The history of Kyrgyzstan is influenced heavily by nomadic practices. While Kyrgyz culture has Russian, Persian and Turkish roots, it remains a unique aspect. Nature influences, from crafts to music, and the fact that nomads lived close to nature is expressed in various rituals. The Epic of Manas, an extraordinarily long poem passed down orally through centuries, may be the most well-known component of the Kyrgyz history.
The people of Kyrgyz have lived in close contact with nature as nomads. Everything was designed to accommodate changing weather and locations from accommodation to clothes. Yurts can be quickly removed and shipped and colder in winter and cooler in the summer. The textiles inside yurts, including the shyrdaks and tush kyiz, are influenced by designs in nature, including plants, animals and landscapes. Also garments were made of natural and comfortable fabrics, though still fashionable.
In the history of Kyrgyzstan, horses were, and still are. They not only provided travel, but even played vital roles in wars and even food. Kumis or kymyz, made from mare milk, and horse meat is available in some popular dishes. In court and marriage rituals, horses historically played roles and may be used as payments and dowries. In traditional Kyrgyz music, some instruments were built to be played at horseback, and the hooves’ beat can be heard.
No wonder then that in Kyrgyz culture horsemanship is highly regarded. Sport is a means of building up horses and riders and of training both for shooting and war. The best hunters, who would be important in winter were found in contests measuring dogs and birds of prey at their speed and precision.
While Kyrgyzstan is now a modern nation, many of these elements are still present today. People are proud of Kyrgyzstan’s culture and activities are arranged to ensure it is preserved and supported. In fact, if tourists live with a host family you should expect to be engulfed in these nomadic and traditional aspects.
The Epic of Manas may be one of Kyrgyz’s best-known and potentially the world’s longest epic poem. This epic tells the life of the epic warrior Manas and his son and grandchildren, 20 times longer than the Odyssey. The original story was spoken verbally by an actress to an actor, known as Manaschi. The novel was composed from the 1800s and in the 1920s it was published in a first full book. The Epic of Manas has since been traduced and published in the Soviet Union and abroad in several different languages.
Yurts, which are more than homes, are one of the most important elements of Kyrgyz history. They are the culture, the world, the world, and everything from birth to death. Yurts include a great deal of the Kyrgyz culture, ranging from significant rituals and ceremonies to artisanal artistic tradition.
Kyrgyz yurts consists of a cupola birch paddle connected to a grid forming the walls of the vertical. The exterior is made of felt and wool that is warm and water-proof and can be quickly repaired if necessary. The yurt top is a wooden circle known as a tunduk that is one of the key representations of the family and the universe.
Kyrgyz textiles feature mostly natural designs and fabrics that can be found conveniently in and around the mountains. Felt and wool as reeds and stick thread are traditional fabrics. Mountains, rivers, plants and animals live in Kyrgenyzstan represent much of the motifs and crafts.
Shyrdacs are the most famous textiles of Kyrgyz, quick to recognise with their fierce designs.
Tush kyiz, sometimes rendered for marriage, are dynamic brotherhoods. The designs include plants and flowers and animals, often broken on a soft tissue, and hung on the yurt walls.
Kyrgyz music is best known for the evoking nature and mountain life. Many songs have lyrics about nomadic lives, but also without words the music represents the sounds of not only the environment but even the life experiences. In Kyrgyzstan, you can play a number of instruments in ensembles or independently.
While Kyrgyzstan may not be regarded as an entertainment hub, a number of prominent authors and artists from the area currently exist. Kyrgyzstan has a flourishing art scene with art schools and theatres. Students can learn music, dance and video, and regular performances can also be performed in performance spaces.
The Kyrgyz State Opera and Ballet Theater was founded as a theatre. The new building was constructed in 1955 and continues to perform daily.
The literature of Kyrgyzstan lasts decades but has not always been written down. Because until very recently, very few of the population was literate, many poets (known as akyns) went from town to village to perform their works. Some books, such as the Epic of Manas, have been recalled and orally handed on to generations of artists, called manaschi. Under the Soviet Union, literacy expanded as schooling became more widespread, rather than just religious instruction. Beginning in the 20th century, authors, poets and linguists prospered and produced outstanding works that were worldwide renowned.
Horses are important to the nomadic way of life, and it would not be possible without them to survive in the mountain and steppe. For anything from transport to battle, from payment to accompaniment, horses were used. The milk of Mare’s Kyrgyz cooking can also involve meat and leather. Kyrgyz souvenirs, such as complicated horse whippings and vintage saddles, can easily be found by visitors.
Golden Adler hunt is an ancient tradition which goes back to the conquest of Mongols in central Asia in the 12th and 13th centuries, when a fine Adler and a fine horse cost the same price and both gave their owner prestige.
Sport is more than mere leisure in Kyrgyzstan; it is life-training. People were sturdy and resourceful, and sports helped them develop the strength and expertise they required in the mountains and steppes. Sports are also a representation of the Kyrgyz people’s traditions and beliefs and have led to their propagation from one generation to the next.
Kyrgyz clothing represents Kyrgyzstan lifestyle, lifestyle and areas, with nomadic styles and fabrics. The main materials used for Kyrgyz garments are fur, felt, leather, hides and rough fabrics, with local customs and nature. Although many people wear west clothes, traditional elements are still evident in all places and people in Kyrgyzstan are proud of their traditional clothing.
In Kyrgyzstan some monuments and monuments remain from the Soviet era, while others appear only after their independence. There are also new Manas statues and old Lenin statues, and other notable monuments (say, Chingiz Aitmatov, Toktogul Satylganov, Przewalski). In Bishkek, statues are still placed for those who died at Victory Square during the Second World War and a commemoration for those who died for independence (commemorating those killed in the 2010 revolution).
While museums are not perhaps the most popular and highlight of a trip in Kyrgyzstan, they remain relevant and insightful. The State Museum of History and the Bishkek Fine Arts Museum are two of Kyrgyzstan’s largest and most famous museums, but without the visit to Frunze House Museum a trip to Bishkek will be incomplete, where tourists can enter its well-preserved house. In Kirghizstan, the Osh State Archeological and Historical Museum offers the only UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Karakol’s Przewalski House Museum honors a legendary explorer, one of the first to map the region. An archeological museum is next to the Burana Tower.