Kalmykia ethnography


Kalmyks is the nation, which created one of the four great epic poems the «Jangar». The main character of the epos is Khan Jangar. He lives with his people in the imaginaryland Bumba, the country where no one has been growing older for the last 25 years.

Kalmyks is the nation, which created one of the four great epic poems the «Jangar». The main character of the epos is Khan Jangar. He lives with his people in the imaginaryland Bumba, the country where no one has been growing older for the last 25 years. The «Jangar» was performed by the Dzungars-narrators. Skillful Dzungars could even cure with the help of the epic poem or change weather. Kalmyks were skilled in many activities, but the main one of was currying. Lashes, shooting boxes, belts and even kitchen utensils were made of leather. In the leather flask the milk vodka araka was kept. Before use the flask has been smoked for 15 days. This made the leather to grow coarse and prevent water from spoil. Kalmyks lived in kibitkas, which were the most suited dwelling for the nomad life. The construction of the kibitka allowed to unpack and pack it easily, so that Kalmyks could pack up their things and leave a place or, vice versa, stay for night. The appearance of the kibitka showed a social status of it's owner. White durable felt mat was a sign, that there lived the rich or priests. Kibitkas, which were covered with black smoked thick felt, belonged to the poor. In the ceiling there was always a chimney flue through which the Big Dipper could be observed. Staring at the stars children listened to the Kalmyk fairy-tales before going to bed.