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12 September 2015

Traditional hunting

From top to bottom :
Golden Eagle (金雕) ; Saker Falcon (獵鷹)
Peregrine Falcon (黑翅長腳鷸)
Kyrgyzstan (2015)
15th May, 2015. Bishkek

'Salburun'which means "Hunter's Zest" in Kyrgyz language, is a traditional hunting fest that has been held annually since 1997 in the area of Issyk Kul lake in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia.

Hunting with golden eagles is a skill handed down from generation to generation in rural Kyrgyzstan. It dates back to the times when hunting was the only means of survival in the Kyrgyz steppe. The organisers of the "Salburun" Festival revived the tradition in the form of a competition four years ago in order to preserve local culture. Hunting has always been an integral part of the nomadic lifestyle of the Kyrgyz people.

There are only a few "berkutchi" - birds of prey hunters - left in Kyrgyzstan. The majority of them learned the secrets of taming the wild bird from their fathers and grandfathers. The hunter takes the bird and begins training when it is a nesting. When it grows up, the bird remains faithful to its owner and even recognises his voice.

Kyrgyz hunters say that in former times one hunter with a golden eagle could support a large family.

Golden Eagle (金雕)
Kyrgyzstan (2015)
15th May, 2015. Bishkek

Saker Falcon (獵鷹)
Kyrgyzstan (2015)
14th May, 2015. Bishkek

Peregrine Falcon (擬游隼)
Kyrgyzstan (2015)
15th May, 2015. Bishkek

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