Photographer's Note

The population of Uzbekistan is more diversed than you can imagine and the Uzbeks - one of the most ancient peoples of Central Asia who live between vast deserts and mountains form the majority. Uzbek women have Turkic-Mongol features, the immigrants such as Russians - “left behind after independent" are tall with good features, Tatars are Europeanized with beautiful body and features, Crimeans are very neat and make good wives I was told. Armenians are not as fair colour like Russians but have black hairs. Bukhara and Samarkand are actually culturally and ethnically Tajik. Suprisingly there are also ethnic Koreans, decendants of Korean population from a WWII-era migration from the Comie Soviet Far East to Central Asia forced by Stalin.

Modern Uzbeks hail not only from the Turkic-Mongol who first claimed the name, but also from other Turkic and Persian peoples living inside the country's borders. The Comie Soviets, in an effort to "divide and rule" the Turkic people into more easily governable subdivisions, labeled Turks, Tajiks, Sarts, Karakalpak, Khojas and others as Uzbek, thus doubling the size of the ethnicity. Today the government is strengthening the Uzbek group identity to prevent the splintering. Some have assimilated and many Tajiks consider themselves Uzbek although they retain the Tajik language, this may be because they have long shared the same lifestyle.


In general I found the street pepole are hospitable and cheerful and what a refreshing change. The friendly faces can be found almost everywhere and shooting them needs common sense; a bit of scouting around and patience is the key. I adore the elderly in particular and always my favourite people picture - the lines and wrinkles are indeed a treasure trove of faces and each of them tells a story.

Shot taken at Siob Dekh Khan Market in Samarkand and judging by her facial feature this elderly is probably Tajik ethnic with her beautiful gold teeth, a common Central Asian ornamentation.

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