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Camel Breeding In Uzbekistan

In the Navoi region of central Uzbekistan, a community of ethnic Kazakhs make their living by breeding camels. People come from miles around to purchase the camel's milk, which is considered to have medicinal properties. (Umida Akhmedova, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)


Camels roaming in the sandy expanse of the Navoi region.  
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Camels roaming in the sandy expanse of the Navoi region.

 

Zamira, a camel milkmaid, with her family. For the Kazakhs, the skills of camel breeding are a closely guarded secret.
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Zamira, a camel milkmaid, with her family. For the Kazakhs, the skills of camel breeding are a closely guarded secret.

Zamira milks the camel from one side, while a calf suckles from the other side.
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Zamira milks the camel from one side, while a calf suckles from the other side.

This is Bakytbek, Zamira's son. The children spend the whole summer helping their parents with the camels.
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This is Bakytbek, Zamira's son. The children spend the whole summer helping their parents with the camels.

Bakytbek holds the camel's back leg, while his mother milks it.
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Bakytbek holds the camel's back leg, while his mother milks it.

This calf had to wait until after its mother was milked, before getting its share. It's a common practice.
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This calf had to wait until after its mother was milked, before getting its share. It's a common practice.

Bakytbek playing with his younger brother, near a shelter for the camels.
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Bakytbek playing with his younger brother, near a shelter for the camels.

The camels in their enclosure.
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The camels in their enclosure.

Making bread in a tandoor oven.
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Making bread in a tandoor oven.

Another of the milkmaids – Zhanar.
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Another of the milkmaids – Zhanar.

Zhanar’s mother-in-law.
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Zhanar’s mother-in-law.

Zhanar’s mother-in-law lulls her grandson to sleep.
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Zhanar’s mother-in-law lulls her grandson to sleep.

A teenager lets a two-year-old camel out of her pen. Every year, there are fewer and fewer people engaged in animal husbandry here.
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A teenager lets a two-year-old camel out of her pen. Every year, there are fewer and fewer people engaged in animal husbandry here.

This young man did not want to give his name. His parents said he was one of the few young people who had not gone to Kazakhstan -- staying instead to help on the farm.
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This young man did not want to give his name. His parents said he was one of the few young people who had not gone to Kazakhstan -- staying instead to help on the farm.

A camel which needs milking. Locals believe the milk can help with liver complaints, and other ailments.
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A camel which needs milking. Locals believe the milk can help with liver complaints, and other ailments.

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