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TRADITIONAL KAZAKH PROFESSIONS. ITBEGIS, ATBEGIS AND BURKITSHIS TODAY

17.07.2018

TRADITIONAL KAZAKH PROFESSIONS. ITBEGIS, ATBEGIS AND BURKITSHIS TODAY

Itbegi


Serik Khalmenov, 37, Ganyushkino, dog-fancier


On the starting point


I always dreamed of keeping tazy. In 2008 I started looking for dogs on the Internet. I bought the first ones in Russia and brought them to Atyrau. In Soviet times this breed was widespread in Western Kazakhstan, but by 2008 it had almost disappeared since the dog was changed with motorcycles and guns. Before hares were impossible to be chased without tazy.


On the profession


Itbegi is a dog-fancier, it's not a profession, it's a hobby. Nomads always keep tazys for pleasure. Today it is hardly possible to make money on them as the breed is specific. You need to look after the dog, feed it. Hunting season lasts from November to February, the rest of the time you just need to feed it. Guns are easier to deal with in this regard.

It is difficult for a hunter to keep a dog in the city alone, so we gather in clubs, go hunting. I prefer Central Asian hounds as they’re disappearing, there’s an incentive for me to breed them.


On peculiarities


Hunting is some kind of a game for tazys, yet they need to be regularly trained from the age of ten months, otherwise it will affect hunting qualities. Tazys are better to be trained with experienced dogs. Tazys need a minimum of commands such as “come”, “lie” and “stop”.

Tazy is the slowest but the most enduring greyhound dog, it used to accompany nomads for 50 kilometers a day.

A hunting dog of another breed can be trained in two weeks, while tazys need to be trained constantly. They constantly need to run, but in the city it is quite difficult. Therefore, it is easier to keep them in the village. I was lucky to met the head of the search facility in the steppe who agreed with the authorities to let tazys live there. There dogs live and guard the object.


On the price


Having a tazy, you can’t help stop buying more. Worse ones are sold, prices start from 25 000 tenge. Ones people from United Arab Emirates bought one for 10,000 dollars.

Tazys are believed to originate from the Arab Saluki hounds brought to Kazakhstan in the VIII century AD. Simultaneously there is a version about Saluki originating from tazys.

I had 15 tazys maximum, it was necessary to increase their number in Atyrau. I rarely sell dogs, I tend to give them away, if I see a future owner is really interested. Now I have four tazys.


Burkitshi

Bekbolat Iskakov, 44, from Aksu, national sports instructor


On the starting point


I’ve been engaged in eagles breeding for 6 years. We were invited to tell foreigners how we hunt with eagles in Astana etnoaul till September.


On eagles breeding


Golden eagle is proud and rebellious bird, you must appropriately treat it for being trained harder than a dog. A dog misbehaving can be scolded, whereas an eagle is prohibited to be treated such like. A burkitshi must pat, feed, to make the birds forget their mistake. Anyway, I cannot reveal all the secrets, because it is an art handed down from father to son.

Nestlings can be taken out of the nest in July and got trained in September. They’re required to have a diet so that they could be tamed and fed. There’s an assistant two meters away calling to a bird and gradually increasing the distance.

In summer the birds moult, so we feed the birds so that they recovered. Since September we put them on a high-calorie-food-free diet do and start a daily exercises. We call up the bird from hand to hand, train them hunting at rabbits and foxes.

Trainings last all the time for during the moult birds forget absolutely everything. Therefore every year in the autumn we start learning again.


On peculiarities


An eagle means a lot for its owner as it’s some kind of a child. According to legend, an eagle nestling taken from a nest asks for a person to have ten sons to fly it round and a herd of horses for these sons.

Once a bird gets used to you it becomes your child asking for a help. Helping the bird once, you’ll have a loyal friend as the golden eagle is grateful.


On the cost


The bird can be bought in Almaty at the "Sunkar" farm. An untrained golden eagle costs 3000-5000 dollars, whereas trained birds aren’t sold for being a friend.


Atbegi

Amanzhol Hasenov, 55, from Tselinograd, the head of Astana kokpar team


On the starting point


I helped my father in animal husbandry, and I’ve been liking it so far. I dreamed of heading a stud farm to grow and train horses.

In 1991 I graduated from the Tselinograd Agricultural Institute and have been working with sports horses since then. I know horses morphology and diet.


On the profession


I'm a team manager, I deal with training field mostly. Equestrian sport is a union of a rider and a horse. So, I believe that equestrian sport is an art.


On peculiarities


I am not atbegi, since atbegi is a person preparing horses for races and equestrian competitions. In addition to theoretical knowledge, s/he must have intuition and understand a horse. People believe that all horses are the same, but they aren’t. Each horse needs an individual approach. I have not thoroughly understood this art.

There are several types of equestrian competitions such as alaman baiga - long-distance races, kunan baiga - race of foal-two-year-olds, top baiga - 15-17-km races, jarga zharys - races of pacers, jelis zharys - races of trotters, kokpar with trained horses.

Each sport requires its own way of trainings. Horses need stables to rest, a diet and enough energy.


On horses


We have 80 horses which are full-grown and young ones, mares and stallions.

You’re welcome to see and choose your horse at our farm. It is profitable for us, because buyers usually tell their friends about a horse. Then friends come and buy one more horse, and we buy the equipment and food. It is better to come in spring-autumn due to good weather conditions. You’d better come in the morning for a light horse riding, while serious rides are preferred to be done in the evening.


On the cost


The cost of a trained horse depends on many aspects. The price depends on the breed, the country which the horse was grown in, a person who used to ride it, micro-traumas and internal energy. Therefore, the price range is great.

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