Item Open AccessTatyana Dordzhieva, About sheep(Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-10-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Korneev, Gennadiy; Churyumov, AntonTatyana says that during the slaughter of a sacrificial sheep monks read prayers for two main reasons: (1) for the sheep so that it attains a better rebirth and (2) for the butcher to have his sins cleansed. Before the slaughter the mouth and the back of the sheep are smeared with milk and butter, and a white cloth is laid underneath the animal. In the past, sheep’s intestines were used to make stings for the dombra instrument. Item Open AccessVladimir Boldyrev, About Untouchable Livestock(Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-07-22) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Korneev, Gennadiy; Churyumov, AntonVladimir talks about a Kalmyk custom of designating a sacred livestock: When a child fell ill, his/her family designated an animal – a goat baby, a lamb, a calf or a cow – as setrya mal, or untouchable livestock. The idea was that the child’s disease would be passed on to that animal. It was forbidden to touch or to kill this livestock, which had to die of natural causes and be buried as a human being. Before the burial, its corpse was sprinkled with a dairy product and its mouth smeared with hot butter and incenses. People also made tea and burnt incenses. Everybody knew which animal was untouchable. Item Open AccessTraditional Sheep Slaughter and Butchering Practice(Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-02-13) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, BaasanjavThis video features a traditional way of slaughtering and butchering a sheep videotaped in Tsagan-Aman in July 2014. Item Open AccessNikolay Dadzhiev, Sheep Breeding(2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Churyumova, Elvira; Churyumova, ElviraNikolay has been working in animal husbandry since he returned home from military service. Today he works as a shepherd at the Aduch farm. His grandfather was a shepherd too. In his childhood Nikolay lived and worked in a farm. He says that the Kalmyk breed of sheep with the black head is well-known for its endurance. A grown-up sheep weighs 50-60 kilograms. In Nikolay’s flock there is one ram for every 30-40 ewes. Sheep give birth between March and April. During this period, the shepherd tends his flock around the clock. Lambs grow quickly. In the first two days, the newborn lambs are kept together with their mothers in a barn, and later are allowed to graze together. After five months, the lambs are separated from their mothers. The flock is watered at 4 am and then the animals graze in the pastureland until 9 pm. Sheep graze on their own all year around, although in winter they are given fodder supplement. Male sheep graze separately from ewes. Kalmyks usually do not keep sheep and goats together. Sheep have their wool sheared in May. The wool is sold to a factory. Sometimes the sheep get attacked by wolves. Each flock has a leading sheep. Shepherds perform the ritual of gazr tyaklgn (worship of the land) for a successful year. Item Open AccessLeonid Ochir-Goryaev, Evgeniy Dzhokhaev, About Animal Husbandry(2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Babaev, Andrei; Kovaeva, Bair; Babaev, AndreiLeonid and Evgeniy talk about their experience of animal husbandry. Leonid keeps cows, horses, sheep and camels. He says that traditionally sheep and camels were kept for their wool, among other things, and horses were used as a means of transportation. The life of a cattle breeder is difficult and not appealing to young people any more. Leonid says that horses are pregnant for 11 months, camels for 12 months, cows for 9 months, and ewes for 4 months. When animals give birth, cattle breeders look after them around the clock. Newborn lambs spend the first five days with their mothers in a barn, and then are allowed to graze together. When a ewe rejects her lamb, a small barking dog is brought into the barn in order to make the ewe defend her lamb, in this way bringing out her maternal instinct. Evgeniy says that in the past, sheep of selected breeds were kept separately in special farms and fed with special fodder. A breed of sheep with curly wool was imported to Kalmykia from Kazakhstan. When demand for curly wool decreased, Kalmyk breeders started to keep mixed sheep, including merinos that have a thin tail and delicious meat. The Kalmyk breed differs from others in the following respects. It has hooves that do not damage the ground and it has more fat. It is the second largest in the world in terms of body weight. Evgeniy contends that the only pure breed of sheep that exists in Russia is the Kalmyk one. All other breeds are mixed. Unfortunately, today the number of pure Kalmyk sheep is decreasing. Kalmyk cows are also well adapted to the harsh Kalmyk climate, are half-wild, and do not let people approach them. Kalmyk cows have horns in the shape of half-moon, short hooves and red skin. Leonid adds that in the past the Kalmyks did not heal sick cattle but slaughtered them. That is why only the strongest survived. Evgeniy supports Leonid’s point by saying that Kalmyk cattle went through natural selection on the way when the ancestors of Kalmyks moved from Xinjiang to the Volga region. Kalmyk bulls are territory-conscious, and they graze in distance from the herd, thus protecting their territory. Item Open AccessLeonid Ochir-Goryaev, About the Hard Life of Herders(2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Babaev, Andrei; Kovaeva, Bair; Babaev, AndreiLeonid