7 December 2017
Kazakh traditional Assyk games and Kyrgyz Kok boru horse game are in the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during the 12th session of the Committee in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, from Monday 4 to Saturday 9 December 2017.
Kazakh Traditional Assyk Games are an ancient tradition in Kazakhstan; each player has their own set of Assyks, traditionally made out of a sheep bone, and a ‘Saka’ dyed in bright colours. The community of practitioners mainly comprises children aged between 4 and 18, but young people and adults are also involved. The game is a good model for positive collaboration, social inclusiveness and a sense of friendship, and is primarily transmitted through observation from older boys to younger ones.
Kok boru, a horse game, is a synthesis of traditional practices, performances and the game. The game is played by two teams on horseback, who compete by trying to score as many ‘ulaks’ (a mould in modern-day games) into their opponents’ goal as possible. The element is an expression of the cultural and historic tradition of its practitioners and unites communities regardless of social status. Related knowledge and skills are primarily transmitted through demonstration, as well as during festive and social events.