April 29, 2013
A Modern Yurt
Over time, the yurt, used traditionally as a home by the nomadic peoples of Uzbekistan, is losing its primary purpose and acquires a new, modern designation.

The traditional home of the nomadic peoples of Karakalpakstan is a ‘folding’ round house with a conical roof, for which the wooden or reed support and animal wool are used as building and decoration materials. From felt wool are making wall and roof of the yurt, weaving rugs, and knitting various decoration elements. Yurt is unique with that it takes not much time to take apart and set the whole structure. All the parts of yurt can be loaded to camel or car. And at the same time it is quite spacious inside the yurt, while big ones can even be divided into several rooms with walls made of cloth. It saves well from the cold in winter and heat in summer.

Today, those who use the yurt as a home are very few. The traditional dwelling was replaced by modern houses of brick and concrete,” said the director of the Nukus branch of the Uzbek State Institute of Art and Culture, Amirboy Kosimbetov. “But the yurt is not turned the history, in recent years it has acquired a new meaning. Now it goes popularity as an object of the tourist infrastructure and entertainment. For tourists it is the exotic, but for the locals it is the opportunity to come into contact with the history, traditions and customs of forefathers, and for entrepreneurs - effective commercial move to attract customers.” Indeed, in recent years, not only in Karakalpakstan, but in Uzbekistan in general increased the number of travel agencies that offer tours of the steppes and deserts on camels, which include a stop for rest and even overnight stay in a yurt. Hotels, restaurants and cafes set yurts in their yards and use them as separate rooms or cabins, which can be used for spending time with friends.

“Visitors and locals are always interested in decoration of yurts,” noted Amirboy Kosimbetov. “Unfortunately, few people know that all the elements of decoration initially have practical significance and only then are the elements of decoration. Here, for example, in a circle on wooden supports are tied colored woven wool ropes – it is a calendar of the nomads. One rope - one day. By the number of ropes of the same color, tied on various supports, it was possible to orientate, how many days have passed from an important event for the owner of the house, for not to miss the next. With the changes of destination of the yurt the technology of its structure has been changed.

“Modern tourist yurts have a simplified design, and are built with modern materials,” tells Amirboy Kosimbetov. “When building a yurt never used synthetic materials, yet now they are widely used.

Pay attention to the floor – warmth-keeping rugs and carpets are from modern synthetic materials. Traditional yurts have natural light through the hole in the center of the cone of the ceiling; it also served as a chimney for the fire that kindled in the center of the yurt. This hole on the ceiling was also an important element of the sundial. Today, in many yurts this place is closed, and in the center hangs an ordinary light bulb, and on the wall hangs the contemporary mechanical or electronic watch. It is barely possible to see the yurt with a special window, located opposite the entrance, which was an important element of the ventilation system.

Only warmth remained unchanged, comfort and unforgettable sense of peace that can only be experienced in a yurt,” concluded Amirboy Kosimbetov. (Source: Uzbekistan today newspaper)


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