Ala-kiyiz and Shyrdak, art of Kyrgyz traditional felt carpets - Kyrgyzstan
Traditional felt carpets represent one of the foremost arts of the Kyrgyz people. The knowledge, skills, diversity, ornamentation and ceremonies involved provide Kyrgyz people with a sense of identity and continuity. Their creation is a communal enterprise led by older women in rural, mountainous areas, but the tradition is in danger of disappearing. The number of practitioners is diminishing and the lack of governmental safeguarding, the disinterest of the younger generation, the dominance of cheap synthetic carpets, and the poor quality and low availability of raw materials are exacerbating the situation.