This book could not have been written without the help of many people in Khorezm. I am particularly grateful to Dr. Otabay Jumaniyazov from the State University of Urganch whose readiness to cooperate with my home institution, the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, made my long-term fieldwork in Uzbekistan possible. Moreover, Dr. Jumaniyazov and his wife, Shukurjon, opened their home in Ko'shko'pir to me; they supported my research in every way possible and were, like all other members of their extended family, tireless in answering my many questions. I own deep gratitude to Nigora Kadirova and her husband, Mahmud, for accepting me over many months as their guest in Urganch and for all the moral and practical support they gave me throughout my stay. My assistant Sarvar Matnasarov was of immense help to me in the field; he also transcribed most of my interviews and introduced me to many different people in all parts of the province. I am grateful to him and his family, especially his mother, Amine, and his aunts, Halima and Rahima, as well as Nilufar and Ijobat Atamuradova, for their great hospitality and their readiness to provide me with all kinds of information. Furthermore, I would like to thank all the healers, who willingly answered my questions and allowed me to take part in their curing rituals. They all helped me to feel at home in Khorezm.
I am grateful to Ildikö Beller-Hann, my friend and colleague from the Martin Luther University in Halle, for endless discussions and critical comments on my text and for sharing her deep knowledge of Central Asia with me. John Eidson, my colleague from the MPI, spent much time co-reading parts of this book, and he was always ready to help me when I had problems translating my thoughts into English. I also want to thank Jane Tienne, who sensitively polished the final text of the manuscript, and my colleagues Nathan Light and Johan Rasanayagam for last minute editorial assistance. Last but not least, I owe much gratitude to the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology for the generous material and technical support of my research.