Valley Yurt Builders go to Kyrgyzstan

It has been a long time dream for us (Selene, Alex and Yara Cole of Little Foot Yurts) to travel to Kyrgyzstan to study with traditional yurt and felt masters. After months of planning and with the help of the Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association, we ventured to Kyrgyzstan this past June.

Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country, rich in mountains, high altitude pastures and alpine lakes. Kyrgyz culture is most concentrated in rural areas and has a semi-nomadic way of life with seasonal traditions. The rugged countryside’s historic architecture is not buildings but self-contained communities with movable homes called yurts (“boz ui” in Kyrgyz).

The climate and resources of Kyrgyzstan in particular have influenced the yurt design to incorporate the hardwood techniques of splitting and steam bending. This has resulted in yurt which can withstand higher precipitation and snow loads. This style of yurt is a good match for the Nova Scotian climate and resources, as well as the green wood working techniques that we already use.

Our training with traditional yurt makers and felt artists exceeded our expectations. The project impacted us in many ways: we gained technical skills within yurt building and within  felted art, both decorative and functional. Since providing educational workshops is an important part of our business,we spent several days living with herders who use yurts daily to gain a broader understanding of the culture around yurt life. We feel humbled to have worked with such accomplished artists who have inspired us to incorporate the techniques and culture into our yurt building.

We would love to share our story with you! Please join us as we retell our story through a slideshow presentation and showcase Kyrgyz handicrafts.

Kyrgyzstan Slideshow Presentation When: Wed, Dec 8th, 6-8:30 pm Where: Wolfville Memorial Library, 21 Elm Avenue, Wolfville No charge, snacks provided, bring the whole family as childcare will be available! For more information please contact Selene Cole, 670-4556 selene@lfy.ca http://lfy.ca/