chapter  1
9 Pages

The Genesis of the Project

It was a happy synchronicity. In the spring of 1995, I was looking for a folklore research project, and my husband was offered a two-year assignment, working for one of the UN specialized agencies in Turkmenistan. I knew little about this country other than that it had recently gained its independence from the Soviet Union, that it was largely a desert culture, and that it was in the heart of Central Asia, one of the least known and most exotic regions of the world. That little was enough to decide me. Turkmenistan was where I would find my project. We had to go.