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Inside An Ornate Kazakh Yurt In Uzbekistan

As autumn arrives in Uzbekistan, one ethnic Kazakh family in the Zarafshan region is preparing to leave their summer home -- a richly decorated yurt set up next to their house. The breezy mobile shelter is a common choice to help residents escape the heat of summer. It's also a way for families to preserve the traditions of past generations who once carried their yurts with them to summer pastures. RFE/RL photographer Umida Akhmedova visited the village of Rahat earlier this year as a Kazakh family gathered to help set up their seasonal residence.


Astara Yusupova (right) and a relative help to decorate a yurt outside their home. Every year, family members work together to set up the yurt where they live during the summer.
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Astara Yusupova (right) and a relative help to decorate a yurt outside their home. Every year, family members work together to set up the yurt where they live during the summer.

Astara's eldest son, Dulat, one of nine children, helps to decorate the inside of the yurt.
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Astara's eldest son, Dulat, one of nine children, helps to decorate the inside of the yurt.

Astara hangs woven fabric to decorate the interior. Past generations used to carry yurts with them to mountain pastures where they would spend the summer tending to herds of livestock.
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Astara hangs woven fabric to decorate the interior. Past generations used to carry yurts with them to mountain pastures where they would spend the summer tending to herds of livestock.

Astara's son Erhan hangs the "chandelier," a woven decoration hanging below a skylight.
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Astara's son Erhan hangs the "chandelier," a woven decoration hanging below a skylight.

Dulat and Farid lay down a handmade carpet made by women living in the village of Rahat.
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Dulat and Farid lay down a handmade carpet made by women living in the village of Rahat.

The items displayed inside the yurt, collected by Astara over many years, include gifts to her family and crafts made by her daughters and other relatives.
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The items displayed inside the yurt, collected by Astara over many years, include gifts to her family and crafts made by her daughters and other relatives.

Farida places a blanket on the floor.
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Farida places a blanket on the floor.

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Once the yurt is ready, the family sits down inside for tea with milk prepared in a samovar.
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Once the yurt is ready, the family sits down inside for tea with milk prepared in a samovar.

Dulat lives in the city of Zarafshan. Many of the residents work in the gold and uranium mines nearby.
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Dulat lives in the city of Zarafshan. Many of the residents work in the gold and uranium mines nearby.

The top of the yurt remains open to provide ventilation.
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The top of the yurt remains open to provide ventilation.

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Astara's husband planted the cherry trees that stand near the yurt on their property. Astara says that he died before he was able to taste their fruit.
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Astara's husband planted the cherry trees that stand near the yurt on their property. Astara says that he died before he was able to taste their fruit.

Astara, 69, has nine children, 23 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. She plans to stay in the yurt until the end of October.
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Astara, 69, has nine children, 23 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. She plans to stay in the yurt until the end of October.

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