TRADITIONAL PRACTICES FOR THE USE OF PASTURES ARE CONTROLLED.
The Lipenka pasture committee. To spread the traditional knowledge relating to the use of pastures among pasture users is the main activity of the National pasture users’ Association of Kyrgyzstan “Kyrgyz Jayity” for today. In order to implement the activity, the following pasture committees were selected: the Lipenka pasture committee in Zheti-Oguz district of Issyk-Kul oblast, the Bel-Aldy pasture committee in Toktogul district of Jalal-Abad oblast, the Zherge -Tal pasture committee in Naryn district of Naryn oblast. It was envisaged that the activities relating to the traditional use of pastures would be held there. As the first step, each selected committee was granted a yurt by the National pasture users’ Association of Kyrgyzstan “Kyrgyz Jayity”. First event was held by representatives of the the Bel-Aldy pasture committee. Information about the seminar relating to the traditional use of pastures was published in the May issue of the Erkin-Too newspaper. On June 18 we participated in a festive event on the use of traditional practices organized by the Lipenka pasture committee, which took place on the Kok-Zhaiyk summer pasture, the Yrdyk pasture, Zheti-Oguz district. The first impression, of course, was the beauty of the Yrdyk jailoo. The view of spruce forests, green mountain ranges, snow-white tops of mountains, and the noise of a mountain river certainly were pleasant to us. As they say, the beauty of jailoo is in its livestock. Neat rows of yurts were the most adorable. These yurts were set by the local population of the villages Ichke-Bulun, Lipenka and Bogatyrevka. The local population arrived to the Yrdyk jailoo in the morning. Among them, there were white-bearded respected elders, women in white elecheks, youth and children in national clothes, who brought more beauty to the event. This was the beginning of the event dedicated to the traditional use of pastures.
Baitemir Naizabekov, the specialist of the “Kyrgyz Jayity” Association, began a discussion about the traditional practices of the use of pastures with the elders, who knew all the secrets of pastures, by settling sheepskins in the shape of a cow horn. Abdymalik Egemberdiev, the director general of the “Kyrgyz Jayity” National Association, and Ruslan Sargaliyev, professor, doctor of veterinary sciences, also took part in this informal and extensive discussion. At the beginning of the discussion, the aksakals talked about the life of their ancestors and the way they raised cattle on these pastures. They also mentioned that the ancestors were masters of careful use of pastures. But, in conditions of planned economy during the Soviet times, an irrational use of pastures was allowed according to the rapid growth of livestock. The aksakals added that in case if the pastures were still used that way, the Kyrgyz would have no livestock today. More than that, at that time the whole livestock was exported abroad, and the pasture was not useful for the people. The aksakals were very joyful to admit that the pastures became the cultural asset. They also added that it is necessary to rebuild old traditions in the use of pastures of our ancestors and transmit it to new the next generation.
Abdymalik Egemberdiev, the director general of the “Kyrgyz Jayity” National Association, noted the continuous research work on the innovative knowledge about traditional use of pastures, and the significant meaning of creation of a pasture council. Baytemir Naizabekov told about the fruitful activity of the pasture council created under the Bel-Aldy pasture committee in Toktogul district at the council meeting on the Yrdyk jailoo. He highlighted the success of the Bel-Aldy pasture council and informed that the members of the council were elected among respected aksakals, who underlined problems concerning pastures at the pasture committees, and the pasture committee, in its turn, applied to the ayil kenesh in order to resolve that question. He also noted the best practice of election of the chairman by the youth according to life experience and the authority of the aksakals among the youth. In consequence, there are no doubts in correctness of the chairman elections of the pasture council. Such a chairman takes fair and a right decision, which is also an old tradition, said Baytemir Naizabekov.
