In the depth of the Derbent canyon, along the banks of the Machaidarya river there are three villages with the same name: Machay (Lower Machia (1306m), Middle Machay (1318m), Upper Macha (1330m)). Thanks to one traveler, they got this strange name.
Here is the story. Passing through the village, he was amazed at the hospitality of the inhabitants, each striving to take him to his house and almost in every house he heard ‘Ma Choi’ (that is, have a tea, treat yourself to tea). Since then, this name stuck to the settlement and transformed over time into the name of Machay.
The village is located at the foot of the Ketmanchapta mountains, the very name of the mountain (translated as ‘dug up with ketmen’ that is a type of hoe used in Central Asia) speaks about the life of the villagers.
There are a number of small canals running through the villages that divert water from the Machaidarya river, irrigating the vegetable gardens. And even in August when all the grass is burned by Sun all around, the villages of Machay always remain green and cool. There are large plantations of fruit trees and almost all types of local vegetables grow in numerous gardens.
But all the territory above the village burns. The climate here is dry and a very small amount of rainfall falls every year. The water is scarce in the local mountains and finding a spring in the summer is a great luck. Therefore, agriculture here is a dry-farming.
From November to April starts a boring period in the life of the villagers. Hunters go to the mountains, while the rest of the men kill their time playing cards all day. The women are weaving carpets.
Life becomes super calm and measured. Days of the week do not matter, every new day is like yesterday. But everything changes with the beginning of April.
Those who own flocks take them to the rich and fertile pastures of Kyzylnaur, others rise to the mountains where they plant wheat and peas. And this cycle is and will be repeated from year to year.