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 the evil 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 new-born to its new environment easy. For example, the tool used in cutting the umbilical cord must be cleansed by fire, and salt with the addition of a few pebbles must be added to the water for the baby’s first bath. The giving of gifts to the midwife is also part of the birth ritual. A ritual to 'introduce the baby to its craddle' (olgyad orulh) is also performed at this stage.
Post-birth rituals are performed to denote acceptance of the new-born child into its family and society. The ritual of name-giving (ner oglgn), inviting relatives to the parents' house to view the new-born (gert orulh), the ritual of 'making the baby walk' (tusha taslh), the ritual of the first hair cut (dyah avh), 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 usually give the baby one of the following animals as a present: a horse, a sheep, a cow or a camel.
 

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Alena Lidzhieva, Rituals Connected with the Birth of a Child

   17 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


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

   14 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


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

   7 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


Galina Tserenova, About the First Haircut and Name Giving Practices

   25 views

Galina talks about the ritual of the first haircut and name giving conventions among the Kalmyks.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 28 Mar 2018


Gerel Shakeeva, About Kalmyk Women

   9 views

Gerel says she grew up as a shy girl. She was not supposed to be noisy in front of her father or brothers. Today whenever she visits her brothers Gerel always helps them lay the...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 28 Sep 2016


Gerel Shakeeva, About the Mongolian Spot

   11 views

Gerel says that the Mongolian spot could be of various size. Some people contend that it is ‘Chingis Khan’s birthmark’. Gerel saw one such birthmark on a Russian child in...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (BIRTH)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 28 Sep 2016


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