Wedding customs of Kazakh people
Culture of Kazakhstan
Shows of Kazakhs before wedding. Kyz koru
The bride-show. 'Kyz koru' was sometimes called 'kyz tandau'. Traditionally, children of famous people îã just artful zhigits (young men) àïàngåd bride-shows for someone's marriage. Having heard that in some distant aul (village) there lived à good, beautiful màniàgåàbl å girl, zhigits with their friends moved out to choose themselves à spouse.
The Kazakh proverb 'kyzdy kim kormeidi, kymyzdy kim ishpeidi' - he who doesn't drink kumys (mare's milk) ñà nn î t seek the hand of à girl' clears à ll the ways before zhigits.
Zhigits seeking to get married were not prohibited to have à look at girls. People tried to meet them with respect. Brave and independent girls of this aul, who reached their marriageable age, manifested their will with the words: 'kyz koretin zhigitti biz korelik' - 'shows like this we would like to àïàï g å too', and began competitions in the arts.
They looked at zhigits appraisingly and overtly expressed their opinion. At the
meetings like that girls and zhigits often performed aityses (competition in song improvisation). After that the Üîó and the girl who liked each other, ñàòå to terms, made their declarations of love to each other, and zhigit sent his matchmakers to the girl's parents.
Lovers made their choice themselves. But young people often were forbidden to à partner b ó themselves. It was usually permitted to children of distinguished parents or to famous zhigits. The custom 'kyz koru' is described in details in the novel 'Kyz korelik' b ó Ò . Zhomartbayev.
Special gift before wedding of Kazakhs. Shege-shapan
'Shege-shapan' is à peculiar gift. After the mutual agreement has been reached, the matchmakers give presents to each other in order to show their mutual respect.
From the zhigit's side it is called 'kargybau' (literally, kargy means bridle, bau means lead) - actually, à ðàñåd horse. And the girl's father puts îï shoulders of zhaushy (the fiance's representative) à gorgeous shapan - 'shege-shapan' (shege means).
When relatives waiting zhaushy back see that he wears à new chapan, they shower him with shashu: candies.
Match-making of Kazakhs. Kuda tusu
The matchmaking. It's an obligatory, remembered, existed since ancient times tradition of Kazakh nation.
À boy's father with close relatives goes to seek the hand of à girl (matchmakers may go without the boy's father).
The procedure ofmatchmaking was rather complicated and entertaining. The àrr ivàl of matchmakers is called 'kuda tuser'. À girl's father, advised îï matchmakers' visit beforehand, next notifies his relatives and friends. Matchmakers àãå received solemnly.
After the girl's father gives his consent, the both parties the head representative of the matchmakers is called 'bas kuda' (bas means head, leading), and the fiance's and fiancee's fathers à re called bauyzdau kuda, i.e. the closest. Bas kuda (the head matchmaker) traditionally takes ñàrå of à girl after the wedding too. She will call agateke (uncle), and he will b å always responsible for her. His daughter-in-law respects him all of her life.
Kuda tusu is à mostly honored and significant toi (feast, holiday), bearing the specific ñî l îã of this national tradition.
Headdress of the bride of the Kazakh girl. Saukele kigizu
' Saukele kigizu ' (literally, saukele is à bride' s head - dress , kigizu means to put on). Kazakh people have òàïó traditions and customs. The tradition 'saukele kigizu' plays the important role in them. 'Saukele' is not only the most expensive head-dress in à bride's outfit, it also serves as à symbol of the beginning of à new life.
It's à memento of the prior free and easy life of the girl and the beginning of new family life. Saukele kigizu is àï especially solemn custom for the bride. The matchmakers (both men and women) àãå invited to attend this custom. They àrå strewn with 'shashu'. They give their bata (blessing). 'Baigazy' (gift or paying) for 'saukele' is sometimes pretty considerable.
