In the years following the Soviet Union''s collapse the economy of Kyrgyzstan plunged into free-fall, losing more than 50% of GDP by 1997. Yet, during this same period the number of bazaars grew exponentially, as did their share of the economic activity. This remarkable economic transformation has had enormous economic and societal implications as thousands of people migrated from thendefunct villages to the booming bazaar. As a place of public exchange of goods, ideas, and culture, the bazaar offers a unique window onto the tumultuous currents of change that have gripped Kyrgyzstan since independence. Because the economic activity at the bazaar is built on long- term social relationships, the bazaar presents a tapestry of cultural symbolism and political salience. By understanding the role of the former Soviet elites, newly constructed mosques and former villages in the bazaar, we gain insight into how the political economy functions in Kyrgyzstan and how it is likely to continue changing. This book examines Kyrgyzstan''s largest bazaar, Dordoi, with the aid of previous research, historical investigation, and fieldwork by the author.