Kazakh traditional Assyk games marks_1
  • Manage No, Sortation, Country, Writer ,Date, Copyright
    Manage No EE00001334
    Country Kazakhstan
    ICH Domain Social practices, rituals, festive events Knowledge and practices about nature and the universe
    Assyk games are well-known and it is presented country-wide.
    Year of Designation 2013
Description Kazakh traditional Assyk games are an ancient tradition in Kazakhstan. Each player has their own set of ‘Assyks’, traditionally made out of the talus bone of a sheep, and a ‘Saka’ dyed in bright colours. Players use their Assyk to knock out other Assyks from the field, and the focus is on the position of the bone. The community concerned comprises most of the population of Kazakhstan, including members of the Federation ‘Assyk Atu’ Game as well as the larger community of practitioners, mainly children aged between four and eighteen. The element is an outdoor activity that helps develop children’s analytical thinking and physical state, fostering friendship and social inclusiveness. It is also a good model for positive collaboration, uniting people regardless of their age, ethnic background or religious affiliation. It is widely practised at festive celebrations and gatherings, and the community plays a key role in safeguarding the practice, as well as in popularizing it among other ethnic groups in Kazakhstan, turning it into a national symbol of childhood. It is transmitted from older boys to younger ones through observation, as well as through radio and TV documentaries aimed at encouraging children to play Assyk and acquainting people with their cultural heritage.
Social and cultural significance Many adult men from different ethnic groups confirmed the fact of playing with Asyks in their childhood. They recall it as a happy time and positive experience developing the spirit of unity, intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. Many respondents noted that the element represents good example of outdoor and indoor activity enhancing analytical thinking and physical state of children as opposed to modern computers, TV, video games, interactive tablets and etc. Today bearing the same sense of friendship and social inclusiveness, the element serves as a consolidating factor of ethnically diverse Kazakhstan, a good model of positive collaboration and substantial part of the national identity of modern Kazakhstan. Uniting all children together, regardless of their age, ethnic background or religious affiliation, the element teaches people harmonious coexistence from early age. Women and children have the power to create peaceful and harmonious society.
Transmission method As in earlier days the prevailing mode of transmitting knowledge and skills related to the element is active involvement/ participation in the games. The process starts when younger boys or girls first act as passive observers of the games. Then older boys and men teach youngsters the basic rules and techniques of the games - how to target, throw a bat and etc. The following step includes individual practice or training within other children of the same inexperienced age group. Other than traditional mode of transmission there are numerous radio and TV documentaries broadcasted on the element with the purpose of attracting children to play Asyks. Children have opportunity to chat in Internet, create groups in social networks, organize associations and actively involve in regional and national competitions.
Community Bearers of the game with assyks in the modern Kazakh society are mainly children. However, in the process of picking up assyks are involved adults. Often during feeding guests mutton mea those who gets the bone with assyk, publicly cleans assyk from veins and say they will give it to his children or store for future grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Those who do not have young children, try to take an assyk as an amulet that will help in the future to have children.
Type of UNESCO List Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Incribed year in UNESCO List 2017
Information source
Kazakhstan National Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage

Materials related to