ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2017. Vol. 19

Northern Nomads: Interaction between Man and Horse in the Yakut Culture

V. V. Ushnitskii
The aim of the article is the study of the Yakut horse breeding, its national characteristics and conditions of the horses in the harsh climatic conditions of the North. Results of the study: in Yakut horse breeding, the content of herd horses is different for the production of foals care for racehorses, there were hereditary trainers domestic horses for riding and work. In the traditional Yakut culture a horse breeding and horse cult occupied one of the most important places. Yakuts dressed in a mare skin, slept on a mare fur, drank koumiss, ate mare's meat, in the summer they grazed their horses. The herdsman's profession had previously been considered one of honorable. A great significance in the funerary traditions had burials with the horse. In the epic Olonkho a horse is a collaborator and adviser for Yakut heroes. The life of the Yakuts is unthinkable without a horse, this unique, extremely unpretentious and hardy animal. It is an irreplaceable companion for them and a true friend, who gives them everything necessary for life. According to the ideas of the Sakha people, the horse is a sacred animal of celestial origin. It has long been worshiped and revered, the annual folk festival Ysyakh is mainly devoted to Dzhesegei and accompanied by traditional horse praise and treats everybody with the mare's milk. In front of a house and during Ysyakh the Yakuts put a hitch-serge with carved images of horses. In this article, we study feeding in winter and winter pasture, the excavation of horses, the maintenance in the herd joints, traditional horse racing, the peculiarities of caring for riding and working horses, the maintenance of horses in the meat and dairy sector: for the production of koumiss and the production of nutritive foals. We give the idea on naming horses in the Yakut language for animals of different ages, suits and properties. The article also provides information on the training and the lining of Yakut horses, which had their own characteristics. The content in the herd cages was dictated by northern harsh conditions, only shepherds were engaged in the process. Yakut horse breeding has an ancient origin. Yakut cattlemen by means of selection and creation of pasturelands spread horse breeding culture throughout the Northeast Siberia. This culture of northern nomads is organically connected with the steppe Turkic-Mongolian horse-breeding civilization.
Yakutia, horse breeding, northern nomads, herd maintenance, racing and riding, koumiss production
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