Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)'s image
Created: 2014-09-22 18:52
Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
Description: Traditional Kalmyk weddings are distinguished by their elaborate rituals and sheer number of guests. To be considered husband and wife, young couples have to go through the following stages, each involving rituals: the engagement, the wedding and post-wedding observances.

Prior to the engagement, the parents of the groom make enquiries about their future daughter-in-law, her parents and her clan affiliation. Matters considered to be influenced by astrological signs – including the compatibility of the young couple and so on – are determined through consultation with a Buddhist priest. Once a decision has been made, representatives of the groom, usually his father and other male relatives, set out to see the prospective bride's parents to propose the engagement. A package of gifts carried by the groom's delegation for this occasion include a quantity of alcohol, tea, traditional biscuits, silver coins, a loop, and a white khadag (a ritual silk scarf) or a handkerchief to symbolise the permanence of the union between the two families once it has been forged. On the eve of the wedding celebration the groom performs a ritual called kyurg uzullgn (the presentation of the groom), during which he gives a present to his future in-laws and demonstrates his knowledge of traditions. The groom's mother prepares a bedding set for the young couple.

The main wedding celebration begins at the house of the bride when the groom arrives accompanied by his relatives and friends. During the celebration, both the guests and hosts eat and drink, sing songs, generally make merry and wish the young couple well. Since the bride goes into another clan to enjoy their protection, she has to leave her ‘well-being’ (kishg) behind in her parental home by having her nails and hair cut off. This ceremony is called kishg avlgn. The wedding celebration ends with a special ceremony during which the bride leaves her paternal home crying, accompanied by a song called kuuk uulyuldg dun (a song to make the bride weep). At this point her relatives are expected to try to stop the groom's people from taking away the bride and her dowry. This 'struggle' is resolved with the groom's people making a payment to the bride's side. The bride leaves her house without her parents. From this moment on she is considered to be symbolically dead for her clan and reborn in the clan of her husband.

Upon arrival at the groom's house, the bride bows to his clan’s protectors and ancestors by performing a ritual called berin morgul (the bowing of the bride). She then has her hair re-styled to reflect her new status and changes into a married woman's costume. A feast takes place in the groom's house.

The next morning the bride performs a tea ceremony during which her in-laws give her a new name by which she will be known in the new household. Traditionally, the bride's parents come to visit their daughter a few weeks or even months after the wedding.
 

Media items

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Media items

Ais Sandzhiev, Wedding Trousers

   27 views

Ais says that for any mother the happiest and most awaited moment in their lives is when their sons get married. According to Kalmyk tradition, the parents of the bride bring her...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 9 May 2015


Alexandra Sangadzhieva, How to Choose a Wife

   1 view

Important characteristics to look for when choosing a wife are: the cleanliness of the stove in her house and cutlery, as well as her haircut and whether she is wearing a belt or...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 12 May 2018


Alexandra Sangadzhieva, Wedding Rituals

   1 view

Alexandra talks about Kalmyk wedding rituals by recounting her children’s weddings, including the matchmaking ceremony, wedding, and a post-wedding ritual.
Matchmaking. The...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 12 May 2018


Alexandra Sanzheeva, About Weddings

   6 views

Alexandra talks about Kalmyk weddings. She is from the Malyachkhn lineage which does not have many members. Her clan colors are yellow, white and blue.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 11 Nov 2018


Anatoliy Safinov, Kalmyk Wedding

   15 views

Anatoliy relays stories about the weddings of his children. He held his daughter’s wedding at home. The groom’s side gave him vodka and two sheep, one live and the other...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 27 Sep 2015


Anna Shurguchinova, Maria Mudzhikova, A Well Wish to a Bride

   2 views

Anna says that when a bride arrives at her husband’s house, people utter a well-wish for her as follows: ‘May the new bride be happy and successful. May she be prosperous in her...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 10 Jun 2018


Dmitriy Mandzhiev, About Kalmyk Weddings

   1 view

Dmitriy talks about Kalmyk weddings.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 28 Oct 2018


Dzhidzha Araeva, About Kalmyk Weddings

   5 views

Dzhidzha’s story: My mother told me about how Kalmyks chose brides in the past. A matchmaker would insert a thimble filled with sheep’s excrement in the wall of the yurt of the...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Mon 14 May 2018


Ekaterina Boldyreva, About Wedding

   70 views

Ekaterina recalls that when she was a child she saw the wedding of the woman who babysat her. The wedding lasted for three days and all the brides wealth (including cloth, dresses...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (WEDDING)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Mon 16 Jan 2017


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