Object 2: Yurta
May 27, 2021
Yurta is a traditional Kazakh house that is one of the greatest and oldest creations in central Asia. It has a shape of a white dome that is portable and easy to construct. They are important historic monuments that are symbols of Kazakhstan. It is interesting from TOK’s perspective because it shows how every structure and plan of the house represent the cultural background of people. For example, the shape of the house is round because it keeps the heat for a longer time. The top has a hole called “shanyrak” is used to get rid of the smoke, but also represents unity and family. Wooden sticks were placed on top of each other and tied together to represent the importance of family and teamwork that was present with nomads. As mentioned above, yurtas contain the knowledge of survival that the Kazakh tribes had to face. The structures represent survival skills of being protected from natural disasters. The shanyrak demonstrates the hard work each member of the family had to do in order to survive. This enriches the exhibition by demonstrating how the lifestyle of people can give an ability to learn and develop skills for creating new things.
Also they are interesting from TOK’s perspective because it shows how the lifestyle of one country can influence other countries about cultural objects. Kazakh people were inspired by the Andronovo tribes that lived in Kazakhstan during the bronze age. The idea of the yurt was passed down by the generation, but got modified due to climate change and gaining skills like sewing. When people think about Kazakhstan they always think about yurtas and horses which shows how the objects deeply relate to the history of the country. While Kazakhstan was not the first to come up with the idea of building yurtas, it brought a lot of attention. Countries like Uzbekistan who had a similar lifestyle got inspired. Until this day, yurtas are recognized by everyone since it is the national symbol of the country. Even though almost nobody lives there they are still placed in museums, kids are taught about them in school and they are used as entertainment monuments for tourists.