Wearing 'saukele', the bride looks specially gorgeous, magnificent, and inimitable. Everybody wants to see 'saukele' în the bride, and for this viewing some special 'korimdik' is given. The creating of à new family hearth, the bride with her 'saukele' în , playing games, laughing - all this is àï omen of new life. Now, à few words about 'saukele'. It's not only à head-dress, but also à work of art. It is embroidered with rubies, pearls, corals, and other precious stones, emphasizing its richness. 'Saukele' is made of expensive velvet or velour, embroidered with fine beads and fringe, its ornaments àãå composed of various small golden and silver coins, and figure plates.
The top of 'saukele' is unchangeably decorated with 'uki' (à fluffy bundle of àï eagle-owl's feathers). Its brims àãå trimmed with furs of mink or f îõ . The beaty of such a thing captivates your eye and is not only the bride's outfit, but it also intebsifies the matchmakers authority. The girl who wasnt wooed according to the custom will not be dresed in “saukele”.
Seeing-off of the girl kazakhs before wedding. Kyz uzatu
The girl's seeing-off. Òî give à daughter away for marriage is à big toi. This day all parents are both sad and glad. Glad because they have brought èð such à beautiful, clever, and worthy daughter, for whom they will never Üå ashamed, and sad because it is really à pity to give away à girl, when she still seems to bå à little child.
5 to 7 matchmakers (the odd number), or even more, ñîòå to take away the girl. There is bas kuda (the head matchmaker), kudalar (parents-in-law), and the bridegroom's friend (as his adviser and witness). In north and central regions of Kazakhstan only men òàó go to take the bride away. The matchmakers usually arrive in the evening. Since the moment of their arrival toi begins: games, songs, funs, traditional 'kade' (gifts and presents).
The same night the girl's close relatives officially invite the matchmakers to visit their home. According to the custom, the girl is sent away together with the matchmakers in the early morning, when the sun rises. The crack of dawn is à symbol of à new day and new life.
Before her departure the girl bids her goodbye, singing à song ('koshtasu zhyry') to relatives, who àãå seeing her off. Young people sing 'zhar-zhar' and 'aushadiyar'. The matchmakers receive their traditional gift 'kuda attandyrar' (kuda means matchmaker, attandyrar means to see).
Wedding song of Kazakhs. Aushadiyar
'Aushadiyar' is à matrimonial song (zhyr). The traditional matrimonial song (zhyr) is performed to the particular tune and has àn especial pedagogical meaning. Aushadiyar is à decoration and à particularly solemn moment of toi. As à rule, it is à model of art.
Unfortunately, nowadays in Kazakhstan 'aushadiyar' is completely forgotten. 'Aushadiyar' is devoted to the young couple, standing îï the threshold of the new life. 'Aushadiyar' bears good advice, examples of upbringing è ó national traditions.
Aushadiyar - we say înå,
À bad person isn't welcome.
Íå who respects his ancestors,
Will Üå esteemed Üó his descendants.
Aushadiyar - we say two,
The lovers make their own choice,
Such à beautiful girl
Is slirn and her hair is long ...
Aushadiyar - four,
The lovers àãå beautiful when they àãå coupled,
Let them keep the vow they've made.
Farewell to the native house of the bride kazakhs before wedding. Koshtasu
'Koshtasu' is bidding farewell to home sweet home. Before entering à new house, the girl at her home while being seen-off, says goodbye to her dear parents, sweet and darling brothers, sisters, and other relatives. In her farewell song she regrets to be born à girl, not à b îó , to have to leave home, she wishes all of them to take ñàãå till she visits them next year.
Traditionally, after marriage the girl is permitted to visit her relatives only within à year. Before this she has ïî right to visit her home (for her to get used to her new farnily faster). After the girl's farewell song her friends and zhenges console her with their song and wish her happiness. 'Koshtasu' - goodbye to home sweet home - was performed Üó the bride before the wedding procession was about to leave her aul.
Caravan of the bride kazakhs for a trip to the groom home. Kyz koshi
'Kyz koshi' is the girl's caravan. Once the custom "kuda attandyrar" (the matchmakers' seeing-ofl) completed, the girl together with her mother, her elder brother's wife, ó uor brothers and sisters gets in à special vehicle. The girl is prohibited to look back. The matchmakers go ahead of the cortege, the wagon 'shanyraktuye' follows them. At the ãåàã of this caravan go smartly dressed boys singing songs and saying jokes.
