Karakul, The Central Asian Sheep

Karakul or Qaraqul is a breed of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) which originated in Central Asia and is frequently bred in the Bukhara region. Some archaeological evidence points to Karakul sheep being raised there continuously since 1400 BC and may well be the first domesticated wild sheep in the world.

It is highly valued both for its resistance to harsh environment in which it can not only survive but provide also valuable milk and meat but also for the curly fur, the newborn lambs possess and are harvested for.

The fur is then processed to be used specifically on hats (the Uzbek hats) but also on other dresses as main or design material. It is often referred to as Karakul or Persian Lamb or Astrakhan Lamb.

The market of Bukhara, the center of the trade with this sheep breed, is full of finest skins of these unique sheep. The most typical prosucts are the Uzbek hats, but alsu furs, vests and shawls are offered...