Kyrgyz Jailoo

Kyrgyzes have been nomads for many centuries, traveling with their herds up and down the mountains. They split their seasonal pastures into winter pastures (kyshtoo), spring pasture (jailoo) and autumn pasture (kyzdoo). Winter pastures were in sheltered gorges and spring and fall pastures were a little farther off, but still closer, the winter pastures. In high wild meadows and broad gorge with plenty of plants and water, there were summer pastures.

Most people are now living in Kyrgyz but others are semi-nomadic. Winters in villages are normally spent (sometimes called kishlak, which has now become a general term for the countryside). Shepherds bring their cattle to the jailoo during the summer (usually herds of flock, pigs, horses and goats). Yurts are the most popular building and the big, green wilderness of the mountains can be found here.

Some of the most famous prisons are on the road between Osh and Bishkek in the vicinity of Son-Kul, Naryn and Suusamyr Valley. These locations are known for their nature and their tasty dairy products (including kumis, fermented stomach milk). Many tourists go to the jailoo to stay in a Kyrgyz Yurt, explore the region on horseback and encounter some traditional nomadic lifestyle.