Illustration: Examples of Tatar leatherwork, 1925.


In 1925 the then Soviet Union held, amongst its various exhibitions at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, a large display that highlighted the ethnic diversity of the Union as seen through various traditional craft skills. Amongst these displays was some Tatar leatherwork. The catalogue produced for the exhibition highlighted one page dedicated to the Tatar craft skill of leatherwork. The example shown here was merely named Tartar, but we can probably be certain enough to say that the items originated with the Volga Tatars of Kazan.


As well as there being Siberian, Crimean and Volga Tatars, there are also sizeable minorities of Tatars within Central Asia, the Baltic States, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and across the Russian Federation. The total Tatar world population is presently thought to be about ten million. This broad and extensive Tatar homeland says much about the history of the Tatar people and particularly their links with their early nomadic lifestyle.