Popova L., Shalmanova A. Traditional Component in the Wedding Gift System of the Kazakhs of the Aktobe Region, Republic of Kazakhstan

Larisa Popova
The Russian Museum of Ethnography
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
E-mail: rem_larisa@mail.ru 

Aliya Shalmanova
Aktobe Regional Museum of History and Local Lore
Aktobe, Kazakhstan
E-mail: aliya_sh83@mail.ru

 

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ABSTRACT. The system of wedding gifts is considered the most important component of the modern wedding rituals of the Kazakhs of the Aktobe Region of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Drawing upon nineteenth-century sources, the authors reveal a stable traditional component in this segment of wedding rituals, which is expressed in the preservation of ideas about the mandatory nature of targeted and general categories of gifts, as well as of a fairly strict practice of presenting them. There is an obvious continuity in the nomination of wedding gifts, although there are regional (West Kazakhstan) features of the Kazakh language vocabulary related to the sphere of gift exchange. The authors summarize their field materials concerning modern forms of traditional wedding gifts and innovations in this field. One of the factors in the transformation of the forms of wedding gifts is the “ethnic” business, which, relying on the general book-learned tradition, offers ritual attributes along with the “rules” for their use and their “correct” nomination. The Internet also actively contributes to the “invention” of traditions: there one can find instructions on how to conduct wedding rituals, as well as discuss any aspects of them. The authors argue that, in the course of field research, one needs to estimate the influence of information sources on local traditions, which have a stable core preserved thanks to the effective mechanisms of tradition transmission in the ritual sphere of the Kazakh culture. The article discusses the following categories of wedding gifts: ана сүті (lit. “for mother's milk”), киiт (“clothes”), өлі аруаққа (lit. “for the dead”), iлу (lit. “to hang”), көпшіліккәдесі (lit. “gifts to those gathered”), күйеукәде (lit. “a gift to a son-in-law”), etc.

 

KEYWORDS: Kazakhs, traditional culture, wedding rituals, wedding gifts, Aktobe Region

 

DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2021-4(14)-141-152
УДК 392.51

 

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