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Traditional Uzbek house

In the past the Uzbek houses had facads into the coutryard and windowless walls faced the street. Most dwellings had no front entrances. If somebody wanted to enter the house it was necessary to pass through a gate which leads into an outer courtyard, tashkari. There it was possible to walk into the house and the inner courtyard, ichkari which no man outside the family was allowed to enter. Nowadays it has changed a bit. People started building houses with one courtyard, but there are some houses still building with two courtyards.


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)


The most wide spread type of dwelling in the oasis is a house with several rooms and open verandah (aivan). Some of them have a bolohona (superstructure) which is a pleasant place to have rest in summer. The yard which is surrounded by a brick or mud wall is in fact a garden. Under the trees stands the supa, a square platform made of clay where the family gathers for its meals and the evening tea. There is also a suri in any Uzbek yard. A suri is a wooden platform surrounded by a low grating with a ladder leading to the top. Standing in the cool shade of the fruit trees or vines, the suri, is a place where the family rests in the evening or receives guests.

In areas where wood and stone are scarce, people build their homes of mud with thick walls and flat, roofs. Such houses are cool in the terrible summer heat and warm in the winter.