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Sun May 17, 2020, 08:46 PM

Pre-Soviet Uzbekistan Captured In Perfect Color (11 pics)

I found this group of photos hard to choose from. So, I posted most of them.

https://www.rferl.org/a/pre-soviet-uzbekistan-in-perfect-color-photos/30608080.html


Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky (second from left) waiting in vain for a break in the clouds to observe a solar eclipse from Central Asia’s Tien-Shan mountains on January 1, 1907.

Several years before he was famously commissioned by the tsar to photograph the Russian Empire in color, chemist Prokudin-Gorsky set off on an expedition to what is now Uzbekistan to observe a solar eclipse.


A carpenter strips bark from fresh timber on a back road in Samarkand.


An Islamic shrine stands inside the Bahoutdin Architectural Complex on the outskirts of Bukhara. The heavily-restored shrine still stands


A man pauses a moment from grilling meat over hot coals at a restaurant in Samarkand.


A view over central Samarkand from Registan Square


Men sell medicinal products in Samarkand.


A bureaucrat stands outside the emir's palace in Bukhara.


It’s unclear when the more than 200 photos Prokudin-Gorsky shot in Central Asia were taken, but photos like this -- of Bukhara's interior minister with a ceremonial sword, which required access to government buildings -- were probably made during the 1911 expeditions, when the photographer had a letter of recommendation from the tsar.


Two shackled prisoners from Bukhara’s notorious dungeon

The photo was taken just a few meters from the "bug pit" where two British officers were tortured before eventually being beheaded in 1842 by the emir of Bukhara.


Men are held in the "debtors prison" inside the Bukhara dungeon.

Bukharans who owed either taxes to the government or money to other people were held in the prison but allowed out to work until they had repaid their debts.


A building inside the emir's palace in Bukhara

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Reply Pre-Soviet Uzbekistan Captured In Perfect Color (11 pics) (Original post)
rpannier May 17 OP
Wounded Bear May 17 #1
chowder66 May 17 #2
rpannier May 17 #3
NutmegYankee May 17 #4
rpannier May 18 #18
Hermit-The-Prog May 17 #5
Igel May 17 #6
Hermit-The-Prog May 18 #15
sorcrow May 18 #14
Hermit-The-Prog May 18 #16
JI7 May 17 #7
oasis May 17 #8
2naSalit May 17 #9
Aristus May 17 #10
niyad May 17 #11
James48 May 17 #12
Karadeniz May 17 #13
rpannier May 18 #19
littlemissmartypants May 18 #17
Hermit-The-Prog May 18 #20

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 08:50 PM

1. Fascinating. Thanks... nt

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 08:53 PM

2. Incredible!

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Response to chowder66 (Reply #2)

Sun May 17, 2020, 08:58 PM

3. Agreed

They were really difficult to choose from
The one that most intrigued me was the photo of Bukhara's interior minister with the ceremonial sword. I found it fascinating that you had to have a ceremonial sword to enter government buildings, rather than a letter, some paper document or something small that would represent the Emir

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Response to rpannier (Reply #3)

Sun May 17, 2020, 09:11 PM

4. I don't think the sword was required to enter the building.

The caption is that he must have had a document from the tzar granting him access to government buildings to get that photo of the interior minister with his ceremonial sword.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #4)

Mon May 18, 2020, 02:45 AM

18. Right

I was referring to the minister carrying the sword as the symbol of the Emir

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 09:16 PM

5. The carpenter is not just stripping bark ...

He's using an adze to smooth and square some lumber. Hard work and you can lose your toes doing it.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #5)

Sun May 17, 2020, 09:53 PM

6. I was just wondering a few days ago how that was done.

Was thinking for some reason of the variety of ladders that colonialists used back in the 1600s and 1700s and squared timber came into view. Had trouble thinking they sawed it.


Adze.

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Response to Igel (Reply #6)

Mon May 18, 2020, 12:53 AM

15. Also called a "foot adze" in my area of the U.S.

They were sometimes used after a broad axe roughed out the timber, sometimes used exclusively from barking to finished form. In this area, they were used up into the '60s for making railroad ties.

For smooth work, the foot acted as a chip breaker (same function as the part in a hand plane by the same name) -- hence, foot adze. Some workers had one shoe with an extra thick sole for that purpose.

The one in the photo in the OP appears to have a straight handle. A recurved handle is more common (a stretched and flattened 'S'). Mine has such a handle. Here's a photo showing a curved handle:



And an illustration from an Eric Sloane book:

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #5)

Mon May 18, 2020, 12:00 AM

14. And doing a good job of it

An adze leaves a nicely finished surface.

There's a story about a restaurant in Seattle in the 50s or 60s that was remodeling. They wanted rustic exposed beams. So..... They called over to the Lake Union Shipyard for their best adze-man. Turns out he was too good. They had to take an axe to his perfectly hewed beams to get the rustic look. Unclear if he was ever apprised of the modification.

I heard this story from the Bob Prothero, boss at the Shipyard and long time wooden shipwright in Seattle.

Regards,
Crow

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Response to sorcrow (Reply #14)

Mon May 18, 2020, 12:56 AM

16. That's an awful way to treat his work ...

If they wanted rustic, they could have just told him or gotten someone to broadaxe the beams. It takes a lot of skill, experience and hard work to get a really smooth surface with an adze. Apparently, they didn't realize how good that man was!

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 10:22 PM

7. I love seeing these pics . I always wonder what came of the people and how their lives ended up

knowing their history (their future) that we know about .

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 10:30 PM

8. Love the colors. Thanx for posting.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 11:09 PM

9. That's really interesting!

Thanks for the mental floss!

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 11:22 PM

10. I never fail to be amazed at the way color photographs bring the past to life

in a way black and white never could.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that old times were in drab, unappealing black and white.

Then we see photographs like these, taken in color decades before color photography would become common coin, and see the way the past pops. Or even just the way that it looks real, like a scene you could walk into, rather than something from a storybook past.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 11:36 PM

11. Thank you for those amazing photos.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 11:37 PM

12. Absolutely wonderful!

See, this is what I love about DU.

Others like me, who appreciate discovering new and wonder its things about other cultures. That is a rare thing that no Republican that I know has- an appreciation of other places around the world.

Thank you fir sharing, and thank you to all my soul companion DU’ers!

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 11:41 PM

13. Those are amazing! Jeez, the eternal burka...but the rich men dressed beautifully!

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #13)

Mon May 18, 2020, 02:47 AM

19. I didn't post the burka because it looked like she was covered in a blanket

I have a feeling he wasn't able to get many photos of women while there

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Mon May 18, 2020, 01:38 AM

17. Lovely. Thank you, rpannier. ❤ nt

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Mon May 18, 2020, 08:16 PM

20. kicks 4 pics

Lots of stone and brickwork that would be very drab without all those splashes of color.

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