Monday, July 12, 2010


This is Khiva. At least, one of the more famous sights in town.
On the way to this ancient trading town, the taxi driver shared his love for Tajik techno.

Khiva is half an hour drive from Urgench, where I live. Urgench itself is a relatively young city, but its predecessor, old Urgench -now in Turkmenistan- vied with Khiva for importance in the ancient state of Khorezm, a region south of the Aral Sea that was sometimes independent, often under other regimes, but most of the time a clearly delineated political and cultural entity.
Caravans passed through Khiva for centuries -yes, I saw camels- and its heydays were probably in our later middle ages. Some buildings dated back to the 10th century of the Samanids, trading with the Vikings and other westerners, but most of the old town is either 14th century, or more recent, the twilight of the Khiva Khanate, when it was already under Russian rule [late 19th, early 20th century] Somewhere in between, Tamerlane and the mongols of the Golden Horde, competing for Khorezm, destroyed both Urgench and Khiva a few times.


  1. Tajik techno? Love to have a CD of such music!

  2. I've got a CD of Tuvan throat singing techno somewhere -- unless I've given it to my sister. Central Asian techno is definitely a special treat!!