General View of the Bashkir Village of Ekhia


In 1909 and 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled extensively in the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural landscapes. In the summer of 1910 he traveled along the Samara-Zlatoust Railroad (built in 1885–90; now the Ufa-Chelyabinsk line), subsequently a link in the Trans-Siberian Railway through the southern Urals. Shown here is a Bashkir village identified as “Ekh’ia.” Although a village of this precise name is not recorded, there is evidence to suggest that it is Iakhino (in present-day Bashkortostan), located near the railroad between Sim Station and Ust-Katav. The one-story log houses seen in this photograph are modest in size; most have four-sloped wooden roofs. Attached to the houses are enclosed yards such as the one on the right, which has large stacks of hay. Chickens are visible in the grassy area between the houses. Rising in the center of the village is a wooden mosque with a tin-sheathed minaret. The Bashkirs are a Turkic people who have long occupied the territory located to the west of the southern Ural Mountains. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Общий вид башкирской деревни Ехья

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)


  • Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at

Last updated: September 28, 2016