Kochkor Village and Shyrdak Show

Kochkor is a village in Naryn Region of northern Kyrgyzstan at an altitude of 1,800 meters. It is home to around 10,000 people who make a living from mainly farming and herding and one of the best places to experience the nomadic lifestyle and learn about Kyrgyz culture. Visitors can spend a night or two in a traditional tent (yurt) and sample traditional food and drinks such as fermented camel’s milk.

Kochor has a thriving trade in embroidery, traditional handicrafts and felt carpet making, an integral part of Kyrgyz nomadic heritage. There are two main types of felt carpet: Ala-kiyiz (or tekemet), a floor or wall covering made by pressing different coloured pieces of felt together and Shyrdak, a stitched wall or floor covering.

The making of Kyrgyz felt carpets is inseparably linked to the everyday life of nomads, who used felt carpets to warm and decorate their homes. Creation of felt carpets demands unity among the community and fosters the transmission of traditional knowledge. As a rule this knowledge is transferred by older women who are normally concentrated in rural and mountainous areas, to younger women within the family.

At the Kochor Shydrak Show visitors can have a go at making their own felt carpet. There is also a small handicraft museum in the village.