The First Seminar in Karakol

Place: Issyk-Kol State University, Karakol, Issyk-Kol oblast
Date: April 2-3, 2008
Language: Kyrgyz

Gulnara Aitpaeva
Maria Louw
Aida Egemberdieva
Zemfira Inogamova
Baktygul Tulebaeva
Guljan Kudabaeva

Goal: to establish and prepare a working group to start the project on sacred site in Issyk-Kol oblast

To form a student groups to do field research concerning sacred sites in Issyk-Kol oblast and collect information and traditional knowledge about how people survived during major crises: hunger, drought seasons, World War, etc.
To teach the students the methods of research and ethics of a researcher.
To define the goals of the research and make a two-month plan.
The selection of the student-researchers was conducted in two steps:
on the basis of application (20 students were chosen out of 80)
on the basis of observation of their activeness during the conducted seminar (9 students were chosen out of 20)
The collection of applications was conducted in the middle of March, 2008 by Aigine workers in Karakol Shaiyr Supataeva and Gulnaz Adylbekova. At the end of March Aigine staff selected 20 and during the seminar 7 students were chosen.

The seminar started with an introductory speech by Gulnara Aitpaeva about Aigine, about the goals of the project on traditional knowledge and crisis survival. We also introduced Aigine books and films.

Maria Louw explained about field research and shared her own experiences with the students. We discussed the ethics of research and how to work with respondents. As an example two traditional knowledge bearers were invited and students had a chance to interview those people and show how they understood the theoretical part of the seminar. This was another indicator for making a second selection.

After lunch Baktygul Tulebaeva gave some information on ANTHROPAC and there were some exercises on how to use ANTHROPAC in the research of mazars and natural peculiarities.

Issyk-Kol students watched the Aigine film about Boz-Tektir and Nyldy-Ata.

On the second day of the seminar concrete plans were worked out concerning the research on mazars and traditional knowledge for crisis overcoming. Aigine staff together with the Issyk-Kol team prepared the questions for the research that they had to conduct. At the end Aigine gave the Issyk-Kol team research equipments, such as a computer, dictaphones, a camera, research manual and published books by Aigine.

Up to now (June 24, 2008), Aigine has information and knowledge gathered from 233 people all over Issyk-Kol oblast and this work is still being continued.

The results: before this activity Aigine also collected some materials on mazars in Issyk-Kol and the work conducted by current Issyk-Kol team will complement the previous material. We hope that the information on how our ancestors overcame crises will be helpful for the current generation in overcoming current problems. In order to achieve this Aigine will publish the information taken from this research in the form of an article or a book.