The Kyrgyz are traditional Nomadic tribes, who originally came from Sibiria and then moved to the south till they reached Tien Shan Mountains. The major role in their culture always had the cattle, especially sheep and horses, which were the most important animals, but also cows and goats are being raised.
There is a Kyrgyz proverb "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle". This saying proves that Horse-back riding is one of the most important parts of Kyrgyz culture. The skills of horse-back riding, which is often presented with festivals or shows, and the perfection of the Kyrgyz in the saddle, where the moves derived from every-day situations of ancestors' life.
Children already learn how to ride a horse when they just start walking, and the boys will then soon also be caring for the sheep, so it is possible to say that Kyrgyz kids grow up in the saddle.
Girls in Kyrgyz families very early learn the traditional handicraft and start to help mothers and grandmothers to prepare dowry for them. The very beautiful carpets, that are made with months- or year-lasting work becomes part of the dowry of the girl. The most famous carpets are Shyrdak and Ala-Kiyiz, which are both made from felt and decorated with colored patterns that derived from nature by good hand Kyrgyz women.
But there is another product of Kyrgyz craftsmen which is known much better. White Yurt - is main symbol of the Kyrgyz life. In spite of 3000 years of existing it is still part of every-day life of Kyrgyz, even in cities: you easy can find street-cafes everywhere, serving traditional meals, and also families in big towns still build the yurt on the most important holidays, usually it is the birth of a child, a marriage or a burial. Most significantly shown the importance of the yurt is depiction of yurts part in the flag of the Republic. It is red and in the centre shows symbolically the Tyunduk - the central part of the yurts roof, with its typical wooden circle and the crossed sticks in its middle.
The yurt is a unique multifunctional, portable home preserved in its original form. It is made from felt that covers wooden construction. It is very interesting that whole thing is fixed with short leather-ribbons (instead of nails) and ropes made from animals' hair. The yurt is fancy decorated inside: carpets on the walls and on the floor, and the "Djuk" at the end of the yurt, forming the back part of the place for the most respectful guest opposite the entrance: It is bed sheets, that are spread at nighttime on the floor and offer a soft and warm place for the night, but during daytime they are kept stapled and covered with a beautiful cloth,.
Yurt can be found everywhere on the pastures. You usually find a little stove in the middle, it is used for cooking and warming the room. Because yurt must be heated even in summer, especially if there is bad weather in those high-altitude regions. Left side of the yurt is traditionally men's part. There are stored utilities for hunting, fishing, horse-back riding and everything for the sheep here. The women's part is on the right hand side - you can find kitchen utilities, and everything needed for handicraft and suing.