“Tandyr” interior

GM1A2121i“Tandyr”’s interior design greatly resembles and continues the customary furnishing of a Yourta, which reflects the philosophy of the Steppe accumulated in centuries. It was essential to the life of Kazakh people and had a great impact on their everyday ways. Household items presented here : horse harness, felt matts – “tekemet” and “tuskiiz”, chests, wooden and metal tableware, other objects of wood, bone, and metal  – are all embroidered according to the complicated system of symbols. Headwear, clothes, bags, and horse-rugs were covered with fancy needlework. Wood was used to craft bowls and spoons for qymyz (fermented horse milk), and carved in a sophisticated manner. Beds and chests were often decorated with antlers of arkhar (wild sheep) and tau-teke (mountain goat). Lashes, belts, harness and torsyqs (flasks for water and qymyz) were made of leather. All the mentioned elements are widely presented in “Tandyr”, the recreated caravanserai, identical to those which existed all over the Steppe for centuries.

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Ethnic jewellery collection

The art of jewellery holds a special place in traditional Kazakh culture. It gives us a complete and vivid picture of the nation’s ideals, aesthetic tastes, its magnitude, and the variety of artistic values. Kazakh jewellers – zergers – as a rule worked alone, and passed the knowledge on to their heir. This had always granted a special elite value to their art: it was impossible for the wide league of craftsmen to acquire. Zergers produced a vast range of items: women’s jewellery and clothes’ decorations, toiletry, table ware, different d?cor elements for yourtas, furniture, hardware, musical instruments, weapons, and horse ware.

Jewellery did not just carry out the purpose of beauty to the nomad. It also served as magical protection. Thus the shine and colour of silver was associated with the Moon and its light. Precious and ornamental stones were given a deep meaningful purpose – they were enchanted each with powerful forces. Carneol (sard) was one of the most popular stones as it was believed to bring joy and prosperity to its owner.


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Carpet collection

There are different types of Kazakh carpets. Each one has a specific weaving technique, as well as ornament and colour peculiarity. Felt has been widely used in the Steppe to produce carpets which were hung on walls and put on the floor, called tekemet, syrmaq, tuskiiz.

The process of manufacturing a tekemet is rather complicated. A base of white felt cloth is prepared and a template with patterns, previously coloured, and cut out of damp felt fabric is put on top of it. This way the tissue has to be rolled tightly and dynamically packed with elbows for a continuous period of time. After, tekemet is being stretched and steamed, and the cycle is repeated. Gradual steaming and packing makes the pattern slowly penetrate and colour the basic layer.


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Household items collection


The fact that the nomads never considered themselves separate from nature, was clearly reflected in the attributes of their everyday life. A distinctive way of furnishing a yourta was to keep all the objects visible to the eye. Nevertheless items carried out functions of both utility and home decor. For this reason they are covered with ethnic ornaments. Kazakh ornamentation’s main styles are zoomorphic (animal images), geometric, and floral. Symbolic images of everyday objects, celestial bodies, and surrounding natural phenomenon are also widely used. “Tandyr”s interior is a real life demonstration of all these features.

Details of horse harness and trappings deserve a closer look, as horses were an important part of Kazakh culture. An ancient saying tells: “Life’s beauty is about a neat saddle of your horse and your fine clothes”. Proper decoration of one’s horse was part of the special attributes of high value, same as jewellery and expensive dress.

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