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Distributed for Hirmer Publishers


A Photoethnography of Talas

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.

224 pages | 208 color plates, 2 maps | 11 1/2 x 9

Art: Photography

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Table of Contents

Combined German/English Edition

Talas’s Central Asian Cultural Contexts
     John Schoeberlein
KyrgyzstanGeographical Structures and Basic Resources
     Jörg Stadelbauer

My Talas, My Golden Cradle
     The YurtBoz Üy
     TalasThe Province
     TalasThe City
     Village Life
     Events and Celebrations
     Equestrian ContestUlak Tartysh
     Medicinal Plants
     National ParkBesh Tash
     Keeping Animals
     Summer PasturesJailoo
     Apa and Ata
     Sacred Sites


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