Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yagnob

So, I spent a while trekking the mountains and photographing Yagnob people, who have their own unique language and were isolated from the outside world for centuries. Until recently, they didn't have electricity. They live by raising goats, sheeps, cows and some vegetables. There is no doctor now, and some children don't have access to schools, which are usually taught by one teacher at a house. In the winter time, the villages are shut out from the lowland, as the rugged roads are buried in the snow. The long winter could get as cold as minus -30°C to -40°C. I asked them why they keep living here. Many people said they just can't leave home, where their parents, grand parents, grand-grand parents and grand-grand-grand.... lived. Home is the best, basically that's what they said although some people said they actually want to move to Dushanbe or other cities but have to take care of their families. Anyway, they are extremely nice and hospitable people. A lot of older men served for the Army in the Soviet time, so they speak Russian, and actually some of them even served or worked in Ukraine. On the other hand, Yagnobi women there were conservative and very shy while children were curious to see the outsider as always.






























More background about Yagnob:

Yagnobi are an ethnic group in Tajikitan. Yagnobi have their own language, and it considerably differs from Tajik language.
They used to live in the lowland around the city of Pendzikent, the northwestern Tajikitan neary the border with Uzbekistan. However, after the invasion of the Arabs to the region around the 7th century, Yagnobi fled to the Yagnob valley surrounded by the mountains. Yagnobi practiced Zoroastrianism but were later converted to Muslim. Until the 20th century, Yagnobi remained in the valley and were isolated from the outside world. However, during the Soviet era, the Soviet government forced all the Yagnobi to the lowland around the early 70's and made them work in the cotton farms. The harsh summer caused a number of deaths among the population, and some of them began to go back to the mountains several years later while many men served for the Soviet Army. The residents said they missed home and couldn't abandon their houses. Currently, around 500 people live in about 35-40 communities along the Yagnob river.

12 comments:

Kendrick Brinson said...

i so love your photos, ikuru.
thanks for taking me places i've never been before.

::: Eddie Quiñones ::: said...

Ikuru, these are fucking great. Keep it up man. You've been doing nothing but hitting home runs lately. Really inspiring work man.

SP said...

Great stuff Ikuru, some really stunning shots here. Would you maybe considering adding a "Followers" box to your blog so I can keep tabs on your progress a bit easier please?

andrei said...

Nice.

Tully said...

d-o-p-e

Ikuru said...

Thanks!! Hoping to publish pictures, but no luck so far...

Демьяненко said...

The magnificent reporting

I remember as you have brought these coils in ЕКСАР.

Chris Wehling said...

good luck Ikuru! love ur stuff.

alterdom said...

IKURU salvation,
these pictures, these people and these landscapes are beautiful.
THANK YOU!
kisses from FRANCE

tia o'connor said...

Beautiful, thanks!!!

Ikuru said...

Thanks!

job for writers said...

first photo is so beauiful... i like it!!!