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School for folk craftsmen to be founded in Tuva

School for folk craftsmen to be founded in Tuva

In the remote Bai-taiga kozhuun of Tuva in Kyzyl-Dag village, the main epicenter of master craftsmen of the republic (4 artists born in the village have been awarded the Government prize of Russia), there will be a school of arts for teaching the students traditional folk crafts - stone-carving, making of kogeerzhik, the leather vessels of ancient nomads, embossing on leather and metalwork.  This was announced by master craftsmen from Kyzyl-Dag Sergei Kochaa and Saaya Kogel to the participants of discussion group GPK in the project "One village - one product".

The idea of folk craftsmen was supported by the Ministry of education of the republic, which received the Letter by the Head of the region Sholban Kara-ool, ordering the re-establishment of the practice of "apprenticeship with a folk craftsman".

The school can be located in the building of Kyzyl-Dag khuree, which, as is expected, will be moved to a new location in a new khuree building, which should be finished in April-May. The khuree was one of the first projects built in the late '80's by the method of  people's construction by Kyzyl-Dag stone-carvers.

The construction was headed by Saaya Mizhiteyevich Kogel, whom people call "The Bee" because of his industriousness and curiosity.

He is building the new khuree at the location of the old Koop-Sook khuree, which was destroyed in the '30's of last century. The ruins of the old temple are still there. A legend states that at one  time the place for building it was chosen on the suggestion of Bogdo-Gegen, who visited these places.

The construction, began in 2012, is going on in the location Teiler. "People did not build temples in villages, they raised them in open places, - says Sergei Kochaa, national craftsman from Kyzyl-Dag. - they needed a lot of space for rituals."

Saaya Kogel managed to unite hundreds of his countrymen around his idea. Benefit marathons were held in Kyzyl and Teeli, and almost 2 million rubles were collected. The craftsmen are planning to finish the construction in May of 2013.

After the khuree moves, the vacated building located in the settlement will be "returned to the stone-carvers".  "In April and May, we will be looking for talented kids, so that they could begin classes in September", said Sergei Kochaa.

At the discussion group on January 31, it was emphasized that it was necessary during the realization of the "One village - one product" project to have a special direction for  trademark products of decorative-applied art, and to create conditions for old craftsmen to hand down their experience to new generations of citizens of the republic.

"Applied art, folk souvenirs - that is the sphere where we have obvious competitive advantage. We have to put them to work for the republic. Our folk crafts can and should receive  just such a standard of renown like Gjel, Palekh and Khokhloma, - Sholban Kara-ool emphasized in his Letter. - I suggest that you think about the organization of  yearly specialized trade fair - expo of the products of decorative-applied art and folk crafts with a vivid trademark, which could be entered in the yearly tourist calendar and to promote it to Russian and international level. The pilot trial could be done in the summer of 2013".

Dina Oyun, photo by Vitaliy Shaifulin
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