The Kyrgyz are traditionally Nomads, who originally came from Sibiria
and then moved to the south until what today is Kyrgyzstan. The have
always been living with cattle, especially sheep and horses from the
very beginning were important animals, but also cows and goats are being
raised, as well as donkeys for the smallest of the family to ride them.
horse-back riding is one of the most important parts of
Kyrgyz culture, and a Kyrgyz saying even tells us: "If you would have
only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the
An abundance of
horse-back riding games exist, which are often presented with festivals or shows, and the perfection of the Kyrgyz in the saddle, where the moves are mostly derived from every-day situations of former generations, is amazing.
Children already learn how to ride a horse when they just start walking, and the boys will then soon also be caring for the sheep.
Girls, on the other hand, very early learn the traditional
handicraft, which mean in first place the very beautiful carpets, that
are made with months or year lasting work. The most famous carpets are
which are both made from sheeps felt and show coloured patterns, that
are derived from nature.
Kyrgyz culture has been greatly influenced by the nomadic heritage. It is reflected in the way a household was run, in customs, and rites. People decorated their homes with items that were both beautiful and practical. The masterpiece of folk creation is the Kyrgyz tent (boz-uy, yurta), which was easy to assemble and transport from place
is a small dwelling, decorated with hand-made felt carpets and strips. Having its routes at ancient Turkic tribes boz-uy took all the best from many centuries' experience of people. Kyrgyz tribes, occupied with nomadic cattle-breeding in mountains, worked out the best type of transportable dwelling that is easily disjointed, moved on pack animals and again set.
Besides the boz-uy,
there is a second, very important part of Kyrgyz culture and proud
- the hero
Manas: The epos that has been named after him and consists of three parts, tells the
story of the hero Manas and his son and grandson, in the 10 th century.
He has been born in the region of Talas, in the north-west of the
country, and it is said that at the age of 9, he already defeated the
snake with wings the scene can be watched in Bishkek in form of a statue
at the place in front of the Philharmonia.
The epos, which is longer than Odyssee and Ilias together, has
been told orally throughout the last millennium, and the first written
version appeared only about 100 years ago.
The storytellers and singers (Akyn), who were able to sing this
most important masterpiece of the Kyrgyz people, were very much honoured
and respected people and called "Manas'chi".
crafted from a single piece of wood with three strings that are played by plucking. The modern comuz is about 85-90 cm long with strings made of kapron. A special feature of the comuz is the ability to tune the strings in variety of ways to suit the music being played. To play the comuz, the performer holds it in a horizontal position while seated or more rarely standing. Numerous playing techniques are possible and mastery of the right (plucking) hand technique especially allows for playing a variety of difficult and complex
compositions. The comuz is a standard member of any Kyrgyz folk music
group. According to legend, the first comuz was made by the hunter
Kambar. He himself was a master performer (komuzchi), and Kambarkan
became one of the distinctive creative genres of Kyrgyz folk music.