The sacral status in the traditional culture of Kazakhs was occupied by the hem (etek) and skirt of the dress, which were actively involved in some rituals and ceremonies. For example, a childless woman fed a dog with the hem of her dress; a part of the hem was not hemmed for a woman who was not pregnant for a long time, the hem of the dress was used to remove the evil eye from the child by wiping his face, etc.
According to Kazakh belief, the hem belongs to the underworld, so the midwife accepts the baby and extends the invitation to this world and blessing: the baby was considered a being from the underworld until the 40th day.
The embroidery decorating the hem of a girl’s dress is popular in many cultures around the world. In traditional society, it was believed that “evil spirits” could enter the open areas – especially through the hem – and cause great harm to the girl. Dresses with embroidered hems were usually worn before the birth of the first child. The purpose of decorating the hem of the dress was to protect the “weak”, vulnerable area.