Polina Fedorova, Sheep: Breeding, Skin, Mutton, Symbolisms
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Gedeeva, D., & Babaev, A. (2016). Polina Fedorova, Sheep: Breeding, Skin, Mutton, Symbolisms [Video file]. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.18307
Polina 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.
sheep, mutton, food sharing, symbolism, nomadism
Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.18307