Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)'s image
Created: 2014-09-11 16:05
Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
Description: Birth related rituals consist of three stages: pre-birth (conception and pregnancy), the birth itself and post-birth rituals. Pre-birth rituals are performed as a way of asking the gods to grant the prospective parents children and in ensuring a healthy pregnancy for the mother. During pregnancy women are subjected to a host of restrictions, both symbolic and dietary. For example, in order to prevent the unborn child from becoming entangled in the umbilical cord, pregnant women are told not to step over a rope. Also, the meat of 'ugly' animals such as the rabbit and camel should be excluded from the expectant mother's diet if she wishes to avoid having an ugly child. To avert an evil or jealous eye, a baby's clothes should not be bought prior to its birth.

The actual birth of the baby is marked by a series of rituals performed to ensure a successful birth and make the adaptation of the newborn to its new environment easy. The giving of gifts to the midwife is part of the birth ritual. A ritual to 'introduce the baby to its cradle' (olgyad orulkh) is also performed at this stage.

Post-birth rituals are performed to denote acceptance of the newborn child into its family and society. The ritual of name-giving (ner oglgn), inviting relatives to the parents' house to view the newborn (gert orulkh), the ritual of 'making the baby walk' (tusha taslkh), the ritual of the first haircut (dyakh avkh), and other rituals should be performed soon after the birth of the child or in early childhood. The name-giving ritual includes a celebration called melyalgen during which the newly named baby is given presents by the guests. During the celebration, close relatives traditionally give the baby one of the following animals as a present: a horse, a sheep, a cow or a camel.
 

Media items

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Media items

Alena Lidzhieva, Rituals Connected with the Birth of a Child

   21 views

Interviewer: What rituals do we perform when a child is born? Do we have such rituals?
Alena: Yes, we do.
I: How is a new-born received, how is the umbilical cord cut, how is a...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 12 Jun 2015


Alexandra Sangadzhieva, How to Determine the Gender of an Unborn Child

   7 views

Kalmyks kill a sheep, and take from inside it a gullet-like intestine outgrowth named ul’trkha in Kalmyk in order to determine the gender of an unborn child. This outgrowth is cut...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 12 May 2018


Anatoliy Safinov, Name Giving, the First Haircut and Traditional Upbringing

   18 views

Anatoliy says that his children were named by his relatives, including his older sister, a cousin and his parents-in-law. His children had their first haircut by their uncle. The...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 27 Sep 2015


Angira Shaburova, Practices and Beliefs Connected with Childbirth

   4 views

Angira says that the birth of a child is announced by a man. Neighbors and relatives come to see the baby to utter well-wishes and give the baby presents. According to a belief,...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 11 Jul 2019


Bosya Ochirova, Rituals Connected with the Birth of a Child

   18 views

Bosya talks about the ritual of the first haircut performed when a child reaches 1, about offering put on the altar, and well-wishes that Kalmyks utter on various occasions.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 28 Apr 2015


Bulgun Okonova, Cradle

   30 views

Bulgun shows a Kalmyk cradle with belts made from cow’s leather. She says that a cradle cannot be used by children from other families, nor can it be given away to strangers....

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 19 Dec 2019


Dmitriy Orusov, Valentina Bovaeva, Zula Andratova, Name Giving Practices

   11 views

Dmitriy, Zula and Valentina talk about name giving practices among Kalmyks.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 10 Aug 2017


Dordzhi Nandyshev, Beliefs and Rituals Connected with Children

   9 views

Dordzhi says Kalmyks have many beliefs and rituals connected with children. For example, before giving a child new clothes, three people should cleanse the clothes by reading...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 8 Aug 2017


Dzhidzha Araeva, About How I Was Born

   4 views

Before I was born, my parents had a daughter who died in 1933. My grandfather brought home lama Sangadzhi – whom we called Kaaka – to read memorial prayers. The lama told my...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Mon 14 May 2018


Elza Badaeva, About a Ritual for Babies

   5 views

Elza talks about a celebration called malyagud.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 20 Dec 2018


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