To tell the truth, the role of aksakals in the use of pastures was significant in ancient times. The aksakal’s word was law and his decision was obeyed without question. Hence, positive results in management of pastures can be achieved by using this tradition as an important attribute. Today, the pasture councils are continuously being created in all corners of our country. A pasture council of nine members was created in the Lipenka pasture committee, where the event related to the traditional use of pastures was held. Zhumakadyr Asanbayev, an aksakal, was elected as a chairman of the council. According to the resolution of the council one part of the Yrdyk jailoo is is currently resting. The area is watered, the grass grows on it during the summer and then it is collected to feed livestock during the winter. Cattle of the pasture users at ayil okmotu graze not only on the pastures of Yrdyk, but also on the distant pastures of Kumtor, such as Syrt. But last years only few of them grazed on the Syrt jailoo, because no one obliged the cattlemen to go so far. Therefore, they are limited to graze cattle on the nearest pastures. One of the main reasons not to graze livestock on the Syrt pasture is its long-range location. During the discussion, the aksakals informed that the livestock grazed on Syrt jailoo for 2 months gained weight twice as fast as the livestock, which grazed in the meadows of the nearest pastures for 5 months. Therefore, the Lipenka pasture committee agitates cattlemen to graze the livestock during summer on the Syrt jailoo. The chairman of the Lipenka pasture committee, Taalai Maadanbekov, noted the increase of the amount of livestock grazed on the distant pastures.
A lot of concerns relating to the practices on the use of pastures were raised at the meeting held on the Yrdyk jailoo. Meanwhile, the kyrgyz resettlement was being processed. We were excited to see pack horses, herds, sheep and other livestock. We witnessed the magic of a kyrgyz resettlement. Horsemen with poles with a running noose drove the horse-herd through a ford. Among the nomad camp there were women in white elecheks, white-bearded elders, girls and boys in national clothes. The kyrgyz resettlement passed by the people, we watched them go away to the Syrt jailoo. The aksakals blessed them by wishing safe trip. Once the resettlement disappeared, a moderator began to open the event dedicated to the traditional practices of the pasture users and turned the program over to the head of the Lipenka aiyl okmotu, at first, and then to the chairman of the pasture committee, Taalai Maadanbekov, and to the director general of the “Kyrgyz Jayity” National Association, Abdymalik Egemberdiev. The speakers talked about the importance of the traditional practices in modern use of pastures. The heard of the ayil okmotu presented a saddle to each cattleman relocated to the Syrt jailoo. The most active pastoralists and respected people were awarded diplomas of the aiyl okmotu. A concert was organized by local talented persons. Wonderful mood was spread among the participants of the pastoral festival. Details of the traditions of putting the child in cradle and of cutting straps were especially interesting.
Three villages of the Lipenka aiyl okmotu participated in a national dishes cooking contest, which brought a special color for this festive event. The dishes made by the hands of the inhabitants of these villages provided luxury to the table and stimulated interest of all present. 90 kinds of dishes demonstrated that our ancestors ate ecologically clean food. Recipes of these dishes are passed from generation to generation for centuries. Everything was made from milk and meat of the livestock raised on jailoos. Here are the names of some of them: karchyga, chuchuk, stewed noodles, tin, porridge, zhupka, airan, bread, milk noodles, kulazyk, etc. Kulazik is the oldest of these dishes. Kulazyk is considered to be the most important dish of the nomadic Kyrgyz. Many references to it were given in the Manas epic. The cooking technology of this meal is special. We were very grateful to the person who found the recipe and cooked the gulazyk. In fact, it is very difficult to imagine how much effort was made to cook 90 kinds of dishes. Therefore, it was very difficult to give preference to one of the villages. As a result, all three villages were declared winners. Mini-exhibitions of kyrgyz arts and crafts were demonstrated near each yurt. There we were able to see such historical objects as millstones, large wooden pestle, toguz korgool, as well as objects made of felt and leather.
Another feature of the Kyrgyz from jailoo is their hospitality. Any guest that enters a kyrgyz yurt will not leave it without trying at least one bowl of koumiss. This is one of the most ancient and sacred traditions. Thus, anyone who went into a yurt got kumys. The event dedicated to the revival of traditions on the use of pastures was organized by the Lipenka pasture committee at a high level. All participants of the event noted that they had not participated in such high-level events before, and they admitted the necessity in it.