contends that the life of herders is hard and that they constantly worry about their animals, especially during lambing time. He also says that animal husbandry should be supported by the state and made attractive to young people. In his view, Kalmyk culture and language are connected with animal husbandry. Item Open AccessZurgada Antonova, How to Make Ewes Accept Their Newborn(2015-04-29) Churyumova, Elvira; Seleeva, Tsagan; Churyumova, ElviraSometimes ewes reject their new-born. Zurgada’s paternal uncle had the following method to make such ewes accept their lambs. He used to take saliva from the lamb and hand it over to its mother while saying the following: ‘Pog-pog, why are you rejecting your offspring? How will you walk in the spring wind? It is your lamb. Even birds that do not have udders feed their chicks’. After this, the ewe would accept its lamb. Item Open AccessUbush Darzhinov, About Kalmyk Sheep, Horses and Camels(2017-03-25) Churyumov, Anton; Churyumova, ElviraUbush knows how to look after sheep, shear their wool and rid them of insects. He can determine the age and gender of any sheep. He says that rams are usually kept for meat. He recalls, however, that his grandfather kept one old ram without killing it, but says he does not know the reason. Sheep should be grazed in one place only once and then the pasture should be left sheep-free for a while so that the grass can grow again. The Kalmyk breed of sheep graze far away from each other. As a result, their impact on the grassland is minimal. The Kalmyk breed of horses came about when the Kalmyks came to live in Russia. It is a mix of the Don and Kabardin breeds of horses. In the summer the Kalmyk horse sheds its fur, but in the winter it grows it again. This horse is well adapted to hot Kalmyk summers and cold winters, and feeds itself. According to Ubush, it is forbidden for the Kalmyks to eat horse meat. The Kalmyk breed of camel is massive in terms of its size and is also well adapted to the harsh Kalmyk climate. It also produces a lot of milk and wool. Item Open AccessPolina Fedorova, Sheep: Breeding, Skin, Mutton, Symbolisms(2016-06-07) Gedeeva, Darina; Babaev, Andrei; Terbish, BaasanjavPolina says that in the past the Kalmyks bred four types of livestock, including sheep, camels, cattle and horses. The livestock grazed by themselves in the countryside. Among them the sheep was considered to be especially useful in many ways. A sheep was enough to feed a big family for a day. Traditionally, sheep were slaughtered in autumn. The fat was used in cooking traditional biscuits. In fact, nothing from the sheep went to waste. Sheep’s skin was used to make warm clothing. It was also put on the floor to keep it warm. Traditionally, cooked mutton was supposed to be cut into four pieces. Each piece was dedicated to different members of the family (brothers, sisters, grandfather etc.) as well as to guests. For example, the right and left legs were given to guests. Part of the sheep’s stomach was given to dogs. The sheep’s blood was salted, mixed with flour and boiled separately. Depending on their age, gender and status different members of the family were supposed to eat different parts of the sheep. For example, the rectum was given to the grandmother; the kidneys to boys; the heart to girls, the brain to the grandfather or the father; the ears and eyes to the oldest male in the family; the jaw to brothers (the oldest ate the right jaw, whereas the youngest – the left jaw), the tongue (the tip had to be cut before cooking) to girls. Apart from cooking it, meat was also dried. First it was soaked in brine, cut into long pieces and then left to dry in the shade in a windy place. When dried it was kept in bags. Whenever needed, the dried meat was put into bozo (what is left from the distillation of milk vodka) and boiled by adding flour. Item Open AccessBosya Ochirova, About Untouchable Livestock (Setrya Mal)(2015-04-30) Churyumova, Elvira; Churyumova, ElviraIn the past, the Kalmyks dedicated sheep or goats to gods by marking them with a ribbon tied around the animal’s neck. No one was supposed to touch or kill these sacred animals. Item Open AccessAnatoliy Safinov, Cattle Breeding(2015-09-27) Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, BaasanjavIn his childhood Anatoliy looked after sheep. He recalls how he as a boy suckled lambs and how older people sheared sheep’s wool and weaved socks. Later his weaving skills helped Anatoliy in Siberia where he made socks out of dog hair. In his childhood Anatoliy’s family lived in the kolkhoz of the 3rd Internatsional in Tsoros. The kolkhoz kept horses. When in 1943 the Germans occupied the kolkhoz, they left four limping horses with the villagers. Anatoliy and his friends looked after these horses. He also recalls how he loaded camels, horses and bulls with salt in order to exchange the salt for potatoes. When it started raining the camels could not go, as their flat legs slid in the mud. Anatoliy worked with four kinds of livestock, including sheep, camels, horses and cows. Item Open AccessAlena Lidzhieva, Why Kalmyks Do Not Breed Goats(2015-06-12) Dovurkaev, Karu; Churyumov, Anton; Terbish, BaasanjavOne day in the distant past, god created four breeds of livestock, including a cow, a horse, a sheep, and a camel. While god was breathing life into them, a devil also created a goat but could not make it come alive. Then god breathed life into the goat and said, ‘Let it be counted as one of the breeds of livestock as well’. The superstitious Kalmyks, however, still see goats as devil’s animal. That is why they do not keep them.