Man with Camel Loaded with Packs
Camels were the primary beast of burden for heavy work in the hot, arid climate of Turkestan. The resting camel seen here bears large sacks of cotton, grown in the irrigated fields of the extensive Murgab estate near the town of Bayramaly (present-day Turkmenistan). The youth next to the camel wears a bright robe and a shaggy sheepskin hat. Visible in the background are hundreds of other sacks awaiting delivery to the cotton gin. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire. Prokudin-Gorskii was particularly interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), which he visited on a number of occasions, including two trips in 1911. Turkestan appealed to him not only for its Islamic architecture but also for the transformation brought by Russian settlement. Large parts of Turkestan were suitable for the raising of high quality cotton, and cotton production rapidly became a priority in the Russian development of this area.
- acku Afghanistan
- Image Size
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- Contained in galleries