The Zherge-Tal pasture committee. Having recently visited the Teshik jailoo of the Zherge-Tal pasture committee in Naryn district, I came to the conclusion that the wealth of the Kyrgyz people is their pasture. Once again you get convinced that, whatever the pasture, each of it is valuable for its two special properties. Firstly, they are extraordinarily beautiful and, secondly, valuable for conditions of raising livestock. The name of the Teshik jailoo has a meaning. On the road from Bishkek, not reaching 40 kilometers to the city of Naryn and turning left towards the Son-Kul, huge rocks are up ahead. Among them there is a hole that pulls attention of all travelers. This is an amazing creature of the nature. A festive event dedicated to the traditional practices on the use of pastures organized by the Zherge-Tal pasture committee and supported by the “Kyrgyz Jayity” National Association was located here.
Pasture users from the villages Toguz Bulak, Zherge -Tal, Zhany-Talap, Kyzyl-Jyldyz, Zhalgyz -Terek at the Zherge-Tal aiyl okmotu participated and organized the event. All inhabitants of these villages, both old and young, took an active part in the organization of the event. Everyone was full of joy and congratulated each other on the holiday. At the same time, they were significantly trying to help each other. With their help a lot of yurts were decorated and installed, dastorkons were filled with bread, boorsok, kattama, sour cream and other dishes. Young women invited guests and elder people to the yurts, treated them with hot tea from a samovar showing hospitality of the Kyrgyz people. Meanwhile, the head of the Zherge-Tal aiyl okmotu, Sheker Zhumabekova, the chairman of the council of rural deputies, Almaz Omurov, and the head of the pasture committee, specialist the “Kyrgyz Jayity” National Association, Baitemir Nyzabekov, were preparing to organize the Kyrgyz nomad camp. At that time, the head of the state administration of Naryn district, Seyitbek Cherikbayev, the head of the Christensen Fund, Jyldyz Doolbekova, and the head of the “Kyrgyz Jayity” National Association, Abdymalik Egemberdiev, arrived to participate in the holiday dedicated to the traditional practices in the use of pastures. It was a sunny day. The Kyrgyz nomad camp began its procession. At first, two horsemen appeared in the distance. They galloped to the gathered people shouting: "Oh, people, we have inspected our distant pastures. The grass has grown well this year. Our pastures are ready for our relocation". At that time, one of the aksakals yelled: "Friends, if our pastures are ready, we must move and prepare". After a while, the herald announced the upcoming resettlement. A resettlement procession appeared in the distance. The quests watched it impatiently. First appeared a camel loaded with a folded yurt, kyiyiz. Suddenly, zhigits drove horse-herds with poles with a running noose. Near the loaded camel there was a boy riding a yak. Then a number of women and men with children passed by on horsebacks. When they reached the other people, girls in national costumes were pouring kumys in wineskins and treating the people. "Save trip", people wished. The nomad resettlement was continued under the tune "Kyrgyz nomad resettlement".
The official meeting on the traditional practices in the use of pastures began after the resettlement procession. Discussion was headed by aksakals competent in traditional practices. They expressed gratitude to the “Kyrgyz Jayity” National Association and the Christensen Fund for the revival of old traditions and suggested to organize more such events. They noted that the people have distanced themselves from the pastures, and they did not remember the last time such holidays were arranged. In his turn, the head of the district administration noted that the event was organized at the high level and expressed gratitude to the participants. He also emphasized the importance of the pastures in comparison with other special directions and thanked the director general of the “Kyrgyz Jayity” National Association, Abdimalik Egemberdiev, who initiated the reform for an entirely new approach to the pastures of our country. The head of the district administration expressed readiness to support the pasture committees in the activities of promotion of the traditional practices in the use of pastures. The director general of the “Kyrgyz Jayity” National Association told more about importance of the traditional practices. "If we learn how to apply the traditional practices of our ancestors, it will surely make a positive impact on the lives of our people. As result, we will learn how to use our pastures carefully and with knowledge. If we use our pastures carefully, the livestock will increase in number. The economy of the country will grow. Today's event will help restore the traditional knowledge of pasture use and will foster development. I was very glad to see that today's the event have been organized by all pasture committees as one team. Thank you very much," - he concluded.
Games and entertainment began after the official part of the event. The participants organized such national games as kok-boru, kyiz kuumai, tug-of-war, etc. The guests admitted they would remember this day forever. That is how the holiday dedicated to the traditional practices in the use of pastures in Zherge-Tal ended.