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Down another winding lane, knocking on a large gate – even Gul wasn’t quite sure of the way, as she had only been here a few times before – and we entered the home-plus-workshop of Khotan’s master hatmaker:

The “workshop” consisted of two men sitting cross-legged and hand-stitching; the “showroom” was piles of product all over the floor among bundles of prepped mink pelts. The owner showed us in, shook hands with Tom (as a woman I never got a proper greeting),and without further ado, we dove in and started rummaging!

Sami was our model, showing off the various styles:

We asked the master hatmaker, who turned out to be the owner’s younger brother, to sign our hats for us.

As a special gift, the owner whacked the tails off two mink pelts and gave them to the girls. Presto – mustaches! Beards! Major silliness!

A final pose in our new finery, and we were ready for our next adventure:

Mulberry paper, traditional instruments, hand-made hats. Whew! It's time to eat!



Xinjiang chapter shortcuts: Intro Urumqi
Khotan Treasures Toy Bazaar Camel Weaving Shakeer Hats Food Costume Bowls Camel Ride
Overland Kashgar Old City Bazaar Kindergarten Rural Life Reunion

Homepage Everyday Adventures Work Visit! Contact