Kyrgyzchylyk Searching New Paradigms for Ancient Practices. Aitpaeva G.

This essay discusses the concept of kyrgyzchylyk (rather inadequately
rendered in English as ‘Kyrgyzness’) as a way of transcending
different boundaries: the Soviet past, Koran-based
Islam, rational thinking. Several aspects of the concept and
its meaning in everyday life are discussed; in particular the
idea of kyrgyzchylyk as spirituality is examined. Moreover,
the concept can be seen as transcending the boundaries between
traditional beliefs and Islam. Traditional practitioners
– healers, clairvoyants, epic storytellers, sacred sites custodians
and others – are seen as becoming powerful people
through their practices, and the role of kyrgyzchylyk in the
context of the traditional worldview is assessed. In conclusion,
some implications for ethno-anthropological research
are outlined.

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