuries back can be found in the collections of many prominent museums. There, the boots are labeled as originated from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Crimea, Russia, Indonesia, Ukraine, Georgia, Asia, Europe.

Although the museums label those boots in accordance with the area the boots came from to their collections, those labels do not always accurately credit the authorship of the unique craftsmanship and technique of the exquisite leatherwork: The boots had been created using unique leather mosaic technique developed and mastered by Volga (Kazan) Tatars.

The craftsmanship of Tatar boots was prominent and in demand in 18-early 20th centuries: The trade of Tatar boots was profitable, thus the production and popularity spread from Kazan-surrounding areas to Central Asian, Siberia, Eastern Europe.

Currently, the authentic hand-made Tatar boots with exceptional and hand-stitched patterns are produced only in a very small batches in Kazan metro area (Tatarstan, Russia) by small number of private companies in the same manner (but in a much much smaller scale) as hand-tooled and inlaid cowboy boots are produced in USA and Mexico. The hope is that Tatar boots regain popularity within broader audience that will value and celebrate craftsmanship, cultural roots and functional beauty!

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The British Museum

London, United Kingdom

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Pennsylvania, Philadeplhia, USA

Tatar Hair Jewelry (1818)

State National Museum in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia hosts the biggest Tatar boots collection


Saint Petersburg, Russia

Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, USA

Museum of International Folk Art
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Saint Petersburg, Russia

Victoria and Albert Museum

London, United Kingdom

The biggest collection of Tatar boots outside of Tatarstan is located at “Shoes or No Shoes” Museum in Belgium.

Labeled as originated in Kazakhstan made by Tatar tribe, late 19th century
Labeled as originated in Russia, Tatarstan, made by Tatar tribe, mid 19th century
Labeled as originated in Ukraine, Crimean Peninsula, early 20th century