Ritual and ceremonial functions of the Saryarka Kazakh food (20th21st centuries) 

Musagazhinova .A., Kabidenova Zh.D.


Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, 2 (53)




              page 138145




The study is aimed to identify the functions of the semiotic models in everyday food practices in the context of ritual and ceremonial activities. The objective of the research is the food practices extant in the modern Kazakh culture in the form of traditional beliefs and folklore. An ethnographic field research was carried out to collect materials in the Northern and Central Kazakhstan by means of structured interview, photographic documenting, and video recording. Using specially designed questionnaires and focused checklists, 120 respondents were interviewed, 80 checklists completed, and 7 recipes and cooking technologies of traditional Kazakh cuisine characte-ristic to the region were recorded with respect to the traditional diet. The ethnicity of the respondents is Kazakhs. In our study, we used methods based on historical, cultural, ethnographic, semiotic, and hermeneutic analyses. The results of the research, collected during the field study, showed that in the modern everyday practices of the Kazakh ethnic group, there are established models of transfer of cultural experience from one generation to ano-ther. It has been found that the traditional ideas of the dietary culture have been preserved with the support of religious values. Rituals and ceremonies in the food culture of the modern Kazakh ethnic group are relevant for activities related to the life cycle of a person, from their birth, adulthood, to their funeral. Various types of beliefs and superstitions in food practices are considered, which in the traditional Kazakh culture reflect the close entwinement of cosmogonic and religious worldviews within the triune of Man, Nature, and God. A set of ethical rules, related to the prohibitions and behavior at a meal in the food culture, is presented. Some surviving recipes of the traditional Kazakh cuisine have been identified. In the modern Kazakh society, along with the transformation of the food culture, however, traditional cultural patterns and models prevail, notably, those formed during the pre-Islamic period and later on, taking into account the Islamic component.

Key words: Northern and Central Kazakhstan, Kazakh cuisine, food culture, ritual, symbol, belief, sign.


Funding. The article was prepared under the TF project of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 25.02.2020

Article is published: 28.05.2021


Musagazhinova .A., National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Halyk Kazynasy Research Institute, Tauelsyzdyk av., 54, Nur-Sultan, Z00T2C9, Republic of Kazakhstan, E-mail: aiya84@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2821-082X


Kabidenova Zh.D., Toraighyrov Pavlodar state university, Lomov st., 64, Pavlodar, S03K9T0, Republic of Kazakhstan, E-mail: erasil_zhuldiz@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1478-1747