with Annemie Koenen
on 06 November 2018
At our November meeting, we gave an enthusiastic welcome to Annemie Koenen as she gave her very interesting talk on ‘The Nomadic Life and Crafts of Kyrgyzstan’.
Annemie visited Kyrgyzstan, a rugged Central Asian country along the Silk Road, from 2005-2013, making several trips and clearly forming lasting bonds with the people of the area.
The families live a nomadic lifestyle and the felting produced has very practical purposes such as covering their yurts, making clothing and special carpets known as ‘shirdak’. But it was evidently clear from the videos, photographs and sound footage that felt making was more than just practical - it was a collaborative, communal event, with huge symbolism in the colours and stitches used to decorate the felted items. Village life is all about the care of their animals and, as Annemie said, “Without sheep there is no living”.
The talk was well received and many questions from the audience were asked which Annemie was happy to discuss. She had brought some beautiful, felted items that she had made based on her travels which were much admired.