The native Kyrgyz are a Turkic people who first settled in the Tien Shan mountains. They were traditionally pastoral nomads. Due to extensive Russian colonization in the 1900s, Russian settlers were given much of the best agricultural land. This led to an unsuccessful and disastrous revolt by the Kyrgyz people in 1916. Kyrgyzstan became part of the Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in 1924 and was made an autonomous republic in 1926. It became a constituent republic of the USSR in 1936. The Soviets forced the Kyrgyz to abandon their nomadic culture and adopt modern farming and industrial production techniques.
Kyrgyzstan proclaimed its independence from the Soviet Union on Aug. 31, 1991
In the outhouse there is a peephole - and it offers the most spectacular views I have ever had from a toilet: a yurt and a tent on a grazed high pasture in the background rolling hills that stretch up to the snowy peaks of the Tien Shan deep blue sky. I am overwhelmed by the vastness and tranquility of Kyrgyzstan and the hospitality of the nomads who roam with sheep, cows and horses in this remote mountain regions.
They take me in Jailoo, their summer camp, as if I belonged to them family. There is no electricity, water only from the creek. Because I do not want to be rude, I overcome me, try the boiled mutton and sip fermented mare's milk. Later, when I'm after a few glasses of vodka under a mountain quilts and look through the opening in the ceiling of the yurt in the starry sky, I am inspired by those facing people and how frugal they live in their archaic world.
Possession is a burden when you have to be mobile.
Click for a lot of portraits, snapshots
of people I met in Caucasus and on Silk Road
If you are interested to see more photos of Kyrgyzstan ....
.... take a cup of coffee, sit back and follow the links below: