Hello my faithful readers!
Let this post bring some warmth into your hearts and some knowledge for your heads.
A few months ago I wrote about Shyrdaks, the traditional handmade carpet of the Kyrgyz and Kazakh peoples. Unfortunately, the craft of Shyrdak making is slowly vanishing. You probably know that I am a proud owner of an 8 wall 6m Kazakh Yurt made by Kazakh craftsmen with traditional technology and materials. The Shyrdak is a traditional, essential centerpiece of every yurt, so I started to search for this special carpet.
I first searched Kazakhstan. After months of searching, I found only one small company that was still making them at a price tag of $5,000. Sorry, I love traditional arts and crafts, but that’s just too much.
Then I started searching in Kyrgyzstan. I found a company of women who were ready to make me one, but unfortunately our conversation over email died off and my last 3 emails were never answered. I then found on one classified site a phone number of a woman that claimed she is a traditional manufacturer of Shyrdaks on the shores of Issyk-Kul Lake. I typed in the number in WhatsApp.
Someone on the other end said that they could indeed make me a 6m Shyrdak at an affordable price. I already knew what design I wanted: exactly the same as the one that comes with miniature yurts that I sell here. We agreed on the price and she asked for a wire transfer. “Send money to XXXX name, Address Bishkek.” It sounded like a Nigerian email fraud and I doubt that anyone who reads it right now would actually send the money. However, I grew up in this region. I know people that live around the lake, and some of them are my personal friends that left the lake region and now live all over the world.
So I just sent the money. And forgot about it completely until 3 months later, when someone tagged me in a picture on Facebook. There, I see my beautiful carpet almost ready, and a few days later a girl on WhatsApp sent me a few more pictures and asked for the second half of their money.
28 sheep were sheared and 8 people worked for almost three months to make this piece of art and now it’s ready to be covered by my yurt.
I’m posting a lot of pictures and more frequent progress on my Facebook page. Please like and share.
Stay tuned for more news!