Chorus of Life: Crafting Uygur instruments
By Omar Khan

Folk music and ethnic Uygur instruments, are one of the many defining features of Xinjiang culture. For Kurbanjan Ablimit, a native of Kashgar, his family business goes back more than six generations. Over time however, the instrument store has evolved into something more than just a business, becoming a focal point of preserving local, ethnic music.

Here the instruments are carefully designed and carved by hand, with each chisel shaping one of many local instruments. Some belong to the Uygur ethnic minority, others belong to Tajik and Kazakh musical backgrounds.

As inheritors of intangible cultural heritage, Kurbanjan and his family hope to take their local music beyond the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, while also ensuring future generations keep up their traditions.