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Get the Goods

Arts

No visit to Kyrgyzstan is complete without the purchase of a souvenir or two! More often than not, guests may find themselves recipients of gifts that are a standard sample of Kyrgyz handiwork. Souvenirs run the spectrum in terms of quality and authenticity. Felted wool is the name of the game t...

29.04.2020 186

Traditional Dances

Arts

At the end of this article is a video of a girl performing a solo version of a Kyrgyz dance. I sat down to talk with her the other day to ask about the history and symbolism of the movements in traditional Kyrgyz dances.In general, Kyrgyz dances are performed in an ensemble, with the movements for e...

06.03.2020 164

The Statue Game

Arts

Bishkek is an incredibly walkable city. Big wide sidewalks and plenty of trees create shady retreats during the heat of the summer, and parks abound in the soviet-influenced urban plan. Also crafted into those plans, and adding to the aesthetic appeal of pedestrian thruways, are an abundance of monu...

07.02.2020 277

Komuz | The Kyrgyz Guitar

Arts

The traditional Kyrgyz komuz is a three-stringed instrument, with an elongated pear-shaped body. Usually a komuz is crafted from one piece of wood - apricot or walnut being the most common. In the past, the strings were formed from the intestinal sinews of sheep or goat, but today synthetic strings ...

27.01.2020 572

The Epic of Manas

Arts

The legend of Manas is written in poetic fashion, containing approximately 500,000 lines. and thus considerably longer than the Illiad (from Greece) or Mahabbarata (from India). According to the story, Manas was born in present-day Talas, sometime between the 9th and 11th centuries. Talas is a long ...

24.01.2020 280

W.O.W. | Wool Felt

Arts

Working with felt is a labor-intensive process, but the result is a product that lasts… and lasts… and lasts. It begins with collecting the wool (usually sheared by men) and cleaning it (a tedious process in which even children will get enlisted). After the wool is picked cle...

20.12.2019 267

Bo Zui, aka Yurt

Arts

Behold the boz ui - traditional Kyrgyz housing - a marvelous culmination of creativity, intelligence, and art.It has a long historical background, dating back to 1000 B.C.E. among nomads of Central Asia. Nomads lived in tribes and changed their locations with seasonal changes in order to find new fi...

16.12.2019 268

Designs Descended

Arts

Kyrgyz art is considered to be very nomadic and rich in its traditional heritage. All national ornaments, from the symbol on the flag to the architectural designs in modern homes have been passed down from nomadic tradition over a long period of time. All of these designs, however, can be traced bac...

13.12.2019 975

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