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Hunting with birds of prey

Published: 05 august 2015

Hunting with birds of preyFrom ancient time Kazakh people lead a nomadic way of life, mainly engaged in hunting. The harsh conditions and difficult life has taught Kazakhs to live in harmony with nature, respect its beauty, contact with animals and birds. They always take care of their faithful companions - a greyhound, golden eagles and frolic horse.  So the main traditions and rituals of traditional Kazakh hunting were formed.

Berkutchi - experienced catchers

Hunters usually hunt with hunting birds – Sayat and also with greyhounds - basins. The experienced divers of hunting birds – eagle were especially revered among locals. There are many legends about the most famous hunters and their birds.

Hunting with birds of preyOne of them is about eagle "Sarykus" (Red Bird) of hunter Tina that "walked" on foxes, wolves, and even deer. The second of them is about hunter Zhalair Shore that could immediately determine the age and type of hunting birds at the mere sight of it.

Kazakhs hunt by one or the whole group. The work of hunters was very difficult, because it usually necessary to outwit the beast using all knowledge, experience, perseverance and courage. It’s interesting but the owners of greyhounds – beaters, assistants and even singers, musicians and folk epic tellers also accompanied the hunt.

Hunting with birds of prey

Golden Eagles

Hunters tamed variety of birds for hunting, but the most powerful and smart was steppe eagle or golden eagle. Kazakh hunters even called it "the bird of God." The eagles living in the highlands considered the most powerful, because they are large, hardy and very strong. Only the appearance of birds is impressive - a proud posture, straight shoulders, a keen and penetrating glance.

But it’s not easy to catch a bird and to tame it. Taming and training wild eagles is very dangerous and difficult work that requires courage, endurance and a lot of patience. But it’s deserved because trained eagle overtake any livestock, easily outwit the fox and even the wolf.


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