The Museum's Village

Bayraktar is a village of 80 hearths which today has a population of 480. The determining factor of the past two decades has been migration. Whereas such handicrafts as pottery and weaving once predominated enough to meet the needs of the village, today they are practically non-existent. The tradition of architecture has completely vanished, while the carpenters and masons have gone abroad, and the traditional approach to building has been replaced by squatter housing. The youth farm a bit in the summer, but winters there is inadequate production.

Baksı is the former name of Bayraktar Village, and in Kyrgyz Turkish means shaman. Certain customs observed until recently by the people lead one to believe that in the remote past the village was fed by the shaman tradition. The reason the name 'Baksı' was chosen for the museum is that the word shaman has such significations as 'healer', 'helper' and 'protector', all of which sort well with the museum's mission.