A Photoethnography of Talas
Distributed for Hirmer Publishers
While Western attention might have been shifting towards Kirgistan (Kyrgyzstan) in recent decades, little is truly known about this central Asian country and its people. In words and pictures, this photoethnographic catalogue exposes the reader to the unique culture and customs of the place. At the heart of the presentation are the people and traditions of the Talas region.
Mountainous landscapes, an oriental way of life, hospitable people, national break-up and revolution: these are the things most commonly associated with Kirgistan. The real history and culture of the country, however, proves to be much more multi-facetted, as this book of photographs and ethnographic essays has documented. With the rise of the Soviet Union, the Kyrgyz, once a nomadic people, were forced to settle, though they have retained much from their nomadic days and value living in harmony with the land. The publication illuminates local histories, day-to-day customs, social structure and the way of life. Central to the investigation are the people. Who are they? How do they live? What do they live from? Chapters on livestock and agriculture, homemaking, school, religion, festivities and village structure round off the impression. The lengthy period during which the authors immersed themselves in the region has made for a very insightful and personal account of Talas and the whole of Kirgistan.
Talas's Central Asian Cultural Contexts
Kyrgyzstan—Geographical Structures and Basic Resources
My Talas, My Golden Cradle
The Yurt—Boz Üy
Events and Celebrations
Equestrian Contest—Ulak Tartysh
National Park—Besh Tash
Apa and Ata