Event Celebrating Kazakh Mythology Introduces Yurt to Young People

ALMATY – The Central State Museum of Kazakhstan here recently held an event celebrating Kazakh mythology, history and folklore. At the event, the fantasy novel, “In Search of the Golden Bowl: The Adventures of Batu and His Friends,” was read.

The reading was held in the yurt located in the main hall of the museum. The novel was presented and narrated by author and mythologist Zira Nauryzbayeva and writer Lilya Kalaus. The event was organised in hopes of getting young people interested in the country’s history and culture and to promote the book, which is about the adventures of schoolchildren who meet with characters from Kazakh mythology.

The guests and visitors had a memorable time in the yurt, the most common type of nomadic dwelling. Many urban dwelling children for their first time saw how yurts (which are physical manifestations of the nomadic conception of the universe) are set up. In nomadic culture, the yurt is the centre of each community’s living space as well as the centre of its inhabitants and their families. At the same time, it serves as a place to connect with the universe. The yurt is a masterpiece of architectural and ecological thinking on the part of the ancient Steppe Nomads. And its adornments are rife with cultural symbolism. Its assembly, as explained by researchers and the staff at the museum, is a sacred process with a specific order associated not only with technology, but also with the symbols found in the nomad’s dwelling.

Talasbek Asemkulov, writer and keeper of traditions at the Kazakh School of Musical Culture, performed a kui (musical composition played on a dombra) based on the plot of the book about the adventures of Batu and his friends. The kuishi (performer of kuis) discussed traditional performing schools, the works of various composers and folk artists, the dombra and the manner in which the traditional string instrument is played.

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