Meeting of traditional practitioners of Kyrgyzstan and indigenous peoples of Altai

Date: September 8 2011
Venue:  Aigine CRC
Working language: Kyrgyz, Russian

A meeting of traditional practitioners from Altai, Khakassia and Kyrgyzstan took place in the office of the Aigine CRC on September 8 2011.  The main purpose of the meeting was to establish and strengthen ties between traditional practitioners of Kyrgyzstan and indigenous peoples of Russia.

The meeting was attended by Bolot Bairyshev, performer of traditional throat singing kai from mountainous Altai and Distinguished Artist of Russia, as well as Altai, Yefrosinya Sagalakova, hereditary Khakass shaman and chairwoman of Khan Tigir people’s organization, Nurak Abdrakhmanov, people’s artist of Kyrgyzstan, narrators of Manas epic Ryspai Isakov, Zamir Bayaliev, representatives of several different NGO’s, university teachers and staff members of the Aigine CRC.

During the meeting, Yefrosinya Sagalakova shared her experience of how she organized an institute on revival of Khakass people’s traditions and customs. Currently, she is continuing the work of the institution as a chairwoman of Khan Tigir’s district office, Khakass people’s organization of traditional religion.

Yefrosinya Efimovna, dressed as a traditional Khakass shaman, conducted a fire ritual at the Aigine CRC’s office. Those interested participants of the meeting were invited to take part in the ritual. Participants had a chance to observe all stages of the ritual, i.e. putting on shaman’s garment, preparation of  ritual “food” for the fire, the process of lighting and “nourishing” the fire and purification ceremony of those participating in the ritual.

Bolot Bairyshev talked about the situation of Altai kais (throat singers) and the growth of interest in the throat singing among young people. Participants much enjoyed Bolot’s performance of several epics to the accompaniment of topshur, national instrument of Altai people and ooz komuz, jew’s harp. Bolot expressed his happiness of having a chance to meet Nurak Abdrakhmanov once again after 10 years. In 2001, Bolot Bairyshev and Nurak Abdrakhmanov participated together and were awarded with a special prize at the International Music Festival Voice of Asia conducted in the framework of the UNESCO’s project For the Preservation and Promotion of Ethnic Culture.

Kyrgyz folk melody ak tamak – kok tamak, famous songs of Toktogul were performed by Nurak Abdrakhmanov, as well as his own melody Zhibek zhol (The Silk Road).

The meeting lasted for several hours at the end of which, traditional practitioners expressed their gratitude to the Aigine CRC for conducting the meeting and bringing together people from different parts of the world, beliefs and experience.

Please follow this link to view some snapshots from the meeting.