Kazakh craftswomen of Mongolia's ‘rich cradle’


The Kazakhs form the largest minority in Mongolia and live mainly in the western-most province of Bayan-Ölgii, meaning ‘Rich Cradle’ in Mongolian. Most Kazakhs in this remote, mountainous region are dependent on domestic animals for their livelihood. Many move up to several times a year with their herds between fixed seasonal settlements. Other families with smaller herds stay closer to their winter house during the summer but will nevertheless set up a yurt (kiiz yi in Kazakh meaning ‘felt house’).

The summertime yurt (and to a lesser extent the winter house) is richly furnished with embroidered, felt and woven textiles. These textiles are made of a mixture of raw materials derived from local herds (for instance sheep’s wool and camel hair), but also integrate new materials, colours and designs. New tools and techniques are also developed by the craftswomen, resulting in changing styles and fashions in textile production.


More information about the 2009 exhibition is available from the Brunei Gallery website.

Information about future events is available from the curator.