Reviving traditional crafts

Kazakh craftsmen preserve musical traditions. Zhanarbek Kazezuly from Zhymkora village in West Kazakhstan region makes once forgotten double sided dombyras. The artisan learnt the technology of making the traditional instrument from his father and grandfather. It takes a week for Zhanarbek to create a unique musical instrument. More time is spent on choosing the material.Thsi time he chose a thoroughly dried birch and maple bars.


 - I have three to four types of dombyra. Dombyras for children are in a great demand now. I often take part in exhibitions. I was in Oskemen recently and soon I am going to go to Semey to present my works.

The artisan can tell the precise age of birches and maples and applies this knowledge to creating his music instruments. The residents of Shymkora village are proud of the unique instruments that Zhanarbek makes.

Six years ago, Zhanarbek and his family moved to Kazakhstan from China. The craftsman’s elder son is a great dombyra player. His youngest son, seven-year old Yesil, helps his father to carve the dombyra’s carcass. He also sings well.

Zhanarbek doesn’t sell his instruments to his relatives and neighbors, but presents them as gifts so that their sound can be heard in the streets of the village.


 - Gifted people are gifted in everything. He makes beautiful dombyras. Perhaps others can also make a dombyra. But Zhanarbek has a talent in making them. Moreover, he can play the dombyra well. If we decide to buy a dombyra for our kid, we will certainly contact Zhanarbek.

That’s how the national traditions are preserved in Zhanarbek Kazezuly’s home.