Three stories about order, sacrifice and dismemberment


The distribution of the pieces of the sacrificed animal is always an important part of the ritual and is often the reflection of some kind of order. Within a few days in central Asia we came across three very different examples of this idea.

Saule tells us about her friend Peter and a lamb he had to give away as an offering.

Aiman, who has not hosted her daughter and son-in-law in her own house since they were married in California, has organized a great get together and dinner for the occasion.

We noticed that the butcher broke down the carcass in a different way than we do. Later we will learn why.

The platter of beshbarmak with the breast bone, reserved for the son-in-law.

Almaz explains the art of who gets what at the lamb feast and the differences between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks.

Kuyrdak cooking in the kazan at Aiman’s house. It was prepared with the organs of the lamb and served before the meat. It is part of the next story.

While visiting Valeryi, he opens a suitcase, filled with cast representing the organs of the lamb used for the preparation of the Kuyrdak. They are part of a show he did where they were organized in different patterns or what he calls ornaments. Ornamental painting is a traditional aspect of Kyrgyz visual arts.

The mold used to cast the kidneys.

The catalog for the exhibit.


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