Mangystau region enthusiasts of the Tushybek village plan to open the first Burkitshi School
Hunting with an eagle is the ancient art of Kazakhs. In order to preserve the tradition, the Mangystau region enthusiasts of the Tushybek village plan to open the first Burkitshi School. This area is ideal for the hunting with birds. The kusbegi, who train birds to hunt, intend to preserve customs of their ancestors by holding annual Kansonar competitions. Domesticating and training the predator birds require not only certain skills but also great patience.
The two-year-old Aksengir can hunt not only a fox, but also a young wolf. An experienced burkitshi trains the bird. 6 years ago Mereke Otegali mastered the hunting with birds. Today he admits that he is ready to share his experience and contribute to preservation of the national hunting tradition.
MEREKE OTEGALI, BURKITSHI:
- I promote the art of hunting with birds among young people. 5-6 people are training to become a burkitshi. We take part in competitions. We are planning to hunt with tourists. In the near future we want to open a school.
In the 1980s the country had only 20 burkitshi. Today their number has increased to 100. The burkitshi legalized their birds and marked them with a chip. The ancient art of hunting with eagles began to be practiced abroad.
KURALAI IZIMBERGENOVA, LOCAL HISTORIAN, STAFF, OTPAN HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL COMPLEX:
- In old times, traditionally musicians were engaged in hunting. After performing the hunter's song and playing the kui, the burkitshi headed to hunt. This was considered to be a good sign. We want to revive this ancient tradition.
The Sayat National Sports Schools are opened all over the country. Lecturers are specialists from the Kazakh Academy of Sports and Tourism. The falconry school in Mangystau will work year-round. In order to develop tourism, the burkitshi plan to conduct excursions where guests will be invited to participate in the hunting and will be introduced to the tradition’s significance to the Kazakh people.