Considering varied rituals traditionally associated in Tashkent with the construction of a private house, the author of this synthetic, elliptic article interprets them as the condition for the creation of an ideal image of a social micro-structure.  The symbolic value—positive of negative—of diverse construction materials is also assessed, the author also taking into account the specific significations added to some of them by the eventful twentieth-century history of Uzbekistan.  In the 1930 for instance, if clay roofs were often preferred to metallic ones, it was by fear of repressions against ‘the rich (kulaki)’.  This annotation is interesting indeed, but as many other ones by the same author and many ethnographers of Central Asia, it does not take into account an essential element of modern-day cultures, viz. an exceptional disposition for unconscious imitation or mimetism that should not be explained only by the traditional role of the mahalla structure and authorities. (See also in supra 665 my review of the book by Arifkhanova & Zununova.)

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-7.4.G-683