Participation of Aigine CRC in the Symposium of Altaic Communities, Antalya, 20-22 July, 2015

The Aigine Cultural Research Center consisting of manaschys (Manas epic narrators) Kubanychbek Almabekov, Salimbai Tursunbaev, Rysbai Isakov, Zamirbek Baialiev, Doolot Sydykov, Kamil Mamadaliev, Ulan Ismailov, the artist Mairamkul Asanaliev and the researchers Aida Alymbaeva, Baktygul Tulebaeva and Gulnara Aitpaeva is taking part in the International Symposium – Altay Communities, the communities that belong to the Altaic language group. The symposium is taking place at the University of Akdengiz, Antalya, Turkey.
On the 20th of July, the “Manas” epic narrators took part in the Opening Ceremony. Seven manaschys narrated the episodes from the epic Manas which were about Altay – the ancestral home of the Kyrgyz people by using the method called “ulama”, which means that each narrator continued from the place where the previous narrator stopped.
On the 20th of July, the Aigine CRC, consisting of Mairamkul A., Aida A., Baktygul T., and Gulnara A., held a session named “Sacred Geography of Kyrgyzstan: Linking Rituals, Artistic Expression and Ecology”. Mairamkul introduced the concepts of his artistic paintings devoted to the epic “Manas” and spoke about the roles of sacred places in the creation of this cycle. Baktygul shared some findings from her PhD research which is devoted to rituals that “construct” a child. Some of these rituals are conducted at sacred sites. Aida presented some fragments of her doctoral work on how the residents of the village Chelpek relate food, including food used for pilgrimage, to ethnic self-identification. Gulnara introduced the sacred geography of Kyrgyzstan as a “ritualized territory” and showed the role of the rituals in the construction of the phenomenon of sacred geography.
On the 21st of July, the Aigine CRC held two sessions and one round table, devoted to the issues related to “Manas” studies. The uniqueness of these sessions was that the presenters and the main speakers were the practitioners – the Manas epic narrators – and the scientists were their listeners. The unusual composition of the sessions, where the Manas epic narrators were the presenters – received mixed assessment from the scientists. The speakers, without any doubt, stood out with rare competence in unfolding the issues which they presented.