Qaraqalpaqs of the Aral Delta

Overview


The Qaraqalpaqs are a Turkic minority inhabiting the huge southern delta of the former Aral Sea. In recent decades, however, their lands have been turned into desert as the sea itself became desiccated--one of the major environmental disasters of our generation. The Qaraqalpaqs had a thriving artistic culture, and this rigorously researched volume introduces Western readers for the first time to the vibrant textiles, costumes, weavings, jewelery, and furnishings of this formerly nomadic people. Filled with ...
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Overview


The Qaraqalpaqs are a Turkic minority inhabiting the huge southern delta of the former Aral Sea. In recent decades, however, their lands have been turned into desert as the sea itself became desiccated--one of the major environmental disasters of our generation. The Qaraqalpaqs had a thriving artistic culture, and this rigorously researched volume introduces Western readers for the first time to the vibrant textiles, costumes, weavings, jewelery, and furnishings of this formerly nomadic people. Filled with photographs taken on location in the yurts in which the Qaraqalpaqs once lived and from museum collections in Qaraqalpaqstan and Russia, many of which are previously unpublished, the book aims to sweep away the myths surrounding their history and culture. The dazzling objects reproduced in this book demonstrate that the Qaraqalpaqs' folk art is every bit as fascinating and worthy as that of their better-known neighbors, the Qazaks, Uzbeks, and Turkmen. This deluxe book is certain to become the standard reference work on this fascinating people and their culture.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This beautiful, well-researched book on one of the area's least familiar peoples is particularly welcome… This book is a major contribution to our knowledge of the region." --Saudi Aramco World
Library Journal
Independent UK-based researchers David Richardson and Sue Richardson spent 14 years on the southern shore of the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan, where they encountered the rich artistic culture of the Qaraqalpaqs. The Aral Sea was once the world's fourth-largest lake but has essentially disappeared because of ill-conceived irrigation projects. This monograph, the definitive English text on this group, fights against the potential disappearance of Qaraqalpaq art as the people who practice it have been seriously affected by the degradation of their landscape and disappearance of the traditional fishing industry. In addition to detailing the production and meaning behind various textiles, costumes, jewelry, dwellings, and furnishings, the Richardsons also supply readers with a thorough exploration of the Qaraqalpaqs' way of life, gleaning information from oral histories, the landscape, and even DNA testing. Through these cultural details, readers learn the meanings behind the different kinds of stitches in their rich fabrics. (A favorite is the xanim t'u kirigi or "queen's spit.") The authors also explain how various aspects of the deceased's costume must be accounted for before funeral rites occur; this includes cutting up and restitching fabric into baby shirts to signify lineage and ensure protection of the future generation. VERDICT A fascinating, scholarly account of a vanishing people's art.—Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783791347387
  • Publisher: Prestel Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 12.40 (h) x 1.60 (d)

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