Common Ethno-Cultural Patterns of Kyrgyz and Uzbeks
As Turkic-speaking peoples, Uzbeks and Kyrgyz share common history, culture and religion. Even though the Uzbeks have been the largest minority group in Kyrgyzstan, no in-depth research has been made on their cultural traditions. This monograph is the first study dealing with life cycle events, such as birth, children’s upbringing, marriage and funeral rites of Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, and discusses how they are connected to diverse rituals, folk beliefs and superstitions. These ritualistic practices give meaning to those who practice them widely every day. The study is based on extended ethnographic research on local practices, knowledge and the oral histories of Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, collected during ethnographic fieldwork in southern Kyrgyzstan. The research was conducted together with the author’s students throughout a ten-year period between 2000-2010. This work may be of interest to folklorists, historians, ethnographers, teachers, students and people who would like to better understand the local culture of two ethnic groups, Kyrgyz and Uzbeks.