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Uzbek kishlaks

At all times the bulk of the population of Uzbekistan lived in the rural districts. Numerous kishlaks cover the territory of Uzbekistan. Literally, the word kishlak means "wintering place" and dates- back to the remote times when the forebears of the modern Uzbeks were nomads. With the development of irrigated farming the kishlaks gradually turned into villages with a settled population.

A peasant farm in a kishlak consisted of a dwelling house, auxiliary premises and a plot of land under orchards and vineyards. The village had a trading and public centre and one or more mosques. In the large kishlaks one or two days a week were set aside for bazaars at which the neighbouring population sold all kinds of goods and food products. There is always a choihona in the shade of lombardy and poplars and smoothleaved elms which nest near a khous, a large quadrangular pond.

Tradition in house building

There we come upon a shady area clustered with tall poplars and forming a green island surrounded by even taller new man-made structures of steel, concrete and marble ... He laughingly explained to us an old tradition decreeing that a man should plant twelve poplar trees for each of his sons. In this particular instance, the man whose homestead had in years past occupied this new building site was the father of ten sons, for whom the small forest had been planted. The builders, reluctant to desecrate the memory of such a family achievement, elected instead to work around the poplars. (Elton C. Fax)