The girl is brought to her bridegroom's aul solemnly and pompously. After leaving the girl's aul this procession is called kyz koshi'. Within certain distance it is called 'kelinshek koshi' ('kelinshek' means bride). Inhabitants of auls - the youth, girls, daughters-in-law, which 'kelinshek koshi' passes Üóå , stop 'kosh' and ask for 'tuyemuryndyk' (little presents), and then wish them well and happiness. 'Tuyemuryndyk' is à justification to stop and hear good wishes.
Arrival of the bride kazakhs in the house of the groom. Kelin tusiru
Kelin tusiru (kelin - daughter-in-law, tusiru - here, to welcome) is the bride's arrival to her bãidå's home. For Kazakh people the cherished dream, the biggest joy and the greatest toi is 'kelin tusiru'. Whole aul gets ready òîã this celebration.
The bride must not Üå brought straight to the threshold of the house. Traditionally, she is left with her 'zhenge' at the considerable distance from aul. Girls and newly-made wives meet the bride and, disguising her [ àñå , bring her into the house and seat her behind 'shymyldyk' (curtain, portiere) together with other girls. The threshold must b å tepped î v åã Üó the right foot.
The receiving ðàïó strews everybody with shashu and congratulate them. The bride is accompanied with her mother, sisters, and zhenges. All her parents and friends àãå invited to aul; the feast with foods and various kinds of entertainment (singers' competitions, games, etc.) is organized. But everybody is óåãó
anxious to see the future 'kelin' (daughter-in-law).
Once à the guests àãå gathered, the bride is solemnly brought out in her rich wedding outfit, her [ àñå covered with the veil (shawl), and à singer, master of improvisations, begins to sing 'betashar'.
Ceremony of opening of the person of the bride before wedding of Kazakhs. Betashar
Betashar, the ritual ofunveiling the bride's fàñå (showing the bride to the bridegroom's relatives and guests), is ob1igatory accompailled with the traditional song-zhyr. The bride fully dressed in her wedding outfit is brought to the yurta of the bridegroom's father, where al l the guests àãå gathered.
At both her sides, holding her Üó arms, well-bred and respectful daughters-in-law àãå standing.
'Betashar' includes the acquaintance of the bride with her future husband's relatives; here good pieces of advice and wishes for happy family life àãå being expressed.
The singer, master of improvisations, characterizing in verses each of the respected relative, requests the bride to bow in his honor; and in reply to that the future husband's close relatives give 'korimdik' (the gift for the viewing). 'Betashar' ends with admonitions, wishes, and advice.
Ceremony before the first marriage night of the groom and the bride of Kazakhs. Zholdyk
Zholdyk (custom). The first wedding night the elder brother's wife (zhenge) makes the bed for newly weds, jokingly gives her advice þã their wedding night, and wish them happiness. Such à mission is entrusted to à n exemplary, respected, courteous daughter-in-law having many children.
It is våró important that the wedding night should be unforgettable for newly weds. Having fulfilled her duties, next day the daughter-in-law waits impatiently for the young couple to wake uð, and to ask them for à gift.
The bridegroom must fully thank his sister-in-law and meet the fust morning on his màrriåd life with à smile. 'Zholdyk' is à peculiar custom, so à gift òîã à sister-in- law must b å valuable.
Life and culture of Kazakh people. Kenzheahmetuly S. Almatykitap, 2006
Special gift before wedding of
Match-making of Kazakhs. Kuda tusu
Headdress of the bride of the Kazakh
girl. Saukele kigizu
Seeing-off of the girl kazakhs before
wedding. Kyz uzatu
Farewell to the native house of the
bride kazakhs before wedding.
Caravan of the bride kazakhs for a
trip to the groom home. Kyz koshi
Arrival of the bride kazakhs in the
house of the groom. Kelin tusiru
Ceremony of opening of the person
of the bride before wedding of