Kyrgyzstan Yurt

During our last stay in the magnificent mountains of Kyrgyzstan we had the opportunity of witnessing the building-up process of a traditional yurt. Yurts are portable, felt-covered structures which were primarily used by Central Asian nomads, a tradition that sadly is being replaced slowly by using more modern tents. On this particular occasion however we were invited to stay with a herder’s family (themselves still staying in their own yurt) and for our comfort it was proposed to erect a separate yurt. The yurt’s components were transported to the location high up in the mountains (2,500m) by a sturdy Russian jeep (can be seen in the pics), and then mounted in a logical sequence : first wooden lattice-frame and door, followed by the roof poles, then the felt cover, and finally some inside decoration with brightly colored felt carpets – ready! The whole process did not take longer then a few hours, immediately explaining the popularity of these structures in Kyrgyzstan’s nomadic history. It is therefore not surprising that the yurt is a national symbol of Kyrgyzstan, sported in the country’s flag : inside a 40-rayed sun the crown or tunduk of a yurt can be found.
And how better to document the process of the build-up then with pictures, again using the Fotoman 617 which was the only camera brought to Kyrgyzstan (due to weight restrictions which I imposed on myself since i had planned some extensive treks in this beautiful country). Since the Fotoman is a fully manual camera it requires the use of a separate light meter, definitely slowing the photographer down but at the same moment adding to the photographic pleasure… and the joy of seeing the developed slides is still something I look forward to.
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