Life in the Jailoos in Kyrgyzstan

The jailoos are high altitude pastures in Kyrgyzstan, where the herders take the cattle for grazing during the summer. Even in July and August, it's not very warm up there at over 3000 m and it's hard work. Cattle include yaks, horses, sheeps and cows

jailoos horses kyrgyzstan

One activity as in this photo is to milk the mares. The young is allowed to take milk for a minute or two and is then taken away. The milk then taken is used to maky kymys : fermented mares milk.

kymys fermented mares milk

The milk is collected in this ... "bag" (an animal skin) and is churned for 10 min each time new milk is added. A jacket wrapped around it keeps the milk warm, as it fermentates. It tastes a bit sour, but I got used to it although it's not always very appetising with the dark bits of fat floating on top.

jailoos yurts

Accomodation in the jailoos is basic : everyone shares the little space there is in the traditional kyrgyz yurt set in the middle of the vast meadow.

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