Livestock Breeding - Camels

Traditionally, the Kalmyks bred four kinds of livestock, including sheep, cattle, horses, and camels. Being the main wealth of nomads, livestock provided not only food but also materials used in the construction of traditional dwellings, costumes, and utensils. In the past, depending upon the season, livestock were grazed in the open fields in summer (zusln), spring (khavrzn), autumn (namrzn), and winter pastures (uvlzn).

This collection hosts videos of camels and interviews with Kalmyks who talk about camels and camel breeding.

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Now showing 1 - 16 of 16
  • ItemOpen Access
    Zurgan Lidzhieva, about camels
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-04-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Babaev, Andrei; Kovaeva, Bair; Churyumov, Anton
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sergei Olzeev, A story about a camel herder
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Korneev, Gennadiy; Sandzhiev, Artur; Churyumov, Anton
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dmitriy Mandzhiev, About camels
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-10-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Koldaev, Tseren; Koldaev, Tseren
  • ItemOpen Access
    Bembya Lidzhiev, About camels and other livestock
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-10-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Korneev, Gennadiy; Churyumov, Anton
  • ItemOpen Access
    Alexei Naranov, About camels
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2016-02-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Gedeeva, Darina; Kovaeva, Bair; Babaev, Andrei
  • ItemOpen Access
    Tatyana Dordzhieva, About camels
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-10-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Korneev, Gennadiy; Churyumov, Anton
    Tatyana reminisces about her childhood experience of witnessing a camel being slaughtered. She also says that when a she-camel rejects her calf, Kalmyka sing a song called ‘Bodzhula’. While listening to this song, the she-camel weeps and lets her calf suckle her teats.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Vasiliy Sukhotaev, about camel breeding
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2019-05-05) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Korneev, Gennadiy; Churyumov, Anton; Sandzhiev, Artur
    Vasiliy says the following: Many children today have never even seen a camel because almost no one keeps them anymore. In the past we had many camels that pulled carts and were used as a means of transportation. People also used camel hair. (Repetition) Once I saw two male camels fight with each other. In was in spring, and the camels got locked into each other. There were many men around, but noone dared to approach the beasts. One camel broke the jaw of the other. Since it would not have survived and died of hunger anyway, the injured camel was slaughtered for meat.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sangadzhi-Garya Dzhekiev, About Camels
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2019-03-14) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Korneev, Gennadiy; Sandzhiev, Artur
    Sangadzhi-Garya reminisces about the camels that he saw in his childhood. Requiring no care or supervision, camels grazed by themselves. Since their tongues are hard, they could eat prickles. When on heat, they became dangerous. A male camel could bite a female until she lay down. Males also turned aggressive when females gave birth. Males spat, attacked, and could even trample people. Camel’s hair falls off by itself. Nomads did not have to cut it. Young camel babies cried when they were hungry. It was only after suckling their mothers’ milk that they calmed down.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Leonid Ochir-Goryaev, About Camels
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-05-23) Terbish, Baasanjav; Kovaeva, Bair; Babaev, Andrei; Babaev, Andrei
    Leonid talks about the Kalmyk species of camel. According to him, the Kalmyk camel differs from other camels in terms of its large size. A male camel may weigh a ton and a female up to 800 kilograms. The female is pregnant for 12 months. Camel wool is used to produce belts that are good for rheumatism. Camel meat is also believed to have dietary properties. Its hump weighs 10 kilograms and its fat can be used in food. Camel’s milk is also good for cancer. A female camel gives one to two liters of milk. In the past, camel’s milk was used to make kumis (a fermented drink). Camels rarely fall sick and are easy to keep. They eat grass and prickly vegetation. Camels have a good memory and always return home. In the past, Kalmyks used them as transportation animals. During the Napoleonic War the Kalmyk soldiers rode on these animals. Sometimes a mother camel becomes upset and rejects her calf. In order to make her accept her offspring, nomads sing her songs, after which she accept her calf. Kalmyks have songs and sayings about camels.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Leonid Khochiev, About Camels and Sheep
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-07-27) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Korneev, Gennadiy; Churyumov, Anton
    Leonid talks about how people bred camels and sheep in the past: Herders did not look after camels, they grazed by themselves. Camels grazed away from a week to fifteen days. I never heard about camels being stolen. Camels are smart animals. One day I was driving around and stopped at a Chechen farm where they were about to slaughter a camel. The camel had tears in its eyes. I asked them not to kill it. When I was small, we had many sheep in our village. When our sheep mixed with other people’s sheep, we did not worry, because people did not steal sheep from each other. People in our village were all related to each other. Most of my relatives have left the village, although they come back to bow to the ancestral land.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dmitriy Mandzhiev, A Story About Camel Theft
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-10-28) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Korneev, Gennadiy; Bembeev, Aleksandr
    Dmitriy relays a story about how his ancestors stole camels from another clan: Dmitriy relays a story about how his ancestors stole camels from another clan.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Camel Race
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2016-07-06) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumov, Anton; Babaev, Andrei
    This video features a camel race held at the hippodrome in Elista in May 2016. The race includes four camels.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Valeriy Bolaev, Ulyumdzhi Mandzhiev, About Camels
    (2016-04-28) Khabunova, Evdokia; Babaev, Andrei; Churyumov, Anton; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Valeriy says that there are only 5,000 camels left that can be described as of Kalmyk breed. The majority of them are in Astrakhan oblast’. Ulyumdzhi Mandzhiev adds that camels are not very well studied either. In the past, camel’s urine was used to treat skin inflammations, burns and cuts. When on heat, camels could be aggressive and chase people to death. A camel’s pregnancy is the longest among all livestock. It lasts for 13 months. By contrast, that of horses lasts for 11 months, cows - 9 months, and sheep – 5 and a half months.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Polina Fedorova, How to Make Female Camels Accept Their Newborn
    (2016-06-01) Gedeeva, Darina; Babaev, Andrei; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Sometimes female camels reject their calves. Female camels are jealous and squeamish animals. If a child touched a calf, its mother could reject it. In order to help the calf young Kalmyk women go to the female camel and sing a song with the dombra: ‘When the crane leads its chick in the autumn, whom will you lead then?’ On listening to such a song, female camels indeed weep and accept their calves.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Polina Fedorova, About Camel Meat
    (2016-05-31) Gedeeva, Darina; Babaev, Andrei; Terbish, Baasanjav
    In the past, the Kalmyks ate beef and horse meat. The poor ate camel meat. People who ate camel meat had pimples on their faces. The camel’s pelt and humps were used to make vessels. The intestines were cleaned, stretched and dried. It was used to make strings for dombra instruments.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Alena Lidzhieva, How to Make Female Camels Accept Their Newborn
    (2015-04-29) Dovurkaev, Karu; Churyumov, Anton; Terbish, Baasanjav
    A female camel is pregnant for 11 months. Sometimes female camels reject their calves. In order to make them accept their calves young Kalmyk women play on the dombra instrument and sing a song for the camel: ‘She female, she female, take your calf’. After some time, female camels weep and accept their calves.