The unique cemetery in the village of Nokhur, Turkmenistan

The unique cemetery in the village of Nokhur, Turkmenistan

adventure travel & photography

Destinations: Pakistan ◦◦ India ◦◦Turkey ◦◦ Egypt ◦◦ Bulgaria ◦◦ Mongolia ◦◦ Bangladesh ◦◦ Jordan ◦◦ Russia ◦◦ Turkmenistan ◦◦ Iran ◦◦ Kazakhstan ◦◦ Japan ◦◦ Hong Kong ◦◦ Greece ◦◦ Ukraine

Type: Photo stories ◦◦ Places ◦◦ Documentary ◦◦ Black and White ◦◦ Fine Art Prints ◦◦ Seascapes ◦◦ Urban

About the place

In May 2016, I led a small group to Turkmenistan. As a part of the tour, we visited the interesting village of Nokhur, located at the foot of the Kopet Dag Mountains, which form the border between Iran and southern Turkmenistan. The most remarkable place in the area is actually outside the village - the local cemetery. The graves are marked with horns of mountain goats, indicating burial rites steeped in animism and Zoroastrianism.

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The locals follow an ancient belief that mountain goats are sacred animals and have the ability to ward off evil spirits and ensure the soul a safe passage to heaven. When someone dies, a relative kills a goat and mounts the horns on the tombstone. Usually, these graves are decorated with the horns of Urial mountain sheep and goats, which are attached to a wooden post. Some of these posts are even decorated with engravings and silk fabrics, as a sign of respect to the deceased.

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