About this collection
Whilst herding satisfied most of the needs of a nomad, hunting in the past served as a source of additional income (furs) and food (meat). It was also entertainment, especially for the rich who retained special personnel including bird attendants (shovuch) and hunting-dog attendants (nokhach). Besides that, hunting was a school of military training through which horsemen honed their skills. Some Kalmyk groups used wolf hunting as an initiation rite. Hunting with falcons and hawks was especially popular among the nobility. Other methods involved traps, nets, forks, bows and arrows, and later rifles. Small game was usually hunted by individuals in the vicinity of their nomadic camps, whereas larger animals such as saiga antelopes, wolves, wild horses, and boars required groups of hunters who travelled long distances accompanied by their dogs.