Keeping the music alive

Tradition>> Museum • Turkmenistan

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Portraits of Turkmenistan’s Bagshys folk singers

In Turkmenistan’s tightly-controlled cultural environment, traditional folk singers known as bagshys rarely receive the government’s stamp of approval. As a result, few of them reach a wide audience, and their musical legacy is slowly fading away. To preserve the songs of these traditional musicians, a retired civil engineer in Turkmenistan’s capital city Ashgabat has started a Museum of Bagshys in his own house.

At the museum, Itma Yagmirav has single-handedly curated the faces and voices of Bagshys. “I am doing this for our future generations,” Yagmirav told Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty.

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