Study and Preservation of Traditional Knowledge Associated with Petroglyphs of Ak-Bulun Complex (Issyk-Kul province, Kyrgyzstan)

Petroglyphs are the cultural heritage of Kyrgyzstan. The petroglyphs of Ak-Bulun were found by Aigine CRC in 2021 with the help of local shepherds.

Spiritual practitioners of Kyrgyzstan believe that petroglyphs store knowledge of ancestors for their descendants. Places of accumulations of petroglyphs, according to practitioners, were once sacred. The petroglyphs of Ak-Bulun clearly confirm this understanding.

In order to document traditional knowledge sealed on Ak-Bulun petroglyphs, Aigine CRC will carry out certification of Ak-Bulun petroglyphs together with students and conduct workshops for them, create an online map, an information stand to include the complex into the state register.

In 2021, Aigine CRC implemented the project “The Secret Power of Petroglyphs”, supported by World Indigenous Science Network. The goal was to interpret petroglyphs with the help of spiritual practitioners. Aigine CRC team visited 7 petroglyph sites, including Ak-Bulun. Spiritual practitioners deciphered layers of traditional knowledge about energies, gender, and the structure of the world, rituals and, possibly, evidence of the migrations of ancient people on various petroglyphs. Balbals – tomb statues dating back to the 6th-10th centuries AD were also found there.

Ak-Bulun petroglyphs were not known to the researchers and are not included in the state register of the country. In order to raise awareness of the local population and attract the attention of scholars to the traditional knowledge that is associated with petroglyphs, Aigine CRC plans the following, together with spiritual practitioners and students of two universities:

  • To conduct 2 workshops for students on the norms of certification of petroglyphs, as well as the interpretation of traditional knowledge preserved on petroglyphs.
  • To carry out certification of Ak-Bulun petroglyphs according to the established norms and to include the petroglyphs into the state register;
  • To create an online multimedia map of Ak-Bulun petroglyphs to preserve and transmit information to younger generation through tools that are attractive to them;
  • To create an information stand to raise awareness and for possible tourist tours.