The real Kazakhstan

Yurts, originally uploaded by The Voice Of Objective Truth.

I tend to complain that people only get to know the major cities of a place and not really see the history and the beauty (and the poverty) that lay outside of major cities. In Kazakhstan, I regret not having more photos from the country side, from the steppe, of traditional Kazakhstan. I didn’t get to travel enough and when I did, I rarely got to stop for pictures. To make up for this (a little) I am sharing a photo I found on flickr of the traditional houses (yurts).

A yurt is a portable, bent wood-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by Turkic nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises a crown or compression wheel (tüýnük) usually steam bent, supported by roof ribs which are bent down at the end where they meet the lattice wall (again steam bent). The top of the wall is prevented from spreading by means of a tension band which opposes the force of the roof ribs. The structure is usually covered by layers of fabric and sheep’s wool felt for insulation and weatherproofing.

The similar Mongolic nomadic structure the ger is often wrongly referred to by westerners as a yurt but differs in that the heavier roof wheel (toono) is supported on posts and the roof ribs are straight rather than bending down at the wall junction. The wall lattice of a ger is constructed of straight pieces as opposed to the yurt’s curved lattice .

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