Assyk Atu – preparing for a game
  • Manage No PI00001844
    Country Kazakhstan
    Year 2016-04-12
    ICH Domain Social practices, rituals, festive events, Knowledge and practices about nature and the universe
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 ‘Main assyk – 'saka' - usually is bigger and 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. Main positions are the following (high ranking first): alshi (camel); tai (horse); Buk (goat) and shik (sheep). Assyk refers to the astragalus of the ankle of a sheep or goat. The bones are collected and used for traditional games and fortune-telling throughout Central Asia, and games involving the ankle bones may also be referred to by the name of the bones. Common size assyks may be painted bright colours. Such bones have been used throughout history, and are thought to be the first forms of dice. In English language source sassyk may be referred to as "ankle bones", and playing with assyk is sometimes called ankle bone shooting.
Photographer Alexey Kamenskiy (Mr)
Place Almaty Province File Size 5.28 MB
Definition 3264 x 2058 File Format png
Copyright Alexey Kamenskiy (Mr); Mergen Studio Copyright
Information source
Kazakhstan National Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage

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