Over a hundred years ago, the wool from sheared sheep was used to make cicim kilims – rugs woven in meter-wide strips that are stitched together to create a large finished piece. These days, however, weaving has largely been abandoned; wool may be used for knitting socks or stuffing mattresses and pillows. 


A woman in Ovacik beats sheared wool, to clean it.


Traditionally, families in Munzur have long been semi-nomadic, and even today some still move with the seasons. From September to late May or early June, they live at their homes in villages in the valley, migrating to the high mountains in summer. 


During winter months, the valley is often buried beneath several feet of snow. With nowhere to graze, the herds stay in their indoor corrals nearly all day. They’re fed grasses and grains that were harvested during the summer, and are led outside only to drink at the communal watering troughs that are built in each village. This is the slow season in Munzur, when people have the least amount of work to do.


Below - top photo: Families that resettled in apartment buildings in Ovacik after their villages were destroyed by the Turkish Army in 1994 (see Dark Days) keep their animals in community stables, like this one: