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Bural is the Chairwoman of the Altyn Kol ("Helping Hands") women's cooperative in Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan.
The Altyn Kol Cooperative was formed in 1996 by a small group of women from the remote Naryn Oblast of central Kyrgyzstan. The founding members lacked experience in the outside world, but they recognized that reviving the endangered art of Shyrdak making offered the chance to preserve dying traditions and create much-needed jobs. Today, more than 80 women practice the ancient tradition of Shyrdak making, and in doing so share their art and culture with travelers lucky-enough to visit the rural village of Kochkor where the cooperative has a small shop. The money they earn is of immeasurable help to families facing the perpetual challenge of getting-by in a harsh, mountainous region with few economic opportunities.
Each shyrdak produced by Altyn Kol is unique, designed and prepared individually, using the indigenous knowledge Kyrgyz of patterns, symbols, coloring and sewing techniques.