Handicrafts (Shyrdak) Workshop
Experience traditional Kyrgyz felting and make your own souvenir.
Shyrdak and ala kiyiz rugs can be seen in nearly every traditional Kyrgyz home, and certainly every yurt. These felt products are as rich in color as they are in design and overall beauty, and each rug or textile reflects a living history of the country, the family, and its creator. Felt crafters weave symbols into the rugs that tell a unique story, and by learning from the women of Bokonbaevo village, you'll learn the secrets of this Kyrgyz heritage art as you make your own souvenir. Book a workshop to learn about the entire felt-making process from pulling the wool to dyeing it, then you'll craft your own design on a felt handicraft that you can use to adorn your own home with the spirit and history of Kyrgyzstan.
- Join a workshop to build your own traditional Kyrgyz nomadic carpets (shyrdak and ala-kiyiz).
- Learn the meaning and stories behind traditional Kyrgyz handicrafts from UNESCO-certified craftswomen.
- Shop for handmade, fair-trade handicrafts on-site that are designed by women in the Altyn Oimok (Golden Thimble) NGO, an organization offering a livelihood to women in rural and economically-challenged regions of Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyz Handicrafts Workshop
1 Hour | from 700 KGS / person
- English speaking guide
- Tea, coffee and refreshments
- Souvenir takeaway
Souvenir shop with fair-trade handicrafts, leather goods, carpets, and more.
Felt-making traditions have historically played an important role in Kyrgyz culture. Felt craft skills continue to supply everyday household products for nomadic herders as they make way with their grazing flocks across mountain pastures (jailoos) during summer months. Felted rugs are an integral part of Kyrgyz history, recording the stories of births and family weddings, while also recognizing national legends and historic events. By joining our workshop, you'll get a glimpse into a nomadic tradition that remains strong and true throughout Kyrgyzstan, but especially in South Shore, the heart of Kyrgyz culture and traditions.
About Altyn Oimok NGO (Golden Thimble)
This Kyrgyz crafts workshop produces shyrdaks (Kyrgyz felt carpets) and other traditional handicrafts. It employs more than 30 rural women and seeks to educate the next generation in the production of traditional crafts. The NGO delivers workshops that showcase the techniques and stories behind nomadic Kyrgyz handicrafts.
In 2014, the organization received a UNESCO Award of Excellence Handicrafts, a feat achieved by only a small number of craftspeople across the country. Altyn Oimok is located in the village of Bokonbaevo on the South Shore of Lake Issyk-Kul.
The location of this tour is at Altyn Oimok (69 Karymshakova Street) in Bokonbaevo. Please see the map below for the exact location.