Kazakh researchers explore cultural heritage of Saryarka
Saryarka is a treasure trove of the cultural heritage of Kazakh people. Kazakh scientists are planning to issue a scientific monograph based on archaeological and ethnographic research of Saryarka. Experts intend to present the results of the expedition to the northern and border regions of Kazakhstan by the end of this year, Head of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Department of the ‘Halyk Kazynasy’ Research Institute of Kazakh National Museum Aigerim Musagazhinova said. She added that 15 employees of the institute are taking part in the expeditions.
“To date, we have traveled to more than 20 villages and restored more than 15 dishes that were found in North Kazakhstan region, Pavlodar region and Karagandy region. We were provided with unique exhibits in Pavlodar region, including clothes, chapans, syrmak carpets and patterned mats. All these attributes have already been handed over to the National Museum of Kazakhstan,” Musagazhinova said.
Not only ethnographic and archaeological research is carried out as part of the ‘Study, preservation and popularization of the historical and cultural heritage of Saryarka’ project, but also musical and folklore. There are already some big results. Within three years, researchers have collected a lot of valuable information and unique artifacts, exclusive photos and videos.
“Archaeologists do their archaeological research, and we ethnographers are engaged in the study of intangible cultural heritage. Traditional food, applied arts, traditional medicine and life-cycle rituals are the main directions of our research. Our most important task is to record the carriers of traditional culture, since now, under the influence of various factors and in the globalization era, there is a change of generations. We are losing these people and now, during this difficult period, we see our older generation go away and with them, we are losing all information about traditions, rituals and elements of applied arts, that is, the knowledge and skills that we must preserve,” Musagazhinova stressed.
Ethnographer Musagazhinova has been studying gastronomic traditions of Kazakh people for many years. During the expeditions, she managed to record more than 15 rare recipes of ancient dishes. This vividly testifies to the fact that the inhabitants of Saryarka carefully preserve and honor the traditions of the country of the Great Steppe.