Congregation of the custodians and practitioners of Kyrgyz traditional knowledge from seven regions of Kyrgyzstan in jailoo

On June 12, 2016, a congregation for the pastoral network of custodians and practitioners of Kyrgyz traditional knowledge, Kyrgyz El Akyl Kazyna (KEAK), was held at the jailoo (summer pasture) of Besh-Belye, in At-bashinsky district, Naryn Oblast, to share experiences for the development and strengthening of the pastoral network of KEAC, as well as to support the environmental, economic, cultural and social development of local communities.

The participants of the event included the regional leaders of KEAC from all 7 oblasts, representatives of the KEAC initiative groups, custodians and practitioners of unique methods and technologies of traditional needlework, handicraft, livestock husbandry and Kyrgyz traditional culture, representatives of local communities, partner organizations, guests, and media.

The programmes included:

– Presentation of the KEAK Network activities which aim to preserve out treasury of wisdom;

– RDF presentations on programmes for environment preservation engaging Kyrgyz traditional knowledge and Kyrgyz environmental knowledge, e.g. a project on natural resource management with local community participation, and a project on conservation of snow leopards and their habitats at the community level;

– Exhibition of various handicrafts, especially of Tush kyiz, elaborately embroidered wall hanging whose techniques had been handed down in the family of artisans for three generations, stood out in particular;

– Workshops on:

– Learning about camel migrations

– Care for Taigan hunting dogs

– Musical instrument, kyl-kyak (two-string bowed instrument) and singing game of Aytysh

– Archery

– Game of knucklebones with the participation of the younger guests, and

– Nomadic cooking.

We had an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience among regional leaders of KEAK and representatives of other partner organizations such as the Association of Artisans of Kyrgyzstan to discuss new plans and further joint steps. Lively exchange of views and opinions among livestock breeders, their families, and custodians of traditional knowledge also took place, and many breeders and their families, as well as other partner organisations, expressed their desire to join the Network in order to strengthen their ties and to improve their livelihood.

The Agency of Primary and Secondary Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education and Science congratulated the work of KEAK with a letter of appreciation. The Republican Scientific and Methodological Center also expressed their gratitude to KEAK and RDF for maintaining Kyrgyz traditional knowledge, and wished further successful practice in this area with plans for mutually beneficial cooperation.