Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.665-671

УДК 393

Features of Internal and External Furnishing of Burial Structures Among the Kazakhs in the South of Western Siberia

Akhmetova Sh.K., Tolpeko I.V.

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Funeral rite is one of the most traditional aspects in the life of the Kazakh population in the south of Western Siberia, which was largely formed with the leading role of Islam. However, other factors, such as natural and geographical conditions, including soil condition, flora, and fauna, also made a significant impact on the actions performed directly at the cemetery during and after the funeral. In many ways, local differences in funeral rites of the Kazakh population living on various territories emerged under their influence. In the south of Western Siberia, such differences have been observed in making the grave, designing the grave mound, and constructing the fence. The structure of the grave depended on the composition of soil. Muslims would make a side niche “lahat” in the grave, and cover it with local materials, such as peat, wood, adobe, reeds, straw, or hay. In some places, lahat cannot be built due to loose soil. In this case, the deceased is placed at the bottom of the grave and a chamber of bricks with ceiling is built over him. Covering the burial mound with several layers of peat (in our days, with old clothes of the deceased) in the steppe and forest-steppe is necessary for protecting the burial from predators. Fences around graves were originally made of sod bricks, wood, or adobe. These were the most affordable local building materials. They also corresponded to the traditions of Islam since they were produced without fire. The influence of natural and geographical factors was very significant at the first stages of formation of the funeral rite among the Kazakhs in the south of Western Siberia. Today many aspects of funeral rite still depend on natural and geographic conditions with the only exception of building fences, since traditional materials have become replaced by industrial materials.


Kazakhs, south of Western Siberia, funerary structures, grave, Islam, natural and geographical conditions

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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