In search of traditional knowledge among ethnic Kyrgyz in China

The history of the Kyrgyz people is not simple and original, interesting and exciting with its events and facts. Historical and social changes have affected the fate of the people. For many years and even centuries, the Kyrgyz, due to the influence of external factors and being a nomadic people, migrated from place to place, while not losing their original roots, traditions and knowledge. Thus, large ethical groups of Kyrgyz live in China, Turkey, Afghanistan and other countries of the near and even far abroad.   To study the life of ethnic Kyrgyz, in April 2010, RDF researchers organized a scientific trip to the People's Republic of China.

  main purpose of the trip
The members of the delegation participating in the trip were aimed   at collecting   high-quality and complete information about the traditional knowledge of the local Kyrgyz and their nomadic life.

Places visited  
RDF experts visited villages in the Tekes and Kulzha valleys, as well as   Kyzyl-Suu region, which is located 2000 km south-west of Urumqi. It is worth noting that the RDF researchers discovered an interesting feature -   Kyrgyz people living in the Tekes and Kulzha valleys are engaged in animal husbandry due to the favorable climate and the presence of pasture lands. Their lifestyle is different from the Kyrgyz who live in the Kyzyl-Suu region. The semi-desert landscape of these lands has led to the occupation of local Kyrgyz in vegetable growing, although there are also livestock breeders who care for camels and goats.
RDF experts visited the villages of Shaty, Kok-Terek, Mongol Kuroo, Kulan Sarak, Kara-Zhulgo, Manas, Uluu-chat, where they interviewed many residents, captured interesting moments, landscapes and personalities on camera. More than 30 meetings, focus groups and interviews were held, more than 100 people were interviewed. All meetings and conversations were interesting, exciting and even exciting. Among the respondents were famous personalities, for example,   Zhusup Mamai, the famous manaschi, who made a great contribution to the development of the direction of folk legends and, in particular, the trilogy of the epic "Manas".
In one of the villages, the RDF researchers were even directly involved in the application of the lost traditional elements in practice. For example, in the village. Our researchers witnessed how the preparations for the meeting of the newly minted matchmakers were going on. They prepared carefully and thoroughly for the solemn event, women prepared traditional folk dishes, observing the proportions and sequence of using different ingredients in their preparation. One of these dishes was   "olobo", made from the lungs of a ram. The recipe for this interesting, and most importantly, tasty and nutritious dish, of course, was written down by our researchers and included in materials about the nomadic cuisine of ethnic Kyrgyz.

Trip opening  
The RDF researchers were pleasantly surprised by the initiatives of the Kyrgyz youth, whose representatives opened the Onorkana national handicraft workshop in Artush. One of the girls working in this workshop said that needlework helps to develop good qualities, for example, patience and perseverance in   work, wisdom and creativity, and this in the future has a positive effect on a person's character. In this workshop, well-known folk craftsmen and craftsmen teach children to embroider, make jewelry, horse equipment, Kyrgyz musical instruments and national clothes, and they also sell finished products at local fairs and bazaars.

Another interesting discovery for researchers was the fact that the villages where ethnic Kyrgyz live have Kyrgyz names. For example, if there are residents in a village who are   hunting with a golden eagle, then this village is called "Burkut aiyly", and the village where Manaschi Zhusup Mamay was born was called Manas. Another surprise for the researchers was that the ethnic Kyrgyz have not lost the ability to speak Kyrgyz, and often when speaking they use ancient and even forgotten words and expressions of our ancestors. This suggests that the Kyrgyz, even being far from their historically native places, have retained the basic elements of ethnicity - language and traditions.

Of course, the most interesting respondents were the keepers of traditional knowledge, usually people of the older generation, who practice and cherish the folk knowledge that they have shared with us. RDF researchers have collected invaluable materials on how people looked after and treated animals, rationally and carefully used pastures and land, and raised horses and pacers. We also received data on the secrets of the life and culture of nomads, rituals and traditions of the ancient nomadic Kyrgyz, and even jailoo games.

Field survey results
The most important results of our trip to the neighboring country were the records of numerous recipes, rituals, technologies and long-forgotten methods, skills of Kyrgyz nomadic animal husbandry. Somewhere we managed to find differences from the methods already obtained in Kyrgyzstan, somewhere to confirm our assumptions, and somewhere to get completely new materials and data. It should be noted
Traditional Knowledge