Reviving traditional art
Two and a half thousand rare exhibits, that have been searched for about half a century. Such cultural heritage is exhibited in the Museum of Applied Arts in the Almaty region. Among the rarities are objects of Kazakh life, the oldest of them date back to the 19th century. This unique museum was founded by the scientist-ethnographer Darkembai Shokparov and his son twenty years ago. At present, not only locals, but also tourists from all over the world come here to feel the spirit of the past.
DAULET SHOKPAROV, DIRECTOR, DARKEMBAI MUSEUM OF APPLIED ARTS:
- We have a lot of rare exhibits here. You will not find such anywhere across the country. We have preserved this leather jug. You will not see a single seam on it. Such dishes as Torsyk and Saba, that are also made from leather the seam is visible everywhere, but not on this jug. We are proud of this exhibit from our collection.
Talented artisans from all across Kazakhstan are now arriving to the studio founded by Shokparov. They come to learn how to make unique wares using the secret techniques of ancient craftsmen. Scientist Darkembai Shokparov has taken notes of some of them. Now this age-old knowledge is passed on to the descendants. Every apprentice acquires a wide range of skills in the studio, but chooses one material to work with: either leather, wood, clay or metal.
KURMANGAZY KADYROV, ETHNIC DESIGNER:
- This is the first museum of Kazakh crafts. Here you will find truly rare things created by Kazakh artisans. It took decades for Darkembai Shokparov to collect them. His legacy is not forgotten. Many talented young people come here to learn Kazakh traditional craftsmanship.
Daulet Shokparov intends to make his father's dream come true. He is panning to establish a school of applied arts. According to the craftsmen, the creation of such centers for artisans is another step towards the implementation of the Modernization of Public Consciousness program, letting to look at national traditions in a new way using all the best that has been preserved until today.